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Splurge vs Save: The Classic Trench


Woman wearing a trench coat

With the weather continuing to get colder, you’ve probably already pulled out your favorite pea coats, denim jackets, or fleece zip-ups. While these options are all adorable college girl staples, a classic trench coat is a must-own addition to your collection!

A great trench will not only keep you warm and dry, but will add some sophisticated flare to any outfit. But should you splurge or save? Read my tips and make your choice!

Why Buy?

Trench coats look good on everyone, they add adult sophistication to any outfit, keep you dry, and look great with both wellington boots and shorts and party dresses and stilettos. What other jackets can do that?!

You’ll look great walking into your interview in editor pants and trench over a nice blouse; there’s nothing worse than completing a dressy outfit with a sloppy jacket, but a trench is a great option–comfortable and cute…Not to mention that the trench is also totally iconic.

Tips for Wearing and Buying a Trench Coat

* Go classic. For a classic, sophisticated style, pick a longer trench in a neutral hue. Taupes, black, and khakis are all good bets for creating your look. In these colors and with its timeless silhouette, a classic trench will be a piece you can wear for years to come.

Classic Outfit Ideas:

Classic Trench Coat

Product Information: Candie’s Mockneck Trench Coat, Skinny C Hat, Nine West Rocha Pumps, zappos. Super Skinny Jeans, Blouse,

How to wear a classic trench coat

Product Information: Diane von Furstenberg Amaury Trench, Black Cowl Shift Dress, Dorothy Perkins. Jeffery Campbell Pearl Flat, Nordstrom. My Fair Locket Necklace, Laurel’s Antique Crystal Flower Brooch,

* Go casual. Though a trench may seem conservative, you can wear one with anything! Try bright colors, unexpected footwear, and free-flowing silhouettes for great contrast against your classic coat. Of course, there are now amazing trenches that come in patterns, bright colors, or shorter length if you’re looking to create a more casual, fun style. As always spend less if you’re going for a trendy look.

Casual Outfit Ideas:

A casual way to wear a trench coat

Product Information: Women’s Belted Trench Coat, Tory Burch Reva Ballet Flats, Neiman Marcus. Women’s Button-Front Drop-Waist Orange Stripe Top, 7 For All Mankind Roxanne Skinny Jean,

Another way to wear a trench coat

Product Information: Rebecca Short Trench Coat, Baggy Floral Top, Ciao Bella Pause Flats, Piperlime. My Pant’s Dublin Cargo Pants,

* Keep it classy. Though there are times when a completely buttoned trench and a pair of sassy stilettos would totally work, for every day, it’s usually best to pair your trench with a longer dress, pants, or tights to avoid being mistaken for a flasher!

* Try fitted styles. Since trench coats have so much fabric, they can easily make you look bulky if you pick the wrong size. Go for fitted, narrow silhouettes, and use the attached belt to define your waist.

* Layer for warmth. Though most trenches will protect you from even the rainiest of days, these coats are best for warmer temperatures. If you want to dress up a fall or winter outfit with a trench, be sure to layer so you don’t freeze! Some trench coats come with a winter-weight liner for wear in colder climates.

Get Your Own!


Splurge Trench Coats

Product Information: London Fog Belted Trench Coat, Nordstrom. MICHAEEL Michael Kors SB Trench with Hood, Zappos. Gyrphon The Timeless Mini Trench, Black Belted Trench,


Inexpensive Trench Coats

Product Information: Satin Trench Jacket, Forever 21. London Fog Women’s Faux Silk Double Collar Trench Coat, Black and White Trench, The Goldie Trench,

What do you think?

Do you own a trench coat? How do you wear it? And most importantly, would you splurge or save on this item? Let us all know your thoughts in the comments section!

Posted on on November 1, 2009 / Filed Under: Shopping / Tags: , , , ,

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32 Responses to “Splurge vs Save: The Classic Trench”

  1. 1
    November 1st, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    I just bought a beautiful vintage Aquascutum trench on eBay for $40 (so it’s a “splurge” that I saved on–Aquascutum trenches are usually $500+!)
    The only thing though is that it is almost calf-length–a little too dressy for a college student, I think, so I’m hemming it to knee-length for more versatility =]

  2. 2
    November 1st, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    can short people wear trench coats?
    is there a right way to do it so that it’s flattering?

  3. 3
    November 1st, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I will splurge on a classic trench, since it can get really cold here.

  4. 4
    November 1st, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Splurge! A good trench is an absolute must-have, especially in the fall and spring. Can from morning ’til night, from casual to dressy. Love your outfit ideas.

  5. 5
    November 1st, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    I’m a little worried about splurging on a trench coat considering I’m short and I live in Florida. I don’t know how much I’d use it. Cute outfits, though!

  6. 6
    November 1st, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    I live in New Jersey and my trench is a must have. I wear it in the fall with a cute scarf and in the spring with rainboots. it can be dresses down with skinny jeans and flats or dressed up with a skirt and boots. i just love them. i have a tan one but i am getting a black one soon. trench love<3

  7. 7
    November 1st, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    I bought a London Fog trenchcoat and was disappointed when half of the buttons fell off within one week of wearing it. I sent a letter to London Fog and never got a response. It’s too bad, because I always thought of the London Fog company as being synonymous with good quality. I wouldn’t buy another London Fog trenchcoat, but that’s just my opinion. I do love the look of trenchcoats and I wear mine whenever it rains :)

  8. 8
    November 1st, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    So a splurge!!! I am surprised you didn’t have the Burberry Trench in your splurge section. I bought a Michael Kors Khaki colored one from Nordstrom Rack for $150, orginally $285! I am a short girl, 5’3″ and I bought my trench at knee length. It doesn’t make me look shorter. Great post, I’ve been waiting for a post on trenches!

  9. 9
    November 1st, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    i’m looking at a trench coat that’s 25 inches long. is that length good for a short person or is it too short? i’m 5’3 by the way…

  10. 10
    November 2nd, 2009 at 12:10 am

    I absolutely LOVE trenches! I have a long black trench from express. (Which is great, goes with everything). But my favorite is a BITTEN by Sarah Jessica Parker; it’s black and white houndstooth. I think the splurge vs. save is an issue of how much you’ll actually use the trench.

  11. 11
    November 2nd, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Hmm.. I love the trench but being short, I cant seem to find one that suits me.

  12. 12
    November 2nd, 2009 at 1:24 am

    I have a beautiful trench cut coat that comes to mid thigh, which is the perfect length (I’m only in high school) and makes my legs look longs. Plus, it’s a lovely black and white pattern.

  13. 13
    November 2nd, 2009 at 2:12 am

    Great post! Trench coats are so cute! I’ve been thinking of buying one :) I’m also loving the outfits you put together!, especially that eruca blouse and NIne West heels!

    And that is a concidence because I recently bought a pair of turqoise suede Nine West strappy heels. They are a bit formal but casual at the same time. I’m not sure what I can to wear them with. Can you write a post on some possible causal outfits to wear with slightly formal heels? Thanks!

  14. 14
    November 2nd, 2009 at 4:14 am

    Just as a testimony to how wonderful trench coats are:

    I bought a classic khaki-colored cropped trench coat from The Gap probably four years ago for about $70. I bought the cropped version because I’m on the short side (5’4″ according to my driver’s license). I still have it and I still wear it nearly everyday (especially now since I’m studying in Paris for the semester).

    Great post and really cute outfit ideas!

  15. 15
    November 2nd, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I was treated to a fabulous leopard trench coat this year and if you’re going to get a trenchcoat, be mindful of what you’ll wear it with — most of my “rainy day” accessories need to be simple and solids because my coat is so expressive. If you get a loud trenchcoat, I suggest a see-through umbrella (because it’s fun!) and rainboots of a solid, complimenting color.It’s rainy in England so I get to wear my leopard print trench a lot!

  16. 16
    November 2nd, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Love, love these outfits, they are so cute and sophisticated!

  17. 17
    November 2nd, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    This is definitely a splurge item for me. I’ve been searching for a perfect trench coat for ages and I haven’t found one yet. I’m short, so it’s really hard to find a coat with a belt in my waistline, not somewhere in the hips area. I have a black, woolen winter trench and it’s awesome, but I’d love to have an autumn/spring one in navy.

  18. 18
    November 2nd, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I adore your site !
    could you do a post on Jenny humpreys hat. How to wear it, where to get similars ect.

  19. 19
    November 2nd, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    I already splurged on an excellent satin trench, in a subtle dip-dye gradient that is tan at the top and chocolate by the just-above-knee hem, with subtle, polished silver metal buttons. I adore how it plays on the classic tan trench while still being modern and unusual. It’s also perfect for me because I wear a lot of brown, rather than black. I love it and wear it at least every other day, with jeans, skirts, cords, tights, anything! I did have the sleeves and belt shortened by a tailor, but other than that it fits my figure perfectly trimly.

  20. 20
    November 2nd, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Thank you for this post! I just recently splurged on a Juicy Couture trench this summer and I think every woman should own one! It’s really versatile and always looks chic.

  21. 21
    November 2nd, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    I recently bought a fitted khaki trench coat from h&m so it was pretty cheap. I love it! I can wear it to my internship, to classes, and even to the bar depending on what I’m wearing underneith. But my favorite is a trench with a skirt/dress and dark colored tights! I would recommend everyone buying one, they’re so universal! :)

  22. 22
    November 3rd, 2009 at 3:08 am

    I’m usually a fairly conservative spender . . . excepting the times I’m purchasing trench-coats. I cannot get enough of them and I’m willing to spend just about any sum if it fits right and is unique.

  23. 23
    November 3rd, 2009 at 9:35 am

    My mom gave me hers that she bought in late 70’s…it still looks great! It is tan and above the knee, and has a removable wool lining (it buttons in and out) for colder weather…

    I wear it as much as I can (I live in houston, still no need for winter coats and it is November lol!)

  24. 24
    November 4th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    I would most definitely splurge on a classic trench coat because it is a good investment fashionwise and most likely if you are spending a lot of cash,that means the material is really good which means you will have it for many winters to come. The trench that I have I brought at Macy’s last fall on sale for a hundred bucks. I love the way it fitted me and the material was 100% wool so I brought it. Aside from wearing a sweater underneath for extra warmth, i love my trench anyways:)

  25. 25
    November 5th, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    just bought a super cute london fog trench after reading this post! :)

  26. 26
    November 5th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Wow I LOVE trench coats!

    My latest one is the “perfect trench” from Banana Republic. It hits at the knee (and I’m 5’1″!) and I think it’s more versatile that way. Not too short so I can dress it up, and not too long so I can wear it with jeans and flats.

    Now that I think about it, I have a black cropped trench from Old Navy, a tan cropped trench from old navy, a black knee-length from London fog, and now my new Banana trench! 4 trench coats!! yeesh!

    Of course my holy grail will always be Burberry but then again I’d probably get too scared of getting it dirty or wet :( And getting wet is what trench coats are for!!

  27. 27
    July 23rd, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I absolutely adore trench coats. They’re so timeless and classy. I haven’t found the perfect one yet but I love the yellow Modcloth piece and would also like to find a classic taupe color.

  28. 28
    October 31st, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I want the classic trenchcoat, that I need to buy and save money,

  29. 29
    June 23rd, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I bought a beige-y trench coat at Zara that is very fitted and it makes me look like Inspector Gadget! :( Anyway to make it look better?

  30. 30
    August 7th, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    What’s up, I log on to your new stuff regularly.
    Your story-telling style is witty, keep it up!

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