Stories from AGENdA

A Brief Story of The Trench Coat

A Brief Story of The Trench Coat

What do you associate with the trench coat?

It is partly true that the trench coat became a thing from WWI time but it is a myth that the trench coat is worn by soldiers in action in the war. Those who wore it during the were mostly officer rank and above, who purchased the coat as part of their uniform and it became a mark of social class and distinction – they were costly. Aquascutum and Burberry take the credit for the trench coat but they did not actually invent it. They upgraded it in more functional fabrications and made it to fashion. It is said the origin of the trench coat was rubberized cotton outerwear dated back to the 1820s. They were called “macs” after Charles Macintosh. 

The trench coat began to come out of its military atmosphere in the 1940s as it was seen in Hollywood films. The handsome detectives, dashing spy, stylish journalists – they all wore the trench coats. And think of The Big Sleep, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, A Foreign Affair, Kramer vs. Kramer… Along with a powerful, fearless, and mysterious persona, the trench coat became even more popular.

But we still see a lot of historic components to the trench coat. Like Epaulettes. Officers would put their rank signs. Like D-rings. They were added so that officers can hold equipment. Removable quilted lining. They were used as blankets when necessary. Cuff straps. Binoculars were secured when in use.

So the trench coat is a symbol of history, style, and utilitarianism in fashion. 

Holding a secured spot as a wardrobe staple, the iconic item returns on the runaways, media, shop windows all around, especially in Fall and Spring.

If you have one, try wearing it in different ways. It can almost never go wrong. (Yes, even to an errand over your home-leggings)