Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wardrobe Essential: Trench Coat

Lightweight, weather resistant and perennially chic, the trench coat is as stylish today as it was when Audrey Hepburn donned the piece in Breakfast at Tiffany's. But the classic nude coat goes back a lot farther than Holly Golightly and her days at Tiffany's. In 1901, Thomas Burberry, the inventor of gabardine, proposed the garment as the official raincoat for officers of the British Army. When World War I began, Burberry altered the coat slightly, adding new features such as epaulettes and shoulder straps. The coat was primarily worn by soldiers fighting in the trenches - hence the name "trench coat." Today, the coat remains one of fashion's most iconic pieces.

Now that you know the history, it's clear that this is one garment that's here to stay. The gabardine coat is a wardrobe staple that will take you from season to season. If you don't already own one, you should think about investing in one now. While the classic Burberry one may be out of your price range, there are many other affordable versions of the coat. Whether you pair it with your favorite pair of jeans and flats or throw it over a cocktail dress, the trench is certain to make you feel stylish and effortlessly put together.