The Trenchcoat: An Alternative Perspective

The Rake reveals the saucy side to the Trenchcoat…

What do you think of the trenchcoat? What visions of grandeur might its long and lofty history bring forth in your mind? Depictions of the ennobled British army officer perhaps, soldering on with his stiff up lip firmly in place or perhaps returning home from the front, world-wearied and jaded, or else the chastened film noir heartthrob wandering the streets with his fedora a-drenched in the pouring rain.

Of course, these rather romantic visions of trenchcoat clad heroes have their place – it’s no great secret that the trenchcoat’s origins are in the rubberised ‘mackintosh’ riding coats of the nineteenth century and that in the twentieth century, the trenchcoat was invented to buffer the British military against the demoralizing mire of the trenches during the Great War – and has remained a reliable, supportive garment to have in the wardrobe ever since. For this reason, it’s retained a rather aristocratic, elevated image as the serious overcoat of high society doyennes and high-flying Hollywood living, but what of the other less auspicious elements of the trenchcoat’s storied history – the side that’s seldom talked about?


April 2016


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