Timelessness is something of a buzzword in the world of fashion. Despite the relentless deluge of trends churned out by the fashion machine, we are told time and time again that, by adding one timeless piece to our wardrobes, we will never again be left wondering what to wear. In most cases, it doesn’t quite work out like that, but for a few select pieces – black blazers, pearl jewellery, sleek slip dresses – this advice rings true. Particularly so in the case of the trench coat.
Originally a utilitarian garment, this chic essential is a piece of walking fashion history. Having evolved from the waterproof coats created by Scotsman Charles Macintosh, it’s Thomas Burberry’s cotton gabardine iterations worn by soldiers in the trenches during the First World War (hence the name) – as well as those by now-shuttered Aquascutum, who would argue that it made them first – that have inspired the styles we still see on the streets today.
Much like T-shirts, denim and Oxford shirts, this is one piece of masculine workwear that women have truly co-opted to make their own – even when off-duty. Whether thrown on over a summer dress or with jeans, a jumper and chunky Chelsea boots come winter, a timeless trench coat instantly elevates any outfit, while keeping you covered in the event of unwelcome rain showers. Here’s our pick of the best trench coats to throw on over any outfit.