Vintage Trench Coat Makeover/D.I.Y

This D.I.Y  project was inspired by me wanting a new trench coat but not ever seeing one I liked enough to buy. lol I have a trench coat from H&M but its a classic tan trench and it is kind of dressy as are my other 3 trenches. I do love them, however I wanted a trench that was a little different, and that wasn’t tan. This jacket was about $12 from the thrift store and it was a size 12. I am a size 2. The jacket is now probably a size 6.

*Sidenote* I just want to say that pretty much any and everything you get from the thrift store should be washed or at least rinsed thoroughly before use or wear. If the item says “dry-clean only” it is probably best to dry clean it, especially if it is a different material like sequins, anything beaded, or leather. Always wash tops, dresses, pants, etc. before wearing. This jacket did say dry clean only, so I took it to the dry cleaners before I altered it. Here is the before picture.

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The first thing I did to help make this jacket wearable was to remove the shoulder pads, they were huge. lol The next step would have been to remove the lining, but luckily the lining on this coat was not fully sewn on. So I was able to alter the jacket while keeping the lining in tact. After that, I figured out how much I would need to take in for the jacket to fit. Most of it had to be taken in around the arm area. I was able to do one long stitch from the arm of the coat down to the bottom in order to take it in, which is really what made this a fairly easy project. I did want to leave it a little bit big so the coat can have a slightly over-sized feel but I didn’t want it to look weird either.  It took a few tries to get it right but I finally got it to a size I liked. The last thing I did was change the buttons on the coat to the military style buttons. I thought it enhanced the vintage/army/military feel of the jacket! In the end I looove this coat and it will be my new go-to trench! I love it with jeans and heels but also dressed down and layered. What do you think?






  • Cassi

    THIS.LOOKS.STUNNING ON YOU!! You’d never know the sack it was before. I have an Allsaints trench that’s a size too big (plus it’s meant to be oversized so it appears even looser on) so I was looking for tips on how to alter a trench. Great job!