The trenchcoat originated as outerwear made for army officers in WWI (hence, trenches
), but its sartorial prowess was so obvious that it quickly became a fashion staple. Those D-rings, deep pockets, and back flaps might have had practical uses for leading troops, but various style communities including punks, preps, businessmen, mods, and beats (not to mention those intent on not wearing anything
— streakers) have adopted the trench as part of their uniform.
And you, too; the trench is as essential to your wardrobe as jeans or a gray sweatshirt. It's part and parcel of your cooler-weather look, and you've literally got to wear yours when temperatures dip. It goes with your work clothes, your play clothes, your date clothes, and your grocery clothes — it's endlessly versatile and enduring. In short: You're going to have this baby for a long, long time, so you better make it count. Here are five style savants to show you how it's done.
Photographed by Melodie Jeng