The Difference Between a Peacoat and a Trench Coat Update 07/2022

Peacoats and trench coats were both originally military-inspired men’s fashion favorites. They’re now equally as trendy in women’s apparel, especially as the weather becomes cooler. What’s the difference between a peacoat and a trench coat, though?
There are numerous distinctions between the two. Trench coats are longer and usually made of heavy-duty and waterproof material, whereas peacoats are shorter and usually made of wool. Other elements of style might also help you identify between the two.
So, which one do you think you should go with? Before making a decision, take a closer look at each style of coat to ensure that you make an informed choice. In this essay, I’ll go through the physical attributes and styling considerations of each type of coat in greater depth.

Peacoat Vs Trench Coat

Peacoat vs. Trench Coat: Key Differences

When buying a coat, we want one that will protect us from the elements while also looking fashionable. We’d want to take into account a few characteristics. Knowing more about these traits can assist you in making a more informed decision. That’s why I made this diagram comparing the main differences between a peacoat and a trench coat.

PeacoatTrench Coat
DesignDouble-breasted, 6 buttons, large collar, stylishDouble-breasted, 10 buttons, large collar, practical
FabricWool or wool/synthetic fiber blendHeavy duty cotton or gabardine, polyester
WarmthWarmer than a trench coat, better for winter/snowNot as warm, better for rainy or windy days
LengthHits at the hips to mid-thighHits at the knees or below
FittingTapered fit, more shape-definingLooser fit to accommodate bulky clothes/layers
ColorTraditionally navy, but come in other colors as wellTraditionally khaki, but come in other colors as well
BeltNoYes
Water ResistanceHighVery High
CostDepends on the fabric and designerDepends on the fabric and designer
CareDry-clean or hand wash, lay flat to dryHand wash or wash on gentle cycle, lay flat to dry, wash lining separately
When to WearCasual and formal occasions in late fall, winter, and early springCasual and formal occasions in fall and spring, mild winters
When Not to WearSummerSummer and cold winters

What Is a Peacoat?

peacoat or trench coat

There are several accounts concerning where and when peacoats were initially worn, but the general opinion is that naval sailors used them. That’s why peacoats were originally made of navy blue fabric.
Peacoats in navy blue are still fashionable today, but you can also buy them in other neutral colors. Peacoats in brighter colors and even patterned fabrics are also available for women’s fashion.
Although the color palette for peacoats has expanded, the basic aspects have stayed largely unchanged. The buttons were one of the most recognizable aspects of a typical peacoat.
As a nod to being worn as part of a navy uniform, they were created with metal buttons with anchor motifs on them. Metal buttons are still used on certain peacoats nowadays, but plastic buttons are also fairly widespread.

What Is a Trenchcoat?

are pea coats warm

Trench coats got its name from army personnel who fought in the trenches during World War I, though they were worn much before that. Traditional trench coat colors were khaki and olive green, which were meant to appear more unobtrusive. They were also made to be more heavy-duty in order to shield soldiers from the elements, such as wind and rain.
Trench coats were no longer linked with the military after World War I, but its key elements haven’t changed much. Men’s trench coats, like peacoats, are still generally found in neutral colors nowadays. Women’s trench coats come in a greater selection of color possibilities.
Trench coats were originally designed to be worn for utility rather than fashion. They can be attractive and functional nowadays, but they aren’t always designed to be worn for “dressy” occasions. This is owing to the heavy-duty materials utilized in their construction and the absence of decorations in general.

What Is the Difference Between Trench Coat and Peacoat?

Let’s look at some of the details now that we know more about the origins, history, and overall purpose of peacoats and trench coats. We can compare the two this way, and you’ll have a better idea of each one’s basic aim and style.

Design

difference between trench coat and peacoat

Peacoats are classic and ageless, with little variation in design over the years. Today’s peacoats, on the other hand, are supposed to be more fashionable and associated with fashion rather than the military. Color, fit, and fabric options are now more diverse. The big collar, buttons, pockets, and double-breasted silhouette, on the other hand, haven’t changed.
Trench coats are double-breasted and include buttons up the front, similar to peacoats. However, they have always been more practical, as evidenced by the design elements. One of the distinguishing elements, for example, is the use of sleeve straps to tighten sleeves around the cuffs to keep wind and rain out.
They also have spacious buttoned pockets to keep your belongings safe. The pockets can also be accessed from the inside or the exterior. Epaulets (or shoulder tabs) can also be used to keep gloves or other small objects tight. Trench coats are still as utilitarian now, but they can still be beautiful because they come in a wider range of colors.

Fabric

Wool has historically been used to make peacoats because of its thickness, warmth, and general water resistance. Peacoats are still mostly composed of wool nowadays, albeit they may not be 100 percent wool. Peacoats can even be constructed of polyester, cotton, or nylon in some cases. While these fabrics are less expensive, they do not provide the same level of peacoat quality as wool.
Trench coats in the nineteenth century were generally composed of rubber. Although rubber provided good weather protection, it was quickly discovered that it was not the optimum material for the job.
Thanks to Thomas Burberry, trench coats began to be fashioned from heavy-duty cotton known as gabardine. Gabardine proved to be suitable in terms of weight, durability, and waterproofing. It, along with synthetic textiles like polyester, is still used in many trench coats today.

Warmth

Peacoats are made of wool and are designed to keep you warm. The wool fabric will keep you warm, but it isn’t the only factor. A peacoat’s design features are also beneficial. Because the coat is buttoned up the front, it fits closely to the body. This will prevent cold air and wind from penetrating the fabric. To keep the cold air off your neck, the broad collar may be turned up in the rear and buttoned in the front.
Trench coats will keep you warm as well, although not in the same way as peacoats. Trench coats, which are composed of cotton gabardine rather than wool, will keep you warm by keeping you dry. Trench coats, on the other hand, have a big collar that can be turned up to keep you warm. The sleeves’ cuffs can also be tightened. Peacoats, on the other hand, have the edge in terms of warmth.

Length

trench coat vs peacoat

Peacoats are a little longer than most other types of jackets because they were designed to be worn over a military uniform.
Peacoats are typically as long as the hips or slightly shorter, ending in the middle of the thigh. They’re a touch longer than the hemline of a men’s shirt as a result. It’s the ideal length for women to put over a blouse or dress.
Peacoats are shorter than trench coats. They commonly strike at or just below the knees.
They are so lengthy because they need to shield more of the body from wind and rain. However, they aren’t lengthy enough to make it difficult to maneuver or trip over them, which is why they were chosen for military use.

Fitting

The peacoat was designed with a straight cut at the top and a flared bottom to make movement easier. Peacoats are now made in a tapered fit. The tapered fit provides the wearer a more defined shape. The double-breasted style is also roomier at the shoulders, allowing for improved upper-torso flexibility.
Trench coats are also straight-cut, but they’re made to be a little looser. The military uniform’s heft was accommodated by the loose fit. However, because the trench coat isn’t as warm as a sweater, a looser shape allows layers to be worn underneath to add warmth. Trench coats are also double-breasted to allow for more shoulder flexibility.

Color

Peacoats were originally navy blue to indicate that they were worn by naval soldiers. Peacoats are now available in a wide range of colors, from gray, black, and brown to red, green, and even checkered designs.
To aid with camouflage, trench coats were often khaki, sand, or olive green. Many trench coats are still available in these traditional colors, but they also come in a variety of different colors, similar to peacoats. Trench coats with bright hues, such as yellow, red, and blue, are common in women’s fashion.

Belt

topcoat vs overcoat

Peacoats aren’t frequently worn with a belt. While some contemporary designers may include a belt in their peacoat designs, due to the more fitting nature of peacoats, a belt is not required to give the coat a defined shape.
Trench coats are generally equipped with a belt. This belt was part of the original design and served a practical purpose: it was used to keep a sword or other piece of equipment tight.
The belt on today’s trench jackets serves no practical use. Instead, because trench coats have a looser fit, it can be tightened to form the coat.

Water Resistance

Woolen peacoats are exceptionally water-resistant. Although wool isn’t completely waterproof, it may absorb up to 30% of its weight in water before becoming saturated and soaking through. Peacoats, in addition to being warm, will usually shield you from the rain if you don’t allow them to become saturated.
Trench coats aren’t always completely waterproof, although they are quite water-resistant. Because of the heavy-duty fabric, this is the case. If the weather is damp but not freezing, a trench coat is a better choice for outerwear because it will keep you dry.

Cost

In the end, the cost of a peacoat versus a trenchcoat is determined by the cloth used. Wool is a more rare fabric, hence any clothes made of it will be more expensive than clothing made of other fibers.
Trench coats, on the other hand, feature more components, such as a greater length and a belt. Because more fabric is utilized to make them, this could result in a greater price. The coat designer should also be considered, as high-end designers’ peacoats and trench coats can be quite costly.

Care

Peacoats are more difficult to care for because they are usually composed of wool. Because the fibers of wool are readily damaged, it is recommended that they be dry-cleaned. Wool can also be hand-washed, but it should be done in cold water with a gentle soap. Never, lay it flat to dry away from heat and direct sunshine.

Trench coats, as long as they are made of cotton or another heavy-duty material, are easier to care for. However, if your trench coat’s lining is removable, it should be removed and washed separately. Because there is less agitation, the gentle cycle is the best option. Cool water should also be used to prevent the fabric from shrinking. You should also avoid placing the coat in the dryer because heat might harm the fibers. Instead, lay it flat to dry.

When to Wear & When Not to Wear

Peacoats

Peacoats are typically used in the winter when the weather is colder. However, if you reside in a location where the fall and spring days are cool, a peacoat may be appropriate. The only time you shouldn’t wear a peacoat is when the weather starts to warm up in late spring and summer. In the summer, wool can be too hot and uncomfortable to wear.
Peacoats have the advantage of being able to be worn both informally and officially. They can be dressed up or down. They can be worn to work or to a fancy restaurant, or they can be paired with jeans and a great top.

Trench Coats

The greatest time to wear a trench coat is in the spring and fall when the weather is pleasant, especially on rainy days. Trench coats will keep you warm, but they may not be warm enough for the cold of winter. Trench coats, on the other hand, may be too hot to wear during the warmer months.
Trench coats are typically worn with jeans or for a day at the office, and can be worn casually or professionally. However, depending on the trench coat’s basic style, it can be worn formally as well. Traditional design aspects remain in modern trench coats, but they are sophisticated enough to be worn for any occasion.

Pros and Cons of Peacoat

Now that we’ve gone over all of the intricacies, let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of peacoats.

Pros

  • It’s adaptable and may be dressed up or down.
  • Wear this outfit in the fall, winter, and early spring.
  • Comfortable and fashionable
  • It’s made of wool, so it’ll keep you warm.

Cons

  • Wool is used, which necessitates extra care.
  • Wool can cause allergic reactions in certain people.
  • It’s not as water-resistant as a trench coat.

Pros and Cons of Trench Coat

Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of trench coats for a quick summary and comparison.

Pros

  • Longer length—covers a larger portion of your body.
  • Peacoats are less water resistant.
  • They don’t necessitate as much special attention.
  • Dress it up or dress it down.

Cons

  • It’s not as warm as a peacoat.
  • They aren’t as adaptable and aren’t suitable for the cold.
  • For some folks, a lot of fabric can be too much.

Different Peacoat Styles

While all peacoats share the same basic design features, each kind of peacoat has a few minor differences.
  • The most prevalent style is the classic peacoat, which has a big collar, is double-breasted, and flares at the hips.
  • Bridge Peacoats have a broad collar, are double-breasted, and are longer in length, reaching mid-thigh.
  • Peacoat with a Single-Breasted Collar- a peacoat with a single-breasted collar rather than a double-breasted collar; a more casual peacoat.

Which One Should You Choose, Peacoat or Trench Coat?

SAUKOLE Women's Winter Wool Trench Coat Wrap Large Collar High Low Jacket Outwear with Belt Beige

So, now that you have all of the facts, how do you decide which one to go with? There are a few things you should think about. Perhaps the most important consideration is the climate in which you reside and the level of protection you require from the elements.
For example, if you live somewhere where the winters are chilly and snowy, you might prefer a peacoat over a trench coat. A peacoat will keep you warmer and better protect you from the elements. A trench coat, on the other hand, may be preferable if you live in a milder or rainier region. It will keep you dry even if it isn’t as warm.
You should also think about your lifestyle and which one best fits your personal style. While both may be dressed up or down, peacoats are ideal for more formal occasions, whilst trench coats are a terrific professional outerwear option. Both can, of course, be worn on a more casual basis.
Finally, think about how easy each sort of coat is to maintain. Many peacoats are dry clean only or must be hand cleaned if they are made of wool. Most trench coats, on the other hand, can be machine washed, however the lining may need to be washed separately. Consider how much time and patience you have to commit to your coat’s upkeep.

Women’s Peacoat

Anne Klein Women's Classic Double-Breasted Coat, Navy, XS

This women’s double-breasted peacoat is available in 11 different hues, including neutrals, vibrants, and even leopard print.
It comes in five sizes and is constructed of a wool-polyester combination that can only be dry-cleaned.
This peacoat is both flattering and fashionable thanks to the flared bottom that hits just below the hip.
It’s ideal for running errands, going to work, or even a dinner date, and it’ll keep you warm and dry throughout the winter.

Men’s Peacoat

Nautica Men's Classic Double Breasted Peacoat, Charcoal, Small

This men’s peacoat is available in three neutral colors: black, charcoal gray, and navy.
It’s made of a wool, polyester, and other fiber blend that can only be dry cleaned. However, it includes a quilted inner that will keep you toasty.
This peacoat has all of the classic styling characteristics of a typical peacoat. It has a wide collar and slanted vertical pockets and is double-breasted. Gloves and other items can also be stored in pockets on the inside lining.

Women’s Trench Coat

Wantdo Women's Casual Pea Coats Winter Long Trench Coat with Belt Khaki Medium

This trench coat is composed of 100% polyester fabric that is windproof and water resistant. That means it can be machine washed, making maintenance a breeze. It can be worn with or without the detachable belt. You may choose from ten various colors and six different styles, and the pockets are deep enough to hold all of your essentials.
You can wear it with jeans or a suit on rainy days and be confident that it will keep you dry.

London Fog Men’s Iconic Trench Coat

London Fog Men's Iconic Trench Coat, Dark Navy, 42

The London Fog men’s trench coat contains all of the classic trench coat features. It’s even available in classic colors like navy blue, green, and khaki. This trench coat, made of a nylon and polyester combination, will keep you dry and protected from the elements.
The original trench coats had a typical double-breasted shape, ten buttons on the front, and sleeve straps. The wool blend collar, which is detachable for easy cleaning, is one of the trench coat’s standout characteristics.

Conclusion

This tutorial should have helped you distinguish between a peacoat and a trench coat. Both originated in the military, but their use has spread to include men’s and women’s styles. Trench coats are longer and more water-resistant, whereas peacoats are shorter and warmer. Both of these pieces may be worn up or down. Please share this post and leave a comment if you appreciated it. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

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