Packing for Paris must include the trench coat.
It is light, it is practical and it works from day through until the evening. The trench coat looks superb whether it is worn over jeans and a sweater or with a little black dress. It equally relates with sneakers or stilettos, bikers or sandals. The trench coat is an all round really great friend and one of the pieces of clothing that I consider to be a top ten wardrobe essential.
French women of every age have worn the trench coat forever; they wear it with such style and flair. I don’t believe it is magic just a little know how. To wrap it around the body and knot the belt rather than buckle it in the conventional manner, is the way the trench looks best. A slight push up of the sleeve, hands in the pockets and that’s that.
On one of those I-have-nothing-to-wear days the trench makes everything better. When in doubt wrap up in the trench.
Packing for Paris means that the trench coat has to be number one. Weather friendly and stylish aren’t generally fashion concepts that go together; the trench coat is the exception. The biggest decision to make is whether to wear a black trench or the classic neutral.
I am a fan of both colours and tend to choose the lighter option for the warmer months. Even in the summer I pack my trench as European warmth can be decidedly cool at times, not to mention the drizzly days.
Which trench coat to invest in?
I believe the trench coat, like the leather biker jacket, is one of those serious and expensive fashion investments that pays for itself over time. Burberry, long established and masters of the trench coat make the most exquisite models. The right amount of tautness in the fabric, pockets where they should be and a slimline fit that covers a multitude and flatters where it should.
Which length to wear?
If it is a first time trench investment I would purchase the long version. I am now tempted by the shorter length in stone; a little more casual and relaxed but still offering all the advantages. I could see it worn with a pair of cropped pants and a striped tee for the warmer months.
Is the trench coat one of your top ten wardrobe essentials? xv
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images peter lindbergh for vogue 2004