British and French soldiers wore heavy and cumbersome serge overcoats, but Thomas Burberry changed this with his new lightweight and fashionable military trench coat. In the beginning only the British Officers and Warrant Officers Class 1 were allowed to own and wear this optional piece of apparel.
It was not until World War II that the enlisted men were allowed to wear this military trench coat. Soon the ladies of the British armed forces jumped on the bandwagon and adopted the coat as part of their military uniform. During World War II London Fog manufactured the first model for the soldiers of the U.S. Its popularity was such that not only the U.S. armed forces wore them but they were worn by Russian and other European armed forces.
This exciting new outerwear had everything that was needed by the soldier to conveniently carry maps and other equipment. This was accomplished with a belt, button down shoulder straps and D-rings. The films featured this style of overcoat in numerous movies. Comedians portraying spies and fictitious detectives all wore them. Remember Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau and Peter Faulk’s Columbo?
Modern films are still using the same style of garb on both good guys and bad guys. Without skipping a beat or making a change, the coat came into the modern world of fashion. Business men and women alike wear the trenchcoat as business wear and casual wear.
Almost every wardrobe in Britain and the United States has a Burberry or London Fog military trench coat in it. The coat has proudly retained its romantic and heroic look.