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The Best Trench Coats for Rainy Days

The long, traditional topcoat defends the wearer against rain or wind.


Trench coat, raincoat, mac? The naming conventions for men’s foul-weather clothing are in shambles these days. Mac or mack, short for Mackintosh — or at least a move to avoid trademark infringement on the original Mackintosh brand — probably came first in the late 180os. The trench coat wasn’t far behind with both Aquascutum and Burberry claiming they invented it near the turn of the 20th century.

But it's Thomas Burberry that deserves credit for at least popularizing the jacket. He submitted his trench design to the UK’s War Office in 1901, and it became a military staple shortly thereafter. Proper trenches today retain many of the military-inspired details found on the original design, like wide lapels, an integrated waist belt and shoulder straps.

They aren't hard to find, but you'll run into more streamlined versions of the trench sold by many brands now that look an awful lot like macs. Confused yet? Just call them raincoats and avoid putting your foot in your mouth; after all, that's what they're designed to do: keep the better part of your outfit out of the rain.

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our pick
Water-Repellent Cotton Trench

Shoulder straps? Check. Belt? Check. Wide lapels? Check. Mango's Water-Repellent Cotton Trench is affordable, approachable and appropriately classic. 

an upgrade
Kensington Classic Trench Coat

We credited Thomas Burberry with popularizing the trench. Why not give his descending luxury label a little love? They make this Kensington Classic Trench Coat in a rich color called honey. It's manufactured in England and water-repellent.

An affordable alternative
Trench Coat

You can trust Uniqlo to make the classics cheap — but with impressive quality that seems too good to be true. It's missing some of the major components, but it's lightweight, good-looking and finished with a waterproof coating.

Plaid Wool Trench Coat
Ralph Lauren Purple Label

No, Ralph Lauren's Plaid Wool Trench Coat isn't waterproof. But it's luxury — and that more than makes up for its inability to survive a light drizzle. (It will but not as gracefully as these other garments.)

Harrier Cotton-Blend Trench
Rag & Bone

Rag & Bone's rendition of the trench coat strays from tradition in favor of a more streamlined front and sleeves.

Belted Trench Coat

It's a trench coat — but make it fashion. That's exactly where COS' coat falls. It has the wide lapels and a belt, but it comes in a sleek black.

Trench Coat

This brooding option from Frame leans into modern streetwear aesthetics, including a stark black color and white contrasting text on the back.

Cotton-Twill Trench Coat

This is another example of the trench coat made modern; this time by APC. It's cut from cotton-twill and has a simple, traditional shirt collar.

Hooded Trench Coat

This is the Mac — or Mackinstosh coat — the kind we talked about in the intro. It has the shape and length of a trench coat but it's much more modern. See: a hood and drawstrings.

French Wool Grandad Trench Coat
De Bonne Facture

De Bonne Facture's textured Grandad coat is made from French wool, which means is soft and high pile but definitely not waterproof.

Trench Coat
American Trench

Philadelphia brand American Trench has perfected the modern trench — hence the name. It's made from khaki ventile, a vented fabric that's incredibly water-resistant.

Double Breasted Trench

Zara does reproductions of nearly every pillar style. The trench coat's no exception. Theirs is double breasted, belted and perfectly boring.

Water-Resistant Trench Coat
Banana Republic

Banana Republic combines the length of a peacoat with the sensibilities of a trench for their water-resistant entry to the latter category. Plus, it's the classic khaki color.

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