Trench Coat Styles for Men: How to Wear The Timeless Icon


The Fashionisto


Updated July 13, 2023

Trench Coat Styles Men Stone ColorPin
Explore trench coat styles for men, learn about the different options, and how to wear them. Photo: Deposit Photos

Regarding iconic menswear, few garments hold as much allure as the trench coat. The trench coat has become a staple in men’s fashion due to its rich history and timeless style. From its origins in the military to its status as a symbol of sophistication, trench coat styles for men have captivated the fashion world for decades.

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Embolden your style with a leather trench coat. Photo: FP

This comprehensive guide will delve into the evolution of trench coats, exploring their historical significance, practicality, fabric options, color choices, and various styles. Whether you’re a fashion enthusiast or simply looking for a practical and stylish outerwear option, this guide will help you navigate the world of trench coats and make an informed choice.

The Birth of a Classic: Military Trench Coats

The roots of the trench coat can be traced back to its military origins. During World War I, British clothiers Aquascutum and Burberry developed waterproof coats for Crimean and Boer Wars officers.

While the debate over the first inventor rages on, it is clear that these early trench coats were designed to keep soldiers dry in the most challenging conditions. As the war concluded, soldiers brought their trench coats back to civilian life, and their popularity quickly spread.

Trench Coats: A Shield Against the Elements

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Consider a trench coat as your barrier against the elements. Photo: Shutterstock

Rainy days can be a real downer, but a well-designed trench coat can keep you dry and stylish. Unlike flimsy umbrellas rendered useless in windy conditions, a trench coat provides reliable protection against rain. Its length and construction ensure that you and your clothing stay dry, making it an essential outerwear item for those living in areas with heavy precipitation.

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Stay prepared for various weather conditions with a removable trench coat lining. Photo: Shutterstock

The practicality of trench coats extends beyond their waterproof capabilities. With features like removable liners and versatile fabrics, trench coats can be adapted to various weather conditions, making them a reliable choice throughout the seasons.

Exploring Trench Coat Fabrics: A World of Options

When it comes to picking a trench coat, the fabric is pivotal. With many options, each material offers unique characteristics that cater to your style, comfort, and purpose. Let’s delve into some of the most sought-after trench coat materials:

Gabardine: The Game-Changer

Trench Coat Styles APC Cotton Gabardine Trench Coat NavyPin
French brand A.P.C. uses cotton gabardine for its navy trench coat. Photo: Mr Porter

First off, let’s talk about gabardine, the fabric brainchild of Thomas Burberry. This tightly-woven, sturdy material is hailed for its tenacity and water-resistant features. Though initially made from pure worsted wool, modern renditions of gabardine can be found in cotton, polyester, and mixed variants. Gabardine should be your go-to if you’re looking for a trench coat that’ll brave the rain but still exude style.

Leather: The Luxurious Maverick

Maximize your style imprint with a leather trench coat.Pin
Maximize your style imprint with a leather trench coat. Photo: Wilsons Leather

Next is leather, a trench coat fabric that embodies both ruggedness and luxury. Along with durability and protection, leather coats bring a certain softness to the touch. Consistent care and upkeep are imperative to keep its charm alive for years. If you aim for an edgy and sophisticated look, a leather trench coat won’t disappoint.

Cotton Drill: The Dependable Workhorse

Trench Coat Styles Valentino Garavani Belted Twill Trench CoatPin
Tap into a rugged sensibility with a twill trench coat like this belted style from Valentino Garavani. Photo: The Outnet

Following the pack is the cotton drill, another tightly-woven fabric that sports a distinct twill weave. The cotton drill is appreciated for its toughness, durability, and breathability, making it a reliable choice for those seeking comfort and strength. Given its versatility, this material has been widely used for trench coats, work gloves, and chef aprons. A cotton drill trench coat could be your best bet for those hectic, all-weather work days.

Serge: The Authentic Sentinel

Trench Coat Styles Fursac Beige Cotton Serge Trench CoatPin
Fursac pays a nod to tradition with its beige cotton serge trench coat. Photo: Fursac

Last but not least, we have serge, a fabric steeped in military heritage, bringing a dash of authenticity to your trench coat. Akin to gabardine but identifiable by its unique diagonal ribs, serge was a staple for military uniforms and greatcoats. If you want a trench coat that blends tradition with functionality, look no further than a serge trench coat.

Trench Coat Colors: Classic Khaki to Modern Hues

While the iconic khaki shade is undoubtedly the poster child for trench coats, a gamut of colors is now up for grabs. These diverse hues let you personalize your trench coat and make a style statement. Let’s delve into some of the popular color choices and what they bring to the table:

Khaki: The Evergreen Companion

Trench Coat Styles Khaki Trench MenPin
Versatile for everyday wear, Mango makes a case for the quintessential khaki trench coat. Photo: Mango

Firstly, there’s the timeless khaki. This color has become almost synonymous with trench coats, radiating an enduringly classic and polished feel. Its versatility makes it a fail-safe addition to virtually any closet, ideal for any formal or casual occasion.

Black: The Chic Minimalist

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Embrace a sophisticated edge with a black trench coat. Photo: FP

Next up is the always-reliable black. A color that harmonizes seamlessly with virtually any ensemble, black trench coats exude a modern, sleek aesthetic. A black trench coat can be your fashion anchor if your style leans towards the minimalist and understated.

Blue: The Flattering Dimension

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Create a chic style statement with a confident blue trench coat. Photo: FP

If you have a slender physique, blue could be your color. This shade lends depth and dimension to your appearance, sculpting a flattering silhouette. Whether it’s a day at work or a casual outing, a blue trench coat can add that touch of elegance.

Greens & Olives: The Adventurous Veterans

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London Fog masters the mystique of the trench coat with its Covert Green style. Photo: Amazon

Harking back to the trench coat’s military origins, greens and olives introduce an element of ruggedness and masculinity to your look. These colors stir up the spirit of adventure and exploration, perfect for those with an affinity for the outdoors.

Brown: The Luxe Classicist

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Make a rich statement in a brown trench coat. Photo: FP

Finally, we have brown. For those who wish to infuse a dash of luxury and timeless charm into their attire, a brown trench coat in leather or other opulent fabrics can be a stellar choice. Brown brings warmth and sophistication that can elevate any casual or formal outfit.

Trench Coat Styles for Men

With their undying charm, trench coats have long been a wardrobe staple for men. While the quintessential designs continue to command attention, a fascinating range of styles invites personal expression and modern flair. Let’s dive into an assortment of favored trench coat designs and their distinctive traits:

Double-Breasted Vs. Single-Breasted: The Formal Duality

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Embrace the modern trench coat with a single-breasted style. Photo: ASOS

Double-breasted trench coats offer a classic and formal appeal, with overlapping front panels and evenly distributed buttons. On the flip side, single-breasted trench coats present a more streamlined, modern style with their uncluttered front view. They are the perfect pick for a less formal, more relaxed look.

Belted Trench Coats: The Sophisticated Definer

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Take your style up a notch with a belted trench coat and, therefore, a defined waistline. Photo: FP

Belted trench coats are iconic in their own right. The belt not only introduces an element of elegance but also subtly defines the waistline. This design allows for personalization and enhances a man’s form, making it an excellent choice for a stylish, confident appearance.

Vented Trench Coats: The Free-Moving Classic

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Vents allow ease of movement when wearing your favorite trench coat. Photo: FP

Vents, usually located at the back of trench coats, ensure freedom of movement and prevent any feeling of confinement. The single vent design, a staple since the trench coat’s inception, guarantees comfortable strides while upholding a traditional look.

Storm Flaps: The Practical Style-Booster

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Once necessary to protect against the elements, a storm flap is another stylish detail of the classic trench coat. Photo: FP

The storm flap, often called a gun flap, plays both a practical and aesthetic role. Initially crafted to shield against water intrusion through the coat’s creases, the storm flap now adds a dash of style while still offering extra elemental protection.

Insulated Linings: The Versatile Companion

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Look for a trench coat with a detachable lining for greater versatility. Photo: FP

Insulated lining takes trench coats from simple style icons to adaptable, all-weather friends. Detachable linings are ideal for fluctuating climates, offering adjustability as needed, while fixed insulation grants extra warmth during the chillier seasons.

Shoulder Tabs (Epaulets): The Functionally Stylish Detail

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Epaulets offer a smart detail to trench coats and a nod to their military origins. Photo: FP

Shoulder tabs, or epaulets, started as practical elements for military personnel, but today, they add an aesthetic edge. They bring a touch of sophistication and character to the trench coat design, making it an interesting detail for those looking to stand out subtly.

Finding the Right Fit

The fit has to be just right to make an impression with your trench coat truly. Striking a balance between comfort and style is vital. Here are some critical points to bear in mind when selecting your trench coat:

Length: Finding Your Ideal Sweep

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Today’s trench coat comes in various lengths to suit your lifestyle best. Photo: FP

While the classic trench coat design sees the coat falling just below the knee, contemporary styles have introduced a range of lengths. You’ll find everything from full-length to knee-length, three-quarters, and even short versions. When selecting the length, consider your height and body type to ensure it flatters your silhouette.

Shoulders: Room for Layers

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Perfect for layering, ensure your trench coat has enough room in the shoulder to accommodate a jacket or blazer. Photo: FP

The shoulder fit of a trench coat is vital. It should be roomy enough to accommodate a suit jacket underneath without feeling constrictive. An ideal fit would leave about 0.5″ to 1″ of the trench coat extending beyond your natural shoulders, allowing for layers.

Chest: Comfortable Roominess

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The chest of a well-fitting trench coat should accommodate the size of your fist. Photo: FP

The chest area of a trench coat should offer enough space for unrestricted movement and layering, but it shouldn’t feel overly loose. A good measure of fit is sliding your fist comfortably between the coat and your chest.

Sleeves: The Perfect Drop

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With perfect-fitting sleeves, you’ll look smart in your trench coat. Photo: FP

The sleeves of your trench coat should ideally end about 2″ to 3″ beyond your suit jacket cuff. This translates to the sleeves meeting the lower fold of your palm, ensuring a polished fit and an elegant look.

Styling the Trench Coat

Given its timeless style and versatility, the trench coat can be paired with various outfits to suit different occasions. Here are some stylish outfit pairings that showcase the versatility of the trench coat:

Business Casual

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Take your trench coat to the office as a welcome addition. Photo: FP

Pair a classic khaki trench coat with a crisp white button-down, navy chinos, and brown brogues for a sophisticated yet relaxed look. The trench coat adds a polished touch to the outfit, perfect for business casual environments.

Formal Events

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Opt for a black trench coat for a more formal look, especially with suits. Photo: Shutterstock

Opt for a black trench coat over a suit for more formal occasions. The dark hue adds sleekness and refinement that complements the formal attire underneath.

Weekend Outings

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Cruise into the weekend by wearing your trench coat with a crewneck. Photo: Shutterstock

The trench coat is versatile enough to sport on casual days out. Try pairing it with a crewneck sweater, slim-fit jeans, and casual shoes that perfectly balance comfort and style. This look is ideal for relaxed weekend outings or semi-casual events.

Winter Chic

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Stay warm in winter by pairing your trench coat with a turtleneck. Photo: Shutterstock

A trench coat paired with a turtleneck sweater exudes warmth and style in colder months. For a more edgy look, opt for a leather trench, which adds depth and interest to the overall look.

Notable Trench Coat Designers & Labels

While Burberry and Aquascutum are pioneers in the trench coat realm, many other brands and designers have contributed to the evolution of this iconic garment. Here are a few worth noting:

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Polo Ralph Lauren provides style inspiration, pairing its stretch cotton trench coat with athleisure wear. Photo: Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren: Known for its preppy aesthetic and commitment to quality, Ralph Lauren offers a range of trench coats that marry tradition with modern style elements. Their designs often feature a more relaxed fit and are available in various colors.

Giorgio Armani: Armani trench coats are a testament to Italian design and craftsmanship. Known for their sleek lines and attention to detail, these trench coats add a touch of luxury to any wardrobe.

Prada Checked Trench CoatPin
Look to Prada for unusual clothing treatments like its chic checked trench coat. Photo: Mytheresa

Prada: Offering avant-garde takes on the classic trench coat, Prada’s designs often incorporate unique textures, bold colors, and unexpected detailing, perfect for the fashion-forward individual.

Zara: For those looking for style on a budget, Zara provides trendy trench coats at a more accessible price point. Their designs often mirror current fashion trends, allowing you to stay fashionable without breaking the bank.

Final Words

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Embrace the trench coat for a timeless look.

The trench coat is a true fashion icon with a rich history and timeless appeal. Its practicality, wide range of fabric options, color choices, and various styles make it a versatile and essential outerwear piece for any wardrobe. Whether braving the rain or making a style statement, the trench coat is reliable and stylish.

So, embrace this classic garment, find the perfect fit, and let the trench coat elevate your style. With its enduring allure and ability to withstand the test of time, the trench coat remains an indispensable investment for every style-conscious man.

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