37 items of clothing, 8 pairs of shoes, 3 bags
The trench coat is a classic basic. The history of the trench goes back to the late 1800’s. Its use and function have evolved since then and the trench has become synonymous with ‘style’ over the last fifty years. Many bloggers will tell you that a trench is a ‘must have’. I claim nothing of the sort, though I do love the simple, classic silhouette offered by the style.
I have four outerwear items, and one of them is the black trench coat. I purchased this item between two and three years ago. Though on an instinctive level I recognised it as a great item to own, I barely wore it until I minimised my clothing. When I got rid of a lot of large wardrobe clutter, this guy shone through like the gem that he is.
Trench coats remain on trend and come in many colours and fabrics every season, though the general style remains the same. The weight of the fabric will influence how and when you wear it. The most common variety for winter wear comes in a more solid, thicker fabric.
I live in Australia, where the winters are fairly mild. As a result, I can get away with owning a light lyocell trench. Lyocell is a type of light viscose that does not retain a lot of warmth. My trench coat is soft and flowy. This makes it quite a flexible item to own, though not incredibly practical for cold weather. If I want to wear it in winter, I need to layer with insulating knits. This particular item is best utilised during summer evenings or transeasonal months.
If I wish to wear my trench for casual occasions, I dress it down with a simple tee and jeans. The shoes can be flat or heeled, depending on the circumstances. It pays to wear a lower cut top with the trench as its volume can be somewhat overwhelming, especially on someone small like myself.
For work, I layer the trench with black trousers or a silk skirt. Mostly I pay attention to the texture of the fabric I want to wear it with. Faded denim does not look neat and work-friendly, whereas fabrics with a sheen do. A higher neckline works better under these circumstances.
If I wish to wear the item to a more formal occasion, I pair it with a dress and my strappy heels. The flowy quality of my trench enables me to tie the belt around it and even allow it to work as a dress itself.
My black trench is a reminder that picking items that are utilitarian and flexible are the best options for keeping a wardrobe small and wearable.