Tuesday, 22 January 2013


As recently noted, this sleeveless trench coat has become a favourite, and I've worn it in every season. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by its appeal to me - its sleevelessness makes it playful: a coat which is no longer wholly outerwear and becomes a dress or a vest, plus both the indoor and outdoor climates in which I live necessitate layering. 

patterned blouse: Joe Fresh (clearance, $10, purchased with gift card)
sleeveless trench coat dress: Cynthia Rowley, Marshall's, last worn here
buttonflowers: Megan Mae Designs
scarf: Charming Charlie, last worn here
gauchos: Larry Levine, Winners, last worn here
tights: Joe Fresh
shoes: Fidji, last worn here

the frogs were part of my special Christmas gift package from Megan Mae
- so perfect! 

Being able to look back to previous outfit combos - see below - generates even more ideas: now I can't wait to pair it with red. Last spring (pre-blog) I tried it with blue jeans tucked into my tall sand-coloured boots, an outfit that worked very well as a combination of garments, but not so well with my particular proportions.

Further to one combination inspiring or linking to another, how we as humans see patterns and make connections, tend to repetition, and establish common cultural frames of reference fascinates me. (This article - "The trench talk that is now entrenched in the English language" - speaks of ways that whole clusters of meanings evolved and became shared as a result of World War I.) 

watch and bracelets can be better seen here 

Is there a combo you like the best? Links to original posts are below. What would you wear with a sleeveless trench coat? Or maybe don't tell me, I have other items in my closet that are starting to feel neglected and the last thing I want going on in there is any pouting.

L-R: Absurd is the Word
Blue Language
Patterns of Secrecy
Sweet Home
In the Navy
today's post

I'm catching up to the fabulous bloggers already over at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday. There are so many, come and see!


  1. ooo, ooo, that sari drapey skirt you wore with it sometime ago. Yes, we loves it. The swoosh and the structure, now that's an epic combo.

  2. So much eye candy today Amber. It was fun to look back at the other versions of your sleeveless trench as I am a relatively new reader. My favourite? A toss up between Absurd is the Word and Patterns of Secrecy. I love the simplicity of the first one. But the Secrecy outfit is like a beautiful story drawing me in. I think I could see myself in a sleeveless trench with stripey t-shirt shift dress underneath, and a fabulous, colourful scarf. Ooooh, I think I feel a project coming on.

    Fascinating read about language and the connection with World War One. I've become hooked on Downton Abbey and these past few weeks have been catching up on past episodes.

  3. I think I like today's outfit best, closely followed by In the Navy. The trench works so nicely with those skirts.

    I would wear a sleeveless trench over pretty much any of my shirts and blouses, especially a dove gray-blue one with ruffly sleeves. Oh, yes, I can see that. Maybe I'll look for a thrifted trench and remove the sleeves!

  4. This is such a cute idea. In fact, I bought a light weight trench last year and there's only a small season I can wear it. With your idea I could wear it way more often. I love the fit so this gets me excited to see if I can successfully cut the sleeves off without having to sew anything. Great inspiration today!
    I love all the outfits you put together with it by the way.

  5. There's a reason this piece is such a star - it looks fabulous in each of these outfits, and many more I'm sure! It's so smart and special without being too "hey, look at me!" Love all the iterations, and I think Patterns of Secrecy is my Favorite. Thanks for sharing them all with Visible Monday!

  6. I like the look second from the right best, I think.
    That trench is a wonder! I never imagines a trench could be so awesome; just taking the sleeves out of the equation gives it so much versatility.
    Those brooches are too sweet, and I am endlessly amazed by your quirky shoes!

  7. I think I would choose one of the last 2, but they all look fantastic. :) Those pins are absolutely gorgeous. What a sweet gift!

  8. Red, yes yes yes, wear it with red! The thing that strikes me seeing your collage of looks incorporating the trench is that they all have an elegant neutral vibe. Patterns of Secrecy is my fave, I think, but I would love to see you work it with some bright dramatic colour. That said, the quiet, classy green and the print of the shirt today are lovely, especially with the addition of the button brooches (and frogs!)
    I was only talking today about how the generation who fought in the First World War must all be dead now, and soon all those who recall that time at all will also be gone, yet it still retains a strong hold on our shared consciousness. I wonder if that will change over time, I'm sure it must.
    We do look for connections, for groupings and shapes and shared experiences, I guess it gives us meaning. Perhaps that's why we blog! And repetition can be stabilising, comforting, in a shifting restless world.
    I do like you and your ideas, Amber! xxxx

  9. A sleeveless trench. What an interesting idea. It sounds like an oxymoron but looks pretty. I'm all for unique styles.

  10. You must pair the trench with red - it will look amazing! I love all the ways you have combined it, but I think my favourite is "In the Navy", the second one from the right. If I had that trench, I would be layering it with black, and when the weather was warmer, a striped long sleeve t and skinny rolled up pants in red!

  11. I've loved all your variations on this piece! So much that I thrifted a trench dress myself. Sadly it wasn't quite the right fit on me, so it's now with Patti. I do rather love the long layered skirt edition though. It brings to mind kimono or other layered styles of dresses like that.

    I love your buttonflower collections - I think we came up with a very strong remix collection for you.

    I also love the sleeves on your blouse. It's a bit of a 70s print.

  12. One of the things I like best about seeing your outfit posts is guessing what process had you put pieces together. My guess would have been that you often start with shoes ... interesting any way it happens. A single special piece is like a basic grammar in wardrobe, perhaps. I have no patience with those who insist on wearing an outfit only once. Certainly awful for the sheer wastefulness, but it says volumes about the imagination of the wearer. Or rather, a lack thereof.

  13. I do like that sleeveless trench! A very versatile piece. And your graphic print shirt is just fabulous - very this season Mui Mui!

  14. I can't wait to see the vest with red accents! Maybe over a maxi dress or giant pants next time? The silhouette reminds me of one of my favorite eras, 1918 or so, with the belted coat over the long dress or skirt. Think suffragette, perhaps. Or maybe even a little earlier and add a muff to keep your hands warm?

    I have a similar sleeveless trench coat from Zara that I thrifted, but I have to shrink just a little to make it work. This too shall come. In the meantime, I'll enjoy seeing what you come up with. Don't be surprised if you see me spinning off your ideas. You're a constant inspiration. LOVE YOU (and your style)!!!!

  15. The magic trench! The delicious button flowers! I love 'em!

    As far as fave combo to date? I love them all, but the one with you wearing the longest, kimono-looking skirt, with those darker blue shoes, is my fave. Because you look like oriental art.

  16. I love the In the Navy combo...and you are rocking that burgundy lip!

  17. Well, I'd have to vote for the first picture: Absurd is the Word. I can certainly see that this is one versatile garment though. (Everyone should have one!)

    I haven't been posting on my blog lately because of difficulties getting my photos onto it, so I've finally decided to just post text in a story I wrote. I was wondering if you would be so kind as to read it? It's quite short, a fashion horror story (sort of.)

    I need the help of my blogging buddies to get the blog going again. If you wish to give me a kick in the butt to re-activate me, that would be most welcome too.

    Cheers from England,
    Rosemary of www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot.com

  18. Ooh what a lovely post Amber! I adore your trench coat, it is elegant and yes, definitely playful, and it clearly goes with everything! My fave outfit? You can probably guess, as I do love a long skirt, it's number 3, Patterns of Secrecy!

  19. Well, what I wrote disappeared. Basically it was this. I love, love your ourfits and this one is fab. Love those fab shoes too.

  20. The sleeveless trench is so versatile, and I can't possible choose a favorite. Always worn with the most fabulous shoes! And accompanied by much food for thought.


Thank you for your comments!
- Amber