James Perse Military coat | $495 at James Perse
Giada Forte My Coat | $720 at The Dreslyn
Steven Alan oversized trench | $645 at Steven Alan
Zara long flowing trench coat | $159 at Zara
“The Spring Coat” is counter-intuitive for me; I’ve never lived in a place where you’d need a coat for spring, but I do sort of like the idea of a lightweight coat. Any of these would do, actually, but especially the Giada Forte “My Coat;” the entire outfit, really. I would drown in a long, oversized, flowy trench like either the Steven Alan or Zara versions, so I’d stick to more structured, thank you.
Not that I would ever indulge myself in this trend anyway. I’ve never had a need for a trench, or lightweight jacket of any kind, other than for travel, so I’ve never given a second thought to buying one. Which brings me to another topic altogether, one I’ve been thinking about all morning while working on THIS post: Should you have in your closet items that are exclusively (or mostly) reserved for travel? Or is this wasteful?
This is a topic for another discussion, another day, but I’m curious to know your thoughts. As well as your opinion of long, lightweight trenches. Would you, or do you ever wear one? Under what circumstance? If you do, they seem to be a “thing” now (if they show up at Zara and/or H&M, they’re a “thing”), so you can probably find some great ones. If I were taller, I would probably partake in an inexpensive version.
More of my favorite spring coats/trenches:
I don’t have items that are specifically for travel, but I have retained items that I tend to only use when I travel. Eg Sorel winter boots, 1988 Utah – they’re nice boots from when they were still made in Canada. They’ll last forever. I live in NC so I rarely need them. But I’m not going to get rid of them because I currently have space to keep them, and replacing them wouldn’t be cheap.
RE Trench coats, it’s a look I love on other people but have never loved on myself. I did get an LLBean waterproof trench with zip out liner at a thrift store last fall for a great price – it’s a nice option to have in my closet but only for $20 from a thrift store, not $1000 at Burberry. Though the coats are gorgeous, they aren’t “me”.
I’m going to echo the commenter above: I’ve never been too fond of trenches, though some people look movie star-esque in them. I’d rather spend my money on a leather jacket (http://us.aritzia.com/kenya-jacket/35005.html?dwvar_35005_color=1274#start=11), which serves me well in the autumn and spring, though not at temperatures below 45.
One thing I find worse than the spring coat is the sweater coat — I have no idea when I’m supposed to wear one of those. I bring it up because I tried on a few things at James Perse last week, and the saleswoman put this situation (http://www.jamesperse.com/women/outerwear/jackets/long-fleece-military-coat/viewProduct.do?productId=prod1710015&categoryId=cat950006) in my dressing room. :/
One part of my travel manifesto is to incorporate travel pieces into one’s regular wardrobe and vice versa. I do think it’s wasteful to just have travel items, unless you live in a warm climate and only need winter gear for cold climates. Because I live somewhere that consistently goes from -30C to +30C, I have a very wide-ranging wardrobe at home that works on the road. That’s my situation and I know everyone’s will vary.
I do wear long spring trench coats, partly because I’m taller and a shorter coat makes me feel uncovered. But I also have more tailored items in my wardrobe that go with trenches, and I do wear that kind of thing when I have client meetings. Great selection of trenches you’ve come up with! If anyone wants to try a trench without a big investment, I have found tonnes of them in thrift stores, often of excellent quality for not much money. If you had to get them professionally altered, it would be worth it.
Laurel´s last blog post ..Outfits: Quebec City
I guess I differ from Laurel in that, although I’m tall, I have a longer trench and I have wanted it to be shorter. More “Burberry-esque”. Like Kate Moss would throw on over something casual with the belt tied. I’ve even considered having mine shortened. I do wear it a lot in the Spring and Fall, and maybe since long is trending, I’ll give it another chance “as is.”
I’ve never found a trench that I really liked, though a waterproof one would probably be practical for my climate. It’s one of those things that always shows up on “10 Essential Items for Parisian Style” lists though. Along with white shirts, something else that I usually don’t really like on me.
On the other hand, I would love to snatch up that JP trench (on sale). I have the shorter peacoat version, and it’s pretty much the perfect jacket for me year-round in coastal Northern California. Plus, it’s one of those rare pieces that is both extremely comfortable but makes casual outfits look more pulled together.
Ya! I like trenches and I think those coats are cool .I want to call them “dusters,” for some reason.
Lisa´s last blog post ..A Practical Wedding’s Mother of the Bride (or Groom) Dress Roundup
Grechen Reiter says
yes, i wanted to refer to them as dusters as well, but i guess that’s more cardigans? or sweaters? and not “coats”?
i do think they’re cool, they seem to be perfect for san francisco weather 🙂
Grechen Reiter says
oh, you got the shorter version?? i love that one too…should have bought it during the sample sale – i think i saw it there, no?
i do love james perse jackets, but every time i wait to get one on sale, it sells out in my size….guess there’s always ebay, but i don’t have great luck there either!
agree with your comment about the 10 “essential” items lists – they never apply to me!! i do like the idea of a trench, and i look at them frequently, but can never buy one. they seem so boring i guess. and i know i wouldn’t get much use out of one, aside from traveling.
Grechen Reiter says
yes, thrift stores are great places for trench coats – there are loads of them here, although they seem to be quite heavier, and not nearly so chic 😉
i’m with you on incorporating pieces, and i do try to, but i’m sure we’ll travel off-season to europe again and i’d definitely love to have a warmer parka or coat for that next time!! i guess i would use it a few days a year here in dallas, but it wouldn’t be something i’d have to purchase again and again – a good winter parka would serve me forever i think. and i did love traveling to amsterdam in december, so i’m sure we’ll do europe again in the winter. although it wasn’t as cold as quebec during your last trip. i don’t know how you managed!!
Grechen Reiter says
oh…did you try on the JP coat? did you like it??
i’ve never really like trenches much on me either, but i do appreciate them on others, and their timeless quality – also how easy they are to just throw on.
leather jackets are another thing i love on others but not on me. i don’t know why. maybe i just haven’t found the right one yet? or figured out how to wear them? that mackage one you linked to is amazing though…
i think i’m just an 80-yr old woman in a 41-year old’s body though LOL – i prefer cashmere sweaters/cardigans over anything else to keep warm!!!
Grechen Reiter says
i think it’s helpful to have items already that are useful for travel – i would have loved to have winter boots for amsterdam, for example. the trick is finding/buying something you’ll never have to replace and getting it for a good price.
Grechen, I agree. I’d rather wear a cozy sweater than a coat. I love knitwear, and if I’m lucky enough to live to be 80, will still rock it!
I found a JP peacoat at a consignment store, and loved it so much that I bought the version with the fake shearling collar on Ebay. I actually like that version better than the first one I bought (the first one was a little too warm).
I’ve been searching all over for the perfect pair of winter snow-boots (OK, that was redundant, but you know what I mean!). Believe it or not, I’ve read, and can verify from personal experience, that there is a winter boot shortage in the Northeast region of the country. Danged snow and cold!
The women in the Hamptons ALL seem to wear long sweater coats because it’s the perfect weight for late fall/winter (usually!).
I didn’t try on the sweater coat because I really wasn’t into it. If I’m going to wear something double-breasted, it won’t be made of sweatshirt material — it just didn’t seem polished to me.
I hear you on the leather jackets. I love mine, but sometimes I feel a little too masculine. It’s good to pair with basics and more feminine pieces.
And you can’t go wrong with cashmere! I guess I’m an 80-year-old in a 29-year-old’s body!