Combining form and function for a contemporary take on classic outerwear.
It’s around this time every year that I usually start my seasonal wardrobe re-shuffle: both shops and media have been teasing us with spring/summer imagery for months now, and finally it seems the weather has caught up sufficiently to start considering those spring outfits (minus thermals) in real life – rather than just on Pinterest. I’ve picked up a few bits and pieces over the last few months as the new season collections have trickled into the shops, and it feels like it’s time for their spring debut – paired with wardrobe staples, old and new.
With the weather still changable (frankly when isn’t it in Scotland?) transitional pieces are key to help bridge that tricky trans-seasonal gap, and a practical, versatile cover-up becomes indispensable at this time of year. I’ve professed my love of the humble but hard-working trench coat before: after my Winter coat, the trans-seasonal wonder-worker is probably one of the most worn items in my wardrobe. So when outerwear specialists and Scotland/ Manchester-based design collective Protected Species got in touch to share their take on the timeless cover-up, I was intrigued to see what they were about.
Protected Species’ vision is clear: technically sophisticated outerwear that’s practical and stylish to boot. Each piece in the capsule collection is made from beautifully soft, fully waterproof Fluid Intelligence fabric, which is soft, light, noiseless (none of that obvious waterproof rustling!) and stretchy, packed with hidden technology and clever details to keep you dry. Their signature take on the timeless mac and parka – the collective’s two main designs – combines clean lines and feminine fit for a chic, urban aesthetic.
Protected Species’ designs are timeless and sophisticated, a versatile wardrobe addition that can be dressed up or down, and an appealing way to stay stylish in unpredictable weather. The company very kindly asked if I would like to style up a piece from their collection and I plumped for the West End waterproof mac, which has slipped seamlessly into my day-to-day wardrobe. It’s a higher price point than your high street cover-up, but for a piece of performance outerwear that’s timeless in cut and luxurious in finish, I think it’s reasonable – a reflection of the technical know-how and craftsmanship behind each design.
I love the warm, grey hue, which is versatile and feminine, and at the same time gives more of a utilitarian feel that’s clean, effortless and modern. The tailored coat has all the military-inspired trimmings that we’ve come to expect of the British sartorial staple – epaulettes, storm-flaps, structured collar, waist belt, buckled wrist straps – as well as the addition of functional details such as (proper) hood with toggles, button and zip fastening and roomy pockets, which along with the darker colour palette give a more urban feel to this suit-all style.
The coat feels lovely to wear as well – the crease-free, stretchy fabric is silky soft to the touch (a friend asked if it was silk!) and the clever laser cutting and welding means that it’s super sleek and perfectly form-fitting, and will ensure your outfit underneath survives downpour or gale. When I was caught in a heavy shower last week it kept out rain and wind and dried almost instantly. I’ve received numerous compliments on my new trench coat and while it doesn’t quite make me look forward to rainy days, it’s certainly brightened them already.
The trench is an ideal partner for everything from tailored frocks to jeans and a jumper, but for its first outing I paired my Protected Species coat with a floral smock dress from M&S that I picked up way back in January and have been saving for the warmer weather. I can’t wait to wear it with my favourite summery accessories but I think it works equally well with transitional trench, boots and black opaques. The red, white and navy colour palette adds a bit of a Breton twist, channelling Parisian-inspired style with the tailored trench. The hidden lanes and pastel doors of the New Town will have to do for now though!
Have you heard of Protected Species? How would you style a timeless trench?
What I’m wearing: trench coat c/o Protected Species; M&S dress; oxblood satchel from the Cambridge Satchel Company; Clarks Macay Holly boots.
Disclaimer: I was sent a trench coat by Protected Species for the purposes of review, to style up and share on Everything Looks Rosie. I never post anything I wouldn’t recommend to my readers.