Monday, April 30, 2012

The Timeless Trench

Hi everyone! Happy Monday! Hope you all had a lovely weekend and enjoyed some sunshine after a cold and wet week. I was at first fooled by the abundance of sunshine, tricked into thinking that wearing thin layers would suffice (that's me being overly optimistic, still thinking we are at the end of summer =P), however the temperature dropped quite a bit. I was greeted by a powerful burst of "fresh" air as I stepped out, and this quickly accelerated my acceptance of the fact that the shoulder-bearing days of summer are numbered, if not already over. Despite these facts, this weather is actually fantastic to bring out trans-seasonal wardrobe pieces such as this red hot trench coat. I think a great trench can do so much for you during the in-between seasons, both functionally and aesthetically. A touch of class and style combined with practicality (the perfect layering piece to shield you from the elements) definitely deserves some space in your wardrobe.

Amongst the fashion classics, the trench coat is one that has stood the test of time and has become a  sought-after, iconic, fashion item. The trench's long history of evolution has crafted a flattering, classic, silhouette that is unmatched against many other coats or jackets, making it a key ingredient to transform ensembles to look super polished and well put-together. 

I always love a good story that comes with the fashion item. To me, it adds a layer of intriguing texture that you just want to learn more about. If we go back in time...the trench coat was actually the raincoat. It was made out of waterproof, heavy-duty cotton drill or poplin, wool gabardine, or some times even leather material. It was usually at knee or calf-length, and was developed as an alternative to the heavy serge greatcoats worn by British and French soldiers in World War I. The inventor of the trench coat has been debated, with claims from both Burberry (the inventor of gabardine in 1879, which is a unique wool material that is also rain-resistant) and Aquascutum (claiming to have created the trench coat in the 1850s for officers in the Crimean war).

The success of Burberry's water-resistant fabric, gabardine was phenomenal. The material was durable, virtually crease-proof and resistant to the elements, while remaining porous and well-ventilated enough to be comfortable and cool for the wearer. Orders flooded in, with the first major client being the British Army. Burberry added shoulder straps and metal rings to his gabardine coat, and the trench coat was born. Regardless of who the true inventor was, both Burberry and Aquascutum manufactured trench coats for military use in WWI and WWII because they were ideal for harsh weather conditions. Thankfully for us, the ingenious design prevented these coats from staying in the trenches for too long =)
Historic roots and military heritage aside, a great trench is truly timeless and enduring, thanks to its sophisticated shape, superb fabric quality and craftsmanship. Each era seems to have put their own spin on the staple, changing fabrics and styling to keep with the times without altering its structural integrity. The trench makes a great transitional season jacket and is the prettiest raincoat aroundSo, if you have yet to acquire a trench, a quality classic style is definitely splurge-worthy. So clear some closet space to home a classic trench coat because rain or shine, this baby will protect you and in great style too!
Trench coat: Etam (splurge version here & here);
Top: Cotton On;
Bottom: MNG,
Earrings: Mouch;
Scarf: eBay (similar here, splurge version here);
Bag: Chloe (also shown here);
Booties: Ann Taylor (similar, splurge version here)

Thank you so much for reading!

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