Thursday, 13 September 2012

A Simple Trench

A couple of months ago I was sitting in a cafe with Noah enjoying a cup of tea and the usual conversation you have with a 3 year old - I seem to remember it was about the merits of Spiderman over Batman - you get the picture. I'd noticed a woman walking into the cafe wearing a trench coat, slim cigarette pants that finished just above her elegant ankles and the most perfect ballet pumps cut low on her feet showing just enough tanned skin. It has always been a vice of mine to stare at women in coffee shops, I know it sounds sinister but I am naturally fascinated by what women wear and what message this communicates to other people. You translate this to something really important like a job interview or business meeting and you get the idea that sometimes what we wear carries a lot of weight.

Anyway back to the woman in the cafe, I was debating whether to say something to her when Noah needed a napkin for a particularly spectacular hot-chocolate spillage, on my return to the table I couldn't help but stop and say how lovely her coat was and where did she buy it! She thanked me and told me it was from Mango last season and I was on my way.

This kind of exchange isn't really unusual for me. I've never been shy of telling people how great they look or admiring a lovely piece that just shouts out to be coveted, it usually gives the other person a real spring in their step and I get to find out where people shop. What was a little more unusual on this occasion was that the woman was in her 60s [I hate to guess at people's ages], and her wardrobe would have looked equally good on anyone from their 20s up. Now I know it's horrible to stereo-type women of any age, god-forbid I'm on the cusp of sliding into a Chardonnay-induced middle age, middle class, middle Mum, but I love to see women over a certain age embracing their style and knowing absolutely what suits them. This was a rainy Wednesday in Sheffield, but this woman could have happily been strolling the left bank in Paris - don't you love that kind of attitude!


This image from the recent Comptoir des Cotonniers campaign reminded me how much I love the classic trench. My obsession started about 10 years ago when I discovered an original Burberry trench in a vintage shop in Brighton. Cut as if it was made to measure I happily parted with £35 knowing even then what a steal I'd got.


Original Burberry Trench Image via Vogue Paris - Mario Testino

The Mango coat that was on the cafe-Lady has been slightly updated this season but still works really well for Autumn [1.] The very definition of a modern classic it looks elegant on women of every age and can be worn so many different ways. You only have to look at the recent Burberry 'Art of the Trench' campaign to see how it can be worn with just about every look and age.

Here is a quick edit of my 3 favourite trench coats:

1. Classic with a twist, £79.99, Mango at John Lewis
2. French-style, £220, Comptoir des Cotonniers
3. Unbelted-style because not everyone suits the belt, £159, Hobbs



4 comments :

  1. Lovely post, Amy. I couldn't have lied without my trench this summer ...

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  2. sorry, that was meant to be lived!

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  3. Thanks so much Carolyn!! Hope you're well and looking forward to the new term x

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  4. What a lovely post Amy - I felt like I was there with you in the cafe.. I love the trench, I have a navy blue one from 7 for All Mankind and I wear it all of the time.. Lucky you to get a Burberry!

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