Fashion Comments

Spring Fashion Trends: Trench Dressing 101

Written by: Emma Simpson

Spring has arrived! For New Yorkers, it’s a much anticipated blessing – the perfect combination of gentle sunlight and soft breezes.

Alas – due to it’s late arrival, the opportunity to wear a light coat has been minimised to about three weeks.  Stylishly late apropos, I  confess to being one of those not-so-punctual creative types who lives for the versatility of Spring dressing.  Frankly I’m thrilled by the challenge of having only a short window to whip out my collection spring coat. It’s motivated me to build out new looks rather than stick to the uniform I have subconsciously constructed throughout the dirge of a long winter.

I admit that I’m the sort to work better with boundaries – and thus – Mother Nature’s delay might just be the saviour to my plight, a burgeoning lack of style inspiration.

My Hall of Fame nominee for best spring coat is none other than the beloved Trench. This hero piece is a timeless basic, yet this season it’s being reimagined in surprising new ways. It’s been updated and I, in turn, feel updated with a fresh vision. I find myself walking around with this confident feeling, I’m suddenly Carrie Bradshaw, a fabulous development as a newbie to this big, bad city. As a classic wardrobe staple with specific structural detail,  the trench coat makes room for fashion designers to get creative and build on the subtle elements that combine to make a big statement. I’m seeing a twist on traditional textures, what was once classic and minimal becomes feathered, fringed and deconstructed. I’m talking heavily printed, crafted in PVC, embellished to the hilt. I admit to falling head over heels with the sheer trenches from Max Mara’s recent collection that transform what could be a simple outfit formula into a street-style show stopper.  

Though the current NY climatic perfection is nothing but an interval this season, the trench is so timeless that the investment will last season after season. Thanks to the lighter and dressier nature of the coat this year, I’m planning to take mine into the breezier of summer nights.

The trenchcoat’s recent resurgence can be traced to the departure of two of it’s biggest patrons. These teary goodbyes are a credit to Phoebe Philo leaving Celine and Christopher Bailey’s exit from Burberry. The aftermath is that their iconic trenches are not only covetable, but a collectors item, benchmark items of a fashion era that will be sorely missed. So – in the name of marking fashion history, there surely couldn’t be a more satisfying excuse to drop some cash on Burberry’s famed nova check…? Then again, if you’re part of my team –  the monetarily challenged – we who are unfortunately denied the opportunity to splurge on that precious, ornate, elaborate, hip-pocket crushing beauty – then there are plenty of savvy ways to style the more attainable tan classic.


 Don’t Be Chicken – To Chase The Bird


Be like Miuccia Prada – add feathers. Oh so simple, no? What’s more extravagant and bold than ostrich-style fluffiness floating around your wrists? My go-to is a new season JCrew sweater, the feathered sleeves cheekily peep from the folded cuffs of your trench and capture the vibe effortlessly – and more importantly, bank account consciously. Just don’t accidentally put it in the dryer…



 Double Up, Double Down

Attempting two pairs of trousers together can look bizarre – two skirts, bulky – but two coats? Surprisingly, a potential win! It’s a uniquely harmonious kinship and on trend with current silhouettes. Mango’s new spring campaign is giving us all a damn fine reason to purchase a pair of their affordable tan trenches. For me, the look becomes key through layering a trench over a light hooded rain coat. The juxtaposing colour and length add another dimension and elevated style to the usual simplicity. Swap it out for one of Uniqlo’s Ultra Light Down Jackets if those darn westerly’s venture to hassle you of season past.

 Stand Alone, Stand Out

Like the effervescent Priyanka Chopra at last years Met Ball, let your coat do all the talking and wear it as a dress. A full length, light silk version is best. Leave a few buttons undone from the hem, introduce a slit if you’re keen repping Angelina Jolie-esque film Noir vixen and own the look. Accessorising; a well worn belt and and sneakers will save this look from the suggestion that you actually forgot to put on clothes that morning – or worse, looking like a creepy back alley flasher. 


– Emma Simpson