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Trench Coats

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

A sharp, classic look that can complement any womanís wardrobe, trench coats come in a wide variety of styles. Long, short, belted, or unbelted we take a closer look at this very functional piece of outerwear.

The Basics

  • Prices vary greatly, from high-end designers that cost thousands, to more economical versions under two hundred dollars.

  • To protect against the elements, look for a trench coat that has been treated to repel water.

  • The flap at shoulder level that goes across the back is designed to act as a rain fly to help keep your shoulders dry.

  • A storm flap, which buttons across the chest, helps keep you warm and dry in windy, wet weather.

  • Cuffs that cinch tightly provide added protection from the elements.

  • A removable lining is a nice feature that makes the coat versatile across seasons.

  • The length you choose should suit your wardrobe. Look for one an inch or two longer than most of your skirts to keep your clothes dry, and to keep onlookers guessing at what’s beneath!

  • Make sure the arm-length is long enough: the cuffs should hit at about your wrist bone, and when you raise your arms over your head the sleeves shouldn’t ride up too far.

  • What’s in one season will quite likely be out the next. Though trendy prints are tempting, a classic style in a neutral colour like beige, navy or black is your most versatile choice.

TEST CRITERIA

We tested these four brands of trench coats for fashion and function:

  • Jones New York: $112
  • GAP: $128
  • Hilary Radley: $350
  • Burberry: $1,118

Style Test

  • The Burberry coat was in class all on its own – as was the price. We loved it but just wouldn’t pay that much.

  • The Hilary Radley lacked style and

  • The Gap coat looked good and was affordable.

Function Test

  • The coats with the water repellent treatment (Jones New York, Hilary Radley, and Burberry) really did keep us drier.

  • The Jones New York wasn’t very warm.

  • The GAP coat kept us warm, though it wasn’t water resistant.

OUR TOP PICK

The GAP jacket covered all our bases: it looked good, kept us warm, and was very affordable. And even though it wasn’t really water resistant, we can pair it with a fun umbrella!

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