World War I Created A Fashion Icon

Samuel Reason | March 15th, 2018

One of the most interesting things that happened during world wars throughout history is actually the innovation in technology that they caused. Some researchers even estimate that if the world had not gone through World War I and World War II then we could even be 20 years behind in terms of scientific discovery.

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The reason being is that when conflict arises, governments are happy to pump money into their research departments. Provided they are of course developing something that can help them win the war. However, later on when you look back at the discoveries made well you find they actually had a big influence in other areas. Such as the Atomic bomb helping fuel the idea for nuclear-powered energy plants. Well, another fascinating area to look at is actually clothing. Did you know the trench coat was created by Burberry during World War I?

Countries lining up against each other trying to create the best gear to win a conflict. This is what pushes people to innovate. And that is what Burberry did, they produced the waterproof trench coat for soldiers. Before this, waterproof clothing had to be waxed or rubberized which made it extremely heavy and not practical.

Gabardine, the fabric used to make the trenchcoat garment is lightweight and waterproof. But most of all it is breathable, which ensured a soldier’s body temperature was always ideal. They were actually first produced for the Boer War in 1895 by Burberry, but for World War One they improved them and produced over half a million.

And they even helped change the psychology side of the battle, these trench coats were produced to help you be camouflaged. The coats were no longer brightly colored showing off the colors of your country. These coats were khaki and ready to help British soldiers be camouflaged. Basically, Burberry played a big part in making the uniform be more functional and less decorative.

And then when the war was over, the trenchcoat went on to become a Hollywood fashion icon. In fact, it was a favorite in the Hollywood costume department up until the 1960s. Everyone remembers Audrey Hepburn’s iconic beige trench in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It really goes to show how something can go from the field into the fashion world. From Humphrey Bogart to Kate Moss, the trench coat has become a wardrobe essential that appears timelessly in fashion magazines.

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