Speed read: The Mackintosh is back so let it rain!

This week sees the opening of the first ever Mackintosh store in London’s exclusive Mayfair, nearly 200 years after the classic British Mac was invented.

Loved by everyone from Audrey Hepburn to the Queen, the stylish waterproof was created by a Scottish scientist called Charles Macintosh in 1823. He invented the process of spreading rubber onto cotton to make it resistant to the wettest of weather — and now, almost two centuries on, it’s a fashion classic.

Nor is Mackintosh the only name in town: thanks to Emma Watson’s glossy ad campaign, Burberry trenches are also enjoying a fashion moment, and are an off-duty staple for stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham. So stop moaning about the weather: let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!

Emma Watson modelling Burberry
Victoria Beckham in a trench coat

Fashion staple: Emma Watson models for Burberry, left, while Victoria Beckham is a frequent trench coat wearer


The number of buttons the classic double breasted trench coat should have



  • The classic trench is belted tightly at the waist, ideally with a jaunty knot rather than with the buckle.
  • Purists say beige is best but the new Mackintosh collection comes in every colour in the rainbow, including pretty pastels and crimson. A great way to brighten up a dull day.
  •  This season sees the ‘Trench with trimmings’ as designers add extras such as leather sleeves, studs, lace and bows.


  • Burberry Prorsum has a beige trench with leather sleeves for £1,840 — but Topshop does its own version for just £135.
  • Or try a floral mac, Next, £90; beige piped mac, New Look, £39.99 and cornflower blue, Hobbs, £159
Topshop mac
Principles by Ben de Lisi, Beige Colour Block Mac

Wrap up: Topshop mac, left, and beige colour block mac, Principles by Ben de Lisi

Floral print mac, Next
Cornflower coat, Hobbs

Spring in your step: Floral print mac, Next, left, and Cornflower coat, Hobbs


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