Burberry Trenchcoat

14 December 2015

The Burberry trenchcoat is a true fashion classic, that has withstood the test of time for decades after decades. The story behind the trenchcoat starts in 1879 when a young Thomas Burberry designed a waterproof jacket, made from gabardine; a tightly woven, sturdy fabric. The practical jacket proved to be a big hit among the high society, the British army and later one captured the heart of fashion lovers worldwide.

Burberry gets big
One of Burberry's biggest customer was none other than the British Army. The army enlisted Thomas Burberry to design their new overcoats. During the Great War the material protected the soldiers against the damp and cold climate in the trenches. Hence its (now famous) name: trenchcoat.

Heritage & checks
The military heritage of the jacket is still clearly visible in the design. The epaulettes on the shoulder were used to signify the rank of the officers and the flap on the back was initially designed to quickly drain rainwater. The pleats in the coat allowed the soldiers to move freely and, and are now famous for providing every woman with a perfect hourglass figure. Funny fact: the iconic check pattern (in the lining) was not introduced until the roaring twenties. The pattern is now one of the most prominent elements of the British fashion house and is printed on perfume, clothing and accessories. 

Audrey Hepburn & the trenchcoat
In the swinging sixties, the trenchcoat became more slender and graceful, much like the model we know now. Movie stars like Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn made the coat a worlwide phenomenon. One of the most recognized moments, is its star debut in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). Who doesn’t recall the scene? wrapped up in the classic jacket combined with a pair of kitten heels, Holly Golightly searches for her cat in the pouring rain. Next follows the great romantic finale of the film. The celebrity status of the jacket was sealed in the nineties when Kate Moss became the face of the Burberry trenchcoat

Trenchcoat traditions
The design of a Burberry coat remains unchanged. It still takes three weeks to produce the garment and the whole process consists of more than 100 steps! To this day, the gabardine fabric is still woven at the Burberry factory in Castleford. Another tradition that hasn't changed is our fondness for the trenchcoat. What makes this coat such a special piece? The flattering fit that emphasizes the waist and the versatile color make the jacket a universal fashion icon. Shop your classic trenchcoat on Designer-Vintage where you will find the finest vintage copies, or shop a daring runway piece.