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The Trench Coat

Like plenty of classics,

this style has origins in utility; it was worn by British Army officers to keep mud off their uniforms in the trenches (which inspired the name) during World War I. But the trench coat soon took on more glamorous associations after scoring screen time with the era’s most popular actors and actresses in the 1950s and ’60s (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, anyone?). A sartorial star was born. 

Our first version, featuring a longer, leaner silhouette. The perfect style, we wrote, “for all your adventures in distant lands, hometowns or city streets.” Or, you know, getting coffee when it’s raining out. 

Our updated, more tailored take—the icon trench—six years ago when it first debuted. For context: Obama had just started his presidency, and Taylor Swift was still a country star. 


How we’re wearing it now: the icon trench in our latest Style Guide, on location in Paris. From our stylist Gayle: “Every woman from 18 to 80 should have one of these in her closet. It makes jeans look polished, it’s appropriate for work—and at night, it’s the perfect length over a little red skirt.”

Shop the icon trench coat here. Shop our entire outerwear collection here
TAGS: style guide, womens, jcrew then & now