Chic Tip: Jacket for Early Fall?

by Tracy James

Q: What kind of jacket is good for fall, something that won't be too heavy but that I can wear to work?


A: I am a big fan of the trench coat, a wardrobe staple in my opinion, especially here in the south, where it doesn't get super cold for very long. Contrary to what some believe, the trench is not just a raincoat. Created in the 1900's by Thomas Burberry, the most traditional fabrication is cotton gabardine (which Burberry himself invented), but today other materials are used, including wool and leather. However for our Alabama climate, a cotton variety will get the most wear. Below are some tips for selecting the right trench.


• A khaki trench always works, be it in a darker tan or a lighter shade like cement. Black is also a great option, and can carry into night time. Fun colors and finishes abound, but keep in mind those say fashion more than they do business.

• Your trench should hit anywhere between two and six inches above the knee. And it should feel snug, with slim, clean lines.

• The collar is designed to be flipped up (it keeps your neck dry, and it looks better that way). Pop the back, but let the sides hang loose for an easier look.

• It is considered more fashionable to knot the belt rather than actually loop it through the D-ring. If your trench fits as well as it should, you don’t have to cinch the belt around your waist at all if you so choose. Let it hang or loosely tie it behind your back.

• As with most wardrobe staples, quality is important. My clients who own iconic Burberry trench coats have had them 20+ years.