If you work at Man Repeller and can’t remember the name of a brand or want to identify the year something was released and by who, you ask Elizabeth Tamkin. With a near Encyclopedic knowledge of the market at any given time, she always has an answer, and usually one that will surprise and delight. As Man Repeller’s Market Assistant, she’s especially creative with a budget. Below she tackles the quintessential fall market hunt: a reliable trench coat that doesn’t cost $500. Read on to see what she found.
My first beloved trench coat was from Topshop, purchased right before I left for college in 2010. It was double breasted, had deep pockets and featured a skirted bottom with pleats. It was my most reliable jacket for two New York City autumns in a row. When I wore it, I never didn’t receive a compliment.
I thought I’d wear my beloved trench forever until I ripped the entire side of it on a construction divider outside of Sweetgreen in 2012. Ever since, I’ve been on the hunt for one that hits that alchemic trifecta: cool, well-made, reasonably priced. They’re harder to find than one might expect. But after some market research, I’ve tracked down seven options that fit the bill. Below, my finds, styled on me, fit to shield us from unexpected rain or falling acorns and, hopefully, the cold-weather blues.
The coated armor, by RAINS ($215)
There is a Rains store in Soho right by our office, and I always wondered about the brand, but for one reason or another, never went in the store. I saw this trench recently on Net-a-Porter and its less-predictable color (not tan, not black, nor navy) mixed with its glossy finish drew me in. Also, it doesn’t squeak when you walk, because it’s not latex.
The classic trench with a checkered spin, by UNIQLO ($59.90)
You may recognize this one from the coveted Ines de la Fressange x Uniqlo collection that launched last year. It is now on sale! I love the length — it’s not too long but not mini-skirt short — and it has a classic double-breasted front with a thick and secure belt. It also comes in a classic khaki color if you prefer. Next time I wear it, I plan to pair it with ankle-grazing trouser and patent leather loafers.
The wildcard, by DOMRICHshop on ETSY ($115)
I actually used this trench coat in a market report about kewl koats last year. It’s so fun, handmade, and clocks in at $115. While often I see trench coats as great opportunities to wear your pajamas out of the house and call it a day, this trench gives you the opportunity to NOT hide your outfit but rather show it off.
The one everyone will compliment you on, by BERSHKA ($129)
I have personally owned this one for about a month now and in all honesty, it is my go-to coat. At $129, it is actually surprisingly warm (it’s lined) and the leather appearance and little split in the back that makes it flare out just a little bit are cool touches.
The really, really shockingly affordable option, by BOOHOO ($35)
This checker-lined coat from BooHoo is 50% off, do it’s rounding out the group at just $35. I love the contrast trim and the shin-length skirt. It’s very thin but it’s water-resistant and a great option if you’re going to wear your trench as a thin outer layer.
The core trench, by EVERLANE ($138)
This one is most like my beloved ripped trench and probably most like the trench coats you envision when you think of classic London rainy streets in the late afternoon. It has a slightly oversize fit, which is great for cozy layering cable knit sweaters underneath, and has a water-resistant finish which is great for you know, the rain. I think of this one as a real wardrobe staple worth staying in and cooking a few nights for.
The tartan for layering, by ASOS ($103)
This select was inspired by Pandora’s story on tartan, in which she wore a similar trench coat from Warehouse. This festive trench is very, very thin, so on cold days, you’ll need to layer a thick knit underneath. Might I suggest a cozy fisherman one?
Do you have any wonderful trench coat recs that doesn’t rip your wallet open like a construction divider? Please share in the comments below.
Photos by Edith Young.