10 Perfect Trench Coats for Autumn Weather, Femme Fatales, and Private Eyes

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Does the trench coat even need an introduction? It was developed for soldiers in WWI as an alternative to their heavier greatcoats, and used to keep off the rain. They were apparently one of the only pleasant aspects of wartime, as veterans would bring the coats back home with them. According to Vogue, the trench became a must-have for women after Greta Garbo wore one around the set of A Woman of Affairs. Gloria Swanson (above) and Bette Davis also worn them onscreen in the late '20s and early '30s, proving once and for all that they looked even better on the girls. Now, the trench coat is a staple for any sophisticated lady with a bit of shady business to take care of.

Your typical trench is double-breasted, wide-lapeled, and fastened around the waist with a "self belt," which is a belt composed of the same material as the coat. Of course, today you can find trench coats in lace, leather, spots, stripes, and every hue imaginable, but since we're talking staples here, the following ten options tend toward the traditional. Need to check up on an ex-lover? Slink around after hours? Run your underground mafia while looking pristine and untouchable? Pop your collar, cinch that belt, and duck out the back door.

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