The Trench - Uniform For The City by Leanne Cloudsdale

When we think about garments that work, of wardrobe classics that never seem to veer off track, then the trench coat is most definitely a significant player. Timeless and sophisticated, it suits everyone – regardless of shape or size, which is hardly surprising, given its origins. The clue lies in the name, dubbed after being sported by army officers during the Boar and First World Wars; it kept the senior ranks warm and dry during trench warfare, protecting them from the elements whilst simultaneously ensuring they looked both smart and presentable.

The two major fashion houses who claim to have invented the trench are still in operation today, and the battle for the trademark of this garment’s design continues. Thomas Burberry claims to have pipped Aquascutum to the post with his 1850s model, which then went on to be manufactured using his own patented Gaberdine fabric, a tightly woven twill cloth renowned for its durability and water repelling properties. Cut to 1940s Hollywood, and silver screen heavyweights such as Humphrey Bogart were soon slipping into army surplus versions, with his role in Across the Pacific catapulting military uniform onto the realms of mainstream culture and into the wardrobes of both men and women.

Steeped in history, the trench coat will probably always be part of the fashion landscape, a perennial, unwavering favourite, its appeal is enduring. Cut to skim the body and anchoring perfectly at the shoulders, it is outerwear at its very best. Engineered to effortlessly enhance any outfit, the Hopper Peached Drill Trench comes with throat latch detailing and flap pockets in an authentically muted cotton Khaki. With ceremonial double breasted opening, it is the ideal component for a modular wardrobe, and can be thrown over almost anything to create a clean, calm and serious silhouette.

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Leanne Cloudsdale is a writer, lecturer and creative consultant.