There is not much in women’s fashion that is as practical as the trench coat. Originally designed to keep officers warm and dry during the trying conditions of World War I, it has now been incorporated into our wardrobes as our most dependable fashion staple during the unpredictable spring weather. If only we could find a heel that was as stylish and as comfortable as the trench!

From the glamorous women of Paris to the magical films of Audrey Hepburn, trench coats have allured us for decades. Although at first designed by Thomas Burberry for military use (for men) with double breasted buttons and epaulettes, the trench coat has since then been designed in many shapes and styles that flatter women. The most essential feature is the incorporated belt that gives every women the perfect hourglass shape they desire. Considering this mix of it’s business-like origins and its surprisingly flattering effect, it’s no wonder that wearing a trench makes looking effortlessly cool, effortless.

Here are a few ways to style your trench to get the look just right:

1. It is best to choose a coat that doesn’t have pleats or flare out into a skirt. The extra fabric will accentuate the wrong curves, leave it up to the belt to do the work.

2. If the sleeves are too long have them altered or roll them up. This is such a crucial feature to jackets and coats in general. Sizing needs to be just right. The cuff of your sleeve should always hit your wrist and should never go past it, otherwise you will look like you are wearing a coat that is a size too large.

3. Never properly belt your trench, most likely it won’t give you the narrowest cinch. As you can see from the inspiration images, the best option is to tie it in a knot to the side. You can also tie it in a knot behind your back if you want the coat to be open.

4. Don’t be afraid to do your research and find the right coat for you. There are so many options out there, so it’s important to find the one that fits you the best. A trench coat can be in your wardrobe for years and never go out of style (unless you bought it in the 80s with shoulder pads). And once you find the right one, spend some time at home figuring out how to style it best. You don’t want the coat to look like it is wearing you.

Just to help you start your search for this year’s trench, we put together a round up of our favorite options.

Shop Rue: 1. Camel Coat with Leather Arms // 2. Beige Coat with Yellow Shoulder Details // 3. Navy Coat with Studs // 4. Yellow Coat