Trench Coat vs Overcoat – When to Wear and Which to Get

Overcoats and trench coats, two awesome pieces of clothing every guy should have. You may go to a shop and see a nice overcoat and a nice trenchcoat at the same price. How do you decide which to choose? What’s the difference? And when and how do you style the one you choose?

Let’s find out.

Trench Coat

A trench coat is a lightweight water-resistant jacket. It comes long and short. You’ll mostly find them three quarters in length, designed to keep the rain off your clothes rather than offer protection like an overcoat.

On the most classic styles, many of the original details remain like epaulets which are a decorative piece of fabric usually fastened by a button on the shoulders, as well as a belted waist that can be cinched to keep the coat secure. Most trench coats come in a double-breasted cut which provides an extra layer of warmth. There are multiple versions of the trench coat: short ones and long ones.

Aside from being light and water-resistant, a great benefit of owning one is its stylistic versatility. It’s one of the few coats that you can easily transition from smart to casual. When it comes to colors, you can’t go wrong with camel, black or navy for full versatility. A trench coat should form a well-tailored fit when it’s fully buttoned up.

Length is also important. It’s best to aim for a style that is no longer than just above your knee and no shorter than your mid-thigh.

Overcoat

Trench Coat vs Overcoat - When to Wear and Which to Get

An overcoat is a heavyweight jacket. It’s a key piece of clothing for the colder winter season. Overcoats come in a variety of different designs and styles. They’re long, warm and made from heavy wool. Overcoats are a classy piece of clothing to have in your wardrobe, depending on the color you opt for they’re quite versatile too.

The length and thickness are designed to block off cold and wind to withstand harsh weather. The heavy wool fabric is designed to hold in your body heat in together. An overcoat is minimal this helps with its versatility, it doesn’t have many ornaments and dressy decorations this simplicity makes it easy to dress down for streetwear or dress up to pair with most suits.

The Difference?

  • A trench coat is designed to protect you against rain / An overcoat is designed to protect you against the cold.
  • A trench coat is lightweight/ an overcoat is heavyweight.

That’s pretty much the difference. I live in Ireland where it’s usually raining a lot, so I tend to wear my trench coat a lot more than my overcoat. And in the colder winter month, I usually tend to wear my overcoat a lot more. One thing I’ve noticed is a trench coat is much more versatile in terms of climate. You can wear a trench coat in cold, rainy and warmish weather. But you can really only wear an overcoat in cold weather as it’s not designed for rain and you will melt wearing it on a warm day.

Conclusion – Which Should You Get?

That’s up to you to decide. They both look near enough the same but serve different purposes. The question is, which of their purposes best relates to what you do and where you live? If in doubt, get both!

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Victor Ajayi

Self-taught Artist & photographer who happens to travel a lot.

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