LATE LAST YEAR, old trench coats began trending on X (formerly known as Twitter). In a thread that drew 14 million views, fashion editor Savannah Bradley argued that women’s trenches and overcoats looked better in the 1980s and ’90s, when, she said, designs enjoyed more “breathing room” and came in superior cloths. As ammunition she supplied a swoon-worthy shot of model-actress Lauren Hutton taken at the 1983 premiere of “Starflight.” Hutton has a twinkle in her eye. You would too if you were wearing a trench like hers. Generously cut, it drapes lazily from her body. You just know it swooshed when she walked. 

Today, the average trench is cut more skimpily, according to Dione Davis, a stylist in New York and Paris. So a post like Bradley’s can trigger a yearning for the past. As can other laments that went viral in recent months focused on sweaters, tailored trousers, even T-shirts. Conventional wisdom holds that wardrobe classics were better in previous generations. “They don’t make ’em like they used to!” discontents cry, shaking their fists at the Style Gods as clingy, non-iron shirts tug at their chests. 

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