“When you’ve got a great trench on, what’s underneath isn’t so important.”
I wanted to start my quest for the 100 with the trench, because it’s one of the pieces I already have and I looooooove it. If I could only pick one thing from the 100 list, the trench would be it. Heck, it doesn’t even matter what you wear under it. You could just pair a trench with a pair of killer heels or boots and that’s that.
The original trench was created as a raincoat for British soldiers during WWI. When the soldiers returned from war, they took their Burberrys (yes, Burberrys) with them. Since then, the trench has been a British institution, a film-noir mainstay, and a style staple for men and women.
It’s definitely a classic. Just think of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, Catherine Deneuve in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
I go for the original khaki, but every now and then I see a great colored trench (my mom has one in a gorgeous spring coral). Nina Garcia says you could go for gold lamé, but I’m not so sure about that…have you ever seen anyone besides a grandma from New Jersey pull that off?
Miss Nina suggests Burberry for your traditionalists (surprise, surprise) and Gap or Juicy Couture for bold colors. I got super lucky with my trench: I stumbled upon an Elie Tahari version at Marshall’s, of all places. I spent a grand total of $60 on it, which I couldn’t pass up after I saw the retail price of $400. It’s lined, double-breasted, and belted, and it’s made of sturdy, water-resistant cotton that doesn’t wrinkle. It was totally worth every penny (and then some)!
For those of you who have a few thousand to spend on a trench (yeah, right), you could go for an updated version of the original Burberry. If that’s a little ridiculous (and I don’t blame you), Gap and Jones New York make some cute ones, and I’d highly recommend Tahari. You can also find a fun print from Anthropologie or Stella McCartney. But I’m a traditionalist when it comes to the trench, so I’d stick to neutrals and classic silhouettes.