The Case of the Perfect Trench Coat

Written by Lotus on Monday, 7 of November , 2011 at 10:51 pm

“The rain was just starting to come down when she walked into my office. She was curvy in all the right places that made me want to do all the wrong things. Her hair was drenched. Her dress was drenched. Her shoes were drenched. Actually, she looked less like a film noir vixen and more like something caught in a storm drain.”

I’m from the South, so since moving to the D.C. area I’ve had trouble with the concept of outerwear. I can’t get used to the idea of covering up a thoughtful outfit. I have 10 or so wool or wool-blend heavy coats, but nothing for rainy days or crisp Autumn mornings. I need the perfect trench coat. This was painfully obvious last week when on a rainy morning I walked into the Watergate for a job interview. Seriously, could there be a more perfect occasion for the perfect trench coat?

trench-coat-abramoff.jpgWhen I see someone in a trench coat on a rainy day I think, “There’s someone who has their life together.” The truth doesn’t matter.

So, what makes the perfect trench coat? For me, color should be camel or black, length above the knee, have pockets, and a wide belt. It also must be A-line. Not faux-A-line caused by a belt or hidden clamps in department store photo shoots.

I probably should have started with the Burberry classic trench coat as the baseline. But, as I mentioned, my most recent rainy day outing was for a job interview. So, maybe next year.

My first hit and miss was a black trench with a tiered hem. It’s shown to the left in red so you can see the detail. At first glance I thought it would give me the A-line I was looking for, trench-coat-inc.JPGbut it’s still looked boxy. A belt is not enough. Trying it on, I couldn’t help but wonder how many trendy and below average trench coats I would buy over the next 10 years in place of a simple, $900 classic Burberry trench. I have to shake that thought out of my head. The tiers on the INC trench looked like an afterthought, not a design element to give shape, like most tiers. The material is also too shiny and has a wrinkled effect that, like the tiers, looks like an accident rather than purposeful. It’s going back to Macy’s.

Next up: London Fog’s classic trench. As Don Draper said, “London Fog is a 40 year old brand that sounds like it has been around forever.” Christina Hendricks is the new face of the London Fog campaign. This is a no-brainer. I found a beautiful double-breasted trench on sale at Macy’s online for $110. Plus, I have a 20% off coupon. As my friend Danielle would say, it’s like making money. From the photo, it looks like it may be a little long. I’m also not quite sure if it has an A-line. The pins and clamps that they use to make clothes look fitted in online photos have cost me thousands of dollars. The other trick photographers employ is flattering leg placement. When one leg is out it’s usually trying to look like an A-line even though it is not.

trench-coat-london-fog.JPGSo, maybe it’s time to actually try some coats on and step away from my online-only addiction. One of my favorite stores in Old Town Alexandria is a high-end consignment shop called Beautyfull Boutique on Fayette Street. Before stopping by I decided to visit my friend, Audrey’s office. Lo and behold, laying across the leopard chaise in her office was a Burberry trench. I rationalized that if I, too, decided to go with a Burberry trench it would be an investment. Not only would I have something for rainy days, but I would also have a costume for life – detective, spy, pervert! The possibilities are endless!

Beautyfull Boutique didn’t yet have a huge number of coats since it’s early in the season. There was a black and white plaid trench that I considered, but it was only hip length and plaid isn’t my idea of a neutral. I also found a pink Saks label trench, but it was too small.

The London Fog trench coat from Macy’s has arrived. Not into it. The fabric is a little more treated than I expected. Also, despite the photo, it’s cut straight from the waist.

It looks like this case won’t be solved. Maybe trench coats aren’t for me. The same day the London Fog trench arrived I found out I didn’t get the job at the Watergate.

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Category: Fashion,Things I Want

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LOTUS lives in Northern Virginia. NOTE: The views expressed on LOTUS blog are the author’s alone. Organizations listed on this blog are for identification purposes only.