Singing in the Rain: A Storied History of the Timeless Trench Coat

singing in the rain

The one thing that cold weather does is present the opportunity to explore your coat collection. When considering fashion, some people fail to consider the outer garments, or at the very least, fail to give outer garments an appropriate amount of attention. Coats come in all types of styles and colors – allowing you to make some powerful fashion statements. One coat that is both – a classic and modern staple – is the trench. The trench coat has so many variations is style, length and color that it is probably the most versatile coat in the fashion world.

 

Everything has a beginning and this means that everything has a history. This article will examine the origin and history of the trench – exploring some of the changes as the style has evolved. Maybe you will see why so many people will be sporting macs during the colder months.

 

Gabardine

 

The trench coat’s popularity is widely due to its versatility and functionality – being an ideal layer garment for transitional weather. According to College Fashion, Thomas Burberry created gabardine, the original fabric used in trench coats. Gabardine was water resistant, highly durable and almost impossible to crease. Despite being virtually waterproof, gabardine was porous enough to allow breathing, making it as comfortable as it was functional.

 

The Origin of the Trench

 

As far as the trench is concerned, there is some considerable debate as to who invented the design. Burberry and Aquascutum have placed their claim to the original design. Burberry’s claim is based on the design that Thomas Burberry submitted in 1901, originally intended as an officer’s raincoat. In contrast, Aquascutum makes claim that they created the design a half-century earlier for officers of the Crimean war.

 

This is a debate that may not ever be officially settled, but one thing is certain, this design has had an immense impact on fashion. Both Burberry and Aquascutum manufactured trench coats in mass quantities for both world wars. This coat was ideal for the conditions experience during these conflicts. It had the capability of keeping the soldiers warm, it was extremely durable, and the pocket space provided the necessary space for the essentials that the officers needed on their person. According to OldMagazineArticles.com, an article in 1917 revealed that the demand for trench coats was so highly in demand – for military personnel and civilians as well – that it was difficult to meet those demands.

 

A Timeless Classic

 

There are certain fashion pieces that earn the title of classic. What this normally means is that the piece transcends time. The trench coat definitely falls into that category. Over the years, the trench has experienced somewhat of an evolution, as each era has stamped their own touches to the design; however, it is still unquestionably recognizable.

 

Practicality and Functionality

 

According to the Gentleman’s Gazette, the trench coat was not a garment born from a sense of fashion; its invention and progressive development was the result of practicality and necessity. If the trench has to be placed into one category – which is quite difficult – it would more than likely be considered a rain coat.

 

The design and functionality of the trench creates the perfect fashion storm. Cold and clement weather does not have to mean the end of fashion. The trench brings an aura of style and class while providing the warmth and comfort that is necessary.

 

There may be an ongoing debates as to the true origin of the trench coat, Aquascutum has some strong arguments, and so does Burberry, but there is no debating the popularity and effectiveness associated with this versatile fashion piece. Although fashion was not an initial concern when this design was created, the design has definitely impacted fashion in a major way for decades.

 

From its appearance in classic movies such as Casablanca to more modern day spy movies, the trench has taken center stage and dominated every scene. If you want a style that is safe, you can always go with a trench. You can dress it down or up effortlessly. This is one garment that has placed its stamp indelibly on the fashion world.

 

Megan Barnes researches historic fashion. She enjoys tracking the origins and trends of particular pieces on style and fashion blogs.

 

Brought to you by Fashionable Media

 

How To Wear The Bomber Vest

I love wearing vests in the Fall before it gets too cold to go without sleeves. My favorite is the bomber vest.

You can bomber vests in almost every store this year. The prices range from around $20 up to $2,000 if you want to get real fancy! There is a huge difference in styles too.

I personally prefer the leather look like this Goode Rider Ladies Bomber Vest. It’s the perfect warm and cozy layer with versatile style! Perfect for the chilly fall days, this stylish vest can be worn with anything from your favorite jeans to a dress for an evening out.

goode rider bomber vest

This faux leather vest has a soft shearling fleece lining, zips down the front, has a ribbed hem, leather tabs, and front zip pockets with leather tabs.

Retails: $119

Get It: gooderider.com

 

HOW TO WEAR THE BOMBER VEST

 

Bomber Vest Weekend Outfit


 

Bomber Vest Night Out Outfit


 

Bomber vest with Sweater & Jeans Outfit


 

What style vest is your favorite for Fall? What kind of outfit would you wear a vest with?

I received a vest from Goode Rider in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own and I did not receive compensation for writing this post. 

FOUND: Best Sweatshirt on The Planet

I recently learned about the brand American Giant and I just had to share with you ladies! They have designed and produced the best sweatshirt on the planet. No joke.

American Giant is a San Francisco based apparel company that has taken the apparel world by storm through their strong commitment to making the absolute highest quality products that are both fairly priced and made right here in the USA. Their wide selection of quality products are sold strictly online with free shipping and free returns.

Last December their sweatshirt was named the greatest hoodie in the world, and they’ve been sold out ever since!

For the last several months, the design team and founder of the company have been working hard at conceptualizing and building a line of women’s premium basics that are both sexy, versatile, soft, and modern. Because of their innovation and attention to detail, their pieces are capable of being paired with both yoga pants or a pair of jeans and stilettos. These are the kind of pieces that will age beautifully and last forever. (They seriously come with a lifetime guarantee on all their products. Can’t get THAT at Walmart!)

best sweatshirt on the planet

I was lucky enough to receive the Womens Heavyweight Full Zip Hooded Sweatshirt in Phantom Grey to review. I got a size small and it’s a little roomy on me being that I’m 5’2″ and 110lbs. Personally I like how it fits but had I wanted a more slim, figure-flattering fit I would have gone for the XS and I’m sure it would have been perfect.

As soon as it’s not a million degrees with 90% humidity and I can actually stand wearing anything other than my birthday suit, I will snap a pic and show you how well this sweatshirt fits me.

I am amazed by the high quality of the construction and fit. The heavy-weight material will definitely stand the test of time but it’s amazingly soft inside so it feels great against bare skin. I will never have to buy another sweatshirt for the rest of my life! This is definitely the best sweatshirt on the planet. I’m so glad I found it!

Click here to check out the hoodie I love and visit www.american-giant.com to find your own!

(Also, check out their women’s 4th of July Tee for $24.50)

American Giant provided me with the product for this review/post.
My thoughts and opinions are my own, regardless of monetary compensation.
My opinion is that American Giant’s sweatshirts are awesome.

Bundle Up For Winter with Lands’ End

We received a pair of black Lands’ End Squall Snow Pants in the bib-overall style to review. We didn’t have any snow here for the last month, but it finally decided to look like winter today!

Lands’ End quality snow pants are guaranteed to keep kids dry and warm all winter long. Not only are they made with a new waterproof and windproof material, but they are also built with double the durability at the knees and seat. Genius!

Before sending my 5 year old daughter out to play in her new snow pants, I inspected them pretty closely and was MORE than impressed… To say I was baffled, would be an understatement. Not only did I grow up in a consignment/retail store that my mother owned and managed, but I have extensive experience with kids clothing, and have two children myself. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert, but pretty darn close! Let me tell you, I have never seen such high quality snow pants made with such an attention to detail. I can already tell we are going to have these things for a LONG TIME.

I chose them in black for several reasons. Most colors will stain, but black usually stays looking pretty great even if you give it a good beating. It’s also a gender neutral color. My daughter can wear these snowpants for the next 2 or 3 seasons and then pass them down to my son who can wear them for a few seasons as well. I can tell that these snow pants could easily outlast both my two kids and still be able to be consigned when we’re done with them. The reinforced seat and knees make these near indestructible! They also have cool features like a hidden seam inside each leg which allows you to easily “let them down”, making them one size bigger and able to be used for one season longer!

You definitely get your money’s worth with the Squall Snow Pants. They come in two styles — snow pants and snow bibs. Best of all, they are extremely affordable, ranging from $59-$69. If you’re thinking that’s out of your budget, think about how many years you can use these pants for – especially the bib-overall style ones. The adjustable straps can be let down to make them longer and the hidden hem inside each leg can be let down for even more length. Unless your child grows more than 2 sizes in a year, these snow pants could easily last you at least 3 seasons, making them well worth their price. That’s roughly $20 a year!

All in all, I’m extremely impressed with these snow pants and would recommend them over any other brand of Children’s snow pants I’ve encountered.

Lands’ End’s new waterproof Squall Snow Pants are offered in a variety of sizes and colors. You might have a hard time choosing! Get them online at www.LandsEnd.com and in Sears stores across the country.

Lands’ End provided me with the snowpants for this review/post.
My thoughts and opinions are my own, regardless of monetary compensation.
My opinion is that Lands’ End is awesome.

Day 1 of 12 Days of Style – BB Dakota Coat

Christmas is almost here and yet I don’t quite feel like I’m in the “holiday spirit” yet. I’ve been playing Christmas music, baking cookies, anything to get me out of this slump. It’s not working. So I’m going to try something desperate here… 12 Days of Style!

For the next 12 days I’m going to try wearing something something fun, trendy or out of the ordinary! Here is Day 1…

When I saw this coat on Shopbop.com I knew I had to have it… It’s totally my style! The BB Dakota Arlet Colorblock Pattern Coat is a mix of geometric patterns and bold stripes that liven up this earth-tone jacket. I adore the toggle closures and a faux fur-trimmed hood. The cutest detail? A drawstring gathered hem, which subtly lengthens along the split back.

It says in the description for the coat “Lined.” but was specific about where, so I assumed that meant the coat was lined. Well, it is not. Only the hood is lined. At first I was disappointed… they could have at least lined it with a slippery material to make it easier to put on top of sweaters. I’m getting used to it though and I really don’t mind it.

The coat is incredibly warm, despite it’s lack of lining. It has enough wool so that when I wore this with a longsleeve shirt and a cotton blend sweater underneath in 20 degree weather and I was not cold! Okay, my legs were freezing, but my upper half was kept quite warm by this jacket. I LOVE IT!

It runs true to size. I got an XS (I’m 5’2″ 105lbs) and it’s comfortable over a fitted sweater. Would not fit over a bulky sweater so if that’s how you would plan to wear it, then you might want to go up one size. I definitely recommend this jacket though!

If you want this jacket for yourself, consider entering our Shopbop.com Giveaway for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card for Shopbop.com!(Giveaway ends Dec 28, 2012)

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Foul Weather Fashion Conundrum

Taking a break from frantic holiday shopping I find myself in yet another fashion conundrum.  Exhibit A:  Hunter Wellies.  The ultimate in practical, sloppy weather footwer, and available in a rainbow of colors to suit your climate or your mood or your outerwear.

Image courtesy of poshglam.com

Exhibit B:  Hunter’s Gabby Lace-Up High Heel Boots.  The not so practical (ergo the high heel) solution for sloppy weather.

Gabby Lace-Up High Heel Boots $195 at Shopbop

I just can’t see reaching for this when the puddles get deep and the roads get slick.  On the other hand, I have spent many a happy snowy day in my Hunter Wellies, provided I’m wearing the fuzzy liners to keep the frost at bay.  Not to mention that these Gabby Lace-Ups are kind of fugly.  They seem to work a bit better in black with a taller cut:

Part of me screams “NO WAY!”, but the part that loves heels and has several pairs of wedge and stacked heel winter “dress” boots says “WHY NOT?”  So I’m going to put this one out there to you, our Fashionable audience:  Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down on Hunter Wellies with Heels?  Leave us a comment and tell us what you think…

 

Fingerless Gloves for Frosty Mornings

Late fall can be a tricky time to get dressed, what with snow showers before Halloween in some parts, followed by balmy sunny days with temps in the 60s.  When I drove my kids to school today, it was 35 degrees with ice on the windhshield…now it’s in the upper 50s, and with the sun shining down it feels almost warm.  Fingerless gloves can be a great wardrobe accessory this time of year, giving you that extra layer of warmth without the full-on protection that a mitten offers.   As an added benefit, you can even text and use your smart phone while keeping your hands toasty warm!

Here is a selection of some of my favorite fingerless gloves:

Cashmere fingerless gloves from Garnet Hill, $38.00

I love the added length of these cashmere beauties from Garnet Hill.  The mid arm length gives you some extra styling options, and if you add some chunky wrap bracelets on the outside of the glove, you can make a great (and warm!) fashion statement.

If you want something with a bit more heft to it, these sherpa fingerless gloves from Free People look like they will go the full winter distance.

Sherpa Fingerless Gloves from Free People, $158.00

At a more reasonable price point, check out the similar style from Steve Madden:

Steve Madden Aviator Shearling Gloves, $28.00 at Zappos.com

And for those really nippy days when you just want to stay in bed but can’t, this convertible fingerless glove from Michael Kors can make you fell tucked in when you need to!

Michael Kors convertible fingerless gloves, $48.00 at Nordstroms