The Comeback: Trench Coat Image by: Getty Images & Genevieve Caron
Wrapper, mac, gabardine, slicker—a trench coat by any other name is still a wardrobe classic.
The sartorial legacy of Breakfast at Tiffany's is, of course, that little black dress. The sight of Holly Golightly, munching on a pastry while admiring the jewels from the street, is iconic. But it's not the best fashion moment of the film. Instead, think of the final scene: Audrey Hepburn drenched in the rain, sharing a passionate kiss with Geroge Peppard, wearing a trench coat knotted at the waist. The trench, you see, if not typically the tool of romance, which tends to lean in the direction of soft, romantic ensembles.
Prior to its Hollywood boom, the trench coat was largely a man's garment. In fact, the coat got its start in the early 19th century as waterproof outerwear for military and civilian use—though when the First World War began, it became primarily associated with British military officers. Burberry, the brand synonymous with the classic wardrobe staple, is often credited with the trench coat's invention, though it likely shares that honour with Aquascutum, as both companies outfitted soldiers.
Postwar, the trench permeated Hollywood. Leading men such as Humphery Bogart (remember his goodbye scene with Isla in Casablanca?), Peter Sellers (in The Pink Panther) and Robert Redford (in The Way We Were) all counted the topper as part of their uniform, and the item began to be linked with a more worldly, quiet man, instead of the soldier. The trench's masculinity is often associate with detectives—intelligent but brooding solitary men who give off mysterious vibes.
It didn't take long for women to co-opt the trench for their personal style statements, thanks in large part to many ladies embracing a more masculine and casual wardrobe in the mid-'60s. This decade was its turning point for casual dressing, which saw a major shift toward unisex styles. Hepburn was hardly the first woman to make the garment her own; Marlene Dietrich, Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren all donned the topper, in A Foreign Affair, Babette Goes to War and The Key, respectively. But it's that scene in Breakfast at Tiffany's that's the defining trench moment for women. Strong, proud Holly Golightly found love, and it wasn't her LBD that did the trick; it was the trench—practical, genderless, classic.
Skip the strong shoulder and straight lines for a softer take. Wide lapels in a drapey fabric let you rock a more casual look.
Subtle tweaks - in this case, black piping and buttons - can make your mac stand out from the crowd.
Try a fit-and-flare shape that would be right at home on the Duchess of Cambridge.
A shock of brilliant colour on a dreary rainy day can jazz up just about any outfit.
The classic shape gets a pop of colour - in the form of a yellow zipper - this season.
For a sportier style, try a shorter silhouette or pick a trench with a hood - or both!
Good Jeans Image by: Daniel Harrison Prop styling by: Jeanie Lee/Plutino Group
Everything you need to know to buy denim for the new season ahead.
ALL IN THE DETAILS
Denim is moving beyond a typical pair of jeans. Here are some new ways to wear the hardworking fabric.
1. Raw edge
Tough meets chic in the latest take on distressed denim. Sure, blown-out knees and randomly placed rips and tears are stick kicking it, but it's the unfinished hemlines that are making major waves.
Sweater, $78, roots.com. Jeans, $278, fidelitydenim.com. Earrings, carolineneron.com. Bandana, gapcanada.ca. Watch, linksoflondon.com. Ring, jenny-bird.ca. Shoes, callitspring.com. Image by: Genevieve Caron
2. Sole mates
Denim is the hottest material for accessories this spring.
3. Mini works of art
Looking to add some flair to your jean jacket? The latest trend in accessories is enamel pins; some are grounded in pop culture, while others are original art.
Vest, $130, winners.ca. Emoji-heart pin, $12, pintrill.com. O hai all-seeing-eye pin, $9.50, heatherbuchanan.ca. LLAP hand pin, $10, robineisenberg.com. Eye pin and lipstick pin, $20 each, georgiaperry.com. Gumball-machine pin, $8, pennypaperco.com. Image by: Genevieve Caron
4. Denim skirt
The current jean-skirt styles have fresh updates with polished touches and an array of silhouettes. For a modern throwback to the '70s, try one with a middle slit and buttons down the front.
Customize your topper by ironing on some DIY patches—or opt for the quick-and-easy approach by purchasing a vest or jacket that's already decorated.
Jean jacket, $267, tommy.com. Image by: Genevieve Caron
6. Denim squared
Denim on denim has earned its right to be considered a modern-classic way of dressing. A good rule is to mix up your washes: Wear lighter denim on top, with darker on the bottom. The deeper shades helps create a slimming effect.
This spring, no one style dominates. Choose from a wide range of silhouettes and cuts.
1. Short and sweet
Flood pants—with a flare—are back. This denim cut is a throwback to Jane Birkin, but today, keep the hemlines frayed, as it's the only amount of distressing you with this style.
2. Retro revival
The '70s silhouette enhances curves and helps elongate legs. Get maximum length by keeping hemlines long and wearing a platform heel—the trick is concealing your shoes.
Vest, $100, gapcanada.ca. Sweater, $40, hm.com. Jeans, $100, winners.ca. Marc Jacobs sunglasses, thebay.com. Necklace, carolineneron.com. Bracelet, bananarepublic.ca. Belt, braveleather.com. Bag, eccocanada.com. Shoes, joefresh.com. Image by: Genevieve Caron
3. Off the cuff
Cuffing your jeans isn't a new concept, but this season, the statement is bigger and bolder than the usual fold and roll we're accustomed to. The exaggerated look brings a bit of edge to any ensemble.
Jacket, $45, oldnavy.ca. T-shirt, $15, uniqlo.ca. 7 for all Mankind jeans, $298, nordstrom.com. Marc Jacobs sunglasses, thebay.com. Earrings and bracelet, carolineneron.com. Sneakers, eccocanada.com. Image by: Genevieve Caron
4. Skinny dipping
It's hard to remember a time when skinny jeans weren't the standard in denim. The slim silhouette is still the shape du jour and can be found in just about every wash, colour, pattern and level of distress.
5. Crop it to me
Wide-legged cropped denim is a new take on the trouser jean. Hems vary, but the most flattering length is about an inch above the ankle. Always pair the look with heels—the daintier the better.
©iStockphoto.com/annedala Image by: ©iStockphoto.com/annedala
Our editors share the items they are coveting this February—and they're all under $100.
As much as we love shopping, what we love even more is a good deal. Which is why we asked our style editors to share the items that they'll be shopping for this month. The good news? Everything is under $100, which means you don't have to feel guilty about picking a few things up yourself.
As I think about spring, I always begin to think about what sneakers I’m going to pick up. Spring is sneaker season, at least if you ask me. This year, I’m going back to basics with a classic pair of Vans. Bonus—they’ve been spotted on bloggers, models and off-duty actors, so you know this style is making a comeback. At the very affordable $80 price point, this will be money well-spent seeing as how I'll be living in them for the season. - Alexandra Donaldson, contributing editor
Vans Old Skool in Black and White, $80, getoutsideshoes.com.
Graphic pants are everything at the moment. Dress them down with sneakers, add heels for a more professional look, pair it with a form-fitting top to keep it sleek. They'll go with everything. - Noelle Gauthier, style intern
Uniqlo women smart style ankle length pants, $40, uniqlo.com.
Easy to apply eyeshadow
If I’m wearing makeup beyond my under-eye concealer and mascara, it needs to be efficient. Which is why I have my eye on this Nudestix eye crayon. The metallic hue will add a bit of pizzazz to my makeup look, without too much extra effort.
Nudestix Magnetic Eye Colour in Twilight, $28, sephora.com.
How come boyfriend jeans always seem amazing in theory, but never translate into the model-off-duty look when worn? These "girlfriend" jeans have a tailored fit making them far more wearable.
Gap mid rise best girlfriend jeans, $40, gapcanada.ca.
Animal motifs have been hot on the runway—but if you can’t afford to spring for Gucci (and really, who can?) you can pick up this panther cropped sweatshirt from Forever 21. At $25 it’s a steal—and super cute to boot.
Panther Graphic Sweatshirt, $25, forever21.com.
Kitten heels are making a comeback
A few years ago I never could have imagined loving the kitten heel like I do now—but these days everything is old new again. The low-heel allows me to survive in them all day, so I'm thinking they'll be sticking around for awhile.
Zara high-heel slingback, $46, zara.com.
Classic tee with a twist
A classic white t-shirt will never go out of style—which is why my wardrobe is stocked with them. The latest one I want to add? This cute and cheeky option from a local Canadian brand.
Daddy’s Day Off Make Out Tee, $30, likelygeneral.com.
Say what you want about the Kardashians, but they have the perfectly tousled California-girl waves I'm after. Enter this new haircare line by their trusted hairstylist, Jen Atkin. I'm eyeing this texturizing spray to recreate their manes.
Ouai texturizing hair spray, $32, sephora.com.