Return of the mac

The other day I got caught in the rain. I was drenched. My mascara had run down my face and I’d managed to smudge it across my forehead, too. I immediately thought of Holly Golightly in that Breakfast at Tiffany’s kissing scene. Despite standing in heavy rain, she kissed her beau while her perfectly coiffed beehive remained in place, her makeup was where it should be and the rain simply rolled off her coat. I can’t explain how her beehive stayed firm, nor can I explain the ultra waterproof makeup but I can shed light on the coat. It was a Burberry trench.


Designed by Thomas Burberry for officers in World War I (hence the name, ‘trench’), there are reports that the trench was inspired by Charles Macintosh’s rubberised raincoat (hence its other name, ‘mac’). It was made to be functional; its epaulettes displayed the officer’s rank; a pleat made it easy to ride a horse; a D-ring secured equipment and the water-repellent fabric kept you dry. It soon became popular outside of the trenches with film stars catapulting it to fame. Over a hundred years later, it’s one of the few items of clothing that can truthfully be called a classic.


I’ve had a Burberry trench on my wishlist for as long as I can remember but with a price tag of over £1,300, it’s probably going to stay there for a while longer, too. Thankfully there are some really nice trench coats on the high street right now. I’ve rounded up my favourites. Aren’t I good?

Part-trench, part-duster, this light and elegant coat is perfect for autumn. There isn’t a D-ring to attach your map to but it does have a beautiful silhouette for instant sophistication.

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Trench Coat, & Others Stories, £95

With its front storm flaps and single back vent, this is the coat to wear when you’re galloping through the rain. Its neutral colour is great for all seasons and the tie waist and small point collar both add a chic touch.

Reiss trench

Longline Trench Coat, Reiss, £285 

Channel your inner Inspector Clouseau with this authentic trench. It’s got all the classic features including shoulder loops and double buttons. Accessorise with a magnifying glass and a tweed drop brim fedora stalker.

Mango Trench

Double Breasted Trench, Mango, £69.99  

I really LOVE this coat. It’s double-breasted with buckled cuffs and a waist-defining belt. And it’s long with a slim fit which makes any outfit look classy AF.LKB trench

Edie Camel Trench Coat, LK Bennett, £375

Long and slightly loose, this mac is more edgier than most. It’s far more practical than those weird sleeping bag coats (seriously, what?) and you could still wear it with some furry loafers.

Topshop Trench

Ultimate Trench Coat by Boutique, Topshop, £160 

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