The Men's trench coat was the coat worn by soldiers in the trenches. The coat started in the United Kingdom during World War I. The shape of the trench allowed them to move freely during war and the knee length rain proof fabric helped them to dry fast in damp environment. The features that were specially meant in trench coats were shoulder straps, detachable epaulettes an extra flap on the shoulder and D-rings on the belt for hanging the equipments needed. The famous fabric was gabardine used in trench coats but leather, wool, poplin, cotton drill are also used. The mens suit manufacturers previously made long skirt with long collars in trench coats. But now the style changed to short or long as required and shapes changed to be worn fashionably with all kinds of outfits for men and women.
Gabardine: Thomas Burberry invented gabardine by waterproofing wool yarn before weaving. Before this fabric the Britishers had only raincoats made of high water resistant but very uncomfortable rubber laminate. They became popular outdoorsmen, sportsmen and explorers. It has been used in cold weather environments especially in South Poles and Mt. Everest. The design coats for the army. It was lightweight and durable and made of worsted cotton or sometimes wool. Traditionally the fibre used was only worsted wool but later cotton, textured polyester was also used for making mens trench coats . The fabric utilizes a twill weave to achieve diagonally ribbed surface that is smooth to touch. The care for these fabrics requires the trench coats to be dry cleaned to retain the texture and maintain the outfit but hand wash can be done but not frequently. The cotton gabardine is sometimes used by bespoke tailors to make pocket linings for business suits.
Leather: Trench coat fashion introduces the use of leather fabric. It was heavier and was of not much use. But the Italian leather is the best variety with soft pliable cowhide leather. It also thinner than other leathers the deerskin and buckskin leather is heavier but crocodile, lizard and snake skin leather is also a type of leather quite expensive. Black is the most common base colour for leather coats but other colours are also include as designs and patches sewn on the back and front lapels of the trench coat. These men's leather trench coat are the classic symbols of fashion and the designers from Paris, Milan and New York show different version of this coat . However the common leathers used by most designers in leather trench coats are calfskin, deerskin, lambskin and suede. The famous brands charge several thousand of dollars for a leather trench coat. It is important to maintain such a costly trench coat. So the care includes proper leather stain remover for the stains that occur in the coat. It should be stored in cool and dry place and stored in closet away from heat.
Cotton: This is a soft fluffy staple fibre that grows in a ball around the seeds of cotton plants .This fibre is often spun into yarn or thread and used to make soft breathable textile. This fabric is used from prehistoric periods. China is the largest cotton producer in the world but most of it is of domestic use. United States of America is the largest exporter of cotton for many years. The properties of the fabric are cellulose, water, protoplasm, waxes and mineral salts. Cotton is blended with lot of other fibres to make different type of garments and is the most common fabric and comfortable for all weathers. It is easy to maintain and men's trench coats made from this fibre along with other materials make the outfit comfortable and durable. The cost of cotton is also high but it is the best fabric of all.
Poplin: Poplin is a strong fabric in a plain weave of any fibre or blend with crosswise ribs that typically gives a corded surface. Traditionally it consisted of a silk wrap with a woof of worsted yarn. It is now made with wool, cotton, silk, rayon or any mixture of these though originally made from silk. This fabric is suitable for winter wear and trench coats are made from this fabric along with cotton or wool. As made with cotton and poplin it can be hand washed and easy to maintain and using poplin does not allow wrinkling easily. The price is cheaper than wool gabardine and also suitable for spring season.
So the typical trench coat is made of the above fabrics and also comes in variety of colour, patterns and is worn as windbreaker or rain jacket. The ten buttoned double breasted long coats with colors like tan, khaki, beige or black is suitable for winter or snowy conditions. The style of cuff straps on the raglan sleeves, shoulder straps and a belt is a protection from cold winds and son became the cultural icon and was used in most films.