The trench is trendy

March 13, 1991|By Carrie Donovan | Carrie Donovan,N.Y. Times News Service

Trench coats are the latest classics to be given a style rehab. Not that there is anything wrong with the coats just the way they have always been. They are practical and quite --ing with their military mien. But this spring, designers in Paris and New York have taken the trench coat and cut it to fit the current mode.

These new trench coats are cropped off to end well above the knee. They may or may not have the usual accoutrements of epaulettes, flaps, etc., but they always have a fabric belt to sash the waistline smartly taut.

The biggest difference is in the materials. Thin, crisp poplin is popular. But so are plastic fabrics that shine like patent leather. There are even trench coats made of transparent vinyl, but these are hard to find because they are difficult to manufacture.

Far and away the favorite shade for the spring trench coat is blazing white. But yellow in poplin will do. And black in vinyl is, perhaps, more useful.

These updated trench coats are practical. Most are sturdy (though, of course, not as durable as the familiar classic version). And they look good over a variety of fashions, from jeans or leggings to the highest-style suit.

TC Try one over your evening outfit, whether it is a sassy slip dress or a slinky ballgown. Chances are you'll be surprised at how well the spruced-up trench coat looks. And we couldn't say that for the classic version, could we?

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