Quick access to main page (top) Direct access to main contents Quick access to main page (bottom)

History You Never Knew: How Trench Coats Emerged from the Depths of War

daily Views  

Coco Chanel, a renowned fashion icon, once left the famous quote, “Trends fade, style is eternal.” If there is an item that epitomizes this sentiment, it’s undoubtedly the trench coat. Timeless and versatile, the trench coat is a bestseller, crossing boundaries of gender, age, and style. Remarkably, this iconic garment has roots deeply embedded in wartime history. Let’s delve into the concealed history behind the trench coat.

Origin of the Trench Coat

The term “trench” in trench coat refers to a trench or ditch in English. It originated from British military officers’ raincoats in the trenches during World War I. They were issued these coats to maintain body heat while digging trenches and facing off against enemies on rainy days. In short, the trench coat was born to withstand harsh weather conditions during wartime.

Features of the Trench Coat

Initially, the trench coat emerged as a straightforward raincoat design with a waist belt. However, as the war unfolded, it evolved into D-shaped rings for attaching hand grenades, knives, and ammunition pouches. Wrist belts were also incorporated to minimize wear and tear. These features, born out of wartime necessity, persist in modern trench coat designs.

John Emery

John Emery, who operated a men’s clothing store on Regent Street in London, was the first to develop the trench coat. In 1851, he created the first waterproof wool fabric and immediately patented it. Emery changed his company’s name to Aquascutum, derived from the Latin words ‘aqua’ and ‘scutum’, which translate to ‘water’ and ‘shield’. John Emery is known to have supplied the first trench coats to British troops participating in the Crimean War.

Thomas Burberry

Thirty-five years later, Burberry introduced a groundbreaking fabric known as Gabardine. This tightly woven twill was crafted from chemically treated long cotton fibers, rendering it waterproof and remarkably breathable compared to other brands’ wool and rubber blend materials. In 1901, Burberry presented his innovative trench coat to the British War Office, marking the inception of the traditional British-style Burberry trench coat that remains iconic today.

Trench Coat Becomes a Popular Item

While the trench coat initially remained associated with military attire, its transition into civilian fashion occurred post-World War II. Upon soldiers’ return, a desire to retain the garment persisted, with officers continuing to wear them. As the trench coat continued to be exposed to civilians, its practicality and style captivated a wider audience, solidifying its status as a beloved and popular item.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Audrey Hepburn

The trench coat rose to prominence among women with the influential endorsement of legendary actress Audrey Hepburn. In the iconic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Hepburn captivated audiences as the enchanting Holly, winning many hearts. Her portrayal, particularly in the memorable final scene, where she searches for her cat in the rain while clad in a trench coat, captures widespread attention. A stylish trench coat adorned her during a kissing scene with George Peppard in the rain, cementing her legacy as the trench coat icon in cinematic history.

Casablanca Humphrey Bogart

The trench coat caught the attention of men when British gentlemen started wearing it with hats and umbrellas. In particular, Humphrey Bogart’s fashion in Casablanca, wearing a trench coat with a fedora, ignited men’s hearts. The sight of Humphrey Bogart walking with his collar turned up, and the hem of his trench coat billowing is considered one of the most memorable scenes in film history.

Waterloo Bridge Robert Taylor

The trench coat was a pivotal tool for conveying the distinctive traits and personas of characters in cinema. In the 1940 film Waterloo Bridge, Robert Taylor prominently donned a trench coat, evoking a melancholy ambiance that became synonymous with his character. The scene featuring Taylor embracing Vivien Leigh amidst the rain on Waterloo Bridge ignited a global fascination with what came to be known as the trench coat syndrome.

Columbo Peter Falk

In the TV drama Columbo, Peter Falk was a renowned detective, crafting a distinctive character with unkempt hair, a rugged visage, and a rumpled trench coat. Despite deviating from the conventional detective archetype, Falk’s portrayal exuded an earnest demeanor heightened by the trench coat’s presence, contributing to the character’s enduring appeal.

A Better Tomorrow Chow Yun-fat

Released in 1987, A Better Tomorrow established the benchmark for the Hong Kong noir genre, garnering acclaim as one of its greatest masterpieces and retaining its status as a classic. Even for those unfamiliar with the film, the iconic image of actor Chow Yun-fat, clad in a trench coat and sunglasses while placing a matchstick in his mouth, is instantly recognizable. Chow Yun-fat’s portrayal, adorned in a trench coat, sparked a trend in Korea, solidifying the garment’s enduring influence on popular culture.

daily
content@viewusglobal.com

Comments0

300

Comments0

[LIFESTYLE] Latest Stories

  • 10 Surprising Laws That Could Get You Arrested Abroad
  • Why Do We Feel Moody at Night? 10 Important Role of Serotonin
  • 10 Hidden Role of Pillows in a Good Night's Sleep
  • Double Trouble: Two APOE4 Genes Escalate Alzheimer's Onset
  • Are Men with High Testosterone More Prone to Heart Disease?
  • Ugly Truth About Using Hand Cream as a Face Moisturizer

Weekly Best Articles

  • 10 Surprising Laws That Could Get You Arrested Abroad
  • New mRNA Cancer Vaccine: A Beacon of Hope for Brain Tumor Patients
  • Why Do We Feel Moody at Night? 10 Important Role of Serotonin
  • 10 Hidden Role of Pillows in a Good Night’s Sleep
  • Double Trouble: Two APOE4 Genes Escalate Alzheimer’s Onset
  • Are Men with High Testosterone More Prone to Heart Disease?
  • Ugly Truth About Using Hand Cream as a Face Moisturizer
  • New Research Unlocks Genetic Puzzles of Hypertension
  • Scotland Offers $63,000 to Live on Stunning Islands – Here’s Why
  • Get Ripped in Record Time: The Truth About Muscle Building
  • The Secret to Maintaining Muscle Strength May Be in Your Biological Clock
  • Tourists Turned Off by Rising Costs of Hawaii’s Vacation Rentals

You May Also Like

  • 1
    How Custom Vaccines Could Soothe Eczema Itch

    LATEST 

  • 2
    Could Trump Solve the North Korea Puzzle Again? Insights from a Former NSC Director

    WORLD 

  • 3
    Caught in the Act: U.S. Accuses Chinese Firms of Backing Putin in Ukraine Conflict

    WORLD 

  • 4
    U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris Reports Receiving Beyoncé's Concert and Football Game Tickets

    WORLD 

  • 5
    100 Hours a Week: The Job That Killed a Bank of America Employee

    LATEST 

Popular Now

  • 1
    Promise of a United Front: South Korea's National Assembly Aims for Harmony

    WORLD 

  • 2
    White House Targets Chinese Solar Imports: Tariffs on Dual-sided Panels and Blocking Circumventing Exports through Southeast Asia

    WORLD 

  • 3
    Biden Administration Escalates Trade War with New China Tariffs

    ASIA 

  • 4
    Weapons for Defense, Not Dollars: North Korea's Stance on Arms Exports Revealed!

    WORLD 

  • 5
    U.S. Slaps $5 Million Bounty on North Korean IT Workers in Corporate Espionage Scandal

    WORLD 

Weekly Best Articles

  • 10 Surprising Laws That Could Get You Arrested Abroad
  • New mRNA Cancer Vaccine: A Beacon of Hope for Brain Tumor Patients
  • Why Do We Feel Moody at Night? 10 Important Role of Serotonin
  • 10 Hidden Role of Pillows in a Good Night’s Sleep
  • Double Trouble: Two APOE4 Genes Escalate Alzheimer’s Onset
  • Are Men with High Testosterone More Prone to Heart Disease?
  • Ugly Truth About Using Hand Cream as a Face Moisturizer
  • New Research Unlocks Genetic Puzzles of Hypertension
  • Scotland Offers $63,000 to Live on Stunning Islands – Here’s Why
  • Get Ripped in Record Time: The Truth About Muscle Building
  • The Secret to Maintaining Muscle Strength May Be in Your Biological Clock
  • Tourists Turned Off by Rising Costs of Hawaii’s Vacation Rentals

Must-Reads

  • 1
    How Custom Vaccines Could Soothe Eczema Itch

    LATEST 

  • 2
    Could Trump Solve the North Korea Puzzle Again? Insights from a Former NSC Director

    WORLD 

  • 3
    Caught in the Act: U.S. Accuses Chinese Firms of Backing Putin in Ukraine Conflict

    WORLD 

  • 4
    U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris Reports Receiving Beyoncé's Concert and Football Game Tickets

    WORLD 

  • 5
    100 Hours a Week: The Job That Killed a Bank of America Employee

    LATEST 

Popular Now

  • 1
    Promise of a United Front: South Korea's National Assembly Aims for Harmony

    WORLD 

  • 2
    White House Targets Chinese Solar Imports: Tariffs on Dual-sided Panels and Blocking Circumventing Exports through Southeast Asia

    WORLD 

  • 3
    Biden Administration Escalates Trade War with New China Tariffs

    ASIA 

  • 4
    Weapons for Defense, Not Dollars: North Korea's Stance on Arms Exports Revealed!

    WORLD 

  • 5
    U.S. Slaps $5 Million Bounty on North Korean IT Workers in Corporate Espionage Scandal

    WORLD 

Share it on...