With the onset of winter fast approaching, despite the social distancing practices one must adhere to, looking and feeling good is sill of attainable. Having learnt to be grateful for what we have and developing a new appreciation for simple pleasures, developing a sustainable and thrifty approach to personal style is set to become a welcome trend. You can look good on a budget, even during lockdown.
Taking on a wardrobe essential such a trench coat and learning how to style it is a simple way to get more for your money. It is a versatile and sustainable wardrobe essential and can instant elevate almost any outfit in seconds, without constantly breaking the bank. The idea is that you can wear the same item of clothing, styled in different ways to get maximum use out it. But how?
The trench coat (which falls into the outerwear category) can be used as the focal point of an outfit, meaning that it can be worn as a statement piece or to hide a plain outfit under its chic exterior. Here are a few ways that you can wear a trench coat and adapt to your own style:
1. The Classique
The logical reason behind wearing a trench coat is to function as a wind breaker and keep your body warm. Hence, depending on the weather, the classic button up style acts as an effective barrier to keep out the cold.
Wearing your coat buttoned-up also gives you a polished and professional look when paired with formal attire. It is also a great way to showcase detailing on the coat such as buttons, zippers, patterns or the tailoring of a really good piece.
2. The Cinched Waist
This is a modern way to elevate your outfit to a more edgy look. Throw on a thick belt with a chic and chunky buckle to cinch in your waistline and give your outfit a streamlined look. It is also a great way to dress up a plain coat with a luxe accessory.
This look works well in more casual settings and can give you a fashion-forward look in a sea of people. Be sure to match your belt to the colour scheme of your outfit to ensure you achieve a cohesive look. You can even go for a sportier vibe by using a fanny pack/cross body clip-on bag to achieve an insta-worthy look.
3. Collar Conundrum
Almost all trench coats come with bulky collars and can be used as a great feature when styling your coat and making your overall look polished and smart. For a more formal look, you should fold the band of the collar down into its usual position, known as the “turnover” or flat onto the lapels which is described as a “falling collar.” This is a great way to show off accessories such as a tie or for ladies, a necklace or ruffled blouse.
I would suggest leaving your collar upright when you use your coat open all the way down and especially when you are wearing more casual clothing under your coat, as it is seen as a more relaxed fit. The movement created by an upturned collar flapping up and down when walking adds all the drama you need to get some heads turning.
4. Sidewalk Strut
Fusing luxe athleisurewear with smart casual clothing items has been a consistent fashion statement that has gained traction among the cool kids and influencers of today. Pairing a slim sweat pant, crisp white shirt, plaid trench coat and a beanie sounds ridiculous, but if styled correctly and worn with confidence, you can pull off this unconventional look too.
To experiment with this look, you want to avoid colour blocking and stick to monochrome tones, using strategic accessories like bright shades, jewelry or bags to add a pop of colour. The epic mash-up of these two styles has spawned a new movement of rule breakers forming their own relaxed, yet suave style.
5. Runway Ready
One of the most stylish ways to use a trench coat is by simply draping it over your shoulders. Wearing your coat in this way is a great way to show off your outfit underneath or as a practical way to wear your coat when it gets to warm, without ruining the whole “lewk.”
Often, wearing your coat in this manner, it becomes more of an accessory and compliments the rest of the outfit. Be wary of the fit on your shoulders though. Overly-large shoulder pads or badly tailored pieces may make you look frumpy or unkempt, as opposed to the high fashion ensemble you were probably aiming for.
Before investing in a trench coat, consider the style, fit, material, length, price and versatility of the piece. Some coats can only be used just once, whereas a more neutral toned coat can be mixed and matched with a multiplicity of outfits.
It is that simple. There is no limit to reusing essential clothing items in multiple ways that are cost effective, yet fashion-forward.
The Nifty Attache