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  • Writer's pictureParisian Niche

The Trench Coat - Your Wardrobe - the Francais Way...


While your fashion forward mind might jump to London at the thought of a trench coat, it actually rains more in Paris than London annually, so you will definitely want to be stylishly equipped for the soggy elements. Together, we're putting together some great outfits and building blocks for packing your versatile capsule wardrobe. Having already explored blue jeans, Breton tops, Vichy patterns, and some great footwear, let's take a look at your outer pinning - the trench coat, the français way...


What we call the trench coat comes from a very humble, and yes, British, origin.

Thomas Burberry created this durable coat back in 1869, using a water-proof and wind-proof fabric, called gabardine.

As it gained popularity, British officers, fighting in World War One wore this coat in the trenches (hence, how we arrived at its moniker) as a lighter weight alternative to heavier serge fabric coats.

Originally designed with sturdy and utilitarian military accents like epaulettes, a throat latch, and a back rain shield, Burberry decided to keep these items and incorporate them into the iconic style we see worldwide today - especially on the streets of Paris...


It seems a big jump across La Manche (or the English Channel), but in reality, the trench was already becoming quite the chic outer pinning.

We can thank celebrities for taking this coat even more into the mainstream.

Who could forget Audrey Hepburn in her trench coat in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (designed and styled exclusively by French designer Hubert de Givenchy). Her trench coat look was both timeless and fashion forward at the same time.


On the European side of the pond, you can see here that Brigitte Bardot was helpful in bringing the trench coat to the limelight.

Looking equally as elegant and feminine as Audrey Hepburn, she has paired her trench coat with a quilted handbag, and kept her other items (knee high socks and a whimsical hair bow) monochromatically in black.

While obviously in the countryside for this photo, the coloring of traditional trench coats would fit in deliciously in Paris, playing decidedly well against the muted limestone architecture that the city is so well known and beloved for.

How to buy and style your own Parisian chic trench coat? Let's have some fun!


Shopping for a trench coat can be a bit overwhelming, and sometimes frustrating, given the many styles, colors, and price points. P'Niche gets it! Here are some tips for purchasing your best trench coat...

Silhouette: You will want to ensure that the shape of the trench suits your body type. A classic cut in a double breast with a belt in the center is universally flattering.

Overall Fit: You should ensure that:

· You have ease of movement (enough so, even when wearing a heavy sweater underneath).

· Shoulder seams should fall at the outermost edge of your natural shoulder tips.

· Buttons should not gape when closed.

· Back vents should like flatly at all times when coat is closed.


Length of the trench coat:

· Length of coat - a proper trench falls about 2 inches above your knee (and never longer than mid knee length).

· Sleeve length - sleeves should be no shorter than at your wrist bone, but no longer the thickest part of your thumb.

Material / Fabric of the trench coat:

· The material should be verified as water resistant. Treated nylons and cottons are well known as the most durable and long lasting.


Details: You should ensure that:

· Belt is well made and ties comfortably.

· Button placement should be consistent, well sewn, and placed.

· Pockets should be slanted in cut, well placed and roomy enough for hands.

· Does your coat include a removable lining? This can be very convenient.

· The color of your staple coat should be classic, seasonless, and timeless: khaki, navy, gray, or black.


Remembering that your trench will be used for three of the four seasons, it is best to keep your style monochromatic and minimalist for best effect.

This look is near absolute perfection.

Paired with entirely monochromatic look of black slim fit ankle pants, black sweater, black sunglasses, and a functional black cross body bag, her trench is able to be the star of the show.

The only thing P'Niche would add to make this look pop would be a signature red lip.


You all know by now that P'Niche is an avid devotee of the Breton top.

Clémence Poésy (most notably of Harry Potter fame, as she played Fleur de la Coeur) absolutely nails this casual look.

Layering a trench over a casual Breton top, a touchable hairstyle, and a leopard clutch, she looks so Parisian chic, that it is easy to understand why she has many followers who find personal inspiration from her style.

I myself would never have thought to pair a leopard clutch with Breton stripes. Fast forward to me pairing my own Breton stripe shirt with a leopard clutch the next time I put on my trench coat - je l'adore!


Remember when we said your trench coat would be so versatile, you'd wear it for three out of the four seasons?

This gorgeously monochromatic look is sure to get you more than one admiring glance as you breezily cross the many romantic bridges of Paris.

Styled over a silky and flowing maxi dress (of nearly the same color), this long length trench is warm, wonderful, and oh-so-glamorous!

Le sigh...


Naturally, the trench coat can be found on the stylish royals.

Kate looks royally chic here: buttoned up in a shorter length trench, covering up a mini dress or skirt, with opaque black tights (and matching black umbrella.) Her center belt cinches her waist perfectly.

Meghan has opted for a tip to toe monochromatic and neutral look in a buttonless trench. With simple hair and accessories, she looks quite put together as she takes on her royal duties.


Wherever this gent is going, we are following...

While this look seems thrown together, you can tell that thought was given to the fit of the tee and black jeans.

The simple and crisp white tee look easy breezy while set against slim fit pants and similarly toned footwear.

His trench (in a wonderfully unique olive greenish hue) really pops against the basic items he is sporting.

A casual daytime stroll along the Seine can look like anything but in this dashing ensemble!


After years of work from home, casual wear is truly enjoying a moment in the mainstream.

How comfy-cool is this look?

Again, this look is kept very streamlined in it's monochromatic scheme. Wearing a hoodie sweatshirt with black slim fit joggers, you can really see the quality in the gorgeous leather loafers.

Take notice of what he did here. Sweats, but with a top quality loafer and perfectly pressed trench. While he has a look of utter ease and comfort, the look still seems luxurious and well cared for. This is a guy we'd love to encounter while strolling the corridors of the Louvre! Sir, can you please help me find "Winged Victory?"...


Is your office not ready to embrace such a casual look in their day to day attire/dress code yet?

Fear not, you can still look ever so polished in a trench coat.

This dashing beau knows he looks fantastic and business / client meeting appropriate in his darker color business suit and tie (and slightly popped collar).

As you can see here, his elegance is not only in his trench, but his demeanor. Confident attitude is everything, fellas!

If P'Niche had to wager, we'd say he closed the deal...


When I am lucky enough to shop for a trench coat in Paris, I head to:

L'Appartement Sézane

1 Rue Saint-Fiacre, 75002

Métro: Grand Boulevards (Lines 8, 9)


124, rue de Courcelles, 75017

Métro: Courcelles (Line 2)

Not in Paris? Pas de problème! Check out these non-sponsored sites:

What do you think P'Nicher's - how are you styling your trench coat and what was your fave look from this mini look-book? Looking forward to hearing in the comments et à bientôt!


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