What to Wear with a Trench Coat

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PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

One of the most classic, understated and timeless fashion pieces, the trench coat has remained a constant in menswear for more than 100 years. Here’s our style guide on what  to wear with a trench coat for men. 

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From the trenches of the Belgium borders to the catwalks of Paris and Milan, the trench coat has been through an incredible transformation. There are tons of different styles and ways of wearing the trench coat but we collected some of our favourites. 

Although a trench coat is most certainly a staple of men’s winter jackets, it can be a tricky item of clothing to style properly. Whether you’re wearing it to the office, or just down the pub, the versatility of the humble trench coat makes it a perfect choice for any situation.

Men’s Trench Coat

Made from heavy duty cotton, poplin, leather or gabardine drill, in its simplest form, at trench coat is a lightweight waterproof jacket. However, as you will probably already know, a trench coat can be so much more than this.

Beige Coat

Beige, cream, or light tan, is by far the most classic colours you’re going to find in a trench coat. The traditional khaki-like colour most likely originates from the trench coat’s past as a soldiers coat. Furthermore, the neutral and monochrome colour suggests a formal and measured atmosphere, possibly suggesting why the trench coat became synonymous with businessmen.

Although a beige trench coat does look great with a more formal outfit such as a suit, it can also be worn as a great way to add some stylish and classic detail to a more casual looks.

For a great formal look, combine your beige trench coat with a pair of formal suit trousers, a light blue dress shirt, and some black leather shoes. The contrast between the light coloured coat and the dark black of your trousers will create a perfect formal contrast that is professionally stylish.

biege trench coat combo
SHOP THE LOOK: Farah – Shirts | Selected – Trousers | Hudson – Formal Shoes

On the other hand, if you’re trying to wear a beige trench coat casually, stick to light and bright colours. A white long sleeve crew neck shirt will keep you warm whilst staying casual. pair this with some light stone washed blue jeans and some monochrome trainers for a perfect casual winter look. The cool colours will retain the winter atmosphere whilst keeping your outfit bright and casual.

beige trench coat combo
SHOP THE LOOK: The Idle Man – T-Shirts | Neuw – Jeans | Superga – Trainers

Street Style Men’s Black Trench Coat

Although you can get trench coats in an endless selection of colours, one of the most versatile and stylish way to wear a trench coat, is in black. Although a beige coloured trench coat is probably more classic, it can be less practical. Whereas a beige trench can get dirty easier, and goes with less things, a black coat is perfect for any outfit.

Take a look at this great smart casual outfit, and the way it’s punctuated by the black trench coat to give it that more formal and stylish feel. Why not grab a pair of dark navy chinos or trousers and combine it with a white button down shirt or blue jumper. As well as this, wear your outfit with a pair of black or blue trainers for a more casual look, or a pair of black leather shoes to make it more formal.

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SHOP THE LOOK: Streetstyle | Only & Sons – Coats | Dickies – Trousers | Dr Martens – Formal Shoes

Although this is just one way to style a black trench coat, it does show the extent of a black trench coat’s versatility. If you want to wear a trench coat in a much more formal setting you can always wear one over the top of a suit or blazer jacket.

Equally, on the other hand, if you’re looking for a way to add another layer to your casual clothes, then you can easily chuck one on. Here’s a few more street style looks that show you different ways you could wear a black trench coat.

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SHOP THE LOOK: Streetstyle – Look 1 | Look 2 | Look 3

10 Ways To Wear A Trench Coat

1. For a chilled out and unstudied appearance roll up the sleeves of your trench. Rolled sleeves gives the vibe of a relaxed and laid back guy.

2. Keep unbuttoned or leave a gap which shows off an eye-catching piece underneath. A beige, black or tan trench coat will let a statement jumper or shirt really pop.

trench combo 2
SHOP THE LOOK: The Idle Man – Shirts | Jumpers
PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram

3. Now tan, beige and black trench coats are all well and good but the brave should go bold. Orange, blue, green, red, there are a whole bunch of eye catching trench coats out there to suit your style and colouring.

4. Belted waists aren’t just for lasses. Teaming a belt with your trench coat will make your waist look slimmer and your shoulders and chest look bigger. Win win.

5. Keep it simple and manly by pairing your trench coat with your best suit and tie. Understated and elegant, this classic combination is sure to turn heads.

Trench combo 1
SHOP THE LOOK: Selected – Blazers | The Idle Man – Shirts | Dickies – Trousers
PHOTO CREDIT: Trashness

6. Look like you’ve stepped straight out of a Mondrian painting and block colour your trench with your other piece. Go monochrome or full colour for a really in your face statement look.

7. Couple your trench with your best straight leg or cigarette trousers. Trench coats and baggy jeans are okay but nothing beats a fresh pair of slim trousers and a smart coat.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Trashness

8. Wrap up for the winter season in a wool trench and a long patterned scarf. You’ll be warm, snug and stylish on those chilly days when the weather take a turn.

9. Ever wanted to look like a detective from a 50’s Hollywood blockbuster? A fedora and trench coat is sexy, slick and will make you look like you’ve stepped off the set of a Film Noir.

10. Finally, be a trendsetter and augment your trench. You can glam up anything with a pair of cufflinks or a striking pin. If your trench has a holes for cufflinks or a large lapel for a broach, make your coat one of a kind and distinctive with an accessory. Be as inconspicuous or flamboyant as you please!

What To Wear It With

On of the best things about a coat like this, is that is can be dressed up or dressed down. Not only does this make a trench coat a great stylish choice, but also means that it’s cost effective. If you own a trench you can wear it for formal, as well as casual, situation. Here at the Idle Man, we’ve put together some ways to do this, to give you an idea of what to wear with your trench coat.

Keep It Casual

he great thing about the trench coat is that you can team any outfit, whether it be casual or formal, with it and it will still look great. For a more casual vibe then why not try wearing a classic grey Oxford shirt, such this one from The Idle Man, with a pair of blue denim jeans. The great thing about the trench coat is that it’s not fighting for the attention, meaning it gives you a blank canvas to work colour and detail around it.

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SHOP THE LOOK: The Idle Man – Shirts | Nudie – Jeans

Smarten It Up

The commute to work can be a terrible thing during the winter months. No one wants to walk into the office, first thing in the morning, wet and cold. Fortunately, the trench coat is a perfect way to avoid this. Whereas some other men’s coats, such as a pea coat or a duffel, may not be formal enough to wear with a suit, the trench provides a refined style. As you may have already guessed, the best way to make your trench coat more formal, is with a suit.

We all know that a trench coat will look great with a suit, so, why not try adding something a little different to your formal attire. Some suits from Selected are spot on for adding detail. A black and white minimal checkered pattern gives you full impact whilst still being subtle enough to get away with in the office. Or, if you’re more classically inclined then why not try the classic black suit, such as this one from The Idle Man for a spot on look this season.

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SHOP THE LOOK: The Idle Man | Selected – Suits and Blazers

Trench Coat

Further Reading: History

The trench coat has a very long and interesting history. Originally developed as an alternative to the heavy serge greatcoats worn by the British and French during the First World War, its name was first coined by the soldiers on the front line. The first trench coat was alleged to be designed by fashion powerhouse Burberry and has remained a practical outer layer for over a century.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Mother Jones

At the time the practical and lightweight coats weren’t exactly considered the fashion staple they are today. Modified to include shoulder straps and D-rings, the coats could have essential items attached  to them throughout the war. In fact, the design of D-rings for the attachment of hand grenades, has been a myth of the trench coat. 

The trench coat was used for protection from the harsh weather conditions during the Second World War. Their lightweight fabric was easy to wear and saw the many soldiers through a difficult and long war. But just as the conflict ended and the boys thought it was time to hang up their trenches, the fashion world had other ideas.

Trench Coats for Men

Remaining fashionable post the Second World War and into the 21st century, trench coats were not just practical war garments. The trench coat’s profile didn’t skyrocket until Humphrey Bogart’s iconic portrayal of Rich Blaine in Casablanca. Ever since then, men’s overcoats have become a classic piece of men’s fashion style. 

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PHOTO CREDIT: Bamf Style

The trench coat soon became adopted by various fashion subcultures after it’s huge boost in popularity. From the Mod’s of the 1960’s who wore them with drainpipe trousers and winklepickers to 1990’s goths who wore black oil slicked trench coats paired with black hair and eyeliner, this coat has proved itself to be truly versatile.

Perhaps one of the most fashionable time periods of the trench coat, at least in my mind, is David Bowie’s early 80’s incarnation. Notably donning the timeless garment in the love-it-or-hate-it music video ‘Dancing in the street’ with Mick Jagger, Bowie became synonymous with the trench coat. 

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PHOTO CREDIT: The Male Stylist

What to Wear with a Trench Coat

  • Beige – Perfect for casual looks, as well as tailored smart casual ones, giving you a light, fresh finish.
  • Black – Perfect for sleek, monochrome looks. Choose a well-fitted trench to add to the streamlined effect.
  • Layer up with various colours to add a three-dimensional finish.

On That Note

Hopefully we’ve given you some ideas on how to style this adaptable, functional and refined piece. Great outerwear makes all the difference in your wardrobe so it’s worth picking an awesome all-rounder and a trench coat certainly fits the bill.

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