But things have changed. For the February 2017 collection, the trench has been redesigned into something notably light and loose, yet structured. It retains features that hark back to its military beginnings: epaulettes, shoulder ornaments indicating rank, a waterproof storm shield, a D-ring belt to attach items (this was allegedly for fastening water bottles or guns), and back pleats to allow ease of movement (this was particularly important when running or riding on horseback).
The new design also reflects the coat’s lesser-known roots as a performance garment, something that the description from a 1908 Burberry advertisement illustrated perfectly: “Absolute freedom for all limb movements. Extra durability in wear. Perfect air-porousness and almost negligible weight. An especially smart and sportsmanlike appearance. Practical impermeability to wet, cold winds.”