Despite my large and well stocked wardrobe, I have had a very hard time finding trench coats that fit and are in my color palette. I want one that is long enough to work over my longest formal dresses, and another for my shorter dresses, which would be midi length, or maybe just below knee length. Ideally, I would have a third length, above or at knee length but I haven’t even found one, so three is asking a bit much!

I have been “getting by” with an ill fitting heavily altered olive green London Fog maxi length trench coat with a zip out lining, and a Helly Hanson rain parka that is about knee length. I put them on if it’s raining, and as soon as I arrive indoors, I quickly yank them off, and hope no one saw me because they make me feel so unfab. To be fair, I like the Helly Hansen if I am wearing very casual clothing, on weekends, but it isn’t really my favorite look for my professional style. It isn’t dressy enough.

My shopping difficulties have been fit and color. Trenches seem come in Black or Tan. I don’t wear either color. Dark navy is a third less popular option, but isn’t really my favorite color either. I would love something that’s light grey, charcoal, for a neutral, or better yet a color like sky blue, fuschia, or maybe a medium coral pink. Why are trenches so dull? I like a happy color especially on a cloudy day. The fit issues involve my long arms and broad shoulders paired with narrow torso. If I buy the small size that fits everywhere else, the sleeves are typically too short. When the shoulders and sleeves fit, the torso is too large and shapeless. Highly tailored items like trenches look best if the fit works almost perfectly from the start. Tailoring is possible, but when there are major flaws, the fit gets wonky, as it did with my London Fog which had too short sleeves and too wide a torso. I haven’t found an off the rack trench that fits well yet, but I suspect I need to increase the price I’m willing to spend. Recently, I discovered a designer who’s items seem to be a perfect fit for my body type. I have been watchful to see if she has any trenches I like. I am not always in love with everything she produces, but if I like an item, I know it will fit and feel great. (Rachel Comey).

Speaking of designers that work for you. There are some brands and designers that seem to always work for me, and I love the way I feel when I wear their clothes or shoes. These currently include, Donald Pliner, Aquatalia, and Beautifeel shoes, Rachel Comey, Rag &Bone, J Brand Jeans (especially Carolinas and Maria’s), Sea, VB, Rebecca Taylor, Nordstrom Signature. So, for 2019, my shopping goals are to buy two trenches, any Rachel Comey items that strike my fancy and fit my style descriptors and palette, and to judiciously refresh my wardrobe from my other favorite designers as well. I don’t really need anything other than the trenches, and some exercise gear replacements, so anything else will be purchased to keep my style fresh. Hopefully that will make for a budget conscious and fun shopping year in 2019.