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Mid-Range Game: The Lightweight Trench

May 6th, 2013

Don’t go through rain season without one of the most timeless and commanding garments a man can own: the trench coat.

Here are three from my personal wardrobe.

    1. Classic Khaki


    The beauty of menswear is that it’s rooted in tradition and timeslessness is celebrated. Therefore, there are certain “classic” pieces that have lasted the test of time and can safely be considered long-term investments.

    A well-made khaki trench is one of those pieces.


    Yellow can be tough color to pull-off, especially for us pale-skinned folks.

    I usually avoid bright yellow (not always) and gravitate toward deeper/darker versions; like mustards, ochres, and golds. These more saturated hues look great against browns and camels in the Spring, too.


    I’m a big fan of monochromatic looks and using textures, rather than colors, to create depth and contrast.


    2. Classy Windbreaker


    I love this time of the year – the sun is shining but the breeze is enough to stay cool in a light sweater and/or thin layer.

    This unlined cotton trench, for example, is extremely lightweight. It’s just a thin layer to break the wind, or provide cover from a light rain.


    Behind the scenes, our team has been working hard developing the Articles of Style Vintage Shop and sourcing new products. Over the past few weeks, we’ve picked up roughly 150 one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, like this light navy trench (available here) and this burnt orange belted cardigan.

    Once we re-up the online inventory (in the next week or two) we will also be shipping internationally, taking appointments in person at our NYC studio, as well as offering a trade/consignment service. More on all that coming shortly…


    As you might already know, I love hopsack fabric in warmer weather. These trousers are from my one of my favorite Spring suits, the chestnut brown hopsack DB.

    Another thing you can expect from the Articles of Style Shop in the relatively near future – vintage sunglasses, watches and shoes (like these oxblood tassel loafers).


    • Lightweight cotton trench by Ralph Lauren (Vintage)
    • Brown check plaid shirt
    • Burnt orange belted cardigan Vintage
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
    • Suede watch strap by Alpha Bravo Straps (etsy)
    • Brown woven belt from KMart
    • Brown striped socks by Kenneth Cole
    • Burgundy tassel loafers by Johnston & Murphy

    3. Army Surplus, Tailored


    This lightweight raincoat was designed for the military’s warm climate outposts. It’s a very light cotton/nylon shell – no lining, no interior structure – just a thin layer to break the wind and keep a man dry.

    As with most Army/Navy or vintage, I sized down (this is a 38) and had my tailor Franklin at The Tailoring Room nip it up. The most notable alteration was chopping the length. This thing was mid-calf length, but I like my trenches to hit a few inches above the knee; long enough to safely cover a suit jacket, short enough to complement a simple casual look.


    I never wear the collar “popped” on shirts or polos, but I often wear the collar up on outerwear – like leather jackets, peacoats, topcoats, and of course, trenches. I’m not sure why, I just think it looks better (maybe because it frames the head/face, maybe because it ads a touch of imperfect nonchalance, maybe it just seems more functional…).

    The warmer it gets, the less I wear denim. Denim is a heavy fabric with terrible breathing capabilities. Lightweight trousers, like these tropical wool hopsacks (same fabric as look 2, different color) become my jeans in the Spring/Summer. They are so much more comfortable. The wind goes right through them, keeping you cool and dry.

    On a side note, it’s hard to find a top more comfortable than a fine-gauge cashmere henley.


    What do you know about them new J. FitzPatrick’s?

    Justin FitzPatrick, better known as TheShoeSnob, is a fellow blogger who has been a long-time supporter of Articles of Style. Over the past few years Justin has been documenting his journey from college graduate, to Italian cobbler apprentice, to Savile Row-based shoe designer. Recently he put out his first footwear collection, and it is sick.

    These pebbled leather chukka boots, for example, have a beautiful shape, a removable fringed kilt, and an unbelievably comfortable rubber sole.


    • Black/Grey shades by Matsuda Eyewear
    • Black woven belt by KMart
    • Cashmere block stripe henley by John Varvatos
    • Necklaces from NYC Street Artist
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
    • Nato Striped grosgrain watch strap by Corvus
    • Military surplus trench coat (tailored) Vintage
    • Black pebbled leather kilted chukka boots by J. FitzPatrick


    Thanks, as always, for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier


    Photography by Alex Crawford

    • http://www.uniquegiftsformen.org Gary

      I love trenchcoats..it’s a great classic look but can also look very cool.

    • Tom

      Thought I’d ask once more, since the first time it wasn’t answered.

      Questions for the style blogger: What other blogs influence this blog? What blogs/tumblrs do you think are presenting good content? Noticed that you don’t regularly credit or mention any other blogs in menswear.

      • http://tsbmen.com Townsend

        We all read various blogs in our free time. To be honest though, once I started working for a blog full time, I stopped spending a significant amount of time checking out other sites… We’re all too busy working on TSB. Personally, I like Four Pins, Valet and The William Brown Project.

      • Joe

        There have been several features and dailies featured men from other blogs. Pay attention and quit slouching.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Our apologies Tom, we try to answer as many comments as possible, time permitting.

        I’m not sure what you mean by crediting other blogs…I’m not much of a blog reader, once the daily TSB hustle is over, I try to stay away from my computer.

        That said, I think The Sartorialist, Street Etiquette and Put This On all do a good job of creating content within their respective niches. Also, Simon at Permanent Style really knows what he’s talking about when it comes down to nerding-on about craftsmanship and the nuances of bespoke tailoring.


    • Jerome

      Very, very strong post.

    • Dante

      The Shoe Snob Shoes! You need to feature him. Awesome guy.

    • Sergio

      I KNEW IT! Those chukkas looked really familiar, was wondering if they were J. Fitzpatrick’s.

    • Nick

      I’ve always loved that trench. For some reason though I think the cardi looks a tad feminine under it this time around. I usually don’t think the belted knits come off that way but it is giving me that vibe today.

    • Ron

      What year (how old, approximately) was the military trench coat?

    • http://undefined Robert

      Remarkable use of texture in look #2. That is my clear favorite of the three. However, the kilted boots in the third look, make for some serious damage and hurt feelings…great overall post, Dan and Co.

    • Brady P

      The hop sack suit in look 1 is really nice. Can’t wait for my first trench.. TSBShop might just be the place to pick one up

    • Shawn

      Great look # 1, love the monochromatic look! And also pleased that you featured J. FitzPatrick shoes on your website, I love his new collection!

    • John

      Those J. Fitzpatricks are great. I have been a fan of his for a while. It is nice he is getting some recognition on TSB. If you had worn some earlier, I hadn’t noticed.

      You should feature him in a shoe special.

      • John

        He has worn them on the last wiwt.

        We have the same name and apparently the same opinions on this subject!

    • Ben

      Great looks. I’ve been have trouble finding the best way to make a trench coat fit — it would be great to see how these coats fit when you’re not leaning against a wall / putting your hands in your pockets!

    • BF

      There are Burberry Trenchcoats and then there’s everything else..

    • http://stylishbefore40.blogspot.com stylishbefore40

      All the outfits-great.

    • http://www.theseals.com.au Desmond

      This entire post knocks it out of the park.
      The hopsack suit in look 1 is a corker – might have to make it my business to acquire something similar somehow.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks Desmond. The camel/tobacco color is where it’s at.

    • Ian K

      Nice. Recently picked up a dark navy trench. Getting a lot of wear out of it as it rains a lot in Ireland!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Smart move!

        • Ian K

          It was! Doesn’t look aswell as yours but I am slowly getting there. Keep up the good work really enjoying the content more and more