If I had to narrow it down to one fashion disaster per city, New York's would be commuter sneakers, while DC's would be trenchcoats. I'd sure like to believe when they're off the clock, all those middle-aged government schlubs are secretly Wallace Stevens or Herman Melville or Albert Einstein, but somehow I really doubt it.
The best fate that could ever befall a trenchcoat is for it to end up in Vancouver, where, if it's lucky, it'll be picked up by Ouno Design and transformed into a messenger-style bag. Ouno's Detective Bags come in three sizes from the compact [Agent 99, below] to the laptoppy [Raymond Chandler, above] to the messengerial [Sam Spade]. The ridiculous, droopy belt becomes the highly functional shoulder strap, and the cuffs and flaps become inner loops and compartments. As of yet, there is no Columbo or Inspector Gadget models, but they're always inventing up there; maybe it's only a matter of time.
I checked with the Ouna folks--like the guy who sold me my Diet Coke at 7-11, Canadians didn't get Thanksgiving off--and they were enthusiastic about using the Detective Bags as diaper bags. The trenchcoat gabardine and lining material are both well-suited for it, and since each bag is unique, it's easy to whip up a matching changing pad, too.
And the best part is, if enough people start getting diaper bags made of trenchcoats, there'll be fewer and fewer trenchcoats in the world. So please. you'll be doing the trenchcoats a favor.
Ouno Design Trenchcoat Detective Bags are around $150 [ounodesign.com found via cdr]