Let’s talk about a fashion staple every woman should own: the women’s trench coat. In this article you will find inspiration on how to wear a trench coat with just about any outfit.

The right trench coat keeps you warm and dry in spring, summer and fall when the weather is still a bit unpredictable. Trench coats are big again on the designer runways right now – you can see more in this article on the major coat trends for fall 2021.

But honestly, when did the trench coat ever go out of style?

Reasons to invest in a trench coat

So if you haven’t already got one in your closet, why might you want to add a trench coat as one of your outerwear options?

Read on to find plenty of reasons you might want a trench, as well as the best trench coats in stores now, and 12 different ways to wear the same classic trench coat.

First, onto why you might like at least one trench coat in your closet…

Trench coats are flattering

how to wear a trench coat - Wendy wears a trench coat and fedora | 40plusstyle.com

The best trench coats for women are tailored in a way that gives any body shape a nice hourglass figure, a slim waist and a polished look.

Wendy @fashionoverfifty.wendy above looks fabulous in her belted trench and fedora.

Check out these belted trenches from Karen Millen and Amazon, and wear with this similar pair of booties, fedora, hoop earrings and jeans.

A trench coat is timeless

Trench coats are truly a timeless option that will never date, so they always make a great investment.

With a history dating back to 1820s, the trench coat has been around for centuries and is going nowhere soon. Designers Burberry and Aquascutum are best known for their trench coats.

The trench coat has been worn by everyone from Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Meryl Streep in Kramer vs Kramer.

Burberry The Long Chelsea Heritage trench coat | 40plusstyle.com

Burberry The Long Chelsea Heritage trench coat

A trench coat is versatile

There are few items for your closet that are as versatile as the trench coat. It is equally at home as part of your formal outfits as it is with your casual attire.

You can pop over your evening dress or over your jeans and t-shirt.

You can choose a trench to suit your style

The classic trench coat is beige. And, a beige trench does look fabulous. However, you can choose a brighter color, material or a style which is patterned or embroidery, for example, to suit your style personality.

What more can you ask for? The best trench coats for women offer style, ease, weather protection and a more shapely you.

A women’s trench coat is definitely worth investing in.

The best trench coats in stores now

So now that you’re either thinking about digging out your own trench coat from your closet, or considering adding one, which one should you choose?

Carelia wears her trench coat over a denim jacket | 40plusstyle.com

Carelia @myevolvingstyle (read her style interview here) shows how you could wear your trench coat over another jacket.

Check out this similar trench coat, denim jacket, tee, jeans, pumps, bag, sunglasses and beret.

classic beige trench

Let’s start with a completely classic option – you can wear a beige trench coat from now until eternity as it will never go out of style.

Whistles neutral trench coat | 40plusstyle.com

Whistles neutral trench coat

wool trench

If you like he style of a trench coat, but you want a little extra warmth, you could look out for a wool style like the Lauren Ralph Lauren option (below).

Lauren Ralph Lauren wool blend trench coat | 40plusstyle.com

Lauren Ralph Lauren wool blend trench coat

geoprint trench

Patterned coats and trench coats are both on trend right now, so why not combine the two? The geoprint on the Karen Millen trench (below) gives this classic style a little twist while still being timeless enough to wear for years to come.

Karen Millen geo stretch jacquard trench coat | 40plusstyle.com

Karen Millen geo stretch jacquard trench coat


Another major coat trend on the catwalks was the padded, or quilted coat. This can add extra width or bulk to your look but a flattering way to wear the trend can be a quilted trench with a belt so you can still show off your waistline.

Norstrom diamond quilt trench coat | 40plusstyle.com

Nordstrom diamond quilt trench coat

black trench

If you don’t want to opt for beige, but you want a classic neutral, you really can’t go wrong with black, If you’re worried about black looking too harsh against your skintone, you could add a scarf in a flattering color.

H&M oversized trench coat | 40plusstyle.com

H&M oversized trench coat

belted trench coat

Below is a shorter trench option for you. The Club Monaco trench (below) is a slightly shorter length than some of the other choices on this list. Depending on your height, it will fall to around mid-thigh, making this a good option for your jeans.

Club Monaco trench coat | 40plusstyle.com

Club Monaco trench coat

leather trench

If you really want to take a classic style and almost turn it on its head, you could opt for a leather or faux leather style to give your trench a little rock chick flair.

Karen Millen leather trench coat | 40plusstyle.com

Karen Millen leather trench coat


While the trench coat is often worn simply as a style statement, it is also very practical.

If you want to make sure you are protected from rain showers, you could look for a hooded trench.

Via Spiga belted water resistant hooded trench coat | 40plusstyle.com

Via Spiga belted water resistant hooded trench coat

pea coat

A thicker pea coat will be a good choice if you need a warmer coat. The Amazon pea poat (below) comes in a good choice of colors. Reviewers say the material is soft and warm, and it has deep pockets for keeping your hands warm.

Wantdo double breasted pea coat | 40plusstyle.com

Wantdo double breasted pea coat

green coat

Of course, you don’t have to choose a neutral at all. A bright trench can make a big style statement.

If you could prefer a pop of color, the green trench (below) is very on trend. You’ll find more inspiration in this article on fall 2021 color trends.

Lauren Ralph Lauren trench raincoat | 40plusstyle.com

Lauren Ralph Lauren trench raincoat

red coat

One color that is always on trend and will definitely get you noticed is red. The Wantdo trench (below) would look great to liven up even the simplest of outfits. If red isn’t your color, then there is a good choice of pastels, prints and bright shades to choose from.

Wantdo double breasted trench coat | 40plusstyle.com

Wantdo waterproof double breasted trench coat 

khaki trench

There were lots of olives and khakis on the catwalks for fall. You can treat olive green as a neutral and wear with any other color.

MANGO classic cotton trench coat | 40plusstyle.com

MANGO classic cotton trench coat

mint coat

Pale mint green is among the key color trends for fall 2021. The pastel shade of the H&M trench (below) is bang on trend. Rather than a belt, this option has waist ties so you can cinch your waist for the most flattering effect.

H&M trench coat | 40plusstyle.com

H&M trench coat

pink trench

Whatever your style personality, a pink shade could work. Pink can look particularly striking when worn with gray or with your darker neutrals for the cooler months.

J.Crew relaxed trench coat | 40plusstyle.com

J.Crew relaxed trench coat

How to wear a trench coat to look current and polished

Which one of the trench coats above is your favorite, or do you already have one you love?

A good trench coat can go from day to night, and can go with a variety of outfits.

Layer one over jeans and a blouse or over leggings and a cardigan or use one as a night time cover up over your evening look.

Below, you’ll find inspiration from stylish 40+ women, as well as 12 different outfit choices, all featuring the same stone-colored trench coat.

How to style and accessorize a trench coat

Trench coats are the perfect transitional weather piece of outerwear.

Not only are they layerable, they seemingly go with most any style and occasion. From weekend errand runs to evening outings at an exclusive restaurant, trench coats are a closet staple.

Fonda wears a sleeveless trench | 40plusstyle.com

Fonda @savvysouthernchic above shows how you could choose a sleeveless trench to wear for transitional weather for summer into fall or winter into spring.

Steal her look with this similar trench vest, printed blouse, jeans, sandals and tote.

Office looks

Fall office looks are never complete without the perfect trench. A belted trench provides a chic power suit like feel to any office ensemble, and serves as a good base for pulling your entire look together.

Office look 1:

You could keep your look very clean and neutral for work.

Trench coat outfit with jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Club Monaco trench coatHalogen wrap topPaige skinny jeansClarks pumpDagne Dover leather toteTom Wood hoop earrings

Office look 2:

This look is a little more playful. Wide leg pants are particularly on trend now, and I like the travel-inspired print on the blouse.

printed top and trench coat | 40plusstyle.com

H&M oversized trench coatAlice + Olivia print silk blouseNordstrom wide leg flannel pantsDagne Dover leather toteTom Wood hoop earrings

Office outfit 3: A trench and pencil skirt

A trench coat is a classic. A pencil skirt is a classic, so it’s no wonder when you put them together, you get a winning outfit combination.

trench, shirt and pencil skirt | 40plusstyle.com

Boden silk shirtHalogen plaid pencil skirtKenneth Cole New York knee high bootDagne Dover leather toteKarine Sultan pendant necklace

Casual looks

Diane wears her trench coat with jogging bottoms | 40plusstyle.com

Whether you’re scrunching or rolling up your coat sleeves, leaving the coat open, or tying the belt in the back, trench coats work perfectly for casual looks.

You can also wear your trenches with jeans and pants paired with casual boots, loafers, or sneakers.

Diane @fashiononthe4thfloor above (read her style interview here) elevates her tracksuit by wearing a trench over the top.

Recreate her outfit with this similar trench coat, sweater, joggers and sneakers.

Casual outfit 1: Wear your trench with LEGGINGS

Teaming a more formal trench coat with leggings can be a great weekend look.

wearing your trench with leggings | 40plusstyle.com

Wantdo waterproof double breasted trench coat LARACE flare tunic topAlo high waist leggingsP448 metallic leather sneakerHerschel Supply Co. canvas toteKarine Sultan pendant necklace

Casual outfit 2: Stripes with white jeans

For a casual look with your trench, try stripes, your favorite jeans and a pop of color.

trench with striped shirt and bootcut jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Club Monaco trench coatBOSS stripe ruched topWit & Wisdom bootcut jeansEric Michael bootiesHobo shoulder handbagTom Wood hoop earrings

Casual outfit 3: Your trench with jeans and a sweater

Simply putting a trench coat over your sweater and jeans can give your outfit elegance.

For even more interest, you can try a colorblock sweater style.

a trench coat worn with a sweater and jeans | 40plusstyle.com

MANGO classic cotton trench coatMilly colorblock sweaterPaige skinny jeansP448 metallic leather sneakerHobo shoulder handbagTom Wood hoop earrings

Evening looks

Sylvia wears a trench coat and beret | 40plusstyle.com

A well tailored trench coat can be the  perfect finishing touch to an evening look.

The key here is to select a coat that is well fitted (we definitely recommend tailoring) and is made of quality material.

Be sure to pay attention to fitting and ensure that if you have a longer sleeve dress, the sleeves are not bunching in the sleeves of your coat and creating a bulky look.

I love a trench worn with the wider leg pants that are all the rage right now.

I also recommend ensuring your dress does not come down much longer than the coat itself. Seeing a bit of the material can actually add to your look, however, a drastic difference in hem length can create an unflattering silhouette.

Sylvia @simplysylviadc above (read her style interview here) wears her trench with her evening sandals.

Get her look with this similar trench, sandals, bag, sunglasses and beret.

Evening outfit 1: Wearing your trench over a classic navy dress

You don’t get much more timelessly classic than wearing your beige trench over a navy dress.

beige and navy make a classic outfit choice | 40plusstyle.com

Whistles neutral trench coatKaren Kane faux wrap dressLifeStride strappy sandalKarine Sultan pendant necklaceM10M15 evening clutch

Evening outfit 2:

If you want an evening look which isn’t quite so formal, you could try jeans and a nice top with your trench.

trench, print top and skinny jeans | 40plusstyle.com

H&M trench coatTed Baker London print topPaige skinny jeansLifeStride strappy sandalKarine Sultan pendant necklaceM10M15 evening clutch

Evening outfit 3: Teaming leather with your trench coat

Leather can go very well with your trench coat because of the contrast between the classic styling of a trench style, and the edginess which leather brings to your outfit.

pairing leather with a classic coat | 40plusstyle.com

H&M oversized trench coatFrame shirred silk peplum blouseNordstrom pencil skirtTory Burch leather clutchClarks pumpKarine Sultan drop earrings

Weekend brunch looks

Greetje wears a long coat with her jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Brunch looks are always fun and punchy opportunities to experiment with chic looks you otherwise might not consider.

A classic trench coat especially works well with more artistic and avantgarde looks by providing a solid foundation, and serving as a neutral canvas that does not take away from your look.

Greetje @no_fear_of_fashion above (read her style interview here) chooses a floor-sweeping trench with her jeans and booties.

Check out this printed shirt that you can wear with this similar trench coat, jeans, booties, bag, neck scarf and fedora.

Brunch outfit 1: A dress with your trench

A feminine dress worn with a trench can give your outfit a romantic, ladylike feel. You could always add black tights if it’s chilly.

printed dress and pink coat | 40plusstyle.com

J.Crew relaxed trench coatAnne Klein wrap front dressPaul Green peep toe sandalHobo shoulder handbagTom Wood hoop earringsKnotty cuff bracelet

Brunch outfit 2:

You can see that I’ve used the printed blouse from above and, this time, teamed it with jeans for a more casual look.

print top and bootleg jeans | 40plusstyle.com

H&M trench coatAlice + Olivia print silk blouseWit & Wisdom bootcut jeansPaul Green peep toe sandalTory Burch leather clutchTom Wood hoop earrings

Brunch outfit 3:

Mix casual and formal with wide leg pants and a quilted trench.

wide leg pants outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Nordstrom diamond quilt trench coatRails sweaterOpen Edit wide leg pantsLifeStride strappy sandalM10M15 evening clutchTom Wood hoop earrings

Do not feel confined to only wearing the traditional and classic beige trench.

As you can see there is no one way when it comes to how to wear a trench coat. Trenches come in a diversity of cuts, lengths, colors, and fits that can be just as versatile and enticing as the classic trench.

The right trench coat can work as a dress, jacket or accessory.

Your trench coat capsule

Below are all of the looks featured together in a capsule. You can see how versatile the clothes in these looks are. Any of the tops would go with any of the bottoms.

A trench coat capsule wardrobe | 40plusstyle.com

shop the items above here:

More trench coat inspiration for you

Below you can see an earlier trench coat capsule I created for spring. While the items are past season, they are timeless so should still provide you with some ideas when putting together your trench coat outfits.

A trench coat capsule wardrobe | 40plusstyle.com

Also take a look at how to put together a capsule wardrobe.

When thinking about how to wear a trench coat, what would you choose to wear your trench with? I’d love to hear how you style yours.

Continue reading:

  1. The Best Winter Coats For Women This Season And How To Choose A Coat
  2. Your Fall Capsule Wardrobe 2021: All The Outfits You Need This Fall
  3. The Best Leather Jackets For Women You Will Wear With Everything

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How to wear a trench coat and the best trench coats in stores now | 40plusstyle.com | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Carelia @myevolvingstyle


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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