Soft, long and fluid trench coats and macs are proving to be a spring hit. Stephanie Smith picks on the best on the high street.
When is a coat not just a coat? When it’s a light and expensive-looking, ultra-versatile, super-classic spring trench coat or mac, that’s when.
The trench coat has been a celebrity glamour staple since the days of Greta Garbo and Audrey Hepburn, and now modern style icons such as Alexa Chung, Laura Bailey, Naomi Watts, Blake Lively and the young royals continue the endorsement.
The light trench and the soft mac are, of course, spring-time essentials, called into fashion duty all year round but in particular in March, April and May, when they perform the all-important function of protecting again the elements (not big chills, but finer spring days), while being light enough to carry or fold up and stow when the sun unexpectedly shines.
As sustainability becomes ever more important in fashion, waging war against one-season wonder clothes being dumped in landfill, there is something reassuring about the trench coat’s ability to remain a classic that we can pull out of the wardrobe year after year and wear with whatever new fashion trends have come into existence. I have a three trench coats that are at least a decade old (one black, one navy and one camel) and I see no reason to get rid of them. In fact, the only trench I have ever sent to the charity shop was one that had lightly puffed and gathered pockets on the front – seasonal styling details, I now recognise, are not always a good idea when it comes to classic outerwear pieces. Best to keep it simple and with clean lines.
However, SS19 has brought with it a new crop of spring macs and trench coats, many of which do appear to offer a fresh take on a hardy perennial without compromising on classic style. By which I mean that, yes, you can buy and wear now a new season soft pink or blue midi trench coat, and the chances are that you will still be wearing it next year, the year after and, hopefully, long after that.
The new spring/summer coats are fluid and easy, often in a midi length like the High Street styles featured on these pages. This is a length that works well when buttoned-up and belted, like the trench dress style that both Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton seem so fond of, but it also looks fabulous left open and worn over slightly shorter floral dresses and with cropped jeans and wide-leg trousers, finished off with white trainers (or try a pair of animal print, sleek cowboy boots).
The high street and our department stores have come up with a fine selection of soft coats and trenches, in both classic neutral colours (remember, beige is queen for spring/summer 2019) and in a range of on-trend vibrant pastel tones.
Head to John Lewis at Victoria Leeds, at York Vangarde Shopping Park and the store in Sheffield to check out the new own brand trench coat for spring, which is lined and comes in stone, sunflower yellow and cornflower blue.
Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer has a rather lust-worthy trench coming to its Autograph collection, a long midi length and in a rich caramel meets ochre shade that ticks all the boxes for the season’s obsession with yellowy and gold tones but is also versatile enough for the coat to have real longevity.
For even more yellow, Principles at Debenhams has this yellow gold suedette trench coat. Now this could come in very handy as a special occasion outfit saviour over the summer, lifting and brightening whatever you throw it on over.
There are more suedette trench coats over at H&M, plus lots of camel styles, long and short, and a check mini trench coat and a snake-print version. If you haven’t already, try the H&M store at The Springs, Thorpe Park, Leeds, for a good selection.
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