The Trench Coat: A Tale of One Woman’s Crusade to find the Ultimate Outerwear Essential
First: I am the last person who should be giving fashion advice. The only reason I exit my home halfway presentable on the daily is thanks to our fair Rosana. When we met in grad school, my ears were not pierced, 75 percent of my wardrobe was made of polar fleece or Gore-Tex and my idea of accessorizing was with a Camelbak or a coffee cup. Seventeen years and plenty of Rosana advice later, I’m finally honing in on a look that includes earrings and still feels like me. Style profile: Professional, no nonsense, hates shopping.
Last fall after one kid and some personal drama that left my wardrobe neglected, I flew her to my place in the Mile High City for some fun and a fashion intervention. She encouraged me to get a new trench coat. Mine, an ivory Kenneth Cole number from 2004 that I STILL love, was/is nearing the end of its useful life. Why do I love it?
– It hits just above the knee making it perfect for pants, jeans or skirts
– It has a well-fitted slim cut, but still has room for sweaters to fit under
– It is waterproof (because, isn’t that what they are for?)
– It doesn’t have ruffles, a hood, added colorblocking or other weird shit. It’s a just trench.
It is perfect. If I could order a new one exactly the same, I would (and I have tried, oh, I have tried). So, I want a traditional, khaki-colored, investment-quality trench that I can keep for 10 more years that meets the above criteria. That shouldn’t be hard, right? Ha.
Rosana brought this from Banana for me to try, but alas – I don’t do ruffles, flounces, etc. I kept looking online. Mostly, the ones I found were too short. Or the wrong color. I ordered this London Fog from Amazon. Sadly, it was too dark and it had a hood that was not listed in the description. Annoying! My sweet husband, seeing my plight, ordered me this one from J.Crew. Color, finishes and overall look is nice, but too short! This sh&# was getting ridiculous – it should NOT be this hard to find a simple, quality trench coat!
Finally, broke down and spent $500 on this one from Coach – I was seduced by the “custom Coach hardware adds a luxurious signature finish,” as well as the idea of my first Coach purchase. After some sizing back and forth, I got it and… meh. First of all, all the buckles are covered in fabric, which is a recipe for constant cleaning/skeeze. Then, the epaulets stick out past the shoulders. I felt like I was in a Janet Jackson video, circa 1987. And it just didn’t fit well. For 500 clams, I wanted a full-on trenchgasm. I want to love it so much that I consider wearing it to bed.
My last stop? Freakin’ Brooks Brothers. Is this what my search has come to? I’ve gone from Gore-Tex to this? Do I have to change my name to Buffy or perhaps Thayer? But, this looks like everything I want: Nice hardware, check. Waterproof, check. Reasonably long enough, check. Free of extraneous bullshit like ruffles and hoods, checkity check. I want my trenchgasm! Hopefully, Brooks Brothers will give it to me. Stay tuned!Udpate: Email from KB a couple weeks ago: “Mmmmmmm oooohhhhhh. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhoh! Oh! OOOOHHH! YESS! YES! YES! YES! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *end trenchgasm*” We love a good trenchgasm…and a happy ending (yeah!). KB is happily wearing it to work on cool, misty spring days like today.