The trench coat wasn’t exactly invented for use during the war that gave it its name, but it was during the First World War that this now iconic garment took the shape that we recognize today, a form that remains startlingly current despite being more than 100 years old. These iconic waterproof coats were created in the first place by Scottish chemist and inventor Charles Macintosh and British inventor Thomas Hancock in the early 1820s. Their rain-repellent garment, also called the “mack”, was made from rubberized cotton and intended as outerwear for the well-dressed man whose days involved riding, shooting, fishing, outdoor activities and military service (source: Vogue). As technology evolved along the years, they became more breathable, less sweaty, and even better at repelling water. 1853 was a breakthrough year, as a tailor named John Emary developed an improved raincoat, which he produced under the name of his company Aquascutum (from Latin, meaning “water” and “shield”). Thomas Burberry followed suit in 1856 by weatherproofing the individual strands of cotton and wool fibre rather than the finished textile. Burberry’s “gabardine” fabric, invented in 1879, was the most breathable yet, proving popular with explorers, aviators, and other adventurous gentlemen. Both Aquascutum and Burberry take credit for having “invented” the WWI trench coat, but the truth is that the two firms helped popularize a type of coat already in existence, adapting it for military use.