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,
Photography by Alex Crawford.