How to Style a Trench Coat

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I’ve had a long love affair with trench coats. I only wish there was a longer season to wear one here! I’m happy to say that they seem to be having a particular moment again this spring—sometimes looking very classic (à la Kramer v Kramer and Burberry), but recently I’ve seen many iterations updated with softer lines and less hardware, aka “The Flowy Trench.”

Whichever you prefer, here are some favorites and some tips for wearing them…

Flowy Trench

Here are some tips I’ve gleaned for styling a trench coat…

If you’re wearing a classic, more structured trench, consider tightening the sleeves straps and pushing them up. Or you might roll them, with either style.

If you’re wearing a flowy trench, stick to clean lines underneath to keep from looking too sloppy.

If wearing the jacket closed, tie rather than belt it at the waist.

If wearing it open, you can tighten the belt in a knot at the back to give it more shape; or let hang it loosely on your shoulders.

If you’re unsure about color: Grey tones and and deeper tans tend to look best on everyone (as opposed to something more yellow). Of course there are plenty of non-tan colors, too.

And finally, the best-made trench coats are typically lined, but this varies with the flowy style.

Some favorite examples… 


1. Everlane Trench | 2. Everlane Swing Trench | 3. Old Navy | 4. A.P.C. Barbara Trench Coat | 5. Topshop Olive | 6. Apiece Apart Trench | 7. H&M Women’s Trench | 8. Pepe Jeans Duster Trench | 9. JCrew Icon Trench | 10. Burberry Kensington (The trench that started it all—made with Gabardine.) | 11. ASOS Classic Trench | 12. Zara Long Crossover Trench | 13. Kiyoko Kikuchi

Photo of Olive Trench above: Mango Flowy Trench (Mango has a great selection of the flowy looks)

What do you think? Are you a fan of this look? 

P.S. Denim Flares and a guide to summer sandals. Also, our trip to Paris, where I got to wear a trench the entire time, and sadly lost the belt. (Tip: Avoid losing your belt! Either tie it onto one of the loops or opt for an invisible stitch.)

[Incredible grid of styled outfits via Kiyoko Kikuchi Closet]

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