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How a trench coat should fit

How a trench coat should fit

No matter how much we will it to, rain never goes away. But the one great thing about wet weather? Without it, we wouldn’t have the trench coat. Popularised by either Burberry or Aquascutum (no one really knows) to protect military officers from downpours, the style evolved from a 19th-century weatherproof coat into what it is today: a quintessentially British staple. Iconically worn by Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca” and Peter Sellers in “Inspector Clouseau”, the trench emanates a refined, commanding, and almost enigmatic character.

Today, there are many variants of the trench coat, but we have a soft spot for the classic version. A traditional trench is double-breasted, tapers below the knee, and has a caped back, shoulder straps, D-rings, and a belt at the waist. To pay this coat the heed and respect it deserves, it’s important to get the fit just right. Enter Thread stylist, Luke McDonald, with these top tips for ensuring the fit of your trench coat ticks all the boxes.


“The fit of a trench coat should be rather generous,” says Luke. “It should drape over, rather than hug, the body as it’s a top layer, and when the temperature drops you should be able to wear your trench over a heavy knit or suit without it looking tight. Ensure the sleeves taper at the start of your palm and are slightly longer than the cuff of your suit jacket.”


“Your trench coat should be long enough so that you’re properly covered and kept dry, so below the knee is a minimum length,” Luke says.

Photographed: E. Tautz Chore Trouser (£195), Grenson Brady (£138)

The belt

“You definitely don’t want your belt tied too tight, as this can it create a ballooning, A-line effect,” Luke says. “Tie your belt loosely at the middle of your waist to give you some extra breathing room. Or don’t tie it at all for a more laid-back look.”

The collar

“Choose a trench with a collar that you can throw up if the weather gets really poor,” Luke says. “As an added bonus, it looks cool.”

The vents

Ideally, the vents (the vertical slits at the back of the coat) should stay relatively flush with your body. “Too tight and they’ll flare out – not a good look,” says Luke.

Words: Ashiana Pradhan
Photography: Lola & Pani
Styling: Luke McDonald
Styling assistant: Toby Standing