The Burberry Trench

Let’s talk about the iconic camel coloured trench coats that made Burberry a household name in the fashion world. Ah, yes..The Burberry trench coat.

As with most things, the brand and the trench has its own history.

”The Burberry fashion house was founded in 1856, and it owes everything it is today to Thomas Burberry and one original design intended to keep the rain out. Flashback to 1879: young former draper’s assistant Thomas Burberry invented a special type of fabric for a comfortable and rain-resistant coat. The fruit of his labours was gabardine, a tough, tightly-woven and water-resistant fabric. The success of Burberry’s water-resistant fabric was phenonemal. Orders flooded in, the first major client being the British Army. Using his own designs for officers’ coats made 13 years beforehand for the War Office, Burberry added shoulder straps and metal rings to his gabardine coat, and the trench coat was born.

The Burberry trench was imitated by fashion houses across the world. The trench became popular in the street and on the big screen, but lost none of its charm even as it became assiciated with reactionary movements through the fashion ages. Punks took hold of the trench during the late Seventies, and the Eighties saw amateur versions of the trench in all styles. For a long time, the trench was associated with intellectual chic because it was classic and never went out of fashion. It wasn’t until 1990, under Artistic Director Roberto Menichetti, that Burberry brought out a new version of the trench, a Thirties-inspired model with the famous Burberry heck incorporated into the design. It sparked a whole new wave of copycat designs.” (Source:

So now that you have the background of the trench, you might be asking why I’m devoting a whole article to just a trench coat which is a very reasonable question, don’t get me wrong. Well for one, a trench coat will come in handy at least a few times in your life-span; be it a rainy day or a day when it’s not quite warm enough to skip a jacket, but not quite so warm that you really need a jacket, OR you might just want to have effortless class and elegance (which, in my opinion, is a as good of a reason as any!) which is where a trench comes in. It’s lightweight, sophisticated and chic. Let’s not forget practical. The point I’m trying to make – everyone needs to own a trench at one point in their lives. It’s unisex. It’s practical. It’s an investment.

The question that you might be pondering still is – why Burberry? Why not any other trench? And my response to that is – any trench is a good trench, whatever the brand may be. It’s completely understandable that the majority of people are not willing to fork out thousands of euros on a single clothing piece. Perfectly understandable. However, if you do like your trenches and wear them frequently, it would be a huge investment buying a good-quality trench as you’d be wearing it your whole life. My friend just told me recently that her mum had been dreaming about getting herself one of the trenches but never justified the price, and now after many years, seeing it half-off in an outlet was a sign to go for it, and so she did. She went ahead and treated herself to a nice Christmas present that she will cherish forever.

Ironically, after having talked about it for so long, I don’t own one. But I definitely see myself wearing one in my twenties or thirties (eek, just thinking about it gives me the jitters).

I stand by my opinion but I would love to hear yours! What do you think – is a trench coat a must-have staple item in everybody’s closet or an unnecessary closet rack space?


Thoughts on that? Leave a comment.

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