I have always loved a trench. I first fell in love with its stylish insouciance after watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s as a young girl (I remember loving everything about Audrey Hepburn’s wardrobe). The moment she cinches that trench coat around her waist and steps out into the rain, looking for “cat” and love at the same time, was iconic. I loved how Hepburn mixed feminine dresses and jewels with masculine pieces; I love a trench with heavy tailoring and a more oversized shape.
But while the trench is definitely a wardrobe classic, you don’t have to wear it with unremittingly classic looks. Yes, it looks great with a minimalist tunic and pant, but I also love it as the foil for a silky Alémais pant set or leather, drawstring pant.
The great thing about trenches is that – contrary to what you might hear otherwise – you don’t have to spend lots of money investing in one. Of course, a Burberry is a classic and something you will have and wear forever, but a lot of high street brands are doing great, classic trenches that should also stand the test of time, like this one, above, from Zara.
The longer length adds interest and it’s an easy way to play with proportions – much better, too, than a jumper that covers what you’re wearing underneath.
I love this green, short-sleeved shirt worn with this pleated skirt and raw edges, which feels very Prada to me (Miuccia has always done pleated skirts with raw edges); the bag from Among Equals ties the look together with green tones, print and texture. I love this brand as it’s a not-for-profit supporting women of Papua New Guinea weaving bilum bags. Every bag is unique and so special.
You really can wear anything under a trench. This printed matching set from Alemais, above, shows how: the beige tones in the print tie in nicely with the trench and then the green bag really seals the deal. You could easily do a print that doesn’t have beige tones in it, and tie the outfit together through the shoes and bags you chose. The main thing to remember would be to choose accessories to bring the look together; don’t introduce a new colour with your shoes and bags. Too much.
Aussie brands have been doing a lot of matching sets lately, be it block colour or prints, from LMND, to Unison, to Zimmermann. The thing I love about a matching set is that its a no brainer – you don’t have to think about your outfit; you look instantly put-together. Long live the matching set.
Claudie Pierlot trench,$700; Lee Mathews Lennox Mini Dress, $549, and Lennox Pleat Pants, $449 (both available in November/December); Zara sandals, $109; St. Agni bag, $479; and Oroton necklace, $299.
Rather than colour or print, this look relies on mixing neutral tones and layering. Dresses over pants has long been a look I love. This one works because the dress and pants are the same material and cut to give a clean line, which feels polished.
A long black trench – this one’s from French label Claudie Pierlot – provides a sophisticated contrast, and the textural leather bag, with its graphic fold-over design in soft plaited leather, really lifts the look. I definitely have black accessories in my wardrobe but my eye is often drawn to lighter tones, especially in summer. They’re an easy way to make your outfit more interesting.
I love leopard print. To me it’s another denim – I find it goes with everything and it’s timeless. This trench from Ganni is super lightweight and you can put simple pieces under it, letting the trench be the statement. A simple dress or shirt and short set, easy. I decided to pair it back with some summer leather – with lots of lightweight options, leather doesn’t have to be only for winter. These drawstring pants from Country Road that have a casual chic vibe.
This casual look works with a strappy flat, but would also work for dinner or an event if you swapped sandals for a mid heel and a bold, gold sculptural earring.
Photography by Isa Sanchez