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Full confession. I currently own six trench coats: a classic khaki raincoat, a python print in PVC, a navy linen blend, an olive cotton lace, a lightweight caramel leather and a black satin beauty. Why do I love them? Let me count the ways. They:
1. Stand the test of time
Trenches have been around for almost 200 years. Originally designed by Charles Macintosh in the 1820s, they were later worn by British army officers during the First World War. The coat was typically khaki, double-breasted, belted, with wide lapels, epaulets and deep pockets. Since it was not issued to the rank and file, it came to signify a level of prestige. It still does! Invest in one with the classic shape and details, such as the London Fog ¾-Length Double-Breasted Trench with Belt in Stone ($76, amazon.com), Banana Republic Factory’s Classic Twill Trench in Sanded Khaki ($132, bananarepublicfactory.gapfactory.com) or, if you are willing to break the bank, consider the iconic Burberry’s Long Kensington Heritage Trench in Honey ($2,490, us.burberry.com) and you can wear it now — and forever.
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2. Connote a certain androgynous glamour
Long after World War I, they were embraced by the stars of Hollywood’s heyday — Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Greta Garbo and Audrey Hepburn. The style is still a staple in the closets of many chic celebrities: Diane Keaton, Oprah Winfrey, Gabrielle Union, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts ... Are you ready for your close-up?