My favorite piece of outerwear, the trench coat is polished and highly versatile. Acquire a traditional, khaki-colored one that suits you in water-resistant cotton. It’s fine if you’re eyeing trench coats at Burberry, but, I don’t want to see you in the street covered in Burberry plaid. You should limit that to your coat’s lining. Here’s another example of what not to buy at Burberry. The name of the brand should only appear on your coat’s inside label.
For outdoor adventures in nature, you’ll need a utility jacket. Whether it’s waxed or unwaxed is up to you. When I lived in the UK, I wore my navy Barbour Bedale jacket on daily walks through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. When I’m stateside, I also wear a green utility jacket (sans wax) from J.Crew in moderate weather.
I’m currently on the hunt for an activewear jacket that can be worn on brisk walks to and from the gym. Something that weighs less than a trench coat but is heavier than a disposable plastic poncho would be ideal. Also, I need it to be long enough at the back for my liking.
When it comes to acquiring a vest, you have two options: a puffy vest or one of lesser thickness. The puffy vest can be worn over sweaters, knits, and other tops with long sleeves. However, it might be too thick to tuck under another piece of outwear. I own one vest, and it’s on the thinner side, which gives me a lot of flexibility in the ways that I wear it. I especially like wearing it under my cape during the colder months.
A jacket that pairs flawlessly with every or almost every dress in you wardrobe may be a little difficult to come by. But, don’t rush your search. (By the way, I’d steer clear of boleros and shrugs if I were you.) I own two cropped, military-inspired jackets in navy and camel. They pair well with my sleeveless A-line dresses and skirts.
Honorable Mention: Raincoat
I don’t own a raincoat, and I won’t be in the market for one until my next trip to Scotland. (The winds in Edinburgh will turn your umbrella inside out until you become fatigued and give up.) Stateside, I prefer to wear my trench coat in the rain with an umbrella and Le Pliage.
Hearts and Found Elizabeth dress (on Etsy); Margaux Demi flats (platinum); navy cropped jacket (an obscure brand; purchased at a now-defunct discount clothing store)