A Century of the Trench Coat

By David Michael Newstead.

I was reading over the winter and at some point I stumbled onto an intriguing historical fact: trench coats got their name from the First World War.

I quickly got online to confirm and I learned that the now obvious origins of the name had been staring me in the face for years. Trench coats were worn by British officers during the harrowing trench warfare characteristic of World War One. The coats shielded soldiers from the wind and rain. And they would go on to become very popular in peacetime thanks to their utility and style.

Today, a hundred years later, trench coats are more closely associated with businessmen or hard-boiled detectives. That said, they represent one of many enduring legacies of that Great War a century ago.