The Versatile Navy Trench Coat

May 8th, 2011

Firstly, Happy Mother’s Day!

To celebrate mom day this Spring I decided to join forces with my beautiful mother again (one of my first style inspirations – as previously seen here) in a post featuring a classic Spring layer: the rainproof trench.

Here, mom and I show how a classic trench can be worn for just about any occasion –  from casual to formal.

    1. Casual


    I’ve had this trench for years, and it very well may be my most-worn piece. An unlined (or removable-lined) 3/4 length trench in navy blue (or dark british khaki) is a wardrobe essential, in my opinion.

    The classic shape and structure of this jacket immeditately adds character to an otherwise simple everyday look, like a t-shirt and jeans (or in this case, a polo and chinos).

    Bonus Tip: A lot of guys shy away from red + white + blue, thinking it may be too “patriotic” or “political”…but every once in a while in the Spring, the combo works very well.

    Bonus Tip II: A quick-and-easy way to make a simple polo + chinos look more style-forward and visually interesting – break it up with a complimentary belt and tuck only the front of the polo to show it off a little.

    Bonus Tip III (from mom’s look): As I’ve said a hundred times, style should be personal. Don’t do me, do you! Here mom combines a western-inspired look (belt buckle, snap front western shirt, authentic suede riding vest) with some city-chic elements (red trench, black skinny jeans, black boots) to create a look that is perfectly her – a country women visiting the big city. (Yes, believe it or not, I grew up on a farm in a tiny town in Canada. Cows, horses, all that).

    • Navy trench by Brooks Brothers Black Fleece
    • White Polo by J.Crew
    • Red chinos by Polo Ralph Lauren
    • Rope/Leather Sailing belt by Kiel James Patrick
    • Mocassins by Street Etiquette for Sebago

    2. Business Casual


    Pair the trench with a simple shirt + v-neck + trousers look, and you have an outfit that will likely be suave for the next 100+ years.

    Bonus Tip: A fine gage V-neck sweater creates a  silhouette that is flattering on just about everyone. It’s such a classic shape, you don’t have to be boring about it. Try a different color combination – like grey + teal + hazel, for example. If all the pieces are classic in shape/design, it’s easier to introduce some more unique colors (mom’s trench is another good example of this).

    Bonus Tip II: Sockless season has begun, although I often cheat it by wearing “no show” foot socks. The heavier the look, the more likely I am to wear the mini socks, to soak up some perspiration.

    Bonus Tip III (from mom’s look): A silk scarf is the perfect light touch to make a look slightly more visually interesting. More on this soon.

    • Navy trench by Brooks Brothers Black Fleece
    • Lightweight v-neck sweater by Gucci
    • Brown suit trousers
    • Grey cotton shirt by Onassis
    • Brown leather loafers by Scarpe di Bianco

    3. Business

    Of course, a trench can easily be “dressed up” as well.

    Throw the trench over a vest + trousers look (which I’m loving for “corporate attire” this Spring/Summer) and you’ll stand-out from the suited crowd, in a creative and comfortable way.

    Bonus Tip: Notice how there is a pop of color in each of these looks. As I mentioned in this recent post, Spring is the time to start slipping in some new colorways.

    Bonus Tip II: As you probably know, I’m a huge fan of seasonal suiting. I’m also a big fan of seasonal neckwear – like this linen tie.

    Bonus Tip III: If you’re going with a louder color (like purple or red, for example) ground it down with neutrals, like greys and navys (like mom and I here).

    Thanks for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier


    Photography by Alex Crawford.

    • Tiffany

      they’re both gorgeous!!

    • F.A

      i love our looks but i would really like to see you working with a london boy style, because most of your outfits are very american. i9 understand you portray real men but i would love to see more kook and a few modellike quiffs

    • TSG

      She has great legs!!!!

    • Alex

      Last look is great

    • Hanif Castle @NoneLikeNeef

      excellent way of using the trench… i’m jealous of your for those SE Sebagos

    • Johnston O’brian

      It must be said: That suit is baller status. 6 button vest is fancy-tastic.

    • illtek

      Great post. Your mom is gorgeous!

    • Michael


    • cam

      dan, i found a great trench on closeout but it has epaulettes and no belt. do yo know if a tailor can remove the epaulettes without damaging the coat? i also need to see if they can make a belt. great post! thanks

    • Emanuel Iuhas

      Very usefull post…I also own a navy trench.

      P.S: Beautiful mom you have!


    • RJ!

      your mom’s shoes are fab in that last shot!

    • jim

      I really wish I could find that BBBF trench. I have the khaki version and must have navy.

    • Josh

      your mum has awesome shoes in the last outfit! … yours are cool too haha

    • shaqueeda

      awwwww booboo i love seeing u and yo mama i see where u be bettin yo looks from

    • swashbucklr

      When you had the coat cropped, was your tailor able to put in a good vent?

      It appears so (the vent looks perfect in the last picture), but someone just told me that a vent is surprisingly difficult to install. I doubted them anyway—he is kinda a know it all.

    • Zach

      haha dont worry I love those shoes too! You’ve got some great pieces but more importantly you put them all together well.

      Lovin the trench…Brooks Brothers Black Fleece is one of the coolest modern labels around. Too bad i can’t afford anything :/

    • Zach Raymond

      those black shoes in the last fit are horrible

      • SB

        Hah, one of my favorite pairs. To each his own I guess.


        • Barker Black

          The Barker Blacks??? Those are perhaps the most coveted shoes out there. Derrick Miller would be saddened by this.

      • Arron

        What’s wrong with the shoes? I think they’re rad. Everyones different but I don’t think horrible is the word I’d use.

    • Kristopher

      Shout outs to all the Mothers out there today. They definitely deserve more days where we show our appreciation. Whether or not they’re this stylish is a whole other ball game though. Great post, continue to kill itttt

    • Anonymous

      Aren’t u Canadian?

    • Dan

      This was a really essential post, but it was also really cute (no homo) haha. I hope you had a great day with your mom.

    • Kin

      I can see why she is a great style inspiration and by looking at the photos I have to say she looks very young.

      Love the first and last look.

    • Cory

      That’s sweet. Kudos for including your mother.

    • ciara

      It may just be the way you’re standing,but did you alter the hopsack trousers? In this post they seem more slim-fitting than before.

      • ciara

        oh, i forgot to mention: I like in the first look that you had a navy trench with the white shirt and red pants rather than the navy blazer combo everyone is doing.

    • chris

      where are the red chinos from in the first pictures?

      • SB

        Polo Ralph Lauren. Sorry, just added it to the photo caption.

    • JHenry

      So you and your mom are both impeccably stylish….? hm. #Awesomeness!


    • Karlis U

      Lovely trench coat.
      a good fit.