I’m not sure there is a more iconic, classic, versatile article of clothing than a trench coat. I bought my first trench coat about five years ago, not quite sure how to wear it, and over time I have come to love it for its ability to pair equally well with jeans and a cocktail dress.
Today I want to share with you seven different ways to style a trench, one for each day of the week. I chose a setting from my real life for each look, and I had fun bringing these stories to life. My hope is that these photos will inspire ideas for how you can breathe new life into your trench coat if you already own one, or convince you to add this piece to your forever wardrobe.
As a side note, I normally take my own photos, but this shoot is the work of two very talented professionals who are helping me up my blog photograph game. Lo from Lo & Co (IG @lionheartimage) captured all of the beautiful images, making me laugh while working her magic behind the camera. Talitha Smith (IG @the_talitha_smith) styled the looks and told me where to stand, what to do with my hands, and made sure I didn’t have spinach in my teeth or have anything weird happening in the background. I could not have done this post without them, and I am so grateful to them both!
Let’s look at a week in the life of a trench coat!
MONDAY: Let’s go to work!
The beautiful thing about a trench coat is that it really can go with anything. The most basic way to add a trench coat is to layer it on top of your everyday looks. Here I am wearing it with dark jeans, a black and white striped tee, and then adding some interest (and warmth) by throwing a coordinating sweater over my shoulders. Rolling up the trench sleeves is a great way to allow the pattern of your shirt to show, which is always a fun detail. Casual loafers complete the look, and this is a great representation of how I dress for work.
TUESDAY: Let’s take treats to school!
A trench coat is a beautiful companion to white jeans, and in this look I paired it with a black-and-white ruffle neck shirt and pink accessories. In the spirit of authenticity, allow me to say that sometimes I feel very “exposed” when I wear white jeans. They are so cute, but they also leave very little to the imagination, particularly if they are snug or not quite as opaque as one might desire. My solution? Add a trench. The comfort of a light layer covers your backside and it adds a pop of sophistication for good measure.
WEDNESDAY: Let’s go to the grocery store!
A common way to wear a trench coat is with a monochromatic outfit. Think, French girl in all black. A trench certainly looks beautiful paired with black pants and a black shirt with black flats (tres chic!), but there are many ways to interpret this idea and infuse it with your own personal style. For me, this means a navy pleated skirt, a navy graphic tee, and casual white sneakers. I feel comfortable and cute, and the trench breaks up the blocks of color. If you push the sleeves up, you get a very laid-back vibe that can work in a multitude of settings, like picking up groceries!
THURSDAY: Let’s go on a fancy date night!
This may be my favorite way to wear a trench. Take any beautiful dress, gracefully layer a trench over your shoulders, and you are ready for an evening on the town. Feeling cold or in need of coverage? Wear the trench. Feeling warm or ready to reveal the full elegance of the dress? Remove the trench and casually drape it over your chair or arm. Either is elegant, timeless, and beautiful.
FRIDAY: Let’s host a cocktail party!
By far the gutsiest way to wear a trench is to treat it as a dress. The trench coat featured in this photo is an oversized version with a different silhouette from the more fitted and tailored coat in the above images. The added bulk gives you room to cinch in the waist with a cute belt, pop the collar, and if you happen to have a short tulle skirt, add an under-layer of ballerina-inspired fun. This look, while insanely comfortable, is also very fun and different. It reminds me of a bygone era, and I feel like I am channeling my inner Italian 1920’s film star.
SATURDAY: Let’s run errands!
When Saturday hits, elevate your athleisure with a loose-fitting, drape-friendly trench coat. This oversized coat (same as the one from the cocktail party look above) adds an easy touch of outerwear for running around. Dressing in layers is also a great strategy for travel, and this outfit would be ideal for a flight. Each component is comfortable, soft, cute, and comes with the option to peel it off (or keep them all on) for when you’re feeling too warm or not warm enough. The sneakers and cross-body bag are a cute and practical way to finish the look.
SUNDAY: Let’s go to church!
Do you have a blouse or shirt with an interesting focal point or statement collar? A trench coat is the perfect way to highlight and frame a unique blouse. Here I have paired my giant-bow blouse (so fun!) with high-waisted, wide-legged black pants, platform clogs, and a punchy red clutch. This outfit would be great with just the pants and blouse and clutch, but I do love how the trench coat provides a finished quality to the overall look. Am I going to church, or am I going to a board meeting? You decide.