How To Upgrade Your Classic Trench Coat In 11 Easy Outfits


The trench coat may have begun as a military necessity, but today it's considered a classic — often preppy — cold-weather staple. But while a simple tan trench remains practical, the newest evolution of the iconic piece is going beyond keeping the traditional khaki as a weather protectant. Designers are reimagining the outerwear with unexpected materials, prints, and colors while trendsetters are showing off new ways to style a trench coat for fall that make the jacket feel fresh.

For the classicist, minimal iterations still exist thanks to brands like Totême and The Row. Others are straying slightly by playing with material and texture. "I’m seeing a trend of trenches in coated fabrics like wool and linen. Lemaire makes a particularly beautiful one," stylist Sissy Sainte-Marie Chacon explains. But, there are bolder adaptation too. Burberry may be the name most closely associated with the original design, but the house is embracing a streetwear-inspired iteration and stamping its updated logo across the front of its signature piece.

When it comes to styling, Sainte-Marie has two outfit suggestions, both of which are easy to recreate. "One of my favorite hacks is to wear a trench coat with nothing under it, as a dress," she notes. As an alternative you can try without any new purchases necessary, she suggests simply switching out the hardware. "When I want more of a look, I like swapping out a trench’s matching belt for a more dramatic one from my arsenal."

Whether you're in the market for a new coat or looking for ideas on on how to make your go-to style a refresh, ahead find new, unexpected ways to test out the classic coat this season.

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How To Style A Trench Coat: Mix Prints

Mixing prints isn't necessarily a new styling trick, but it's certainly a fun one. Opt for a patchwork trench with trousers and sneakers, but add a an exciting reusable bag for trips to the grocery store or farmer's market.

How To Style A Trench Coat: Stick To Neutrals

For a modern, minimal approach, stick to an entirely neutral color palette. And if you're feeling adventurous, throw in a pop of color via a vibrant accessory.

How To Style A Trench Coat: Switch Materials

Switch things up and try one of the biggest must-haves of the season, a leather trench coat in a rich, winter-approved color rich maroon. Keep the rest of your ensemble simple to let the outerwear shine.

How To Style A Trench Coat: Play With Proportion

Try a playful take on proportion and opt for a trench that has an oversized fit. Then, balance out your look with an equally oversized bag and chunky loafers.

How To Style A Trench Coat: Embrace Rainbow Bright

Since this is the year to swap jewel tones for bolder hues, try a trench silhouette in bright pink. Layer an embroidered dress and vivid boots to finish.

How To Style A Trench Coat: Swap Out The Belt

For an easy way to update a trench, simply swap the standard belt for one that is oversized or a belt bag.

How To Style A Trench Coat:

If you live somewhere warm like Los Angeles, pair a trench coat with your favorite strappy sandals. Under your jacket, opt for a plain tee and cool straight leg denim.

How To Style A Trench Coat: Playful Layers

Have fun with layering this season by throwing a sweater over a button down underneath your trench coat. You'll stay warm and look cute.

How To Style A Trench Coat: Double As A Dress

Test out Chacon's tip and double your trench as a dress. To accessorize the neutral piece for cooler temps, throw a long sleeve tee underneath and sport a pair of luxe loafers. If it's super chilly out, consider wearing tights under the jacket.

How To Style A Trench Coat: Top Off A Monochromatic Outfit

Top on all white winter ensemble off with a trench coat. For your accessories, keep things cohesive by opting for a beige bag and boots.

How To Style A Trench Coat: All-Weather Ensemble

Don't abandon a trench's practical purpose. On rainy days, pair the jacket with rain boots and stay dry (or at least look cute trying to).