You might think of a trench coat as too fancy for everyday wear, but it actually has more rough-and-tumble origins. Developed as an alternative to the heavy coats issued by the British Army in WWI, trench coats were made for guys who were literally in the trenches during inclement weather. The belts and loops that you might deem too precious were actually there to hold maps and other tools of war (it’s rumored that the coat’s rings were meant to hold hand grenades). During WWII and beyond, though, shorter field jackets became more popular and trench coats morphed into business wear for civilians.
But you’ve resisted a trench coat in favor of a pea coat all these years mainly because the length is a bit scary to you and you’re also afraid of looking like Inspector Gadget. Consider it again. The trench coat’s longer length will keep you warm and dry, and the coat is a classic that will never go out of style. Check out 12 of our favorites.
ASOS Tobacco Trench Coat
Perhaps the most Inspector Gadget-y trench coat on the list (just because of its color), this Tobacco Trench Coat from ASOS is a classic, and at under $150, you won’t be able to find a better one for less. Wear it belted on rainy days or wear it open on dry days.
Top Man Black Belted Trench Coat
Top Man has all of the classic basics you’ll need to build a solid wardrobe that will stand the test of time, and this Black Belted Trench Coat certainly falls into that category. Made out of a premium wool-blend (there’s even cashmere in there somewhere!), this all-black coat will look good on the way to a business meeting and help dress up your weekend wear, even if you’re just sporting jeans and a t-shirt underneath.
Cole Haan ZeroGrand Trench Coat
Cole Haan’s ZeroGrand Trench Coat is half parka, half trench, but we’re not complaining. Filled with ThermalQ Elite insulation, it’ll keep you warm while the waterproof shell fabric will keep you dry. The coat also has a hood, which is not something you typically find on a traditional trench, but who cares about tradition when you’re caught in a rainstorm? Nobody.
Nau Copenhagen Recycled Down Trench Coat
Another parka/trench hybrid, Nau’s Copenhagen Recycled Down Trench Coat is insulated with recycled down to keep you warm, while the shell (available in black or gray) is completely waterproof. The coat sports a slim profile so you’ll be warm and dry without looking bulky, and has a removable hood for days with especially crappy weather.
J. Crew Portsmouth Trench Coat
You can always count on J. Crew to come up with stylish updates on American classics, and the Portsmouth Trench Coat is one of them. Crafted out of waterproof fabric from the Olmetex mill in Italy, the jacket sports a slim profile, has multiple pockets, and will look just as good with a suit as it will with an old pair of jeans and pullover sweater.
Baracuta G10 Modern Classic Trench Coat
Baracuta was established in 1937 in Manchester, England, and ever since then, they’ve been making high-quality, all-weather apparel like this G10 Modern Classic Trench Coat. The G10 is a replica of a coat the brand made in the 1960s, but its simple silhouette looks decidedly modern. Available in navy blue, gray, and army green, the jacket is crafted out of breathable, laminated cotton to keep you dry without making you sweat.
Jack Spade Bonded Trench Coat
Jack Spade’s single-breasted Bonded Trench Coat doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles (it’s also not belted like classic trench coats are), but that’s a good thing in this scenario. The coat has taped seams for extra protection against the elements, ventilation eyelets to ensure breathability, and is available in khaki and olive.
Outerknown Crossing Coat
Outerknown is a brand that was recently launched by World Surf League Champion Kelly Slater, and this Crossing Coat is one of its best offerings. Crafted from regenerated Italian wool, the coat has a subtle houndstooth pattern in classic charcoal gray. Two deep pockets at the waist will store valuables or keep your hands warm, and the hidden button closure affords you a low-profile look.
Sandro Double-Breasted Trench Coat
French brand Sandro has been creating fashionable apparel since the ‘80s, and this Double-Breasted Trench Coat is one of their best offerings. As true to the classic trench coat as possible, the khaki-colored jacket features a six button closure, belted waist and cuffs, and a flannel-patterned lining for extra flair.
Aether Polar Trench Coat
Another trench/parka hyrid, this Polar Trench Coat from LA-based Aether is made not only for rainy days, but for the bitter cold days that bring snow and ice into our lives. Insulated with 80 grams of PrimaLoft GOLD, the coat (available in gray, black, and navy) will keep you warm while the design features like an interior phone pocket will keep you organized while on-the-go. A bonus for business guys—the coat was designed specifically for people wearing suit coats and blazers, so the shoulders are roomy.
Brooks Brothers Single-Breasted Trench Coat
Brooks Brothers is a trusted go-to resource for any business wear, so it’s no surprise that they’d have a high-quality trench coat on offer. What will surprise you is the color of this Single-Breasted Trench Coat, which is a dark, emerald green. It takes a bold man to wear this, but think about how much you’ll stand out in a sea of blacks and grays and navys. Go for it, dude.
Burberry London Kensington Trench Coat
Nearly $2,000 might seem like a ton of cash to drop on a rain jacket, but its Burberry, which means it’s made and designed to last. Sporting a classic cut with a belted waist and cuffs, this is a jacket you’ll be wearing on rainy days for the rest of your life.