Do you notice how fictional characters dress? Or do you tune out when you get to the descriptions? As a little girl I was fascinated by what people in books were wearing. I read those passages over and over again. The pupils at St Clare’s boarding school played exciting sounding sports like lacrosse in cute outfits, and their school uniform didn’t look a bit like mine. How utterly fab. I’m slightly less obsessed as an adult, but I still pay attention. From the comical spandex getups of bounty hunter Stephanie Plum to the red habits and white “wings” in The Handmaid’s Tale, the clothes always reveal something about the person and story depicted — just like in real life.
The trench coat ranks high in my all-time top 10 of favourite fashion items. At the same time, I’m also a big fan of detective stories and sci-fi novels. Which makes me a lucky duck. Ever since Chandler sent Philip Marlowe chasing after the bad guys in his trademark khaki trench, it has practically become the law for every self-respecting PI and government agent – male or female – to don the stylish raincoat. So over the years I’ve had plenty of opportunity to check out the trench trends. And all the movie adaptations and TV series have certainly added to the sartorial fun. Currently I’m smitten with Olivia Dunham’s super sharp black trench coats on Fringe. They’re gorgeous!
How about you? Is there a particular trench coat look that has stood out for you? Or maybe there’s a book or movie wardrobe you’d love to inherit?
New in YLF Books
In The Trench Book Nick Foulkes guides us through the history of the iconic trench coat, from its first appearance as a practical water-resistant menswear coat, to its wide Hollywood appeal and the many dressy and casual styles available today.