Trench: the complete guide

Trench: the complete guide

The trench coat is a great wardrobe classic: for me, a really undeniable piece!

Given the season, I propose a complete guide to this Must Have: styles, details, prices and trivia!



Today it is a cult piece, yet the trench was born during the First World War as something to wear in trecht, from which it takes its name.

Thomas Burberry (yes, just the founder of the brand) creates a practical trench coat for the British army.

In addition to the iconic cut, it also invents the gabardine: the unmistakable twisted cotton fabric, with a diagonal weave, which makes it impervious to rain and wind.

After the war, the trench goes to the civil wardrobe and also to the cinema: countless stars have shown it on the big screen, from Marlene Dietrich to Audrey Hepburn, from Catherine Deneuve to Meryl Streep.



Precisely because it was designed for the British troops at the front, the trench has always had a practical and functional cut. As well as stylish, obvious.

The most classic model is DOUBLE BREAST, designed to protect from the wind, from any direction blowing.

The COLLAR with chin strap can be lifted up and you can also close it with a practical hook.

The LINER is typically in tartan: the Scottish checkered pattern, of medieval origin. Very British!

POCKETS are oblique and extremely capacious! Ideal in war to contain maps and other military objects, today they are very practical for a thousand things.

The BELT can be fastened, but it is more beautiful knotted. Eventually, the trench is nice even left open …

The STRAPS of the sleeves are born to be tighten at the bottom, in case of rain. Both buckles are covered in leather.

The BIB of fabric on the pectoral (right for men, left for women) is an additional protection against bad weather.

Other distinctive elements: the raglan SLEEVES, the back MANTLE, the military SHOULDERS with the button and the TEAR behind.




Originally, the basic colors were beige and olive green.

Today the color range is practically infinite and even motifs and patterns have been added.

The great classics remain: beige, stone gray, blue and black. But Burberry today also includes: brown, green, pink, purple, red, orange, yellow, white.



KENSINGTON: the iconic, classic one.


CHELSEA: still in gabardine, but the cut is decidedly more enveloping and feminine.


SANDRINGHAM: a tailored cut with a tighter bust.


WESTMINSTER: it is a classic model in gabardine, with a softer and masculine cut.



The variants of the Burberry trench coat, which we can consider as a reference also for the other brands, are:

SHORT: ideal if you are small in stature or, in general, if you wear it especially with pants.


MEDIUM: this is also perfect for shorter women and works well both in casual and elegant.


LONG: it is the most classic and versatile one. You can easily wear it on your trousers, but also on the most elegant skirts and sheath dresses.


EXTRA LONG: it has its charm, but it is definitely more challenging. Requires long and slender legs.



As we said, Mr. Burberry, in addition to the coat, invented also fabric. That is the GABARDINE: a compact woven yarn with more than 100 interwoven threads per cm.

The microscopic open spaces of the weft allow ventilation, while the compact structure prevents water from impregnating the fabric.

It is not a warm fabric, so it is possible to button inside an upholstery, which makes it portable even with lower temperatures.

Of course, in addition to the great classics, fashion offers versions in WOOL, CASHMERE, LEATHER, DENIM, SYNTHETICS, FUR, SILK, TAFFETA, TECHNICAL FABRIC and even PLASTIC.




The price of the Burberry trench coat varies according to the materials.

The highest is the padded one (2.995 Euro); then the leather one (2,695 euros); then there is the sheepskin model (2.595 euros) and then gradually up to the taffeta one (695 euros).

As for the iconic models, which we have seen above, the prices are:

KENSINGTON 1,895 euros

CHELSEA 1,695 euros

SANDRINGHAM 1.795 euros

WESTMINSTER 1,895 euros


Do not miss the next post: we will discover many outfit ideas to wear the trench coat on all occasions …


Rossella Migliaccio
Italian Image Institute