Replacement Dressing: APC Trench

This is part of my replacement dressing series: because sometimes clothes have an expiration date but you don’t want abandon a certain aesthetic.

When I started looking for a new trench around late 2017, my Banana Republic trench had more or less lived a good life, but I think the main thing that prompted me to a new coat was style evolution. My BR trench was still in a way not my ‘forever’ trench. I bought it before I left for S. Korea in 2012 after putting my previous trench – an ancient Zara piece that I picked up in a lost&found pile at one of Oxford University libraries during my summer study abroad program in 2009  with the librarian’s blessing that I eventually passed onto my sister several years later – through its paces. The BR trench was a good as new secondhand find via Ebay and probably a more rushed decision due to my time constraints in retrospect. I remember receiving it and realizing that I wanted eventually a knee-length number as opposed to trench that hits upper thigh.I also wanted a richer camel color like my original Zara number as opposed to the classic light beige that I had now to wear.  

I certainly came to appreciate and enjoy the coat after promptly forgetting it in a hotel upon my arrival in S. Korea. The lack of that coat+ new environment directly contributed to me succumbing quickly to a cold days after arrival. Overall, It definitely went through some heavy use in both the S. Korea and France but in recent years I really want my knees to be covered during the transitional weather days, which prompted me to restart my search. As I was looking through all my favorited posts and pins on trenches one brand stood out (besides Burberry and their 1k+ coats): A.P.C.  I’d liked that the lining was nondescript and not polyester (I’ll take viscose, I sweat through polyester) with a more generous/classic cut in a darker richer camel color.  

In terms of fit, after trying on a size 36 at boutique on Avenue Beaumarchais with blogger friend Sovanarry of Defarjenary, I realized quickly that I was swimming in a 36. The shoulders didn’t fit either which is key- but a size 34 is a special order/online purchase according to the boutique.

Not to mention the price tag giving me pause… I was happy to spend up to 2-300 euros during a sale but not 500 (especially because I needed to order online.) So knowing that I wouldn’t ever find a size 34 in store easily, I promptly started looking on the secondhand market.  

And I waited. And continued to wait. Viable options would pop up from time to time but always in a size 36 and with the coat not fitting me in the shoulders, buying the coat a size up and sending it to the tailor would easily skyrocket the overall cost. There was a lovely linen version in my size up on Vinted for awhile but I knew that it wasn’t THE one.  

Finally by January 2019 my patience wasn’t bearing any fruit so I widened my net and started searching on old standbys, i.e Ebay. I really want back on for kicks and giggles not thinking I would find anything and there my coat was. Not in brand new condition but in a very good condition with some stains I thought I or my dry cleaner could get out. However the seller was more than accommodating to negotiate on the price given that I would need to dry clean for the stains…Although truth be told, I didn’t bother to dry clean right away seeing as it came to me so clean so I wore it on a regular basis and spot treated as necessary/for testing purposes with my savon de marseilles to great effect. Despite getting a great deal, it still took up a significant chunk of my 2019 clothing expenditure ( about 1/4) before dry cleaning.  

Getting the stains out:  

As for dry cleaning, when I finally got around to do it-i.e, the stains that I had not gotten out came off without a hitch. The fact that they didn’t catch my discerning eye shocked me, I was expecting some faint marks but no it was definitely gone. I’m always amazed at what my dry cleaner is capable of doing even though they are always upfront on their capabilities. I was more than pleased. However to tidy things up in between heavy wears and dry cleaning, I’ve been using savon de marseille and steaming to spot treat and keep it fresh.  

My sources of inspiration

Above you see a pic of me wearing my trench coat from last spring. I plan on replicating this color palette this spring/summer. And you will find below links to a bunch of posts below that helped me narrow my trench choice to APC.  

Kat of Feather Factor ( a fellow outerwear lover) has nice 2017 and 2011 posts discussing outerwear staples including trenches and camel coats.

Miss Sophie of Les Anti Modernes has also a deep love for trenches. She has a small review of the APC Greta Trench. I hope she comes back eventually to grace the public with her sartorial musings.  

Annabel of Blushing Ambition was one of my favorite first bloggers once I got into the ‘french minimalism’ aesthetic. She has quite of few photos of her wearing her APC trench.  

A fusion of a style guide/fashion advice post, Sarah of LadySarahinLondon has an amazing post on a Londoner’s take on wearing and shopping for a trench. I love her discerning/take no prisoners attitude-she bought her herself an unlined trench that pleased her to get it lined with the fabric of her choosing! A woman after my own heart.  Unfortunately, her extremely informative Burberry vs Aquatescum trench post is locked. She also has another informative post from Spring 2019 as well on trenches.  

I love Cheryl’s posts on her trench here and here because it shows that APC’s trenches can last for a really long time with proper care. Exactly what I’m looking for in a trench. Also, I love how fresh she looks.  

Blogger friend(and fellow shopper enabler), Sovanarry of De Farjenary has a lovely post on the APC trench and was with me when I tried on my trench model at the APC boutique in Paris. She has since fell down the rabbit hole of Burberry coats – She has a GORGEOUS Burberry Macintosh that gives her elegant Seoul lady vibes. Now she has me window shopping for Burberry jackets and outerwear again…which are surprisingly affordable on Vinted as long as you are not looking for the classic trench models (as always stay vigilant for knock offs if you don’t know the brand well). Like I said…enabler.  

The now defunct Sartreuse blog has also great photos of the blogger with her APC trench on Pinterest but if you want to read the posts, well here is the post from the deep web archives.  

When I was far more active on tumblr, I loved tracking down photos of trench wearers. In the making of this post I unearthed one of my favorite tumblrs, run by Burberry that is compilation of different Burberry trench wearers around the world. I love how it’s more ‘real street style’ as opposed to high fashion/fashion week ’street style’.  

What do you think of the APC Trench? Do you have any sartorial goals that are you willing to wait for? Are you a longtime trench wearer? Is there an aesthetic that you like that has evolved over time? 

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