Maybe no garment is as beloved as the trench coat; from South Africa to France to Casablanca to London. It has persisted functional and almost unaltered for over 100 years.
Surprisingly, very few men don a trench coat today despite its lasting fashion. Mens trench coat is a classic clothing piece that can add a thrust of sharp to any outfit a man carries.
The Trench Coat’s Military Origins
The origins of this coat can be traced to the Trench overcoat Thomas Burberry created for British officers in the Boer War. The overcoats were attributed to by their creator’s name and created of gabardine, an innovative and enduring wool fabric invented by Burberry.
It withstands water and keeps the wearer warm but cooled. Only officers were permitted to wear the overcoats; they were not a required piece of the uniform and could only be purchased personally.
Trench Coat Fabric
Wool gabardine was applied on first trench coats as the compact weave resisted water and was surprising. Reliable, complete with silk insulation, this piece was lightweight, effective, and classic. The first coats were sold only to British deputies.
A customer who had significant spending potential and was ready to invest in a coat that served him stronger than anything issued. Today wool gabardine is only done on high-end or custom trench overcoats upon demand.
The coat’s high cost makes it ineffective for mass sales, although old wool gabardines can be found at moderate prices.
Early variants of the trench coat were created with heavy-duty khaki fabric. Today trench overcoats use cotton densely intertwined with poplin and twill textures (of which gabardine is one). Although cotton does not have the warmth retaining qualities of wool.
The fabric is more enduring and if managed, can be water-resistant. Cotton is also less cheaper than fiber and available in more enormous quantities from multiple sources.
Today cotton is the material of choice for most trench overcoats. Although producers often mix in human-made fibers for better weather protection properties and cost savings.
Trench Coat Style
The form of the trench overcoats has changed very little
in its over 100-year history. Traditional clothing like this is seen by many as a reliable investment because it endures. The purchaser of a classic trench coat can be sure it will never become out of fashion.
And although purchasing anew one can be hard on the wallet, it’s challenging to find a man who would exchange his coat in after it has assisted him faithfully for decades. These are the standard style features you should look for in a perfect men’s trench coat:
Double Breasted Front Style
The timeless trench coat is double-breasted with six to ten buttons depending on height.
Although single-breasted overcoats are available, we suggest most men buy a double-breasted coat as it will for 95% of them be the only double-breasted clothing piece in their closet. The single-breasted class is best reserved for small men who may appear buried in too much excess fabric.
Single Back Vent
Trench overcoats have a single vent – the original intention was to give a soldier room to run as he ran across the battlefield while assuring protection from powerful winds as he waited for the “word.”
Unlike standard jacket sleeves, the Raglan sleeve is more comfortable and makes the overcoat more comfortable when used with multiple layers of apparel.
Epaulets (Shoulder Tabs)
A service holdover, badges allowed officers to attach rank emblem without damaging the coat.
Thought by many to be stuffing for a rifle butt, the “gun” flap is a guarding flap to assure water does not slide into the jacket as it goes down the shoulders. It serves as a cap, keeping the wearer dry, considering he has on headwear.
On the right side for men and for women on the left side as the overcoat buttons up in opposing ways for the different sexes. The link to this flap being a gun flap is apparently due to it being demanded during WWI when duties complained about
water leaking into the coats after shooting their guns. The raising of the right arm exposed the first trench coat’s breast fold to the elements – not something you want in a flood.