Luxe or Less: Classic Spring Trenches

Usually my Luxe or Less posts feature expensive covetable items and affordable alternatives, but this time even the affordable version is still a bit of a splurge. After all, a classic belted khaki trench coat is worth the money. I've been wearing my T. Babaton 'Carter' trench from Aritzia non-stop because it's suitable for sunny weather, windy days, drizzling rain, and all the fickle spring weather in between. For this reason, I'd rather spend more on a high-quality coat that stays crisp and wears well from one year to another than a cheap one that wrinkles and wears out after one season.

My luxe pick comes from Canadian label SMYTHE, which has made a name for itself doing impeccable blazers and outerwear. The 'Clean' cotton trench ($745.99 on Shopbop) puts a fashion-forward spin on a wardrobe staple with its thick textured cotton canvas, oversized lapels and blazer-style flap pockets. It's timeless enough to look au courant in five years, but the details set it apart from the sea of khaki trenches.

And for my "less" pick, we have the Banana Republic classic trench ($240). It's belted, double-breasted, cuffed, khaki--all the elements you'd look for in a classic trench at a more reasonable price. And because it's BR, this trench even comes in a petite size too.

Are you a fan of trenches for spring?

Disclaimer: This post marks an exciting development--Shopbop is now a sponsor of Solo Lisa! I spent a lot of time ogling items on their site even before the sponsorship, so I'm really excited about this collaboration. Expect more designer items from Shopbop in future posts!


  1. I love that Smythe trench. The BR one is really classic, but it doesn't look as fitted.

    I'm a big fan of the Soia&Kyo trenchcoats-I picked mine up a couple of years ago at Plenty for a pretty good deal, and I get so many compliments on it.

  2. Congrats on the new sponsor Lisa, that is SO exciting. And these trench coats are absolutely fabulous. I agree that it's such an investment piece and will last a girl a life time. Hope you're having a terrific Thursday. xx veronika

  3. I love a classic trench, but I have to be realistic. In the same way I love capes and really want one, it's not realistic or logical to get one in my neck of the woods.

    I live in Detroit. It's still too cold for a trench (close to freezing at night. Like 3-4C in the morning and 16C during the day) and by the time it's perfect trench weather, we'll only have about 3-4 weeks of it before it's full on frying pan hot and humid.

    I really envy those in climes where trenches work for about 2-3 months out of the year instead of just 2-3 weeks. Makes me sad.

    Mae Lu @ thereafterish.!

  4. BAH! I am so excited for you!! Shopbop is amazing and so is your blog so it's a perfect fit :)

    I am on the lookout for a second trench. I have one from the gap which I like, but I want one that's almost white. I'll have to check out shopbop and banana republic for sure.


  5. I love both, but the Smythe one is so dreamy...

    I'm (slightly) infatuated by trenches and own several:

    Burberry (2x): tan and grey (double-breasted)
    Mackage: black
    Tsumori Chisato: tan and tulip-like
    Hussein Chalayan: white with ruffles
    Banana Republic: tan cape/trench
    Jil Sander for Uniqlo: cropped

    I'm sure I'm forgetting something...

  6. I love Smythe... the cuts and detail on their outerwear are divine. I have a Talula Babaton trench that I wear all the time too, though Zara has some pretty nice ones right now that are even cheaper than that Banana Republic one.

    Congrats on the sponsorship with ShopBop! One of my fave online stores :)

    xo, alison*elle

  7. alison*elle, you're right, Zara has some excellent trench options this season!

  8. I'm a definite fan of trenches, but still haven't found my "classic" piece that will last me for years to come. I've spent money on less than perfect ones from Mackage (on sale), BCBG (wrinkles very easily), Zara and Plum (not "classic" quality)... kind of wish I never did and just invested in a good one! But I'm sure that time will come. How many years have you had your TB one?

    And big congrats on landing Shopbop as a sponsor. Huge deal! What will it entail? Is it mostly advertising?


  9. This post couldn't come at a better time; I've been contemplating getting a spring jacket lately for the sunny-but-not-warm Vancouver weather, and now I have more options to consider. :) The Smythe trench is lovely!

  10. I've had my trench close by at all times this rainy spring. I absolutely love it - it's my first Burberry Brit piece give to me from mom this year. =) it's going to be a classic that I will keep forever.


Back to Top