The Classic TrenchSeptember 11, 2009 at 11:09 pm | Posted in Fashion, George | Leave a comment
Tags: Aquascutum, autumn wardrobe, Burberry, trench coat
The arrival of September and the first autumnally chilly mornings have turned my thoughts to my autumn wardrobe. Alongside the abundance of seasonal foods such as wild mushrooms, pears, hazelnuts, damsons and plums (a FF staple), the prospect of donning snug autumn/winter clothes offers some kind of compensation for the end of summer. Unsurprisingly, I feel that Famous Five style is the way to go and will be taking inspiration from George’s outfits in Five Go Adventuring Again: sturdy brogues, a classic trench and thick woollen jumpers worn with skirts.
But where to find a good trench? Last weekend my housemate and I went to the Burberry factory outlet in search of a bargain. Conveniently enough it’s situated just down the road from where we live. There were some nice items (lovely lambswool scarves) but seeing the clothes in the Gap-like setting of the store really emphasised the chav-like aspects of the brand. Like George, I’m not very tall and their macs are really big and this, combined with the fact that most of the clothes were probably made in overseas sweatshops, made it a slightly disheartening experience.
The other British brand that is well known for its macs is, of course, Aquascutum. According to the company’s website, the majority of its outerwear is made in Corby, Northamptonshire. Each trench takes 6 hours to make and passes through 70 pairs of hands along the way. With this in mind, the £600+ price tag doesn’t seem quite so unreasonable, although I hasten to add that it’s unlikely I will be affording one anytime soon.
Aquascutum was founded in 1851 and has evolved and reinvented itself throughout the decades. Its founder invented showerproof material in 1953 and the company has been keeping civilians and soldiers (guess how the trench coat got its name) dry and stylish ever since. It’s plausible that George’s trench is from Aquascutum. Aunt Fanny would probably appreciate quality of the coat and be confident that it would see George through many adventures (its longevity aided by the fact that the Five age very slowly of course). In a Primark era where fashion changes so quickly and clothes are not made to last, an expensive coat like this seems like a real extravagance. Perhaps though, it’s comparable to the difference between buying meat once a fortnight and getting a good, hand-reared chicken from the butchers or eating the processed parts of a battery animal from the supermarket every day? Or perhaps this is me talking myself into buying an Aquascutum coat?…