Trench coats and peacoats are both classic men’s fashion staples that originated in the military. In recent years, they have become just as popular in women’s fashion, especially during the cooler months. How are trench coats and peacoats different?
The two are very different from one another. Trench coats are usually heavy-duty and waterproof, while peacoats are shorter and made of wool. It is also possible to distinguish between the two based on other style features.
Can you tell me which one you should choose? To make an informed decision, you should carefully examine each type of coat before making your choice. Each type of coat will be explained in detail in this article by SewingWithEase, both in terms of its physical characteristics and its style.
The Key Differences Between Peacoat vs. Trench Coat
It is important to choose a coat that is both stylish and protects us from the elements. We want to take into account certain characteristics. It can be easier to decide if you know more about these characteristics. To help you understand the differences between trench coats and peacoats, I created this chart.
|Design||Double-breasted, 6 buttons, large collar, stylish||Double-breasted, 10 buttons, large collar, practical|
|Fabric||Wool or wool/synthetic fiber blend||Heavy duty cotton or gabardine, polyester|
|Warmth||Warmer than a trench coat, better for winter/snow||Not as warm, better for rainy or windy days|
|Length||Hits at the hips to mid-thigh||Hits at the knees or below|
|Fitting||Tapered fit, more shape-defining||Looser fit to accommodate bulky clothes/layers|
|Color||Traditionally navy, but come in other colors as well||Traditionally khaki, but come in other colors as well|
|Water Resistance||High||Very High|
|Cost||Depends on the fabric and designer||Depends on the fabric and designer|
|Care||Dry-clean or hand wash, lay flat to dry||Hand wash or wash on a gentle cycle, lay flat to dry, and wash lining separately|
|When to Wear||Casual and formal occasions in late fall, winter, and early spring||Casual and formal occasions in fall and spring, mild winters|
|When Not to Wear||Summer||Summer and cold winters|
What Is a Peacoat?
Navy sailors traditionally wore peacoats, although there are differing stories about where and when they were first worn. Because of this, peacoats were originally made of navy blue fabric.
Despite their popularity, navy blue peacoats can also be found in other neutral colors. For women’s fashion, you can even find peacoats in patterned fabrics and brighter colors.
Peacoats have evolved in terms of color selection, but their design has essentially remained the same. The buttons on a traditional peacoat were one of its most distinguishing features.
About being worn as part of a navy uniform, the buttons had anchor designs on them. Despite the popularity of plastic buttons, some peacoats still have metal buttons.
What Is a Trenchcoat?
While trench coats were worn well before World War I, they got their name from soldiers who fought in the trenches during that conflict. Traditional trench coat colors were khaki and olive green, meant to be more discreet. As well as protecting soldiers from wind and rain, they were designed to be more heavy-duty.
In the years following World War I, trench coats became less associated with the military, but they retain some of their key characteristics. In the same way as peacoats, trench coats for men, today tend to be neutral in color. Trench coats for women come in a wide range of colors.
Originally, trench coats served more as practical clothing than as fashion statements. It is possible to wear them for both dressy and casual occasions today, but they aren’t necessarily suited to dressy occasions. Their heavy-duty materials and lack of embellishments are to blame for this.
How Do Trench Coats and Peacoats Differ?
Let’s take a closer look at some details from peacoats and trench coats now that we have more information on their origin, background, and general purpose. By comparing them, you will gain a better understanding of each one’s general purpose and style.
The general design of peacoats hasn’t changed much over the years, making them a classic and timeless item of clothing. Rather than being associated with the military, peacoats today are designed to be stylish. There is a wider range of colors, fits, and fabrics available today. In addition to the large collar, the buttons, pockets, and the double-breasted silhouette, there have not been any changes in the design.
Peacoats and trench coats share the feature of being double-breasted and having buttons on the front. Although their design features reflect their practical nature, they have always been more stylish. The sleeve straps, for example, can keep rain and wind out by tightening the sleeves around the cuffs.
To keep your stuff more secure, they also have large pockets with buttons. It is possible to access the pockets either from the inside or from the outside. Moreover, gloves or other small items can be secured with epaulets (shoulder tabs). Even though trench coats are still practiced today, they can also be stylish because they come in a variety of colors.
As a result of its thickness, warmth, and water resistance, wool has always been the material of choice for peacoats. Although they may not be 100% wool, peacoats are still made largely from wool today. Even polyester, cotton, and nylon may be used in some peacoats. The quality of peacoats offered by these materials isn’t as good as that of wool, even though they are cheaper.
Rubber was traditionally used to make trench coats in the nineteenth century. Despite rubber’s excellent rain protection, it soon became apparent that it was not the best material.
With Thomas Burberry’s help, trench coats began to be made from heavy-duty cotton called gabardine. The Gabardine fabric proved to be the ideal choice: lightweight, durable, and waterproof at the same time. Despite its age, trench coats are still made from it, as well as synthetic materials like polyester.
Woolen peacoats keep you warm because they are designed to keep you warm. You won’t just stay warm by wearing wool fabric. A peacoat’s design also plays an important role. The coat fits closer to the body due to its snug front buttons. By doing so, cold air and wind will not be able to get underneath the fabric. To keep the cold air off your neck, you can also turn up the large collar in the back and button it in the front.
You will also stay warm in trench coats, but not as much as you will in pea coats. Trench coats, which are made of cotton gabardine rather than wool, will keep you warm and dry. A trench coat, however, has a large collar that can be turned up to keep your neck warm. It is also possible to tighten the sleeves and cuffs. Peacoats, however, have the advantage when it comes to warmth.
The peacoat is longer than most other types of jackets since it was designed to be worn over a uniform.
As a general rule, peacoats reach the midpoint of the thigh or are slightly lower. They are slightly longer than men’s shirts’ hemlines. This length is ideal for women to wear over blouses and dresses.
There is a difference in length between trench coats and peacoats. In most cases, they strike at the knees or even below the knees.
Wind and rain are protected by the long sleeves because they cover more of the body. The reason they were preferred by the military is that they are not so long that they are difficult to move around or easy to trip over.
To make movement easier, the bottom of the peacoat flared to provide a straight cut. The fit of peacoats has now been tapered. Wearers gain a more defined shape thanks to the tapered fit. Additionally, the double-breasted shape has more room at the shoulders, which aids in better upper body movement.
In addition to being straight cut, trench coats have a looser fit than casual coats. Military uniforms were loosely fitted to accommodate their bulk. A looser fitting trench coat, however, allows for layers to be worn underneath to increase warmth since trench coats aren’t as warm as jackets. Double-breasted trench coats allow for more shoulder movement as well.
Navy blue was the original color of peacoats, indicating that they were worn by naval soldiers. In today’s world, peacoats come in a variety of colors, including gray, black, and brown, as well as red, green, and even plaid patterns.
For camouflage, trench coats typically came in colors such as khaki, sand, and olive green. It is still possible to find trench coats in these traditional colors, but they also come in a variety of other colors. Yellow, red, and blue trench coats are not uncommon in women’s fashion, especially in yellow, red, and blue.
There is usually no belt attached to peacoats. Even though some modern designers may add belts to their peacoat designs, the more fitted nature of peacoats means they don’t require belts to be defined.
It is common for trench coats to have belts. A sword or other equipment could be secured using this belt, which was a part of the original design.
Today’s trench coats do not have a belt for practical reasons. In contrast, trench coats tend to be looser fitting, so they can be tightened to shape the coat.
Woolen peacoats are extremely water-resistant. The fibers of wool aren’t 100% water-proof, but they can absorb as much as 30% of their weight before becoming saturated and soaking through. Consequently, peacoats are not only warm, but they can also keep you dry if you don’t allow them to become saturated.
In addition to not being 100% waterproof, trench coats are also not completely resistant to water. Heavy-duty fabric contributes to this. The trench coat will keep you dry in wet weather even if it is not particularly cold outside.
Ultimately, peacoats and trenchcoats differ in price based on the type of fabric they are made of. A garment made of wool will cost more than a garment made from another fabric because wool is a rarer fabric.
Additionally, trench coats typically have a belt and a longer length, so you need to consider that when comparing trench coats to blazers. The use of more fabric could increase the cost. Both trench coats and peacoats from high-end designers can be expensive, so it’s important to consider the coating designer.
Wool peacoats require specialized care since they are usually made from wool. Due to the easy damage that can be done to wool fibers, it is usually recommended to dry-clean only wool. The wool can also be hand-washed, but it should be washed in cold water and with a gentle soap. It is never a good idea to dry wool, whether it is peacoats or anything else, in a dryer. Avoid direct sunlight and heat by laying it flat to dry.
A cotton trench coat or another heavy-duty material is easier to maintain than a synthetic one. Trench coats with removable linings should be washed separately if they have one. Gentle cycles are best because they cause the least amount of agitation. The fabric should also be washed in cool water to prevent shrinkage. Heat can damage the fibers of the coat as well, so avoid drying it in the dryer. Instead of hanging it to dry, lay it flat.
A Guide to Wearing and Not Wearing Coats
Winter is the season for wearing peacoats when the weather is colder. You may also need a peacoat if you live in a region where fall and spring days are chilly. Only in the spring and summer should you avoid wearing a peacoat due to the rising temperatures. When it’s hot out, wool can feel stuffy and hot.
Casual and formal wear are both possible with peacoats. It doesn’t matter how you dress them. If you wear them with jeans and a nice blouse, they are appropriate for work or a fancy dinner.
In spring and fall, especially on rainy days, trench coats are best worn during mild temperatures. Trench coats indeed keep you warm, but they may not keep you warm enough during the winter months. Summer can also be a time when trench coats become too warm to wear.
With jeans or for a day at the office, trench coats can be worn casually or professionally. However, trench coats can also be worn formally depending on their general style. Despite their traditional design elements, modern trench coats can be worn for any occasion.
Pros and Cons of Peacoat
Let’s summarize the pros and cons of peacoats now that we’ve covered all the details.
- It can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion
- Winter, fall, and spring are the best times to wear it
- The perfect combination of comfort and style
- It is made of wool, which keeps you warm.
- Care must be taken when caring for wool
- Wool can cause allergic reactions in some people
- Water-repellent, but not as good as trench coats.
Pros and Cons of Trench Coat
Let’s also examine the pros and cons of trench coats for a summary and comparison.
- Covers a greater area of your body due to its length
- An improved water resistance over peacoats
- You don’t have to take as much care of them
- Suitable for both formal and casual occasions.
- Warmer than a peacoat, but not as warm
- They aren’t as versatile – they aren’t suitable for winter
- There is a lot of fabric- some people may find it too heavy.
Different Peacoat Styles
While all peacoats have the same basic design features, there are some minor differences between the different styles.
- Classic Peacoat – a double-breasted coat with a large collar and hip flare.
- Bridge Peacoat – long, double-breasted, large collar, a long length that reaches midthigh.
- Single-Breasted Peacoat – a peacoat with a large collar but a single breast instead of a double breast; a more casual style.
How Do You Choose Between Peacoats and Trench Coats?
How do you decide which one to choose now that you have all the information? Consider several factors before making a decision. Climate and how much protection you need from the elements are probably the most important factors to consider.
You might choose a peacoat instead of a trench coat if you live where winters are cold or snowy. It will keep you warmer and protect you from the cold better if you wear a peacoat. It might be a better idea to wear a trench coat if you live in a milder climate or if it is rainy. You will remain dry even though it is not as warm.
The one that suits your style should also be determined by your lifestyle. Trench coats look professional and are great for more formal events, while peacoats can be dressed up or down. It is also possible to wear both casually.
Furthermore, you need to consider how easy each type of coat is to maintain. A wool peacoat usually needs to be dry cleaned or hand-washed if it is made of wool. Alternatively, trench coats can be machine-washed, but they require separate washing for the lining. Take a moment to consider how much time and patience you need to take care of your coat.
Popular Models of Peacoat and Trench Coats
Double-breasted peacoat from Anne Klein for women, in navy, in XS. Available in 11 neutral, vibrant, and leopard prints.
A blend of wool and polyester fabric makes it dry-clean only, and it comes in five sizes. This peacoat is both stylish and flattering thanks to its flared bottom that hits just below the hip.
Whether you are running errands, going to work, or even going on a dinner date, you can wear it all winter long and stay warm and dry.
A men’s peacoat in 3 neutral colors: black, charcoal gray, and navy is available from Nautica in a small size.
The fabric is a blend of wool, polyester, and other fibers, which can only be dry cleaned. There is an extra layer of warmth provided by the quilted lining.
Despite its classic style, this particular peacoat has all the details that make a peacoat a classic. The jacket has long sleeves and slanted vertical pockets. It is double-breasted. Additionally, gloves and other necessities can be stored in pockets in the interior lining.
Women’s Trench Coat
The trench coat has a 100% polyester fabric that is both windproof and water-resistant. Hence, it can be machine-washed, so it is easy to maintain. With or without the removable belt, it is suitable for both men and women. There are 10 different colors and six different styles to choose from, and the pockets are deep, so you can carry everything you need.
The trench coat will keep you dry on rainy days whether you are wearing jeans or a suit.
London Fog Men’s Iconic Trench Coat
With all the traditional elements of trench coats, the London Fog trench coat for men has a classic look. A khaki, navy blue, and green color scheme are available. This trench coat is made from nylon and polyester and will protect you against wind and rain.
Trench coats were originally double-breasted, had 10 buttons on the front, and had sleeve straps. The wool blend collar of this trench coat is detachable for easy cleaning and is one of its unique features.
You should now be able to tell the difference between a trench coat and a peacoat better after reading this guide. Both originated in the military, but both men’s and women’s styles have now adopted them. Trench coats are longer and more water-resistant than peacoats, which are shorter and warmer. Dress them up or down according to your mood.