Drenched and Entrenched. The Search for the Perfect Trench Coat!

Classic dressing is pretty much my style. Non-fussy. Basic. I know what I like.  I know what I want. What I want is a plain old classic Trench Coat!


I want a lady version of this coat–just not as widely double-breasted!

I did inherit steal a “drench coat” (my personal term for raincoat) from Bonaparte. It is his uncle Yves’ clay-colored drench that is many, many years old. The coat is missing its belt, and, on me is an oversized delight.  This drench coat lends itself well to layering blazers and heavy sweaters underneath. For me—it is that perfect winter coat. I also love the longer length.mini boots belt long coat 1

My “drench” coat. I couldn’t make the photo bigger because it was way too out of focus.  But it isn’t a trench! Very French. Very Drench. My French Drench Coat!

But I really wanted that classic trench. I covet that khaki colored item of outerwear that will turn me into a mysterious, glamorous woman. And the trench will offer a “devil-may-care” attitude about the casual way I gloriously put myself together.

Audrey Hepburn

Yes. I want to be just like Audrey in my trench!

I want a trench that can be worn in a coquettish way—like Bardot. Like on a bed!

Bardot and I could pass for trench twins!  Sort of. OK. Not at all–but I can still have my delusions. Besides we both have trench coats!

My requirements were pretty specific.  I didn’t want to spend a fortune because it wouldn’t be worn on a constant basis. Oh. It would be worn regularly during the spring because it’s incredibly damp and rainy here in the Northeast.  It would hang in the closet during the summer because the atmosphere gets way too hot and humid to be bothered with a coat of any kind—even in a thunderstorm!

I also wanted a bit of a modification on the classic men’s double-breasted version.  A true double-breasted coat is very busy and fussy for my body.  A simpler version would do.

I wanted a longer belt because I want to either tie the belt around my waist or tie it in the back of the coat.

A darker khaki would be better for me due to the fact I’m pretty much the biggest natural slob on earth. I spill things on myself. I bump into things. Dirt follows me.


I am the female version of Pig Pen. Perhaps my name should be changed to Pig Penny! Light colors don’t work for me for obvious reasons!

Good detailing and good construction would also be wanted. I want a lined coat because in these damp and chilly springs and autumns the lining can give a bit of warmth and protect the coat.

Nothing with a hood either. Good God!  When Bonaparte and I were in DC a couple of weeks ago, we stopped into TJ Maxx.  The store had a display of coats that were advertised as “trench” but they weren’t.  The coats were hooded—which I think is just awful. Hoods belong on jackets—not coats.  They also looked cheaply constructed. Coats with hoods = Drench coats. Not Trench coats.

Kors Not a trench

This is NOT a trench. It is a hooded drench jacket/coat by (ugh) Michael Kors…

Michael Kors hooded trench

Another fake Michael Kors trench. It has a hood. That makes it a regular rain coat or “drench” coat. Hoods on a coat like this ruin the look.

Next stop was the B & M J. Crew.  Crew had the “Washed Cotton Trench” on display. Let me tell you. This coat resembles nothing like the washed cotton trench on their website.  This real life model was a mass of wrinkles draped on a hanger.  Although I do like casual clothing to stop short of perfect, this coat was just a mess. And it wasn’t a good mess either.  I wanted something a bit more constructed.

Crew washed cotton trench coat

This is a photo of the J. Crew “Washed Cotton Trench”. This is fake advertising for the coat because in real life it is nothing more than a mass of wrinkles.

I know, I know. I sound incredibly fussy and particular.  But I have a vision in my mind of what I want and I won’t settle.

Anyway, Bonaparte had the afternoon off from seeing clients yesterday and he asked, insisted forced me to get out of my pajamas, get dressed and accompany him to the outlets.   I think he’s starting to worry about my emotional state because he told me that if I saw anything I wanted or needed to let him know.

Our first stop was J. Crew Factory because he loves the socks sold there.  He’s quite whimsical in his fun choice of patterned socks!

That’s the coat I wanted.  The perfect trench for me–and I found it at J. Crew Factory!

I started to mope look around and there, hanging up on a wall display was the trench coat that I envisioned!   I swear the coat was illuminated and I heard music!  (Oh wait. I did hear music.  The store was playing Indy CD’s.)   I walked over, in a complete trench trance, to the hung coats.  The first coat on the rack was a size 00. WTF wears that size anyway?  The next size was a 2—I guess that’s the bulimic size.   The last coat on the rack was a 10.  It was a great fit.   With the 40% off the price of $178.00, the final cost would be $106.80.  A terrific value for a coat that I would be wearing for many years to come.

Bonaparte loved the way it looked even more than I did and I’m happy to say that I have finally added this classic piece to my wardrobe.

Other than the fit, what’s to like?

The color. It isn’t a light khaki. It’s more of a deeper tan which I like. The dirt that follows me will blend.

My trench front view hanging up

I love the darker color because for my natural born slobness, spills and dirt won’t show up as much!

The detailing.  The stitching around the pockets and trim is even and tight. The belt holes are reinforced with a ton of stitching.

stitching around pocket

The stitching is nice and tight and even. It gives the coat a richer look.

stitching detail around belt hole

The little holes for the belt buckle are reinforced with a ton of stitching.

The buttons.  They are a good tortoise shell color.  The buttons don’t look cheap and won’t have to be replaced.


The buttons don’t look cheap…

Button on cuff

And they are sewn on quite strongly. I HATE when buttons are practically basted on–it’s so shoddy. These babies aren’t coming off any time soon!

The back.  I am digging the back flap it lays nicely against the shoulder area.

My Trench back view

That flap won’t be flipping in the wind.  This is a well-constructed trench.

It’s fully lined and drapes nicely on the body.


The coat has a nice looking lining which will be added protection!

Anything I don’t like?

The pleats in the collar when it is folded down.  I noticed that when I got home but it doesn’t make the coat returnable.  My hair is long enough to hide the pleats and when the collar is popped up its smooth—and I like the stitching underneath the collar.

Collar up and down

Just a small detail I noticed when I got home, but  it isn’t a deal breaker!

Finding this  coat has given me hope that at some point, maybe J. Crew will return to the classic roots that it once had, rather than trying to be the kid who tries too hard. Listening to me Jenna Lyons???

But it isn’t just that.  Wearing a trench coat gives off a vintage, cool, film noir, mysterious kind of vibe..


See this ’60’s look?

Mysterious in scarf and trench

I can do that with my trench coat and Hermes scarf!


In my trench coat, I can channel Kate Moss….

Old lady does kate moss

The heavier version! OK/ The older version too!

Wearing a trench gives off one of those “Oh, I’m not concerned about how I look” tones–but you just know you look great in that trench!

Tyler Rampling trench coat

I wanna be a cross between Liv Tyler and the wonderful Charlotte Rampling!

My comfy slob look

Look–I’m both. My jeans and shirt are like Liv’s but my coat and my age are closer to Charlotte’s!

Even on those days where you just want to dress lazy, the trench will make you look better.


I can even be more comfortable when I channel Columbo.

at my comfort level

My inner and outer slob!

So yeah.  I’m so glad that my basic wardrobe is now more basic and more complete and I’ve got that eternally simple trench coat. Who’d a thunk I found it at J. Crew Factory????

I’m telling you–if you are in want of a classic trench,  this is one coat that I highly recommend! Get your Film Noir on!!!

Now what song could be more appropriate for wearing a trench coat on a dark, foggy night?  Picture Bogart and Becall. “As Time Goes By”.  XOXOXOXO!!!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
This entry was posted in Classic Clothing, Clothing for mature women, J. Crew Factory Trench Coat, Looking cool at any age, Trench Coat and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

61 Responses to Drenched and Entrenched. The Search for the Perfect Trench Coat!

  1. What a fun post! Loved it! Very classic! 🙂

  2. Elaine says:

    Loved the coat!

    • Catherine says:

      Isn’t it great? The price is right and the fit is right and it’s just one of those coats that’ll be worn for a long time! XOXOXO!

  3. spearfruit says:

    LOL, you are so funny – I always enjoy reading your posts Catherine. I am glad you found that perfect trench! 🙂

  4. you look like jackie onassis 😉

  5. Judy says:

    Love this article. Catherine, YOU are a classic! Never change!

  6. Jean says:

    Love it! I miss coats sometimes. And boots. Sigh

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jean. Ohhhhhh…Can you find a really lightweight coat?? It’s funny but this winter, I didn’t wear boots all that much. It’s almost barefoot season here too. XOXOXO!!

  7. mariaholm says:

    I loved your post Catherine! Just imagine when I was young in the mid sixties I saw such a trench coat in Tivoli in Copenhagen. I made a quick drawing of it on a piece of paper and my neighbor who was a tailor help me to make the pattern. I found the material an voila I had a coat I loved. Maybe I could find a picture.

    • Catherine says:

      Maria! Oh man–you HAVE to find a picture of the coat. What a great story! You need to write about it. What happened to the coat? My interest is highly piqued right now! XOXOXO!

      • mariaholm says:

        I am so glad that I have some pictures of that and of dresses and skirts I made. At that time in Denmark the fashion for young people had not really come to the country and could only be seen in magazines from England or on tourists. Later loads of shops and clothes can be bought even cheaper than if you buy the material and start from scratch. I don’t know if I can put a picture in a comment or I could tag you as I think I have used the picture in a post

      • Catherine says:

        Tag me!! Tag me!

      • mariaholm says:

        I found one post with it but tomorrow I will search up a closer shot of the picture. Here it’s late https://mariaholm51.com/2015/10/10/a-series-of-vignetts-being-15/

      • Catherine says:

        Those pics are great. I love the sandals you are wearing in the London pics. You’re a total Ye-ye girl! You’re so adorable! XOXOXO!

      • mariaholm says:

        So kind of you to say this. I loved those sandals and they were handmade by a man in Copenhagen. He drew my feet on a piece of paper so each was different

      • Catherine says:

        Maria. Those sandals remind me of the “bikini” sandals at Rondini. I want to get a pair this summer when we are in St. Tropez. Check it out–scroll down till you get to the bikini cuir sandals: http://boutique.rondini.fr/fr/chaussures-femmes-7

      • mariaholm says:

        O yes they remind me of the style. So minimalistic and beautiful ❤ isn’t it nice that we can still dream of new clothes and shoes. I found a pair of creoles yesterday that ended up as “must haves” so I bought them and sent a message to my husband. I am I Copenhagen helping with grandchildren. He had to check my account 😲

  8. mariaholm says:

    I have lost both the sandals and the coat. But I will look for the pictures

    • Catherine says:

      I’m looking forward to seeing them! XOXOXO!

      • mariaholm says:

        We can laugh together half way around the world

      • Catherine says:

        We sure can! XOXOXO!

      • mariaholm says:

        To night I found a post with the photo I was thinking of Catherine

      • Catherine says:

        Maria. I LOVE the photos. You really need to take the photo of your coat to a tailor and have it remade! I love your clothing from over the years. It’s funny but looking at you and your brother when you were young–really young brings back memories. My boys had the same haircut and Oona had the same haircut that you had! It makes me feel like I know you so much better!! Thank you so much! XOXOXOXO!!

      • mariaholm says:

        Thank you again for your kind comments Catherine. I just feel it’s so important for me to make small glimpses of a time gone many years ago. To combine text and photos in English and in my own language Danish. In a Danish blog I have started from my early childhood. I am able to get more nuances described there of course. Maybe you are also making posts on your life ?

      • Catherine says:

        I think it is important to give glimpses of who we are. I so sometimes make posts about my life–but mostly about the silliness. I’m working on one that has a more serious tone but I’m waiting for the right time to post it. XOXOXOXO

      • mariaholm says:

        I will check on you now and then Catherine but I think it’s so important to be loyal to the the way each of us likes to blog and then we sometimes develop the blog in a new direction. In the start I thought I would blog a lot on “baby care” but that’s the least of it

  9. Great post, and congratulations on finding your perfect trench – what a find! You look beautiful in your photos. Thanks for adding “Columbo” – they have been playing reruns of this fabulous series and I have been watching – gotta love his iconic and truly original style!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Hipsterette! Thanks! There is just something great about finding the perfect item that you’ve been sleuthing for so long. Next on my list are white Tretorn sneakers. Canvas sneakers–good, classic footwear! Oh. Columbo was great. I feel an affinity with Peter Falk!! XOXOXO!!!

  10. Adryana says:

    You look great in your coat!😍 I think some things shouldn’t be reinvented- like trench coats! Yes, hood is practical and a good thing, but on a trench coat it just looks like an preinstalled app on Android. You don’t really need it and it brings down the user comfort. Also, I love your humor!💕 Thank you! 😊

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Adryana. I’m incredibly happy that you feel the same way I do about hoods. I have an old red anorak jacket and it has a hood. The hood doesn’t even protect my hair–I have to wear a hat AND the hood over the hat to protect my tresses in bad weather. Hoods are a waste of fabric! XOXOXOXO!!!

  11. Catherine!! You. Are. An icon! ❤️ Love You 😘😘😘😘

  12. You look awesome in that trench coat!

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Carol! Naturally, the weather was unseasonable HOT today and it hit 79 degrees. Now I’m praying for cooler weather so I can run around town in this new coat! XOXOXOXO!!!

  13. Great post! You certainly found the perfect trench coat for you! I love it. I discovered your blog several weeks ago and just LOVE it! Thanks so much!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Suzy. And welcome to the party!!! Isn’t the trench great??? It could be the thread that is keeping me sewn to J. Crew these days! I thank you for enjoying and reading my rants and raves with a laugh! XOXOXOXO!!!

  14. calensariel says:

    Catherine, my girl, you are in a class ALL BY YOURSELF! 😉

    • Catherine says:

      LOL–Lady Calen. I’ve heard that said most of my life!! XOXOXOXO!!!

      • calensariel says:

        Maybe so, but I bet no one has ever been able to hold a candle to you. You’re your own person! I think that’s what’s so inspiring about your blogs. 🙂

      • Catherine says:

        Thanks so much Calen. I do believe in marching to the beat of my own drum. I may not fit in properly with the masses, but I’m happy that way. LOL. Oona told me that the only two people who think alike are me and my son Roman. Our logic and thinking are the same! Thank you so much for such a kind and beautiful compliment-I so appreciate it! XOXOXOXO!!

  15. junedesilva says:

    Hi Catherine! I’ve been behind with reading, commenting & writing blog posts, recently! Life gets in the way sometimes, n’est-ce pas ?! You certainly rock your new trench coat & there are some fab photos in this post. x

    • Catherine says:

      Hi June! Welcome back! I know that feeling when life catches up with you!! I’m so glad that you are diggin’ the chicness of my trenchcoat and the photos!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  16. thefolia says:

    Wear your trench well…nothing like the perfect fitted trench!

  17. Sableyes says:

    Nice jacket 🙂 Love a good length classic jacket.

    I have a 3 quarter length cashmere jacket I got from FCUK about 20 years ago! Cost me £200, but its lasted so well 🙂 The only other jacket I have is a lengthy wax cotton motorcycle jacket (Spada Staffy. Like the Steve McQueen classic trials motorbike look. 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Sableyes. Glad you like the trench! Ohhhhhhhh. Cashmere! One of my sons has an incredible cashmere blazer that I’m actually lemming. I’m hoping that he decides to get rid of it and ask me if I want it. I will jump upon that soft and luxe piece of clothing and run to the tailor to have it fit to my body! I’m not above taking hand me downs. In fact, I love clothing with a history. That Steve McQueen look must look rather fetching on you! XOXOXOXO!!

      • Sableyes says:

        Only hand me down I have is a watch from my dad. Something like 40-50 years old. That’s got a good history 🙂

        Spada staffy in brown : http://www.spadaclothing.co.uk/productdetail.php?subcat=69&cat=2&product=3136

        Makes me look like the gentlemen biker that I am ^^

      • Catherine says:

        I LOVE that staffy jacket. OMG. If only they sold them here in the States. In navy. In blue! WOW!!! I have an old tweed cap from my dad that I wear during the winter months on bad hair days. It’s slightly large on my so I stuff my hair into it. Ahhh. I think of him when I wear it! I also have an old wool sweater with the word “Ireland” knitted into it that my father used to wear all the time. I wear it every St. Patrick’s day and when he first passed away, the sweater still had his scent–but now, twenty years later, the scent faded. I miss that!!

  18. LosiLosLoco says:

    I love trench coats and noir ambiance! This was a real treat to read 🙂 Lucky gal!

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Pineapple! And boy oh boy–with the weather so far being so awfully gray and rainy, I’ve been getting a ton of use out of my new trench! XOXOXOXO!!!

Leave a Reply