Living in rainy Vancouver, the MUST-have coat of every season is the Classic Trench.
Of course, everyone would love to get a Burberry one, since they practically made the trench coat famous, but at over $1000 per jacket, it's just not economically feasible.
The one I have is by Massimo Dutti, a Spanish company. I picked it up when I was in Barcelona this summer for 120 €, which turned out to be $165 CAD at the time. A pretty good price for a quality coat.
How do you know if your purchase is worth the money? These are some of my personal tips on finding that perfect trench coat.
1) Is it waterproof?
What's the point of getting a trench coat if it doesn't protect you from the rain? Always check the label. Trench coats should be made out of heavy-duty cotton that is tightly woven. It should also have a waterproof coating that allows the water to just bead off and not soak into the jacket.
How do you know for sure? Well, when I bought my jacket, I carried a bottle of water with me. I sprinkled a few drops of water onto the coat, and BAM! it beaded right off. You should probably do this when the sales associate isn't looking... ahaha! ;)
2) Is it lined?
I hate jackets that aren't lined. Any when I talk about lining, I mean FULLY lined. None of that top-half lined bottom half unlined crap! Same goes for the sleeves! It must have lining.
Why? Well it shows your jacket is of good quality. A jacket is a work of art- it should look good no only from the outside but also on the inside. If it's lined you know they spent time on it. Not to mention it adds an extra layer of protection from the rain
At the end of the sleeves, the lining should come out a bit more than the jacket, and then folded in. This allows the sleeves to be let out and altered longer, if need be. Since my arms are long, this is a deal-breaker for me. If the lining ends before the sleeve and it can't be let out, I will pass on the coat.
Slit pockets are ideal so you can just slide your hand in when it gets cold. The worst jackets come with fake pockets that are only there for show! Next are those unfriendly square pockets on top of your stomach that make you look like a kangaroo!
Secret pockets are my favourite. The good thing about the Massimo Dutti one is that is has a breast pocket on the inside to keep all your important stuff- passports, boarding passes, business cards and what not. As you can see in the picture, the secret pocket is nicely lined with suede trim for an added touch.
Do you want single breasted or double breasted?
Single-breasted makes the wearer look slimmer, while double breasted is more traditional. I like mine double breasted for added warmth with the additional panel in front.
Does it have a waist-belt?
I love waist belts because it really defines a person's natural curves. Because trench coats are long, it can have a tendency to make people look boxy. The waist belt solves this problem, cinches your waist, and gives you your figure back.
Do you want epaulettes and sleeve cuffs?
I think these details really make the trench coat what it is and takes it back to its military roots. They are a must for me since it is what makes the trench coat iconic.
Banana Republic has a classic trench that meets all the criteria I have above. They have the same trench in Petite, Regular, and Tall, so it fits just about everybody.
At $240, it is still an investment, but BR has 30-40% off promotions all the time, making it a much more reasonable $144-168.
Why didn't I buy the said BR trench? None of the sizes fit me. Petite XS-M didn't fit my broad shoulders/long arms, Regular XS was too big and sleeves weren't long enough, Tall S arms/shoulders fit but was way too big...
European clothing fits me much better ;)