Trench Coats: Gearing Up For Spring

My wardrobe is getting a massive clean out this season because I’m bored with my clothes, tired of wearing black and want to move towards owning a smaller, more cohesive wardrobe.

I’ve gone through my coats this week and decided to let go of a leather jacket that has always bugged me. Not because it didn’t fit well but because the brown is too warm-toned for me. I’ve been able to make it work with a scarf but now, I’m just over it. It’s time for someone else to enjoy it.

I also decided to donate my 25+-year-old trench coat. It’s been a great soldier in my wardrobe but it’s beginning to look tired so its time to go.

I’m in no rush to replace my leather jacket but the trench coat is a different story. It was expensive and an investment piece when I bought it. Based on how often I’ve worn it, the cost per wear is probably around 20 cents. A classic trench will always have a place in my wardrobe so I need to find one.

More on investment dressing here and here.

My old trench coat is black which made it very wearable I don’t want to replace it with another black one. Luckily there are lots of fun colors out there so my options are endless. I’m thinking of navy, gray, taupe or cool beige because a neutral color will be the most versatile. I prefer one without epaulets, storm flaps or extra details up top which will make my shoulders look larger than they are.

Is a trench coat part of your wardrobe?

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.

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  1. Laura Rutledge
    February 1, 2020 / 9:32 am

    My trench is khaki, but roomy enough to layer it with an Eddie Bauer zip sweater (I grew up in Seattle). It was the perfect coat for a Europe trip, went with everything and looked right in style in London and Paris. In reading about other classic pieces I have a question about care, of items that are wool and cashmere, what is the best way to protect them from moths? I’ve lost some nice sweaters and have a wool coat, and I hate the smell of moth repellents but don’t know what else would be effective? please let us know how do you handle this issue.

    • Jennifer
      February 1, 2020 / 11:14 pm

      I’ve lost some to Moths too. It’s important the garments are freshly washed and pressed before your store then. Lavender acts as a repellent too.

  2. Janet D.
    January 31, 2020 / 9:11 pm

    I paid almost $1000Cdn for the perfect trench a bunch of years ago — it took me 3 weeks to talk myself into it as I’ve never in my life before or after spent that much money on a piece of clothing (it cost more than my first car!) — & have worn the poor thing almost to death, although it still looks mint. I figure I’m down to about $1.50/wearing. Best investment I’ve ever made. It’s classic, with all the bells & whistles, buttons & flaps, a deep rich olive that turns my hazel eyes the colour of grass, the perfect length to cover my boot tops but not overwhelm me, & a perfect fit. I have a couple of others as well, cheaper lighter weight ones, one tan the other black, both with zip-in linings & removable hoods, which are almost essential here on Canada’s west coast where it can BUCKET rain for days if not weeks on end, often with gale-force winds, making umbrellas useless. I don’t know what it is about a classic trench but they always make me feel well-dressed, especially when paired with good leather boots, shoulder bag & gloves & a warm scarf. I always feel very continental, like an international secret agent or something! Or maybe I’ve just watched way too many spy movies 🙂

    • Jennifer
      February 1, 2020 / 10:55 pm

      It sounds absolutely amazing!! I love that it’s bright you so much joy. These investment pieces are worth every penny

  3. Julie Anne
    January 30, 2020 / 10:01 pm

    I have a very rich pink trench coat. Love it on a dismal rainy day. It doesn’t have a hood so I carry a mini umbrella in the pocket. The umbrella has pink & yellow flowers on it; it was chosen to not get lost in a crowd of black umbrellas. Although it’s not my favourite, it looks great with the coat.

  4. Donna
    January 30, 2020 / 7:24 pm

    I bought a Michael Kors tan trench with detachable hood and no heavy lining. It was my starter trench before going full Burberry. But it turned out to be so indispensable to my travels I never could give it up. Turned out I really use the hood, and the lightweight version always works in the shoulder seasons when I travel. I got use to not having to worry about keeping tabs on a designer coat. Now I’m looking for another color just for variety. That coat has worked for every circumstance…a workhorse.

  5. Elaine @ Following Augustine
    January 30, 2020 / 3:02 pm

    I have a classic beige trench coat that was an amazing thrift store find a couple of years ago as well as a short black one with beige trim. I haven’t worn the second one for a couple of years, so perhaps it’s time to let it go.

    • Jennifer
      January 30, 2020 / 5:47 pm

      Be sure you won’t want to replace it in a few years. I’m not a fan of donating quickly.

  6. Dianne
    January 30, 2020 / 2:10 pm

    I love trench coats because they are so classic.
    Not on me though….I don’t like the belted coat.
    A light colour would be lovely right about now

  7. Yvonne
    January 30, 2020 / 1:10 pm

    I love trench coats and have owned many in my life in lighter weight fabrics for spring/fall and heavier wool/cashmere for winter. My absolute favourite was back in the 1980’s from a very well known Canadian designer. I always felt extremely stylish when I wore it.

  8. Eve
    January 30, 2020 / 11:07 am

    I live in a tropical climate so no zip outs are needed. I use mine as raincoats because they are waterproof. I have one in blue gray and one in beige. I rarely wear them though. I do lust after a red or wine one. : )

    • Jennifer
      January 30, 2020 / 5:45 pm

      If red was a flattering color on me I would own one for sure:)

  9. Joanna
    January 30, 2020 / 11:03 am

    When I was working, absolutely! I had a khaki trench that was pricey but I feel in love and had to buy it. I never regretted that purchase, as it had style and I wore it for years, always feeling sharp. I sold it on consignment once I retired, as it no longer suited my lifestyle. I go for above the knee, simpler styling, zip up front with a hood . It can take me from dress pants to jeans. No, a trench is not on my radar anymore.

  10. Susan Bartlett
    January 30, 2020 / 10:58 am

    I have several trench coats and don’t really love any of them. I live on the Oregon coast and there are times “water repellent “ just isn’t enough. I need waterproof and a hood as it’s usually pretty windy when it’s raining. I’m tall so have a hard time finding coats with sleeves long enough, so I’ve had to settle for black or light tan. Both colors are not my best. Anyway, love the blue coat! Maybe since blue is the color of the year, I’ll finally get lucky and find the coat of my dreams.

    • Jennifer
      January 30, 2020 / 5:13 pm

      The Oregon coast is so gorgeous but it is pretty wet. I hope you find your blue coat, Susan.

  11. Mollie M.
    January 30, 2020 / 9:04 am

    I also wanted to say, the blue trench really suited you Jennifer! You suit blue!

    • Betsy
      January 30, 2020 / 10:12 am

      I agree. Looked great, loved color.

    • Jennifer
      January 30, 2020 / 5:12 pm

      Thanks Mollie. I do love blue

  12. Mollie M.
    January 30, 2020 / 9:00 am

    I own a cream colour trench and love it. I don’t do up the belt though. I have other winter coats, but I seem to reach for my trench. They are so versatile too because I wear a colorful scarf with it.
    It isn’t too heavy either whereas my other winter are. It certainly is an essential in your wardrobe.

  13. MRSBEN2
    January 30, 2020 / 8:14 am

    Though currently own three, just find that I don’t wear Trench Coats all that much. One is a London Fog, midi length, black with a ‘full’ button-out lining (includes sleeves) that I may wear on the odd occasion and though purchased years ago still fits and is in immaculate condition. As for the other two; both are shorter in length one being plain black and the other in a neutral plaid (black/grey/fine purple stripe), slash pockets on each. All as you described without the extras with their buttons and plain belt being their only accent. Also classic in cut (very slimming in appearance ) but do wish they had a detachable hood. Wishing you good luck on your hunt, Jennifer!

  14. Susan
    January 30, 2020 / 7:57 am

    I donated my apple green Balmacaan style trench a couple of years ago and not a rain goes by that I wish I hadn’t. The color was beautiful and so unexpected. I’ve never seen another like it, and it was swingy, light, no belt, single breasted-everything I like in a coat. That Sam Edelman blue coat is beautiful, I may try that one and see how it looks without the belt. I own a vintage Burberry that I would never donate. It’s a classic, and single breasted without a lot of the flaps and doo dads. I just want simple things…

    • Jennifer
      January 30, 2020 / 9:23 am

      I feel your pain about that coat you donated. There are only a few things that I truly miss so I’m very careful about donating now.

  15. Barb
    January 30, 2020 / 7:02 am

    I bought a deep red Michael Kors trench two years ago. (I’m a “winter.”) It is single breasted and has a detachable hood and button-in flannel lining to give a little extra warmth when needed here in Pennsylvania. However, the belt is a mile long! I keep it tied in the back so I don’t have to deal with it, which probably looks better on my apple shape anyway.

    • Jennifer
      January 30, 2020 / 8:59 am

      I’m hoping to find one with a removable lining too. They make it so versatile. What is it with those insanely long belts??

  16. Penelope
    January 30, 2020 / 7:01 am

    I haven’t owned a trench since high school. I associate trenches with my bi-annual trips to San Francisco with my mother when she went To market to buy merchandise for her store. Great and precious memories.
    I loved that trench because it was a lovely warm golden camel, had a collarless neckline with a leather buckle, and leather buttons. No flaps etc. unique and flattering. Have never seen another one like it.

    • Jennifer
      January 30, 2020 / 8:58 am

      Yours does sound unique. What great memories Penelope.

  17. Pamela Lutrell
    January 30, 2020 / 6:53 am

    I love the color of this top trench…so pretty and would look lovely on you!

    • Jennifer
      January 30, 2020 / 8:57 am

      I love it too:)

  18. Eileen
    January 30, 2020 / 6:44 am

    I love trench coats, I recently bought a tan vintage Burberry and had it altered to fit me, I especially like the raglan sleeves, cotton lining, and soft broken in fabric. new versions are too stiff , as many trenches are. Trenches have the nice mix of a tailored blazer, and casual long sweater, Some even feel like a dress. As a pear I look for the extras on the shoulder, and A line shaped. I have three trenches I wear often. The Talbot one looked beautiful on you.

    • Jennifer
      January 30, 2020 / 8:56 am

      Thanks Eileen. I look forward to seeing yours.

  19. Bea
    January 30, 2020 / 5:53 am

    You should go back to Talbots and buy that pretty blue trench coat you tried on one time. It looked great on you!

    • Jennifer
      January 30, 2020 / 8:55 am

      Thanks Bea, my husband keeps telling me the same thing. I’d like one with a zip out lining so I can wear it in cold weather.

      • Evelyn
        January 30, 2020 / 10:59 am

        Get one just a tad large and put a layer under when needed. I have a super light puffer from Old Navy I use under mine.

      • Jennifer
        January 30, 2020 / 5:44 pm

        Great idea Evelyn.

      • Marcie
        January 30, 2020 / 7:03 pm

        I have a blue Eddie Bauer raincoat that has a removable lining. It’s a couple of years old, but they may still carry a similar one. Worth a look. Also has a hood.

  20. Laura
    January 30, 2020 / 5:27 am

    I love trench coats! I have a beige one that’s old but still in good shape, and I just bought a really pretty, single-breasted short trench in light blue. I’m also trying to gradually move away from the predominantly black and gray wardrobe I currently have!

  21. Michele
    January 30, 2020 / 4:41 am

    I am not a fan of trench coats because I don’t care for buttons and belts on my coat. I just want to zip and go. Plus, my coats need a hood. It is almost always windy when the weather is nasty, so umbrellas do not work and I don’t wear hats. I love the look of a trench, but they aren’t practical for me.

  22. Susan
    January 30, 2020 / 4:23 am

    I used to be a fan of trenches and have several, including a Burberry olive green which didn’t have me looking like an extra in a World War One movie, meaning there were no epaulettes and a million pockets/flaps. But, it was dated, so it got donated. I kept the Michael Kors black trench as it has a hood and is great if raining. My Burberry trench was replaced by a Uniqlo ultra light puffer coat, so light, soft and comfortable to wear – but not black. The great thing about black though, it doesn’t show dirty marks as easily as perhaps a lighter colour would

    • Jennifer
      January 30, 2020 / 8:53 am

      I’m sure the black color is part of the reason my trench survived as long as it has.

      • RoseAG
        February 1, 2020 / 5:01 am

        That’s why if it were my coat and fit properly I might hold onto it and just add a new fun coat that wasn’t necessarily investment grade. Some of those coats from years back are quit full/long. Maybe consider having it shortened?
        Black is good for travel or dressy outfits.

  23. Paulette Levy
    January 30, 2020 / 4:05 am

    Mine are tan and light light beige (2). They’re fine in my mainly neutral wardrobe. I’m not looking fir a new one in pale spring colors, though, must admit, they are pretty. I see where you might want to include spring like color to your wardrobe. Not for me at this time.

    I do wear my many “pop” of color scarves from Talbots and Loft and pretty necklaces too. My tees which I Wear in warm weather are in a multitude of flattering colors and they peek out from my spring coat necklines, unless I’m out in a downpour. Lol.
    Happy Spring to all!

    • Jennifer
      January 30, 2020 / 8:52 am

      It’s hard to believe spring will get here but it’s not too far off.

  24. Janet
    January 30, 2020 / 3:24 am

    I’ve needed a new one for a couple of years but just haven’t found one I love yet. I want one in a pretty colour but still see mostly black and tan which are too dreary for ne..

    • Jennifer
      January 30, 2020 / 8:51 am

      Those are classic colors but I agree, they can be dreary in gray weather.

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