Trench Love Affair
Developed around the turn of the 20th century by British brands Burberry and Aquascutum, the trench coat has become a permanent fixture in the fashion pantheon. Just about every retailer has their take on this classic and Madewell’s version (featured above) is as good as any. I’ve road-tested mine over the course of several weeks and, while slightly prone to lint collection, the cut is flattering and its weight is ideal for blustery fall weather.
Ines de la Fressange, French fashion icon and close friend of designers like Jean Paul Gaultier and Karl Lagerfeld, outlines a few guidelines for trench coat style in her delightful book, Parisian Chic. Her primary suggestion is to remove the coat from its roots in military rigidity by pushing up the sleeves and tying, not buckling, the belt in front or behind you. The result is a softer and more lived-in look which, she argues, is the basis of Parisian style.
Illustration by Michelle Ricks, Photo (top): Madewell Hampstead Trench Coat – $198 at Madewell, Photo (right): Parisian Chic – A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange and Sophie Gachet (Flammarion Press) – $17.21 at Amazon