What’s not to love about trench coats and how to get the most out of yours!
Summer is within reach. Long, balmy evenings spent outside, a day at the races, drinks on the terrace. It’s a time for lingering and for making memories. In fact, it’s ideal weather for the Anderson Club lightweight ivory trench coat – thrown over your shoulders for a little extra warmth, protection or layering.
As a fan of The Anderson Club, you’ll know I like every item in our collections to have its own story, which you, in turn, can add to yours. I always like to give more than a passing nod to traditional styles whilst giving them a modern twist. And I also like to think that some of the history embedded in the classic styles of our past, is reflected back at you, the wearer. It’s what makes fashion so interesting.
So, cue the great British trench coat and the inspiration behind the Anderson lightweight coat. The trench coat has to be one of the most effortlessly symbolic items of fashion history and with a little help from the Anderson Club, it also speaks volumes about you.
Burberry, Aquascutum, WWI and the trench coat
Both great names claim credit for the trench coat. Aquascutm claim they came up with the design as long ago as the 1850s, whilst Burberry submitted their first trench coat designs to the War Office in 1901. And in fact, designers had been developing waterproof “Macintosh” coats for some years before.
Wherever the truth may lie, by World War I, we had the trench coat – an item that traditionally was waterproof, long, belted, double-breasted with wide lapels and shoulder straps. In the army, you had to be of a certain rank before you could wear a trench coat and so they absorbed the first symbols for which they’re renowned – authority and status! And I defy anyone not to still feel that authority today whether they put on a heavy-duty military trench coat or a lightweight ivory coat like ours.
The trench coat’s roots are firmly planted in “practicality”. They had to be capable of being worn over other layers, be waterproof, functional, breathable and smart. They were never intended to be as warm as a “great coat” but provided protection from the wind and the rain. And all of these attributes are present in our Anderson Club interpretation.
By the end of WWI trench coats were very much embedded as part of our culture, and many returning officers continued to wear them in civvy street. And it was these charismatic, world-weary war heroes who helped cement the trench coat’s place as a popular fashion item.
Hollywood gets in on the action
In my last blog about jumpsuits, I explained that as Hollywood moved into its golden era which really lasted from the late 1920s to the end of the 1950s, fashion became the driving force behind movie marketing. And the Hollywood moguls were quick to pick up on the indomitable style of the trench coat style.
Gangsters, detectives, leading ladies and femme fatales were all seen sporting the trench coat in films as diverse as Casablanca and The Big Sleep. Once again, the greats of Ingrid Bergman, Marlene Dietrich and Audrey Hepburn adopted the trench coat which soon became the go-to choice of the solitary, brooding but undeniably romantic hero!
It’s not hard to see why trench coats have never really gone out of style since.
The trench coat look for 2018
If this year’s main catwalks and celebrity A-listers are anything to go by, trench coats are set to be this summer’s cool as things start getting hot! They’re also the perfect bridge between winter and spring when you’re greeted with April wind and showers one day and balmy spring evenings the next.
Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and even The Telegraph have been shouting about trench coat trends since last autumn and as always the big designers have been coming up with new and bizarre takes of this great British classic. I love all the funky, alternative styles but if you’re looking for effortless chic and a touch of class, nothing quite beats our Anderson Club classic. I know I would say that, but just to prove my point, I’ve got three trench coat style suggestions that I think you’re going to love!
It’s a jungle out there
Wear our haute couture coat over a jungle print dress with wedges for a stunning look for the races, lunch with friends or those all-important social events. I just love this look – it’s classy, subtle and casual but has colour and a sense of fun thrown in too! Of course, you don’t have to stick with a jungle print – any length dress, with a bold print or strong colours, would look great under this coat and you can tone the look up or down with your accessories – a silk scarf, bright bag, chunky jewellery or a pair of boots. You really can’t go wrong with this look.
Heading into the office this summer? Not a problem. Combine a black jumpsuit, or pinstripe look with our ivory coat for a super cool, monochrome look. Not happy with just black or white? Not a problem. Add just a hint of colour with a pair of tights, indigo blouse or just with a dash of bright scarlet lipstick. It’s a strong and powerful look with a touch of daring and adventure thrown in.
Nothing says style more than simplicity! And I love the simplicity of this lightweight coat worn with nothing else! Well, what you really wear underneath is, of course, up to you.
Add a bold necklace in strong colours or statement shoes to finish the look – it’s a moody, charismatic, teasing and confident look!
How will you love yours?
I love the fact that the trench coat has such a diverse and interesting story to tell. And I love its versatility and inherent style. But what about you? How do you wear yours and what’s your take on this iconic wardrobe staple. Please feel free to share your pictures and favourites or just leave a comment below.