How to Wear a Trench Coat Without Looking Like a Detective

How to Wear a Trench Coat Without Looking Like a Detective
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Photo: Allison Kahler.

The trench coat came to form in the early 1900s—worn by British military officers and soldiers alike. It entered the high-fashion zeitgeist shortly thereafter (though there’s some debate about whether Burberry or Aquascutum brought it into the sartorial sphere).

These days, trench coats are coveted staples fit for any closet, and they’re revamped season after season.

MORE: 19 Unconventional Spin-Offs of the Iconic Tan Trench

Though trench coats are the kind of cold-weather basic any fashion-minded person can rely on, they can be surprisingly hard to style. Sure, you can wear them with almost anything, but if you stick to the camel, double-breasted go-to—and throw it over whatever you’re already wearing—you might find yourself skewing a little more Sherlock Holmes or Jacques Clouseau than you intended.

And why stick to something so simple, anyway? The trench coat—with its simple, iconic form—is practically begging to be styled in innovative ways. Why not take advantage of its ability to be paired with any color, any pattern and any fabric?

MORE: 24 Colorful Ways to Wear Shearling This Season

Whether you’re trying to figure out how to wear a trench coat without giving off detective vibes—or whether you’re just looking to inject a little flair into your next trench coat outfit—the following slideshow is full of street style inspiration you can peruse. Here, 19 of this chicest trench coat looks we’ve ever seen.

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STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

The best part about this Dior trench? The snap buttons along the side; they allow more movement in an otherwise structured garment.

Photo: Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

Model Cheyenne Tulsa knows wearing a jewel-tone DRYKORN coat and matching pair of pants creates a monochromatic canvas from which to play with pops of color.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

This MUNTHE leopard-print trench coat paired with cat-eye sunglasses, cowboy boots and a saddle bag is definitely not what a typical detective would wear.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

Statement piece alert!

Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

The pale pink tie at the waist pulls Eva Chen's outfit together—in more ways than one.

Photo: Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

A trench with a shorter length leaves room for statement boots.

Photo: Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

Weather permitting, tying a trench coat around your waist is an unexpected way to wear this outerwear piece.

Photo: Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

A tied trench coat is an easy look, especially paried with Fendi accessories.

Photo: Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images.
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Crafting a look from different shades—but the same color family—adds dimension to an otherwise monochromatic ensemble.

Photo: Instagram/@sonialyson.

All doubled-breasted everything.

The more logomania, the merrier.

Photo: Instagram/@aylin_koenig.
STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

Actress Julia Garner leaves her coat unbuttoned on the bottom, making it skew more power suit than outerwear.

Photo: Marc Piasecki/WireImage.
STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

The lining in this coat is the main event.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

Achromatic style is far from boring.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

Layering an open trench coat over a cropped jacket and a long button-up shirt sounds so wrong but looks so, so right.

Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

A blue leather trench coat with a pink bag, modeled after a candy wrapper, is a sweet, sweet pairing.

Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

Head-to-toe prints are always fun.

Photo: Timur Emek/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

Stay cozy while appearing put-together with a sweatshirt/trench coat combo.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

When you don't want to sleeve, drape.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.

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  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall | Pin it!
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall
  • STYLECASTER | 19 Street Style-Approved Ways to Wear Trench Coats This Fall

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