Alexa Chung in her classic Burberry trench, 2010. GETTY IMAGES

If a time machine for fashion is ever invented we (after spending an afternoon in 1919 sipping champagne with Coco) will hot-TARDIS it back to 1879 to meet with Thomas Burberry and watch him create the very first garbardine-fabric rain jacket. A jacket that will become known as The Trench Coat. His mission was to update the heavy coats being worn by the British military with one that had a warm wool weave, a protective lining and a shorter length. Should we tell him his pattern remains today? Largely unchanged and suitable for both practicality and timeless fashion in 2018? We doubt he’d believe us.

Over the decades, this coat has remained a staple wardrobe item. A classic, elegant, investment piece that doesn’t discriminate time, season or gender.  The collections from the house of Burberry have continued to showcase its infamy, creating seasonal versions each year. Outgoing Chief Creative Office Christopher Bailey, paid homage to its origins and Thomas Burberry’s legacy this year with a memory-trip, swan-song FW18 collection. Neon-infused collar piping, grafitti-splashed nova checks and grunge fabrics all agressively modernising the original coat.

But it’s on the streets outside the shows that we see the true widespread devotion to the trench. While fashionistas sport the latest in bubbling hot trends, the colours, cuts and accessories that come and go with the seasons, it’s the trench that remains constant. Whether it be open and belted, draped over shoulders or buttoned-up military-style, this coat will never retire.

So, if you’re still in the process of saving for an official Burberry Kensington, consider an entry-level alternative or a fashioned-up style that has taken poetic license on the original. Thomas would most likely be proud either way.

Burberry ‘The Kensington’ trench coat, $2205 from Net-A-Porter SHOP NOW


Bassike crepe drapey coat, $1395 SHOP NOW


Assembly Label ‘Verona’ coat, $300 SHOP NOW


Manning Cartell ‘Check This Out’ coat, $899. 
SHOP NOW


J Crew ‘Dion’  coat, $341 from Net-A-Porter SHOP NOW


Christopher Esber open sleeve trench, $1000 from The Iconic SHOP NOW


Zara double-breasted coat, $159 SHOP NOW


Sir the Label ‘Ines’ linen coat, $340 SHOP NOW


The Fifth Expedition coat, $150 SHOP NOW


Michael Lo Sordo Cocoon trench, NOW $462 from The Undone SHOP NOW


Toteme, Pisa coat, $994 from My Chameleon SHOP NOW


Anna Quan Inez coat, $890 from The Undone. SHOP NOW

 

thoughts?