How to wear a trench coat – according to a fashion editor

Not sure how to wear a trench coat? Follow our lead...

how to wear a trench coat: woman wearing a trench coat
(Image credit: Getty)

When the forecast dictates it’s too warm for your best winter coat, but too chilly to go cover-up free, it’s time for trench coats to shine. Not sure how to wear a trench coat? No problem – that’s where we come in.

The beauty of a trench coat is firstly in its enduring appeal. There are few pieces that can survive the tsunami of new and evolving trends quite like it, and that’s what makes it such a worthwhile wardrobe investment. 

On that note, if you’re going to spend a little extra on anything in your closet, this is a good time to splash the cash. And do so safe in the knowledge your new buy won’t feel tired or dated when next season rolls around. But, if a Burberry trench isn’t within your budget (ours neither, to be honest!) the high-street has plenty of affordable, quality options. 

The second biggest selling point of the classic beige trench is its versatility. A true fashion chameleon, it’ll look just as good slung over a silky midi and heels as it will with leggings and well-loved trainers. And that’s in no small part thanks to the goes-with-everything shade. 

Beige might have negative connotations for being a bit, dare we say – boring – but like all good things (bread, pasta, potatoes) it goes with absolutely everything. Fawn is the obvious choice, but there’s plenty of other shades on the spectrum, from ivory through to rich toffee. 

Ready to buckle up? Here are four easy-to-copy ways to wear your trench coat… 

How to wear a trench coat

Head-to-toe neutrals

street style models wearing trench coats with neutral clothing

(Image credit: Getty)

An emerging trend we can’t get enough of, the chicest way to wear your beige trench is with a spectrum of tonal shades. Anything with a hint of brown works, so scope out biscuit, toffee and latte hues. Worried these barely-there shades will wash you out? Try adding a little colour with rust or khaki.

Prints and patterns

street style models wearing trench coats with prints and patterns

(Image credit: Getty)

Bold prints and patterns are a great way to inject some personality into your look, but worn head-to-toe can have the potential to overwhelm your shape. By adding a belted trench into the mix, it’ll break up the busyness and give your frame definition. And again, because beige is a neutral, it’ll go with whatever colours you throw at it. 

Dressed up

street style models wearing trench coats with dresses and sequins

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If you’re getting dressed up, there’s a tendency to gravitate towards luxe fabrics like faux fur, velvet and leather when it comes to outerwear – but don’t overlook the humble trench. Soft, draping cotton is the perfect pairing for your fanciest pieces, helping to make them work for daytime too. 

Off-duty

street style models wearing trench coats with relaxed jeans and sweatshirts

(Image credit: Getty)

We love a look that requires minimal effort, and these dressed-down trench coat outfits offer just that. Bring out your basics (think blue jeans, a nice white t-shirt, leggings, a cosy sweatshirt – you get the gist) and top with a tailored trench. The smart, structured shape will instantly make these more relaxed pieces feel more put together. Designer handbag à la these street stylers optional. 

Best trench coats to shop now

Monki Classic Trench Coat

(Image credit: Monki)

Monki Classic Trench Coat

Specifications
RRP: £75
Sizes: XXS-XL

For an affordable trench, Monki (H&M's slightly trendier cousin) is our go-to. Wear with the belt nipped in to create a feminine shape, or wide open to show off your outfit.

Hobbs Petite Saskia Cotton Blend Collar Trench Coat

(Image credit: Hobbs)

Hobbs Petite Saskia Cotton Blend Collar Trench Coat

Specifications
RRP: £199
Sizes: 6-18

Of course, not all trench coats need to be beige, as proven by this colour-pop beauty. Not sure how to wear a trench coat this vibrant? The same rules apply, keep the rest of your outfit neutral, or co-ordinate in similar tones like pink and burgundy. 

Whistles Izzey Trench Coat

(Image credit: Whistles)

Whistles Izzey Trench Coat

Specifications
RRP: £199
Sizes: XS-L

We always fall hard for Whistles coats (you can read our full Whistles coats collection review lowdown here) and this trench is no exception. The luxe cotton fabric, the chic khaki shade, the tortoiseshell buckles – need we go on? 

White Stuff Stacey Colour Block Oversized Mac

(Image credit: John Lewis)

White Stuff Stacey Colour Block Oversized Mac

Specifications
RRP : £99
Sizes: 6-22

A modern take on a timeless trend, the colour blocking transforms this trench into a statement piece. We love the neat round collar and practical pockets. 

Mother of Pearl Organic Cotton Pleat Back Trench Coat

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Mother of Pearl Organic Cotton Pleat Back Trench Coat

Specifications
RRP: £220
Sizes: 8-18

One for the eco-conscious shoppers, Mother of Pearl have used 100% sustainable fabrics to make this trench. Organic cotton is grown without chemicals to support healthier farming practices, while Tencel™ uses wood fibres as its raw material. The ankle-skimming length and oversized fit makes for a relaxed shape. 

Mango Long Water Repellent Trench

(Image credit: Mango)

Mango Long Water Repellent Trench

Specifications
RRP: £89.99
Sizes: XS-XL

Arrive at your destination cool, collected and most importantly, dry, with the help of this water-repellent trench. We love fashion that's functional too, and this is ticking all our boxes. Choose between toffee and stone shades. 

H&M Double-breasted Trenchcoat

(Image credit: H&M)

H&M Double-breasted Trenchcoat

Specifications
RRP: £59.99
Sizes: XS-XXL

If you're careful enough to avoid the hefty dry-cleaning bill that most of us would rack up when wearing a white coat, then this might be the trench for you. The soft twill fabric is substantial enough to keep you warm on chillier days.

Burberry Striped Cotton-Gabardine Trench Coat

(Image credit: Net-a-Porter)

Burberry Striped Cotton-Gabardine Trench Coat

Specifications
RRP: £1,990
Sizes: 4-14

It doesn't get much more iconic than a Burberry trench. The stripes on this one set it apart from your average beige imagining, while the instantly recognisable lining has the power to make even grown women swoon. 

Cos Oversized Trench Coat

(Image credit: Cos)

Cos Oversized Trench Coat

Specifications
RRP: £150
Sizes: 32-44

Clothes are meant to be enjoyed, and nothing sparks joy quite like sunshine yellow. Guaranteed to brighten up even the greyest of days.