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Francoise Hardy wearing a trench coat


How to Wear the Trench

18 January 2018

As iconic as the style icons that have worn it, the trench coat is timeless. Senior Fashion Features Editor Charlene Barton lifts the lid on why it’s such a cult classic. 

Few wardrobe items can stand the test of time: the Little Black Dress, the white shirt, the cashmere sweater - pieces that live outside the realms of what's 'on trend' each season, which is a golden rule to live by when mastering effortless style. Then there's the humble trench, the ultimate wardrobe hero, which ticks all of the above but can also be worn any time of the day, with any outfit.


Flick through the fashion hall of fame and you’ll find that history’s most stylish women have worn one. Françoise Hardy, Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe – not to mention the infamous closing scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as Audrey Hepburn’s character Holly Golightly kisses ‘Paul’ (George Peppard) in the rain. Her outfit of choice? A classic camel trench coat. 

And it’s still as relevant today. A firm favourite on the street-style circuit, the humble trench continues to make headlines. It also ticks the trend box this season with designers such as Valentino, Celine and Alexander McQueen showcasing new variations, from oversized cuts to billowing cape silhouettes. Belted, deconstructed, embellished with metallic thread – anything goes. 

So should you be wearing a trench for Spring/Summer 2018? Absolutely. Not only will it surpass its moment in the sun as a key piece this season, but it will also work with everything in your current wardrobe, come rain or shine. Denim and trainers, chic office tailoring, a pretty day dress – throw on a trench to finish and you’re set.

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