I can’t believe it’s almost exactly three years since I wrote my last blog on trench macs. I should write about them every year as they are one of the ultimate ‘keeper’ pieces that transcend fashion trends. I would certainly advise everyone to invest in one for their wardrobes if you haven’t done so already or are allergic to them – no cases reported yet as far as I’m aware. It is the perfect style for inbetween seasons and let’s face it, weather wise, our inbetween season lasts longer than the actual ‘in’ season!
The classic beige, single breasted, mid length style has changed little over the years and is still as relevant today as when it was first around in 1850. There are also new variations coming through; checks, pastels, high shine fabrics and deconstructed styles which you can have fun with. One article I read suggested that we buy a size up this season for extra fashion points – hmm, the jury’s out for me on this.
The vast amount of variation and choice on the high street can make the task of finding the right trench for you a little overwhelming. To help you choose, here are 5 questions you should always ask before making the purchase:-
1. Is it water resistant?
Most styles should be water resistant/shower proof which means the fabric offers some resistance to water – i.e. it will protect you if you get caught in the rain. Note, this is NOT the same as a garment being completely waterproof which means they are impervious to water. Your mac will get wet with a sustained onslaught of water or if you swim or shower in it. Very few garments are actually completely waterproof and the ones that are will usually be high performance outdoor garments and rarely trench macs.
2. Is it the right colour?
Don’t choose the classic beige shade just for the sake of it. Light beige looks great on dark complexions but can wash you out if you’re pale. There is a huge array of shades around including navy and khaki so check the shade is right for your colouring before going ahead.
3. Buckle or tie?
If like me, you like to tie the belt buckle you need to make sure it’s long enough to do this. Sounds obvious but I’ve encountered some macs that have belts you can only buckle as they are not long enough to tie. This also means that you can’t tie the belt at the back, which is useful if wearing the trench open.
4. What is the position and size of the epaulettes, stormflaps and pockets?
The size, position and fabric composition of these features make a huge difference to the fit of the garment. As a general rule, if you are larger on top then choose a simple style that doesn’t add bulk – large epaulettes would be a nightmare in this case. A structured fabric will be more flattering on curves than one that is lightweight and/or shiney.
5. Where should the sleeves finish?
Sleeves should be no longer than the meaty part of you thumb. In my experience you have a bit of leeway from here to the wrist of a couple of inches depending on how long your arms are. Any longer than this and you run the risk of looking like you’ve borrowed your big cousin’s jacket. Any shorter and you could look like you’ve had a recent growth spurt!
If you need a helping hand to buy a trench mac and a new wardrobe to go with it please get in touch.
The trench featured is from Massimo Dutti