Trench lessons: Experiment with new takes on an old staple

As well as being a complete classic, the trench coat is highly versatile. Look for variations in cut, length, colour and fabric

The trusty trench remains a constant on the top 10 wardrobe staples list; a style failsafe for when you need to smarten up an outfit with minimal effort. From perfectly structured and belted in beige, navy or black to this season’s catwalk favourite – the faux or investment leather version spotted at Rejina Pyo, Khaite and Tod’s –, the trench is practical and goes with pretty much everything. Add a traditional beige version over a simple white T-shirt, jumper and jeans for the ultimate chic weekend look, or go for a layered look with an oversized black one over a thin quilted gilet, or a hoodie and leather jacket with stompy boots. Upgrade a cosy travel outfit of track suit and trainers with the addition of a trench and chain-strap cross-body bag. We like Aligne’s Gilda style (£169) for minimal creasing.

Stick with timeless neutral colours for maximum wearability, or ring the changes with fabrics instead. Cos’s denim version (5), Mango’s faux-leather version (1) and & Other Stories’ beige with contrast black panel style (3) are a subtle update on a timeless look. Or experiment with different lengths. We love Arket’s neat navy short version (4) and Asos Design’s cropped trench (£28). Play with scale with Weekday’s floor-sweeping Travis oversized trench (£130), or look for a twist like model Shanina Shaik’s (left) lightweight quilted version –Monsoon has a similar khaki style (in the sale for £47). If you are in search of a classic, then check out the vintage websites. has a selection of Burberry trenches from £100, while Beyond Retro offers a great selection of styles from a ruffled hemline,£65, to minimalist black, £50.

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