Style notes: How to compare men’s trench coats
Why choose a trench coat?
Not only is the trench coat a functional outerwear garment it is also a much adored symbol of style. For more than 100 years this classic design has remained almost unchanged. From Clark Kent in Smallville to musician Kurt Cobain, the trench coat has a varied and well established heritage. Great for keeping warm and fighting off wet weather, the trench coat is the perfect marriage of style and practicality.
What is a trench coat?
Trench coats are long and typically a looser fitting style made more tailored by the addition of a waist belt. They also tend to have deep pockets and some simple detailing on the front. This particular style of coat can be traced back to iconic designer Thomas Burberry who was commissioned to create an outer garment for officers to wear in the Boer war. Not all military personnel were allowed the privilege of a trench coat, the garment was reserved only for officers. From then on this classic coat has evolved into a popular style coat for both men and women.
Brands and budget of trench coats
The most iconic brand of trench coat belongs to founding designer label Burberry. However, many other designers and stores have now adapted the classic design to create their own unique versions of the trench coat. This style of coat can vary in price from a few thousand to own the highly coveted Burberry or Aquascutum label to $50 or less for other labels. See the table below fo our brand suggestions for different budgets.
|Budget||$1,000 +||$500 - $999||$250 - $499||$100 - $249||$25 - $99|
Burberry London / Brit
Fabrics and colors of trench coats
Trench coats are typically made from one of three materials; wool, cotton or leather.
- Wool – This was the material used to make the original style of trench coats. It’s very good at keeping you dry and warm because of the tight weave and heavy material. Wool is now typically used for high end trench coats which often come complete with a silk lining. The main draw back with wool trench coats is that they can be very heavy.
- Cotton – A very popular material for trench coats that are designed to be lighter weight and worn in warmer seasons. Some versions of cotton trench coats will be treated to make them waterproof. However, be aware that many stores' trench coats will be made from cotton simply because it’s cheaper for them to produce than wool.
- Leather – This is a modern adaptation of the classic trench coat so it's not as popular yet. This style of trench coat is easy to clean because dirt and water can simply be wiped away. A good example of the leather trench is Neo in his full length leather trench coat in popular film The Matrix. This style trench coat is particularly popular with the gothic subculture.
Colors – Trench coats have largely remained traditional in their coloring. Dark colors like black, navy, blue and khaki are most popular. However, some designer trench coats come in more vibrant colors. If you are planning to wear your coat on a regular basis then it’s usually best to opt for darker colors since they have more versatility.
Styles and features of trench coats
There are certain characteristics of a classic trench coat:
Double breasted front – It’s traditional for a trench coat to have six to 10 buttons on the front. But if you are shorter a single breasted trench coat may be more flattering.
Single back vent – Most trench coats come with a single vent on the back of the coat. This is to allow for movement.
Shoulder tabs – These are part of the coat for fashion and detailing. However, they were originally used to fasten the officers army rank without damaging the coat.
Sizing of trench coats
It’s important when buying a trench coat online that you know your size to ensure a good fit. You should always check the retailer’s size guides when buying online. However, for a guide to standard sizing see the table below.
If you are travelling it’s important to know your equivalent sizing – for details about sizing see the table below.
Delivery and returns when buying a trench coat online
Delivery when buying a trench coat will depend on the retailer that you’re purchasing from. It’s always a good idea to check the retailer’s website for comprehensive delivery details. If you decide to buy a trench coat from outside the U.S. be aware that the delivery time is likely to be extended.
Using Cafe La Moda to buy a men’s trench coat quick and convenient!
Shopping for a trench coat
Now that you’ve read our complete guide to men’s trench coats, why not visit our comparison pages? Here you will find a wide variety of men’s trench coats, from budget to designer and garishly modern to classic chic.