My search for the perfect trench goes back to 2010. It was my first spring spent in Vancouver as an adult with a corporate job. As the temperatures warmed but the rain persisted, I realised I didn’t own a jacket that was both weather- and work-appropriate. My budget, at the time, was minimal at best. I found a short trench made of water-resistant fabric at H&M. It served its purpose, but it also made a soft whooshing sound when I walked that significantly diminished its sophistication. When we moved to Paris, I sold it, along with what amounted to more than half my wardrobe. And I never missed it.
That’s not to say I stopped wanting a trench. Quite the contrary. It’s just that the one I owned was never really what I wanted it to be. And finding the one I imagined proved far more difficult than I expected it would. When I started working from home, my search was temporarily paused. I still perceived a trench as a jacket for work, and my daily life no longer required me to own work jackets.
My desire for the perfect trench came back in a rush last spring. March in Paris was rainy but warm; too wet for my leather jacket but too balmy for my wool coat. On a lark, I tried on the classic Burberry trench coat, the one I’ve always dreamt of, at the Burberry outlet at La Vallee Village. Even at a discount, the price point felt unreasonably high. But if I’m honest, I never intended to consider a purchase when I first found my size on the rack. I just wanted to prove to myself that no coat could possibly be perfect enough to justify a two thousand dollar price tag.
…I was very, very wrong.
The Burberry trench fit like a dream. The cut, the shape, the length, the detailing – everything exceeded my wildest spring coat dreams. I still think about that coat, and the way the very kind salesman who fitted me for it exclaimed with delight when I stepped out of the fitting room with it on. It was perfect. But it was way beyond my budget, even at a discount. So my search continued at stores marginally more within my price range, like Sandro and Claudie Pierlot. But after Burberry, nothing felt quite right.
One May morning, about two weeks before our day-trip to London, I stopped in at H&M for socks and found a lone trench coat in my size. I needed a trench for London, in my mind. And while it wasn’t exactly Burberry, the coat fit well. For the price, the fabric was surprisingly weighty and the detailing intricate. I forgot all about socks, but I did leave the store with a trench.
Full disclosure: this trench is probably better in photos than in reality. The oversized, almost bulky cut can be hard to wear. Five times out of ten, I feel dwarfed by it when I put it on. For a rainy day, it provides the perfect shelter. I couldn’t have chosen a better trench for London, for example. But in Winnipeg, rainfall is rare. And so are spring days that require a coat, if I’m honest. I could still trade this beauty for its Burberry counterpart any day of the week. But it’s the closest I’ve ever found to the trench I really want. And while wearing a trench in the spring is hardly reinventing the wheel when it comes to seasonal dressing, I can’t help but love doing it, anyway.
#hm #sezane #levis #zara #lespecs