Part 3 of my stylish raincoat search focuses on finding a dressy waterproof jacket to wear during all four seasons as part of my 1 Year 1 Outfit experiment.
As you can read in Part 1, I had taken a look at other Ventile jacket manufacturers like SEH Kelly and Private White VC, however their long coats lacked hoods. And, as I point out with my Barbour jacket experiences in Part 2, I found their coats in general to either be unflatteringly full or to lean towards the casual side of design.
What I wanted to find was a classically styled, well-made, well-cut, functional and beautiful coat to wear when the weather got wet. Based on my previous experience I knew I was asking a lot, but when I found American Trench’s jacket I knew it delivered in every category.
The American Trench
I chose the American Trench as one of the ten pieces of clothing I am wearing this year as it easily blends between casual and formalwear. It is made in the USA out of Ventile, a waterproof and yet still highly breathable cotton fabric that I spoke more about in Part 1.
I will be writing a full long-term review of the American Trench once I get to spend some more time wearing it through the rainy winter, however I wanted to get a preview out of this jacket as a good portion of the world is now entering into wetter colder weather.
One of the things that impressed me most about this jacket is the slim modern cut. Too often, American business wear is cut like a potato sack. I typically wear suits sized 40-42 and in this case I went with a size 42 trench. The fit is bang on and leaves just enough room for a couple of layers underneath. I can fit a blazer or suit jacket under and still move comfortably.
The jacket is cut slim and straight through the body and the arm holes are positioned appropriately high to make for a clean silhouette. The length is good on me and hits mid thigh so it would easily cover the bottom of any blazer underneath and American Trench also makes a long version for those taller folk.
One thing to note about the cut of the jacket is that as it is designed in a more formal, structured style you do lose some of the freedom of motion that we have become accustomed to on more casual jackets. This isn’t overly restrictive, but it is similar to the tightness one might experience across the back or under the arms when tying your shoes or holding an upper subway rail.
I love me some Ventile and it suits the American Trench perfectly. The jacket is soft to the touch, yet has a solid weight and crispness that gives the collar structure and allows for an attractive drape along the arms and body.
I’ve had the chance to wear my trench in a few decent rainstorms and have never felt a hint of dampness underneath. One of the great benefits of Ventile is how it breathes so you don’t feel clammy after wearing it all day.
American Trench put a lot of effort into making this jacket their own. They have included custom engraved buttons, a great looking cotton plaid lining, and a removable hood (which is something missing from a lot of the other jackets I considered). The hood can be stowed away in one of the interior pockets so that it is always handy for when you really need it and they have included lots of pocket room for all of the stuff I carry around.
Overall there really isn’t anything I would want to add or take away from this jacket and as you’ve seen in my search that is a fairly rare occurrence. If you wear a suit to work or have a formal/semi-formal job or lifestyle I could see getting a lot of use out of this jacket.
It is on the expensive side, but considering the high quality of manufacturing, the expensive fabrics used, and the considerations put into the design this is a jacket that should last for a very long time. I couldn’t imagine many other coats working as my only piece of weatherproof outerwear for the year.