Trendy Trenches

Yesterday was a good day. Not only was the weather beautiful — 70 degrees and sunny — but I got to work from home. To fully take advantage of my good fortune — and get a much-needed dose of vitamin C — I brought my laptop outside, spread out a blanket, and spent the day typing away in pure bliss. It truly was marvelous. But by evening, as I was getting ready to go out, with the sun going down and the wind picking up, it wasn’t so warm and I was no longer comfortable in my short sleeves and cropped pants. Though it definitely wasn’t cold enough for me to pull on my wool pea coat that I’ve been wearing since November, it was certainly not weather suitable for leaving the house without any kind of jacket.

Now is, of course, the perfect time of year for a nice lightweight coat. And as we all learned from our fashion expert Christine McGowan several weeks back, the spring jacket of choice this year is the trench coat. I love the look of the trench. In my opinion, people of all sizes and shapes can wear this one well — they’re available in lengths that hit at the hips for shorter gals, but also come in an array of thigh- and knee-length cuts for us taller women. My only problem is that, with the weather being so unpredictable these days, it’s hard to know how long we’ll actually need a sturdy jacket. I remember two years ago, I was wearing one until late June, but last year, I hardly needed one past mid-May. So, if you’re only going to be wearing a lightweight coat for a couple of months, do you really want to spend a fortune on it? I know the trench is a classic look, and I’m all for purchasing quality, timeless pieces that you can wear from year to year, but where’s the fun in shopping if you’re not going to be able to buy a new jacket next spring?

To find a solution to this “dilemma,” I tracked down several great trench coats — in different styles and colors — that you can find at departments stores in every corner of the Valley. These are all quality trenches with a modern twist — perfect for looking ultra stylish on those breezy evenings and rainy afternoons. And thanks to the beauty of sales, they’re all for under $100. Now we can look fabulous for a great price, and not feel guilty about our purchase when we find ourselves (a) completely comfortable sans anorak (hopefully!) come June, and (b) looking to buy a new seasonal jacket next year.

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Full Skirt Trench Coat in Stone, $69.99
Find this coat at Target stores and at I really like the adjustable tie waist because it balances out the full skirt, giving the impression of a very narrow waist. 

Apostrophe Short Trench Jacket, $30
Find this jacket at Sears stores and at I think the large buttons and cargo pockets give this jacket a “safari feel,” which is very hot this season.

American Living Lightweight Trench, $59.99
Find this trench at JCPenney stores and at This trench is a very classic style: slim-fitting, long, and belted at the waist. You’ll look so chic and sophisticated!

Funnel Neck Trench Coat in Red, $69.99
Find this coat at Target stores and at You’ll definitely stand out in this fun, modern red trench. The wide collar and bubble sleeves are great accents.

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