What an honor to be the first male contributor! I'd better make this one memorable then.
So in light of such a momentous occassion, I will put up for consideration perhaps the manliest of all wardrobe items: the trench coat.
Originally designed for the British army during World War 1, the trenchcoat has not only a historical significance but it's become a wardrobe staple to survive the daily battle of what to wear for both men and women.
I'll confess, I don't need a trenchcoat. But I've REALLY wanted one since I graduated college. They have a certain cinematic drama to them and yet they are terrifically practical - a perfect combination if you ask me.
They come in many different styles these days (ah mass market production how I love thee) so the decision process is a bit daunting... but I'm up for the task. And before making any retail purchase, I like to think about what exactly I want so I don't make any hasty decisions.
So the first and easiest decision point for me is length. Off the bat, being 5'6" makes it imperative that I don't go for the full length trench unless I want to look like I'm borrowing my much taller, older brother's jacket to play grown-up. Cross that one off the list. Then There's the cropped option that sits just around hip level - but a trench by definition should have some length in my book. So that leaves me with getting something between the mid thigh to knee. Check.
Now off to color. Ok this one's pretty hard. It's for sure going to be in a fairly basic color, but let's face it, everything in men's collections is in basic colors. There's the classic beige-ish color range, a more cement-y grey, black, olive, and navy on the racks these days. I think I may go for darker colors because light colors dirty easily and I'm a stain magnet. Check.
And lastly on my list of considerations - fabric. Considering the California Bay Area climate isn't that extreme - I'm in no need for a heavy Gabardine (which Thomas Burberry INVENTED. How does one invent a fabric? I know not, but I found that nugget interesting) or much lining for that matter- so something in the poplin/cotton family that's water-repellant enough for a light rain will suffice. Check.
So with those criteria, it's off to scour the interconnected tubes of the world wide web to see what retail offerings that may hit the search criteria and here's what I've been able to find (Pictures of the contenders are below.)
My favorite so far has to be this black Burberry trench... but plunking down the dolla-dolla-bills-y'all for this one jacket isn't exactly my style. I did try it on though while I was passing through the Duty Free shop and very nearly entered into a great deal of debt - the jacket felt that great. sigh.
I'll be hunting around for copycats, but I will say that this Thomas Burberry fellow knew what he's doing.
So - should I resist the urge to splurge? Or shall I put in the investment? Ugh. Decisions.