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A Guide To Picking Out The Perfect All-Around Trench Coat

Belt or no belt? Epaulettes or nah? Oversized or fitted? So many things to consider, but one thing's for sure – you don't have to splurge to get a good one.

We’ve drone on at length about wardrobe classics. The perfect white shirt. The best white t-shirts for every budget. The necessary shoes. The essential pants. It’s not that we want to be grandmas about it, but having these around just makes getting dressed that much easier, and who doesn’t want extra time on their hands? While any chilly weather in Singapore still does not warrant a coat, the recent rainy weather had us thinking about the one wardrobe essential that we’ve yet to cover in excruciating detail: the trench coat.

A coat that has endured since the early 1900s, the trench coat is guaranteed to be spotted more times than our fingers can count whenever fashion week rolls around, be it on the streets or on the runway. When you have the perfect one that meets your taste, it is the kind of coat that you don’t have to think twice about. If you haven’t, well – allow us to step in.

Where will you be wearing it? How cold and rainy is it going to be? If you’re seeing it as more of a raincoat, you may want to consider PVC. If you’re seeing it more as a chilly to fall weather coat, go for the classic cotton.

Trenchcoats come in varying lengths. While coats that end above the knees are easier to deal with, say, when getting into taxis or going up the stairs, those that almost reach the ankles just have more pizzazz. More drama. It helps to protect your legs from the chill, too. We vote for an oversized fit, not just because it gives more room for layering, and not just because oversized coats are the standard for cool in a post-Vetements era, but also because oversized fits just look more relaxed and less stuffy.

The definition of what makes a trench coat has loosened over the years, but some elements still stand. It all depends on which side you stand on: minimal or a little bit more. Belts are a must in our books, because it gives your figure definition under all that material and helps to block out the chill better. We’re down for sleeve straps and buckles (because it gives a trench that old world look, but if you foresee cuffing, skip these) and the back yoke (because it gives a stronger silhouette when you look at coat from the side). Epaulettes and storm patches are the final details, but if you’re more for minimal, skip these.

That beige camel in varying intensities endures because it is versatile and it works for almost everybody. If you’re into something edgier, black and military green. Or, perhaps you like yours checked. If you’re looking for something you’ll wear season after season, we say go for the classic colour.

As for which side is more your thing, that’s your choice. We love both. Hey, a girl needs her options, right? For something more updated, look at elements like contrasting materials or colours, voluminous sleeves, alternative materials like patent or PVC, more straps and flaps than necessary just because.

Great trench coats don’t have to be expensive. For instance, the bell-sleeved trench coat Yoyo wore to Paris Fashion Week last September was from ASOS and was under S$150 – and it is a great coat.

If you’re on a budget…

If you want classic…

If you want updated…


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