Thursday, May 23, 2019

Changing my Mind: On Trench Coats

I've debuted a new page, "Shop the Sales", accessible from the navigation bar at the top of my blog. Inspired in part by how Kathy and Luxe share sales, I've decided to maintain a page for sale finds that are related to things I have purchased before, or that I have seriously considered purchasing at some point in the past. I'll keep updating the widget over time, generally at least once a week, based on new sale finds and/or to remove outdated listings. I'll occasionally flag certain sale highlights in new posts. 

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Current sale highlights include Matches Fashion and Net-A-Porter's discounting that APC Clare dress I mentioned a while back, which, between the two sites, is on sale in almost its entire size range. SSENSE is also doing a big sale that includes a number of Alighieri pieces, including coin necklaces like the Il Leone and the Kindred Souls. I don't think I'll be shopping for jewelry anytime soon, but I was sorely tempted by the Flashback and Trace of a Tear necklaces. 


Looking back over the years, my feelings about trench coats as a wardrobe staple for myself have gone through a few reversals. In the beginning, I was quite skeptical, mainly because of weather patterns here in NYC. As I complain often, we generally get only the briefest flashes of balmy spring or fall weather, sometimes just one or two lovely days that truly feel like a comfortable spring or fall, before the harsher temperatures of summer or winter quickly start setting in, leaving us with as little as two or three weeks of reliably trench coat-friendly temperatures each season. 

But then I got my current trench coat, the Everlane Classic Trench (discontinued, current version with a few design changes), and it really grew on me. It's still a big part of my wardrobe today, in any time of year that's a suitable temperature for it. Currently, the Everlane trench continues to be my only jacket or coat that's particularly well-suited for those all too brief weeks of in-between temperatures around spring or fall. The next best candidates in my wardrobe, that J.Crew collared Sophie sweater blazer or those collarless Juliette sweater blazers, don't block the wind on the cooler days in that range, and are also a bit too thick and heavy for the warmer, sunnier days.

I even liked my new trench coat so much, that, when I thought about my vague hopes to someday splurge on a fancy designer purchase, once I felt like I'd earned it, I no longer wanted a handbag (though that's mostly for lack of seeing any bag design I liked enough). I started wanting one of those classic Burberry trench coats instead. Those coats really are extremely, almost unthinkably, fancy by my standards, whether it's the mid-length Sandringham or Westminster, or the longer-length Kensington, all of which are $1795-plus at full retail, several multiples over the next most-expensive single piece of clothing I've ever purchased for myself (specifically, the Ted Baker midi-length wrap coat, at ~$418 when I bought it on sale). Nor have I ever tried one of the Burberry coats in person. I suspect it'd be hard to find a good size for me, maybe enough that I wouldn't be able to bring myself to buy it after all, because I've heard that they all have a super-slim fit through the chest.

More recently, though, as I've started finding that I only wear my Everlane Trench coat open and unfastened these days (partially because it's been fairly warm for spring, and also because the waist tie has always been fiddly, it regularly slips down my waist on its own, or even unties itself if I've only tied a single knot, and the belt is just barely long enough to tie a bow), my tastes in trench coats have shifted again, towards less traditional, less structured trench coats that omit some of the classic design elements. The trench coats I'm thinking about now are often made of softer, more flowy-looking and drapey materials, many of them without any buttons at all. With those features, I think they could look a bit more "intentional" when worn open. For instance, in the photo above are two colors of the same Club Monaco Claudine trench on the left and right, the blue is also available at Shopbop. The middle one is a possibly misnamed Mango "classic trench with bows" that doesn't appear to have any bows anywhere.

Given that I've only suddenly become interested in this general look in the last two weeks or so, I think I may actually be far behind the curve when it comes to this particular trend. I can't find all that many coats with this look in stores right now, in colors that I like, and I remember that it might have been easier to find similar coats a year or two ago!

And well, maybe by writing a whole post about these less traditional trench coats, and pinning a bunch to my Pinterest wishlist, I'll find that this whole thing is a passing fancy that I forget about in short order. In any case, the spring season for wearing coats like this is fast coming to a close in NYC, it'll almost certainly be completely over in the next two or three weeks. Also, I suspect this is a fairly trendy look that might not age well. Even so, I also think I'd enjoy wearing this type of coat because it feels more relaxed and a bit less structured or fussy than the classic trench coat look. (Recall how eagerly I sought out "almost" blazers and jackets for work that'd be less structured and less closely fitted than a standard blazer.) We'll see if this sudden craving of mine ends up going anywhere, or if it's one of the ideas I end up discarding after it's sat on my Pinterest shopping list for a while, as has happened a few times since I started being more regimented about how I track my shopping plans this year. 

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