What started as a functional coat used in the military during World War I has become a fashionable way to stay warm and a necessary staple in everyone's closet. Everyone has rocked the look — from soldiers in World War I trying to survive and stay warm to Hollywood movie stars. The trench coat is the epitome of functional fashion. Here is a brief history of the trench coat and how you can rock the look.
Both Burberry and Aquascutum claim that they made the first trench coat in the 1850s. Whichever designer made it first is unclear, but the trench coat style took off because of its warmth and functionality matched with fashion. As you can see from the above advertisements, the trench coat was marketed toward working men and women who would be out in the elements often.
The trench coat was incredibly popular during World War I, but not for fashion. The coat was waterproof and incredibly warm. Burberry provided half a million coats during the war. Other designers, such as Kenneth Durward and Thresher and Glenny also advertised versions of the trench coat during the war.
After the war, the popularity of the trench coat drastically increased. The coat became popular for both men and women, and was not just used to military members anymore. The coat became a staple for the fashion of business men and women. The popularity of the trench coat trend continued to increase through the decades.
The popularity and fashionability of the trench coat was further solidified when Audrey Hepburn wore a trench coat in Breakfast at Tiffany's. There is no one quite like Audrey Hepburn when it comes to classic fashion.
Speaking of fashion icons, Jackie Kennedy Onassis was a huge fan of the trench coat style.
And then, Kate Moss. Nothing else needs to be said.
Today, the trench coat trend is all over the celebrity fashion and commercial world.
If you want to follow in these incredible fashion icons' footsteps and rock the trench coat, here are some tips.
Keep the rest of your outfit — the stuff that will be seen while you are wearing the trench coat — simple. You can pair the trench coat with skinny jeans and booties if you want to go for a casual look. To dress it up a bit, wear the trench coat over a dress with heels or flats.
Options for affordable trench coats are here, here and here.