How To Wear A Trench

It’s fall and time to explore a closet staple, the trench coat. I thought it was simple but then I saw all these mechanics. Single-breasted or double? Short or long? And what’s with all these straps? I’ve done a little research to help deconstruct the chemistry of the trench coat.

Single or Double Breasted

Trench coats come with two types of closures. Single breasted with the normal button up and double breasted with the two button up. Most trench coats are double breasted. The double breasted look came from the uniforms of British sailors to provide double protection from the wind, regardless of the direction it blew. The British military also adopted the double-breasted look eventually.

The prettiest looks, in my opinion, are double breasted. There’s a small problem. I’m a bit busty.Double-breasted coats and jackets are harder to fasten on busty girls. They don’t look right if they’re left open…what’s the point?

It’s with a heavy heart that I say, us busty girls should stick with single breasted for the sleekest look. I did some searching and I found some single breasted jackets that’ll stop traffic.

Single Breasted Trench Look


Short, Medium, or Long?

Short trenches stop at the hips. These are best for short, small framed women because it’ll add the height they need. Curvy women should steer clear because it may hug them in the wrong places.

Short jackets are best for milder climates.

Medium or 3/4 length coats fall at mid-length, just as the name hints. They are best for petite women who are looking for more warmth. They are longer without being overwhelming.

Single Breasted Trench Look 2


Longer coats are best for tall women, maybe 5”7 and above. Short women with long coats will only get swallowed up. I’m from Cleveland so I know what it’s like in a brutal winter. I’m also 5”3. I’m not saying that us short girls should have cold legs. I personally am not a fan of long coats. I’ve gotten through winters by wearing pants with leggings or skirts with fleece tights.

For tall girls who can wear long coats, try belted waists or ones that flair out to create a better shape.


Trench coats come in all kinds of colors. Your wardrobe should have at least a black or tan trench coat to complete your classic pieces.

Different Trench Coats


These colors will go with any color scheme of your outfit. Fun colors can come after you’ve gotten either one, or both of these basic colors. Some fun colors to look for are:

White: I have a white shiny coat and I absolutely love it. It reminds me of a mod style of the ‘60s. One thing about a white trench is that it’s a color that doesn’t like company. Meaning, it works best with an all black outfit so it will shine on it’s own. If you’re willing to try it with other neutral colors, stick with no more than one other color.

Red: Such a bright color like red looks best with subtle colors underneath. Try grey or navy outfits in addition to black.

Blue: Blue comes in many different shades. You can have some fun with this color by mixing different shades of blue to create a popped outfit. Try navy and red or blue and white.

Wearing Your Trench

Okay, so you’ve found a coat in the color you want, with the right closure and length. How can you wear it so it looks the most flattering?

Different Trench Coats 2


A few tips as you style:

Make sure your skirt is shorter than your trench. Nothing ruins your sleek lines and flattering silhouette like a skirt sticking out the bottom of your coat.
Slim fitting pants look best under a trench. The bulkiness of the coat won’t look right with a bulky pant.
A trench coat is a classy piece, so it looks best with other classy pieces in your wardrobe. (think white button up tee, pencil skirts, slim pants, etc.) sportier pieces don’t match well with a trench.