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Monday, March 1, 2010

A Fashionista's Staple: The Spring Trench Coat



It's Official, Spring is Almost Here!  
Three Weeks and Counting ... 
Made You Smile.

Kiki here, welcome to iCafe Woman Moderne's
A Fashionista's Staple:  The Spring Trench Coat
Text Webisode

 

Nothing says Spring more than a Spring trench coat. 

 

Like the little black dress, the trench coat has stayed in the fashion epicenter since the early 20th century.  Of course, the hemline has shortened over the decades, adding a gender and glam.  

(Sateen Belted Trench)

Colors have brightened, shined, muted and glossed while hemlines shortened and lengthened to meet the latest trend.


A standard for men, it morphed into the feminine, sophisticated trench coat today's fashionistas love to wear.

 
The Trench Coat:  A Brief Fashionography.

The first trench coats were waterproof and usually calf-length. They were used by several countries' armies during the First and Second World Wars.

A typical trench coat was a ten-buttoned, double-breasted long coat made with tan, khaki, beige, or black fabric with cuff straps on the raglan sleeves, shoulder straps and a belt. It was typically worn as a windbreaker or as a rain jacket, and not for protection from the cold in winter or snowy conditions.
  
 My first trench coat at 17 signaled my entry into womanhood.  A persimmon colored trench, my parents bought it for my trip to Ireland with my high school choir.  My sister, Diane, added a matching beret and stylish Mary Janes.  It stopped mid-calf and had a zippered lining for those chilly Celtic days. 


 

I sprung for a neon blue, patent leather trench in my sophmore year of college to my sister's delight.  It gave me a nice hourglass look when buckled.  

I splurged on an olive London Fog (from graduation money) for my first New York City reporting job at a financial newspaper, ironically in the fashion district.   No cinched waist or glamour, it was all business and bland.  But it lasted for years, serving me well.  It still hangs in my closet.


 

Snagging a book publishing job, I busted out again in the Spring in a silver above-the-knee trench that reeled in suitors.  Followed by a bright red, a shiny bronze, a metallic gray, a Big Bird yellow and a patent leather black that reeled in my husband.  

Newly married, I had my eye on a white trench the Spring before my life changed forever.  But I was too busy in my corporate writing job and didn't take my annual shopping sojourn.

That Spring, my sister bought a new trench, a unique deep green with subtle dark flowers that blended into the background.  Women  would stop and ask her,  "where did you get that trench?"
 
By next November, I was wearing Diane's beloved trench, inheriting it after her sudden passing.  Women now stopped and asked me "where did you get that coat?"  I'd answer, "from my sister, Diane -- blinking away tears.


 

 Once I put on her coat, the light to the door of my annual Spring coat shopping trips went dark.  Her coat felt like a reliable friend during my darkest hours.

It's been fifteen years since I purchased a Spring trench coat.  I haven't had the heart to part with my sister's and have lost the spark to shop for one.  
 

Diane, our family's fashionista, helped me give birth to my own fashion sense.  I consulted with her for style that often involved snagging her clothes when she wasn't looking.  But hey, you get your style any way you can.

Even when the trench coat is patent leather, snakeskin and metallic, if you give it a few years the material will come back into fashion.  The trench design never goes out of style. 


 

What would she say about all of this?  "Girl, get yourself a decent Spring trench and make sure it's sharp.  So this Spring I'll honor my sister's memory and do what I know she would want, even though it still get compliments.  I'll no longer wear it.
   
I thought I could do it at Y2K, then again for the tenth anniversary in 2005.  But the coat stayed on my back.  I can see her shaking her head and saying, "What's wrong with you?  I love you, but it's time to let it go."  And that's exactly what I plan to do.
 


"Divas, are you crying?  It's okay, I'm in a good place.  Wipe your faces and fix your makeup, so you can share your favorite trench coats for Spring 2010.
 

Are they ready?  Great ... here's Nina, Tammy and Jocelyn modeling their Trench Coat picks for Spring 2010.

Tightwad Tammy
I wasn't crying.  It's my allergies.  Anyway, here's my pick.


 

 A Vivienne Westwood striped trench is my design favorite.   


(Merona)


This is my pick for the real woman's budget.  A happy alternative for $39.99 by Merona at Target.  They don't call me Tightwad Tammy for nothing.

If you want more wow, get this satin Jessica Simpson and add about $80 more. 
 

(Jessica Simpson Ombre Satin Trench)
 

This coat from Marc Jacobs says, you have arrived. Here's another look-for-less alternative from Old Navy, a linen blend for $49.50.

 (Old Navy - Linen Blend)
Jocelyn
I like this classic trench with matching sheath.  Perfect for celebrating Easter. 



 
  (Military Trench by Merona - Target)

Nina
Give m a nice military trench.  And if money wasn't an issue, this eye-catching Dolce Gabana leopard trench for $2,850 would be in my closet, right now.




"Feed the Hungry! Help those in trouble! Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you shall be as bright as day." Isaiah 58:10 

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