• Hi, I'm the owner and main administrator of Styleforum. If you find the forum useful and fun, please help support it by buying through the posted links on the forum. Please visit ou very popular sales thread, where the latest and best sales are posted, including the latest, updated, very comprehensive, Styleforum Black Friday Sales List

    Purchases made through some of our links earns a commission for the forum and allows us to do the work of maintaining and improving it. Finally, thanks for being a part of this community. We realize that there are many choices today on the internet, and we have all of you to thank for making Styleforum the foremost destination for discussions of menswear.
  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Trench coat owners: What details are a must have for trench coats? (Burberry, etc)

noobanker

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
208
Reaction score
29
I am looking to buy my first trench coat, preferably a vintage burberry.

The latest heritage Westminster line from Burberry seems to have a good length, just hovering around the knee, and a slight loose fit, which seems in line with the traditional trench coat styling.
Also it's 100% cotton on the exterior, which I hear is better for breathability over poly mixes (typically 51% cotton with 49% synthetic)

But all the ones I'm seeing online from over the years have either gun flap pockets missing, or are way too long, or are fitted extremely large, or are poly blends, rather than 100% cotton.

What are some details you think are worth having in a trench coat?
Is 100% cotton worth waiting for?
What is the proper length with respect to one's knees?
How does your trench coat fit compared to your other overcoats?
 

Nobilis Animus

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
974
Reaction score
653
Either 100% cotton, or 100% wool (if Aquascutum). My personal preference is past the knee, but stopping at the knee is perfectly fine - though I wouldn't go shorter.

The trenchcoat is supposed to fit somewhat loosely, so that it can fit over everything else and be gathered at the waist by the belt. My other overcoats vary, but are all more fitted than the trench. I would wait it out until you can find one with the gun flap and length you like.

It's more practical to have it end mid-shin, but that's not always the only consideration. How long you might be outside, whether you commute, etc. Trenchcoats aren't totally waterproof either.

Lastly, don't button it. That hasn't been cool since Humphrey Bogart. :wink:
 

Andy57

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Messages
3,902
Reaction score
10,156
Quite some time ago, and for sure in the '70s, Burberry made two types of trench coat. There was an all-cotton version, which was completely traditional, with outer pocket flaps that buttoned forward, and a buckle at the throat (under the collar). The other kind was 51% cotton, 49% polyester. This version had slash outer pockets (with no flap) and a button flap at the throat under the collar.

If you went into one of the two Burberry stores in the West End (the original store on the Haymaket--no longer there, or the Regent Street store) and asked to buy a trench coat, the sales associate would ask you if you lived in a warm climate. If you said no, the sales associate would recommend the polycotton version. If you said yes, they would steer you toward the cotton version. Which is how, as a young fellow, I wound up with a polycotton Burberry trench coat, which is now authentically vintage. The polycotton version is supposed to be warmer and presumably more durable, although I have no evidence either way.

Modern Burberry trenches are all cotton and lighter in weight than the old cotton version and do not have the same pockets or throat latch. But they are long enough. Mine come far enough below the knee to be acceptable (I'm 6').

The details you want on any trench coat are raglan sleeves, a throat fastening, a gun flap, a ventilated cape back, pleated back skirt, but not slit, buckled straps at the wrists, D-rings on the belt, and maybe one or two more I've overlooked. The most important detail, though, is a Burberry label.

I think the current Heritage Westminster model from Burberry is a pretty decent coat. Oh, and it's fine to button the coat. Just don't buckle the belt. Tie it.
 

Ich_Dien

Distinguished Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
6,629
Reaction score
1,164
It's the D-Rings for me; lots of makers try get away without putting them on.

I do enjoy explaining to friends who don't know the origins of the trench what they were intended for. 💣
 

noobanker

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
208
Reaction score
29
It's the D-Rings for me; lots of makers try get away without putting them on.

I do enjoy explaining to friends who don't know the origins of the trench what they were intended for. 💣
What were they intended for?
 

noobanker

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
208
Reaction score
29
Quite some time ago, and for sure in the '70s, Burberry made two types of trench coat. There was an all-cotton version, which was completely traditional, with outer pocket flaps that buttoned forward, and a buckle at the throat (under the collar). The other kind was 51% cotton, 49% polyester. This version had slash outer pockets (with no flap) and a button flap at the throat under the collar.

If you went into one of the two Burberry stores in the West End (the original store on the Haymaket--no longer there, or the Regent Street store) and asked to buy a trench coat, the sales associate would ask you if you lived in a warm climate. If you said no, the sales associate would recommend the polycotton version. If you said yes, they would steer you toward the cotton version. Which is how, as a young fellow, I wound up with a polycotton Burberry trench coat, which is now authentically vintage. The polycotton version is supposed to be warmer and presumably more durable, although I have no evidence either way.

Modern Burberry trenches are all cotton and lighter in weight than the old cotton version and do not have the same pockets or throat latch. But they are long enough. Mine come far enough below the knee to be acceptable (I'm 6').

The details you want on any trench coat are raglan sleeves, a throat fastening, a gun flap, a ventilated cape back, pleated back skirt, but not slit, buckled straps at the wrists, D-rings on the belt, and maybe one or two more I've overlooked. The most important detail, though, is a Burberry label.

I think the current Heritage Westminster model from Burberry is a pretty decent coat. Oh, and it's fine to button the coat. Just don't buckle the belt. Tie it.
It makes sense that cotton would fade and fray more easily than polyester.
I have some polyester t-shirts from like 10 years ago that look virtually 100% new.
Conflicted whether I should just take the plunge on this 51/49 coat deal....

Is it possible to shorten length and alter stuff on these trench coats?
Would it require a very skilled tailor?
 

Ich_Dien

Distinguished Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
6,629
Reaction score
1,164
What were they intended for?
To attach things like your holster, map case, sword, grenades etc.

Indeed, military surplus trenches (and some older more traditional designs) still have a long slit down the side so your sword pommel / scabbard can fit through comfortably.
 

noobanker

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
208
Reaction score
29
To attach things like your holster, map case, sword, grenades etc.

Indeed, military surplus trenches (and some older more traditional designs) still have a long slit down the side so your sword pommel / scabbard can fit through comfortably.
Do you think all cotton is better than blends?
 

Ich_Dien

Distinguished Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
6,629
Reaction score
1,164
I think that mostly comes down to longevity.

If you want a trench in a darker colour I'd go for a blend as the cotton ones tend to fade / lose their colour almost instantaneously with rain / dry cleaning.
 

TWEED

New Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
There is some controversy as to the original manufacturer, but Burberry's was certainly one of them, and they were military coats in the UK. The cotton preceded the mix. (there was no polly back then). My father who would be 100 if her were still alive, had an all cotton one with a wool liner. I have one from about 35 years ago that is a mix with a wool liner. The gun flap was not a gun flap but a storm flap and actually worked. the pockets (unfortunately) were slash pockets. I have owned a nicer trench coat with flap pockets, but it got the storm flap wrong. The lining does not go down the sleeves, and neither did my father's (which I tried to preserve, but was too far gone and too big for me).

On a different note, Bogart's trench-coat in Casablanca (presumably of tropical weight cotton) had two storm flaps. It made for a dashing look. Presumably, only one storm flap could work. If I redesigned a trench coat, it would have two storm flaps, flap pockets, a wool liner with sleeves made from a genuine tartan plaid, and a wool collar. IT would be in genuine cotton or perhaps a wool/cotton blend, but the poly mix has its advantages for shedding both water and stains. If I lived in a tropical climate, it would be difficult to ditch the contemporary breathable and lightweight fabrics. A safari jacket might have to do in its stead. The cold climate coat should be as long as practicable, while the tropical climate coat should be shorter. Bogart's classic look was pretty long, as were the originals.

I also have a wool NATO trench coat, but it is in no way classic despite coming from the 60s.
 

thedavidstarr

Active Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2015
Messages
34
Reaction score
8
I own an Aquascutum trench that I bought on EBay. It’s missing a belt. Problem is it’s STONE shade that I don’t think they make anymore for MEN. any ideas where to find a belt for it?
 

noobanker

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
208
Reaction score
29
I own an Aquascutum trench that I bought on EBay. It’s missing a belt. Problem is it’s STONE shade that I don’t think they make anymore for MEN. any ideas where to find a belt for it?
is aquascutum still in business?
 

Despos

Distinguished Member
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Mar 16, 2006
Messages
7,425
Reaction score
3,144
Made a few in the 90's. Used a Venetian weave wool. Epaulets were optional.
Not trying to be authentic or replicate a Burberry coat. Just made a few for clients who liked them. Feed back was good, coats were worn often. One client ordered a second one.
 

Attachments

Despos

Distinguished Member
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Mar 16, 2006
Messages
7,425
Reaction score
3,144
I own an Aquascutum trench that I bought on EBay. It’s missing a belt. Problem is it’s STONE shade that I don’t think they make anymore for MEN. any ideas where to find a belt for it?
You could cut out the cloth along the inside facing from the last buttonhole to the hem and replace with another cloth. It won’t be seen when worn. Other option is to shorten the coat and use the cloth for a belt.
 

Naive Jr.

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2010
Messages
667
Reaction score
27
I read the posts looking for solution to my problem but has not been mentioned probably because none of you guys are confronted with very short arms requiring SHIRT sleeve length 31.5":

How do I ensure that the local seamstress doesn't shorten my COAT sleeve length too short (like that wicked witch in Berne did to my Purdey tweed JACKET) or too long?

Somebody with so short arms like me cannot jab Tyson Fury so easily even if I wanted and with any coat trench or otherwise, and anything with sleeves find a seamstress who will shorten sleeves to the ideal length.

What is the best strategy to get the coat sleeves cut to the ideal length?
Maybe just measure the coat sleeve of a coat whose sleeve length pleases me and use this measure for the new coat sleeve alteration?

Question 2. What is the ideal coat sleeve length?
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

Most Interesting Fashion Collaboration of 2020

  • JW Anderson x Uniqlo

  • Nigo x Virgil Abloh

  • Converse x Midnight Studios

  • Rick Owens x Champion

  • Barbour x Engineered Garments

  • Adidas x Bed JW Ford

  • Jordan Brand x Dior

  • Billie Eilish x Takashi Murakami

  • Lego x Levi's


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
449,024
Messages
9,719,784
Members
202,878
Latest member
Osamafayyaz
Top