Spring Essential: Lightweight Trench Coat

 April showers bring May flowers, says the old adage.  We get quite a few rain showers here in Seattle during the spring, but the temperatures are not particularly cold.  A lightweight trench coat is perfect for this type of spring weather, and an essential item for any Pacific Northwest fashionista's closet.  During my last trip to Shanghai, I visited a fabric market and decided to take the opportunity to purchase a custom-made trench (as well as a cashmere dress coat and a pair of wool shorts).  I already have a classic Burberry khaki double-breasted trench, so this time I opted for a bright, cheerful red.  I was in awe of the selection of fabrics and details at the market, and could have spent all day looking at bolts of cloth and flipping through patterns.  Custom-made clothes are a must for any traveler to China because a perfect fit can't be beat, the prices are so reasonable, and the turnaround is only about a week.  I am so happy with how mine turned out, and paired this red trench coat with a lightweight scarf, striped skirt, tights, rain boots, black tote, and my favorite shoe umbrella to run errands Saturday afternoon.  I am planning to apply some waterproofing spray to this coat and am looking for suggestions--if you have a recommendation on what to use for a fabric trench, please do let me know and thank you!

Trench coat: custom-made in Shanghai
Skirt: "Stripe It Lucky" skirt in black/white, see available navy/red version, $44.99 at Modcloth here
Boots: Coach (old), check out the Hunter "Sandhurst Savoy Quilted Rain Boots" in black, $195 at
Zappos here
Tights: "Everyday Opaque Tights" in black, $15 (2 for $24) at Nordstrom here
Scarf: Burberry, similar Burberry "Check Scarf" in camel (7 other colors available), $350 at Nordstrom here
Tote: Pour La Victoire "Butler" tote in black jaquard, $395 at Nordstrom here
Umbrella: Metropolitan Museum of Art store (no longer available online), how cute is this Tom Slaughter "Stick Umbrella," $49 at One King's Lane here

Classic khaki and black are definitely good for your first trench coat, but for your second/third/etc my vote goes to a bright primary color.  Check out my picks for colorful spring trench coats below, all under $200:

Left: Cole Haan "Classic Cotton Rain Trench" in red (also available in stone and black), $196.99 (50% off!) at 6pm here
Middle: "Rainy Day Mac" in maize spot (available in six other colors), $178 at Boden here
Right: Ellen Tracy "Double Breasted Raincoat" in ultra marine (also available in black), $129.90 (40% off!) at Nordstrom here

What color trench coat are you loving this spring?  Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you have a great week!

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