That’s a might bold title, isn’t it? Keep reading and I think you will agree.
From Adelaide to Atlanta, Madrid to Mexico City, Vancouver to Vienna this one item adds style to any outfit. It doesn’t matter if you are 20 of 80. You can be pocket-sized or supermodel tall. Partial to prints or sold on solids. This universal piece is the one item you MUST have in your closet and your suitcase. The classic trench coat!
The modern trench coat dates back to the 1850s and in the 1920s women wore them partly as a fashion statement and partly as a sign of female liberation (along with garter-less hose and breast binding). Iconic women like Great Garbo and Katherine Hepburn continued to feminize the male-cut trench coat throughout the Golden Age of Hollywood. It wasn’t until the other Hepburn, Audrey, wore a tailored trench coat in Breakfast At Tiffany’s that trench coats designed for women became prevalent. Designed by the (now) iconic Burberry, this is THE trench coat that launched a fashion juggernaut. Since then, the trench coat has been everywhere.
What I like about the trench coat as a travel staple is that no matter where I wear it, I fit in. In Paris, I look almost like a local. In Melbourne, I blend right in. I New York, I go unnoticed. In Barcelona, I’m part of the landscape. For me, this is a key to successful travel. Staying under the radar is conducive to getting the most out of my travels. I don’t get hassled as much by street vendors as the tourist-looking tourists. I get mistaken for a local and invited to small places I would have missed if traveling a la “If It’s Tuesday It Must Be Belgium” wearing a windbreaker, fleece, or denim jacket.
The other upside is that a trench coat fits right into my minimalist packing plan. The right trench works with slacks, jeans, and skirts. Throw it on and elevate any outfit. Like, ANY outfit. Jeans, tee, and Converse or a LBD, the trench coat is always right. It makes a great topper for cool nights in mild climates and layered properly can let you survive a polar vortex. True story, I survived two weeks of business trips in the middle of a polar vortex with nothing but my trench coat and a few layers. I’m not advocating hitting the tundra of northern Canada in a trench coat, but it can serve as a winter coat.
I own two trench coats. One is classic khaki and the other in black (of course). Where I live currently, I have a limited window of 4 months of weather cool enough for a coat. During this time, my two trenches are on heavy rotation. When I travel, no matter what time of year, one of them is always with me. A good trench coat is a wise investment, traveler or not.
There are so many options to work with your personal style. From the traditional cotton gabardine to rayon, to wool – you can select a fabric for your climate. When it comes to style, choices run the gamut from the traditional with a storm flap and epaulets to a streamlined version with just a belt there is a style that works for everyone. Here are some great choices:
Finally, let’s close with a swoon-worthy version from the remaining originator of the trench coat. I am not a wearer of much color, but this coat makes me rethink that. In fact, the whole photo is perfection.
What do you think? Do you agree that, for women, the trench coat is the ultimate global all-star in your travel wardrobe? Sound off in the comments and thanks for stopping by!