Coats/Jackets/Blazers

How to Choose the Right Trench Coat

Hi Deborah,

I am looking for a lightweight, warm weather trench that I can wear in spring and when traveling. Is there anything new in Trench Coats?

What color of trenchcoat should I buy?– blue, pink, green?  What about a patterned trench? Or, would I be better off with a demure tan, or bone colored trench, or some neutral color? What do you think?

Thanks, Linda

Hi Linda,

Neutral is safe, and you can always add a colorful scarf, but safe can be boring. It sounds like you are leaning towards color so why not buy a colorful trench coat (or bright jacket) to make a statement as you walk into any room?

Colored trenches look hip and will perk up your face.  Patterns are trickier. They go out of style quicker. I’d only buy a patterned one if you already have a good solid colored one, or you have no budget concerns.

Blue and pink are this year’s top colors. Relaxed trench coats that are softer and a little less structured are also the trend. Here are a few things to consider when buying the perfect trench.

How do you know which trench coat is right for your body type?

  • Petite? – Avoid wearing a  long trench coat that hits below the knee because it will drown you.
  • Big busted? Stay clear of double-breasted trench coats and wide lapels. They will only create more bulk up top.
  • To look classy and current after 40– Balance a bright trench a touch by pairing it with a neutral color underneath like white, black, navy, tan, etc.
  • Three-quarter length sleeved trench coats or trenches with sleeves you can roll up look sporty and youthful.
  • Don’t be afraid to spend a bit more on a good trench coat that fits you to a “T.” A trench coat is a classic piece and will last you a long time, so it is worth the investment.

Will you buy a trench coat this spring?  Check out how great my reader Sue looks in a tangerine trench coat that goes perfectly with her coloring.

Join the Conversation

25 thoughts on “How to Choose the Right Trench Coat

  1. The blue trench coat from Amazon featured above is very good quality. I purchased it in the fall and have been very pleased with it. It is waterproof as well.

  2. I found an adorable trench coat with the perfect shape for my body type and simply love the cut! I wanted a tan color but the shade is too kicky for my blond hair and skin tone. Would the black seem to harsh to wear at 65?

    1. Hi Anna,
      Black can look harsh, but some gals can pull it off. If you find black drains you or highlights dark circles, then navy is a great alternative. It’s a little fresher and livelier. Your mirror will tell you!
      Cheers, Deborah

  3. I have 4 short trench coats, 2 beige, one black, one deep purple, all with sexy silk linings in zebra and leopard prints. Especially love the purple, my favorite color. When I don’t want to tie the belt around my waist, I loop them in the back. I’ve done this for years.

  4. I love the colorful trench coats. I have been seeing more of the nature-friendly color -green lately so this rainbow combination is a surprise for me. I might buy my own trench coat this coming week, so the tips on choosing coats will help a lot!

  5. How many of you have a trench coat? It is one item that you don’t have to replace very often but want to make sure that the one you have is updated! You all have been sending in some great tips!

  6. The trench coat style jacket is a staple item. They can be worn casual or dressed up. I have purchased a few different styles at my local Marshall’s. Marshall’s carries a variety of designer jackets at a discounted price. In coming months those same jackets will be even at a deeper discount when they go on clearance.

  7. Hi everyone, how you feel to see the blog. I want to share the own idea about the blog. Seeing the blog, i want to buy the pink color of the trench . Really i love it and give a gift to the friends.
    Seriously, i love your work looking through your blog. I send to you love, strength for giving the valuable information .
    Thanking you.

  8. I also love the bright colors for spring. I have a basic color wardrobe and add color with accessories, jewelry, shoes and yes the occasional bright colored coat. I live in Boston so a blast cf color during late winter early spring here in the North East is just what the doctor ordered.

  9. I love the idea of bright colors, but I do tire of them quickly. I like brights for accents — and prefer neutrals for key investment items. I have a black trench (just above knee length) that I’ve enjoyed for a couple of years. I also own a classic beige trench — which I’ve had even longer and never regretted the splurge. To add trendy bright colors, I love buying colorful scarves and tops.

    1. Good point Cindy, however I bought a bright orange trench over 10 years ago and have never tired of it! Because I don’t wear it that often, when I do put it on it always brightens my day!

  10. I found a really great bright yellow trench at Target a few weeks ago. I had stopped in there with my friend who is in her mid 60’s (I’m in my early 60’s). She convinced me that I should get it, and it really didn’t take much convincing. My only regret is that it is so hot where I live that I won’t get to wear it as often as I’d like. There was also a red one, which doesn’t look good on me but would work wonders for a lot of over 40’s.

    1. Hi Emily,
      Good for you for grabbing that yellow coat! You are right about red,it can be a tricky color to wear. Many of us are dying our hair these days and it can become brassy and make trying to wear red tricky.

  11. I tried on the white house blak market trench on sale for around 80.00. It was really cute – short, black with creamy white piping. It ran very small in the bust – or i would have got it. Super cute if you can make it work for you.

    1. Hi Cathy, We are SO proud of you for having the restraint to NOT buy this coat because of fit! It sounds like it was adorable, but you are always better off not getting things if you are not 100% happy with it. Thanks for sharing your story! Way to be a savvy shopper!!

  12. My 17 year old daughter picked out the cutest pink and white trench coat for me. She said it looked great on me and not too young. I am not a fan of the belt either. My trench has a nice cut and fit so I just took off the belt and removed the loops.

    1. Hi Paula, You are going to love, love, love your white trench! Yes, taking the belt off can help or if you ever feel like you need one, because you took the loops off you can always add a real leather belt!

  13. I just went and picked myself up the pink one at TJ Maxx for $40. While there, I saw one that had NO belt, just a straight cut. So keep looking, ladies.

  14. I love the look of trench coats but am always at a loss on what to do with the belt! Your tips for selecting a trench are great and the colors shown are so fun! I love the Mackage coat that Nicole posted the link for.

  15. As a size 14 to 16 forty something, I am finding it hard to find a trench that suits me. Preferably, I would prefer one without a belt because the belt makes my hips look too Wide. If anyone has any suggestions, (apart from a diet) don’t hesitate to let me know! :)

  16. I love trenchcoats. They really pull an outfit together. You can weather with skinny jeans/flats and my work wardrobe. I have a black one and a light blue. Love them both!Thanks for the post!

  17. “Don’t be afraid to spend a bit more on a good trench that fits you to a “T”. A trench coat is a classic piece and will last you a long time, so it is worth the investment.”

    But isn’t a trench in a bright color “trendy” simply because of the color? Won’t it seem too 2012 a few years down the road? (I think the colors are marvelous, btw!)