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8 Overcoat Coat Styles To Know: From Trenches To Balmacaan

Few garments have preserved their integrity since the 17th and 18th century – if they even still exist at all. And yet the overcoat, from its more regal beginnings and military tours to its endurance as a fashion staple in so many circles has stood the test of time. And it’s not even that the overcoat has changed in order to stay relevant but rather society has recognized it for being classic and has adapted to it.

What other garment can provide that extra truffle shaving of class to a meticulously tailored suit meant for the board room, courtroom, or legislative body but also serves as your life line when thrown over the pajamas and hoodie you wore to bed last night for your 8:00 am class you’re 20 minutes late to?

So it’s versatile but I actually have another theory as to why this style as survived uncontested. The overcoat is a top layer that cannot be overcome by another layer unless that layer be another overcoat and the last person that tried that – well you know – combusted. If dressing is a sentence, the over coat is the only true punctuation. So without further ado, let’s break down the different types to watch for.

The Trench Coat

8-Overcoat-Coat-Styles-To-Know-From-Trenches-To-Balmacaan Image via Burberry

Image via Burberry

From Bogart and Columbo to good ol’ Inspector Gadget, the trench coat has firmly rooted itself in the sleuth trade but by no means is it a one trick pony. With the creation credited to Burberry and Aquascutum back in the mid to late 1800s, the trench got its start in the military for Army officers in pre WWI Britain before it was later adapted for trench warfare , hence its name.

The classic is made from a waterproof heavy cotton gabardine drill and features a double breasted 10 button set up with wide lapel, roomy pockets, and waist belt. And of course there is the color. There is no other coat on this list where the color is as linked to the coat itself as khaki is to the trench coat.

Makers of Trench Coats Include:

The Mackintosh


Image via Mackintosh

Predating the trencher is the Mackintosh coat, which was first sold in 1824. Named after the coat’s inventor Charles Macintosh, many writers added the “k” to the name  back in the day which has stuck ’til now. What originally set the mack apart when it first hit the scene was its waterproofed fabric. This was achieved by using a rubberized or rubber laminated material. With early versions having issues with smell, stiffness, breathability, and the classic – melting in hot weather, Macintosh passed the baton to Thomas Hancock who became the first to patent vulcanization which dramatically improved the fabric.

Makers of the Mackintosh Include:


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