In 1856, Thomas Burberry founded his namesake company specializing in making coats; in 1879 he invented gabardine. This tightly woven, resistant fabric would revolutionize fabric production techniques for raincoats thanks to its lightness and breathability. It's the fundamental element used in making trench coats, a style also invented by Thomas Burberry in 1912 and which has remained iconic ever since. Originally worn by the British military, the Burberry trench is distinctive for its British manufacturing, signature colors and military-inspired finishings. As indispensible as the sailor striped shirt or the little black dress, the Burberry reigns over the pantheon of fashion must-haves.