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Here is looking at you, Trench Coat!

Trench coat - Kimara Dixon
Happy in my trench coat. Photo by Kimara Dixon.

Trench coats are one of my more unique passions. Why and how that passion started is a bit of a mystery.

Perhaps watching so many French films – by Éric Rohmer, Jean-Luc Godard, Agnes Varda, Jacques Rivette – during my college days had something to do with it. For me, they have that quintessential French “Je ne sais quoi.” Films with great dialogues are an addiction for me. One that I treasure endlessly, and can rewatch over and over again. Thinking back, Bogie also had a great trench coat in Casablanca! And who could ever forget Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly and her iconic beige trench coat that has been immortalized by Breakfast at Tiffany’s in the final scene?

Trench coat with bookcase in the background
Tijana. And books – always a happy space. Photo by Kimara Dixon.


Trench Coat
Tijana. Photo By Kimara Dixon.


History of the Trench Coat

However, the credit for the trench coats invention belongs completely to the British.

The invention of the trench coat is claimed by two British luxury clothing manufacturers, Burberry and Aquascutum, with Aquascutum’s claim dating back to the 1850s. Thomas Burberry invented gabardine fabric in 1879 and submitted a design for an Army officer’s raincoat to the United Kingdom War Office in 1901.

Trench Coat
Tijana. Photo by Kimara Dixon.

Trench Coat in Movies

No other piece of outerwear has been so heavily utilized on-screen. From providing film noir’s detectives with their uniform of choice to giving Holly Golightly her raincoat for that climatic downpour kiss, the trench is the multipurpose piece wardrobe departments have reached for since the golden age of cinema.

Bogart delivering the classic “here’s looking at you, kid” line wouldn’t be quite the same had he been sporting a parka, now, would it?

– Vogue, on the Trenchcoat’s greatest moments on film.

Blue Trench Coat
Blue Trench. Photo by Kimara Dixon.

Furthermore, read about the interesting history of the trench coat by Smithsonian. There is so many interesting information about this iconic item. Ready for a fall?

10 comments

  • Bea

    This is such an interesting story, and I love the images. Where is the black trench coat from? Which designer?

    What a lovely blog!

    • zestandcuriosity (author)

      Thank you for your kind comment! Yes, it is fascinating to know history of the item. The black trenchcoat is from MaxMara. I love their timeless fashion.

  • Andrej

    A lovely homage to trench coats – and suitably lovely images as well! Nice piece of history there, as well.

    My personal stylistic weakness are waistcoats and blazers, I tend to have a lot of those. Though autumn and winter coats I enjoy wearing too.

    • zestandcuriosity (author)

      Thank you, again. I do have trench coat addiction, and as you said, history is quite fascinating. And how some garment, and its design and use, evolves over time.

      It is nice that you have your passions, whatever makes you feel good! that is so wonderful. Isn’t it interesting how we gravitate towards certain things? Or people? It is so unique to each individual. And all of that combined, our experiences, people we are surrounded with, our natural affinities and curiosities, make each one of us so unique. I am endlessly mesmerized with that.

      • Andrej

        That’s a beautiful way of putting it and a great outlook on life. And yes, there is something innately satisfying and, well…comforting, if you want, about fashion appreciation, about having a certain aesthetical addiction. And how it can develop all of a sudden, without prior notice.

        • zestandcuriosity (author)

          That is true. When something brings us joy, we want more of it. Of course, people the most important part of our lives, ant those relationships impacts us the most. And, so many other experiences or things can bring us happiness. In fashion, key point is the personal expression, and than the beauty of some garments, or even more importantly how it makes us feel. I always loved when people are free in expressing of who they are – in so many ways. I love that we are all so different.

          • Andrej

            In regards to fashion and general trends in clothing, I often find myself yearning for “more aesthetically pleasing” times (again, a very different thing for different people) such as 1940s or 1905s, when I believe people were regaining their sense of class and elegance with so much more ease than they do today, on a wider scale. With that said, there is truth in what you said about today’s individuality of expression. If you like, you can dress a Fred Astaire, even become part of the cult following of people who are into vintage style. Or if you want you can go in totally opposite direction. As time goes by and options proliferate, it’s a sad affair when, on a global scale, one particular (most recent, current) style dominates all others with so many choices available.

          • zestandcuriosity (author)

            What fascinates me even more that we have so many mass produced clothes that are ill fitted or unremarkable – and yet someone needs to create that as well. I could never understand that. Yet, there is a market for everything. That makes me think. Maybe it is good, so each person can express itself. Maybe we need all that spectrum of choices and possibilities. Whatever we do, instinctively we prefer what makes us feel good, either people, experiences, art, food, profession, or garments we wear. To some people some things are more important than other. Some people settle, some people don’t care, some care a lot.life is fascinating in so many ways. Yet, we always gravitate towards person as whole, with endless combinations of possibilities and expressions that person has.

  • Andrej

    I agree, Tijana. The question of supply and demand has always been an interesting one. Because, how is “demand” created? Does it come first or is it created by the supply, by what fashion industry (or any other industry for that matter) makes available to us? I guess same can be transposed to interpersonal relations, as you so succinctly suggested already. And it’s true – people settle for things. Sometimes too easily.

    • zestandcuriosity (author)

      I have enjoyed in this whole correspondence and you asked also and excellent questions. How do we create demand? by many ways, personal preferences, marketing, recommendations, and so on….. ot is endlessly fascinating.

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