Photos by Nathan Michael
The first time I wrote about the Dark Navy Trench Coats from American Trench, back when the company was still raising funds on Kickstarter, a number of readers took issue with the coat’s cost. Priced at a not so egalitarian $725, this was understandable. However, based on the info presented by the brand, I wasn’t convinced the amount was totally unreasonable either. Well, now that the first batch of jackets has begun to ship (AT was able to reach their funding goal), American Trench co-founder Jacob Hurwitz has leant me one for a hands-on review, so we can all see exactly what those many dollars would be getting us.
If I had to pick one word to describe the design, it would be thoughtful. The more time you spend wearing the jacket, the more you realize just how much attention has been paid to every detail. From the interior pen and sunglass pockets, to the zippered compartment hidden inside the hip pocket, to the lining in the sleeves that makes it easier to get the jacket on, every feature serves a purpose. And yet, despite having these myriad features, the jacket still looks totally minimal – you’d never know just how much utility it packs. To me, that’s very impressive.
The construction is great. Clean stitching – obviously done by a factory that knows what they’re doing. Buttons are solidly attached, lining is flush and doesn’t bunch, the list goes on. The outer fabric is very nice as well – good weight, breathable and truly waterproof. That said, I’m not crazy about the particular plaid that the jacket is lined with. I think the darker tones of the Button-in Black Watch Wool Warmer (pictured in the third shot from the top) actually suit the jacket much better. To me, the brightness of the glen plaid doesn’t match the otherwise subdued aesthetic quite as well. But, that’s certainly not a deal breaker.
And then there’s the fit, which they nailed. Slim without being restrictive, high arm holes, the perfect length, and just as good with a blazer underneath as without. My one and only hang-up is the collar. At present, it sits a little high in the back, which can make for a somewhat unflattering silhouette. I would also lose the plaid fabric on the underside, so the collar can be worn flipped up on days that call for it. Aside from that, I have no other complaints: the rest is aces.
As well made, thoughtfully designed and great fitting as the jacket is, $725 is still a lot of money. If you’ve got it, then yeah, the Dark Navy Trench Coat is a great way to spend it. If you don’t, well there are more affordable options out there (some of which you can find here). Either way, it’s a hell of a first outing, and it definitely has me excited to see what the brand does next.
Many thanks to Nathan Michael for the photo help.
For price and purchase info, visit American Trench.