When style and functionality come together in the form of a trench coat, it's a modern-day fashion fairy-tale! Inevitably such pieces have been around for donkeys’ years and for good reason - everybody loves a fairy-tale! In the ever-fast-moving fashion industry, when something is here for the long haul it's generally worth the investment.
Say hello to my "little" friend... the mini trench coat. In short (pun intended), the fresh and updated version of the classic trench coat, this year's spring must-have, and undoubtedly many more springs to come! And, if you’re old enough to remember the trench coat’s predecessor, you’re welcome to call it a mini mac!
why is it sometimes called a mac?
Old folk yelling, "It's raining, put your mac on!" was a familiar sound to me growing up, after all, it was England. The mac was a well-worn part of my outerwear school uniform. The word is short for Macintosh, named after Charles Macintosh who created a waterproof fabric in 1823 in Scotland and so came about the ultimate raincoat.
A hundred years later, the trench coat was created in England by gentleman's outfitter Thomas Burberry, founder of the famous Burberry designer brand. It was an all-weather water-repellent coat designed for soldiers in the trenches of World War 1, not dissimilar to the mac.
Today, despite the myriad of fabrics, colors and style variations, the paradigm features of this coat make it one of the most recognizable classics in fashion history, whatever you choose to call it.
unmistakable features of the trench coat
First up, the inevitable belt nonchalantly tied instead of buckled by many a fashionista, me included - way to add a runway pout or a pop of attitude!
The double-breasted tradition is rarely forsaken even in modern day variations. It ties into the coat's military history along with epaulets, which would indicate rank but also serve the purpose of storing one's gloves.
Sleeve tabs, originally designed to allow cuffs to be tightened to avoid rain seeping in. The extra flap of fabric across the back known as the storm shield provided additional protection from the rain as well as breathability therefore preventing a sweaty back.
Whilst the coats history is drenched in rain and entrenched in war, it's no longer about either. Over the years it has morphed into an iconic wardrobe staple, adapted into a medley of fabric choices and colors as well as shape variations from its former self, all still recognizable as the offspring of its historic ancestor. Today it's all about sophisticated style and effortless chic.
why change a good thing?
This season's shortened version retains all the attributes of the quintessential trench coat whilst eliminating the bulk and length required for more drastic weather. That's why the short trench is all about spring showers and summer breezes!
Even with the adaptations, this is the fashion industry's own "Big Mac", with its hardy features, utilitarian functionality, and victorious performance over the past hundred years and more. There is no denying this coat a worthy winner of staying power and now with the shorter length it has crossed the boundary of seasons.
Despite its great age, it's maintained a modern feel through the passage of time, kept alive by celebrities, style icons and not least of all the British ambassador of the trench coat, Burberry!
This year, the shortened version for spring has already sold out in high street stores. No surprise since this trench travels well, can be machine washed, and whether you're sightseeing in Milan, walking your poodle along the Boulevard de la Croisette, or hot footing it through the subway in New York City, it’s the essential spring coat, jacket, trench or mac! No matter what you call it, it is what it is, the next best thing to a fairy-tale in your closet!
You can shop some of the top sellers of the spring short trench coat from the thumbnails below.
There are affiliate links in this post which means I may receive a small percentage of sales made. This does not affect the price you pay.
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
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Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50