Trench, rain coat, mac? The naming conventions for men’s foul-weather clothing are in shambles these days. Mac or mack, short for Mackintosh — or at least a move to avoid trademark infringement on the original Mackintosh brand — probably came first in the late 1800s. The trench coat wasn’t far behind with both Aquascutum and Burberry claiming they invented it near the turn of the 20th century.
Thomas Burberry deserves the credit at least for popularizing the jacket with the military after he submitted his design to the UK’s War Office in 1901. Proper trenches today retain many of the military-inspired details found on the original design, like wide lapels, an integrated waist belt and shoulder straps. We happen to prefer the more streamlined versions of the trench sold by many brands now that look an awful lot like macs. Confused yet? Just call them raincoats and avoid putting your foot in your mouth.
Stockholm Raincoat by Stutterheim $295
The Demarco by Baro $336
Raincoat by MHL. by Margaret Howell $555
Tech-Shell Raincoat by Todd Snyder $600
Boston Raincoat by A.P.C. $765
Storm System Mac by Mackintosh $779
Reversible Raincoat by Canali $1,450
Additional contribution by John Zientek