A brief history of a love affair (with trench coat)
My love of trench coats dates back to college. It seems trenches have always been on trend, but during the style drought of late 2000s, 20-year-olds “didn’t get it.” Young Millennials were more likely to run around in balloon skirts and slouchy boots than classic, crisp trench coats. This changed for me when I fell in love with French New Wave cinema. From Jean Seberg and Catherine Deneuve to Jane Birkin, every French style icon made trench coats look both proper and sexy.
I set out to search for my perfect trench without much success. A beige-colored cotton Zara trench served me well for my entire twenties, although its quality was questionable. (A few buttons fell off almost immediately after purchase, which I sewed back on.) Four years ago, I bought a beautiful olive green trench at a vintage shop in Paris. I adore this piece and wear it frequently—but neither this nor the Zara (which I’ve decommissioned years ago) is actually waterproof. So any tailored trench coat I’ve owned has always been strictly for looks. For actual downpour days, I had hip-length performance raincoats perfect for hiking and exploring—but hardly elegant enough for a date, a professional meeting, or a night on the town.
Even the most luxurious brands made trenches that were gorgeous, but barely waterproof. So I didn’t think that a beautiful, chic, all-weather trench was a real thing. Then I met Protected Species—the female-owned brand of performance outerwear that also embodies classic British elegance. My eyes have been opened: guys, I have found the most perfect trench coat of my dreams.
How it all started
Protected Species was founded when Rebecca McElligott and Anne Muir met for coffee on a very rainy day in Glasgow, Scotland. They started chatting about how waterproof clothing for women was only available in “mountain wear” colors, shapes, and styles, even though most of the time women are caught in the rain far away from the hills. At the time, Anne was on maternity leave, stressed with the care of a newborn, and in need of style without compromising comfort. Rebecca already had years of experience working for global performance wear brands, and they set out to develop the perfect tailored rainwear, a process that took two years.
Sustainable, recycled, non-toxic, and women-owned
Their fabrics are made at a female-owned mill. It’s Oekotex-certified (free from toxic chemicals) and Blue-Sign-certified (no hazardous chemicals and compliant with strict air, water, and pollution control). Then the fabric is cut and sewn at a boutique female-owned factory that specializes in small-batch production. Often, a single garment is produced by one person from start to finish. Forming an all-female team from marketing to production was intentional. Inspired by women, Protected Species also strives to serve and empower them through their business practices.
Here I am wearing my Waterproof Trench in Night Sky (Ł229), which is made with recycled polyester yarns. I’ve test driven it around the rainy castles of Scotland and the drizzly streets of London. It never fails to tie a look together while keeping me warm and dry. I’m in love!
We’re pleased to announce that one lucky Peaceful Dumpling reader will get a Protected Species piece of her choice!
How to enter
- Subscribe to the Peaceful Dumpling newsletter if you don’t already.
- Follow Peaceful Dumpling on IG @peacefuldumpling and/or Facebook @peacefuldumpling and leave a comment (“followed” or “already follow”) on our giveaway post at the top to confirm that you’ve entered. Each follow counts as an entry so following both IG and FB helps!
- Follow Protected Species on IG @protectedspecies.
- Entry period: Thursday April 27, 2023–Thursday May 4, 2023 midnight EST.
- Prize value: $121–$300 (Ł99–Ł229). Winner will be contacted via Instagram/Facebook and asked to select the item, color, and size.
I hope you all enter! Happy spring everyone!
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Photo: Peaceful Dumpling