• Trench Quest, Part III (& final!) – Burberry Harbourne Trench


    Dress: Ann Taylor   Coat: Burberry Harbourne sz 2 (similar in petites from BR)
    Low heels: Aldo (similarBelt: F21  Ring: YSL Coral Arty  Clutch: Chanel WOC

    My love for outerwear dates back to when I first moved to Boston. At times, the cold and precipitation here made me downright depressed, but a pretty coat would bring a little joy on gloomy days. The first time I ever set foot inside a Burberry store, I tried on a “Harbourne” trench. The amazing Newbury St SA, John, gushed about how slim it was cut, how it could be styled so many ways, and how much care went into making it, the stitching, and the meticulous waterproofing process…yada yada. I drank it all up. Even though I was decked out in abercrombie kids and clearly had no capacity to buy, he was very kind to me and wrote down the style name on a lil’ card (which I still have after 4 years).

    Last year, my mind went back to the idea of finding the perfect, classic, double-breasted trench. I think a trench is a wardrobe staple for women of all ages. Even though I knew that a great coat was hanging at the Burberry store, I wanted to try on a sale option from their more affordable line (Brit) and a kids one, to see if satisfaction could be achieved while saving some money. Enter, my past reviews: 

    Part I – Burberry “Brit” Petites Trench 
    Part II – Burberry Kids Mini Ivybridge Trench 

    But alas, I wasn’t impressed by either option at those prices. Since classic trenches are always available at retail price and didn’t seem to be increasing in price (a la Chanel), I was in no hurry to buy.

    Imagine my delight when I discovered that the “Harbourne” trench was part of Bloomies’ private sale this month. To sweeten the deal, I had the good fortune of winning a shopping spree earlier this year. Nick and I agreed to spend the spree cautiously like we do with our own money. Despite having had the gift card for months, his only purchase is a $7 pair of shorts, and mine – this coat.

    Picture 168
    Fit: Burberry only offers petite sizing in the US via Nordstrom. However, the petite selection is very small and doesn’t necessarily fit better. Their regular US sz 2 (smallest size) is actually cut pretty slim, so I recommend going to the Burberry retail store for the best selection and shopping experience. Possible alterations needed on this coat are shortening of the sleeves, and slimming of the torso and sleeves. If you buy at the retail store at full price, all alterations are free.
    Although the sleeves don’t bother me too much right now, one alteration that I do need immediately on this coat is moving the belt loops up 2~3 inches. The Harbourne is designed to be a shorter coat on a regular-height woman, so the belt loops sit low on my hips and make my bottom half look shorter (see upper left photo). This can be a common issue when petite women wear regular-length coats. Moving the belt loops up a little with fix the proportion issue.  
    Measurements: 16.5″ across at the underarms, 15.5″ across at the waist, 20″ across the bottom. 33″ total length, 24″ sleeve length, 5″ sleeve width, 13.5″ shoulder width.
    Material: 65% poly, 35% cotton. Lined in large check. If I had to nitpick, I wish it didn’t have black buttons (but I suppose buttons can be replaced).

    Before I sign off, I wanted to share this comment from a reader on my last post:

    Picture 169
    Dear Anonymous, you are certainly not alone and not doomed in the fashion world. This is a topic that I feel strongly about. Although I admittedly enjoy designer pieces, I feel they should never define one’s style. I crazy admire women who mix and match and look fabulous using creativity, versus those who plaster themselves with labels and have no personal style. 
    If you have financial constraints, I recommend making a list of wardrobe foundation pieces that suit your personal lifestyle (ie. for me that was a tailored sheath dress, a blazer, dark blue jeans, a warm coat, etc). Shop deliberately for these items, keeping an eye out for quality and fit. After you find winners, search online for sales & coupon codes or scour eBay to get the best deal. Accessories from places like Target, F21, and thrift stores (my personal fave) are a great way to style your outfits without breaking the bank. 
    Readers – Please share your own thoughts or advice! 

    66 thoughts on “Trench Quest, Part III (& final!) – Burberry Harbourne Trench

    • Belle Muse June 30, 2011 at 12:36 am

      I agree with that! I just need to decide what key pieces to my wardrobe ARE, I think that for me if I find something I may think is a staple then I buy it. A little bit backwards ๐Ÿ™‚

    • kileen June 30, 2011 at 12:44 am

      this trench looks great on you! what a great buy. the sleeves do look a little long but you can't really tell when it's scrunched up a bit. and i love your hair like this! very mod and chic. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • cryskay June 30, 2011 at 12:48 am

      congrats on the burberry harbourne. it fits you superb! i couldn't have said it better myself regarding style & designer pieces. it's always more fun to mix and match highs & lows. although i'm not petite, i love your blog!

    • Aubrey June 30, 2011 at 12:52 am

      I LOVE this trench on you!! You look like a celebrity ;D The first picture is my favorite. So glad you finally found your trench. =)

      Oh, and as for the reader's question – there are great lower priced shops for wardrobe staples.

      Topshop and H&M; are great for blazers, jackets, random amazing finds. Topshop is overall pricey, but I've found quite a few gems at great prices – you just have to check the "New In" section OFTEN because the gems sell out within a day or two, I've noticed.

      Forever21 has some surprisingly awesome stuff.

      Modcloth, Macy's (picked up 2 maxis for $20 each) & JCPenney, Target, thrift stores, Aldo, Etsy stores (I find a lot of cute quality jewelry pieces there).

      Style has nothing to do with brands and everything to do with colours, prints, textures – how you pair them and accessorize them.

      Callandra was the absolute perfect example, Jean. Kendi, from Kendi Everyday, also always sports affordable options and her 30×30 really shows you how to stretch those options.

    • Cadrommy June 30, 2011 at 12:56 am

      Yay! A post! ๐Ÿ™‚ Jean I have to say, I have major hair envy. You're hair is thick and so healthy looking! After two kids and age I have lost a lot of mine. The trench is perfect for you, absolutely beautiful and classic. I love that you waited so patiently and finally scored it at a great price. So much like me except I'm not in the hundred dollar jacket realm yet. I don't buy expensive pieces but in my office, my reputation is 'the stylish one" my clothes aren't designer and most of the time even brand name but i know my style and I'm also willing to try new things – that I know are my style. I see bloggers like you and Taylor over at Sterling style who incorporate inexpensive items into their wardrobe and look more put together than designer clad people. It's all about knowing yourself and what works and having your personal style. One item can look so different depending on how you style it. I have a limited wardrobe but it looks like I have a lot because I rarely wear the same piece twice the same way. Unless I'm just feeling lazy!

      Typing this on my iPhone because I couldn't sleep so I hopped on twitter and saw your link to this so I apologize if there are a ton of typos and errors! But I had to comment rigth now! Lol. ๐Ÿ™‚ g'nite!

    • Eve June 30, 2011 at 12:57 am

      I lovethe color combination!
      Great advice for budget shopping!:)

    • Quest for Fashion Sense June 30, 2011 at 1:00 am

      I've seen many bloggers who have great style with items that are thrifted or are from Ross/Marshall's/TJ Maxx, etc.

      I've always appreciated that you mix in your Target and F21 finds along with your designer pieces.

      My splurges, if they can be called such, are suits (for work) and my Ann Taylor Perfect Patent Pumps.

      I'm afraid I fall into the camp that neither has designer items nor personal style, but I would definitely rather develop the latter than the former. ;D

    • gold N turquoise June 30, 2011 at 1:03 am

      gah! this trench is amazing! the fit is divine.

      great tips on petite style that doesn't break the bank. you do mix lots of high end items with items from Target & Forever 21, which is greatly appreciated.

      unfortunately, suiting and other professional wardrobe pieces will be expensive. however, these items are investments and a flattering fit never go out of style.


    • Anonymous June 30, 2011 at 1:29 am

      what college did you attend, jean? boston's chock full of them!

    • nicole June 30, 2011 at 1:32 am

      You look gorgeous, Jean! Love that trench on you. I have the same problem with trench sleeves; why are they so long? Any way, I love how you wore it with that navy striped dress. Classic all the way! I still have to settle for my Zara trench until I save up for a Burberry one myself. In the meantime, I shall vicariously wear one through you ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • B.Inspired June 30, 2011 at 1:38 am

      I've been eyeing the Harbourne Trench for a while trying to decide between that or the Manston! I have the Irene with a liner from years ago, it is nice but I don't love it! In response to your reader, look for high quality materials and good construction when shopping at H&M;, Forever 21 because I've found cotton dresses lined with invisible zippers at those stores for under $35. Properly caring for your items will ensure the longevity and keep it looking fresh! Spend more on classics that will stand the test of time!

    • Sophie June 30, 2011 at 2:08 am

      I think I know the SA that you are talking about. Is it John? I recently bought a Burberry trench at the Newbury store and he was super nice and informative.

      The trench coat looks great on you!

      I completely agree that fashion is not all about the labels. It is how you mix and match and still look amazing.

    • Corrie Anne June 30, 2011 at 2:50 am

      FABULOUS COAT!!!!!

    • Maggie June 30, 2011 at 2:50 am

      Wow! The trench looks fantastic on you :)! After you post on trying the kids' Burberry trench, I went to the states to the nearest Neiman Marcus so I could try one on too. Unfortunately, I was swimming in it. I'm so glad to see that you have finally found one that works for you… I don't think I'm ready to shell out for an investment piece like this though!

    • DSK Steph June 30, 2011 at 3:05 am

      You look incredible in your new trench! It's perfect. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anonymous June 30, 2011 at 6:32 am

      Hi Jean, This classic trench looks fantastic on you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it with us. You also look stunning with this darker eye make-up.

    • Jenny June 30, 2011 at 8:57 am

      You look so lovely! I have been eyeing a Burbery trench for years but could never bring myself to pull the trigger. Is the sale still going on or did I miss it? How did you know about the sale? Was it advertised?

    • โ™ฅ Natalie June 30, 2011 at 9:00 am

      Awesome trenchcoat! I love it!! โ™ฅ
      And the dress under it is so cute *_*

    • Suzanne M. June 30, 2011 at 9:29 am

      Hi there! I've enjoyed discovering your blog! I'm petite, not as petite as you, but I definitely can relate!

      I wanted to comment on the "anonymous" comment about cost of clothes. I'm with you! I just can't do high-end brands at the high-end costs. The way I find great clothes (even high-end brands) for less is pretty simple, SALES. I can't even remember the last time I bought a piece of clothing full price. I always go for the sale racks in whatever store I go in – Nordstrom, Ann Taylor, LOFT, or Dillard's. I have purchased a $90 Ann Taylor necklace for $7 and change because it was a "final sale" item with extra 40% off. It can be done, but you have to be patient and be willing to take the time to dig in the sale racks.

    • Cee June 30, 2011 at 9:31 am

      Oh man, you and Nick have such great self-restraint! I'd be going crazy if I had a shopping spree on my hands ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm glad you waited for this trench — the color is the perfect shade of khaki. Can't wait to see it post-alterations!

      Many others already offered great suggestions to Anonymous' question, so I don't have much more to add. I do want to suggest J's Everyday Fashion if your reader hasn't come across her blog before. I don't believe J wears anything above $250 and most of the time she sticks to items < $50, but still maintains a great sense of style. I may be in the minority on this, but I firmly believe if someone really, really wants designer items, one can save up for it. It may take a few months or a few years, but I do think it's possible. Good luck!

    • Nelah June 30, 2011 at 9:51 am

      Your new trench coat is a winner, I love it all around.

      One doesn't have to look good, stylish or chic because one wears or carries high end designer pieces. Like you said if a person don't know how to style, there is no point. I can see ton of bloggers who look effortlessly chic in Forever21 clothes and accessories. It is all about creativity. Designer items should be something you TRULY love and want, not just because it is cool to own one or everyone else has it. You will appreciate it a whole lot more when you work and save money for it.

    • Elaine A (TOBeautyReviews) June 30, 2011 at 10:00 am

      That trench looks great Jean! I never thought about moving belt loops up but it makes a huge difference! Good tip ๐Ÿ™‚

      I can relate to your reader's comment. I agree that if you really, really want something you can save up for it but for me there is also the matter of the item fitting into my lifestlye and if I am able to take care of it!

      I think it's more important as you mentioned to be able to create your own stlye from a mix of pieces or even if they are all in the same price range rather than wearing a bunch of stuff with a designer's name on it. I am no fashionista and truch be told many of the ladies that CAN afford the desinger items…I don't really "get" their style anyway! ๐Ÿ˜›

    • elleandish June 30, 2011 at 10:27 am

      Such a beautiful coat ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm happy to see you've finally ended your trench quest! After buying a nice Banana Republic trench from a trip to Boston I feel satisfied. ๐Ÿ˜€

      And about the anonymous reader comment: After a few years of tracking my spending, I've noticed that most of my wardrobe consists of pieces I bought within the last 3 years, and most have been cheap. Clothes keep coming and going. I wish I had the discipline to stop this cycle and follow your advice: quality, timeless pieces. All that money I spent just goes to waste (or to Crossroads)!

      And I'm a big believer in thrift and DIY ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope that anonymous commenter can get some great ideas from your post comments! <3

    • R.L. June 30, 2011 at 10:28 am

      So chic! I love the shorter length of the trench and I think it really works for petites. I've found that coats that go past 3/4th thigh just makes me look even shorter. I can't wait to see what it looks like after alterations! Lol @ Nick only getting $7 shorts. Oh boys!

      To Anonymous: Some of my favorite pieces have ended up coming from "cheap" places like H&M; or F21. I would recommend checking out 9to5 Chic in addition to the other suggestions. Yes, she has a lot of designer pieces but she also shops at F21 and H&M; and the way she styles things I wouldn't be the wiser! Plus many "higher-end" items can often be purchased during sales for a really good deal. The fun of discovering a good deal also makes the item more well-loved for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jane Squared June 30, 2011 at 10:40 am

      Hi PAG! I've been following your blog for quite sometime, but have never actually commented… I guess that makes me a lurker. ๐Ÿ™‚ But, I've actually been on a search for a Burberry trench, as well. I was so close to purchasing the Warhead ((http://jane-squared.blogspot.com/2011/06/quest-for-perfect-trench.html)
      ), but I think it was a little too long for my frame.

      My SA at Burberry (Oakbrook) also told me that the only free alteration would be to shorten the sleeves… I'm wondering if that's just at my closest Burberry location, though. hm.

      I actually picked up this trench at Bloomie's on your tip about the sale, and I've yet to make a final decision, but I think i'm keeping it! It looks super cute on you!


    • Ashley June 30, 2011 at 11:03 am

      This coat looks gorgeous on you. Even better with the small alteration tweaks you plan on making. You have such an eye for those things. I think that's one my problems, I have a hard time seeing past the small details that need to be made.

    • Claud June 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm

      Gorgeous outfit Jean. Burberry coats are amazing. My eyes also were drawn to the scarf…love the color (from where?). Oh and your hair style look so sophisticated and very elegant …so pretty ^^

    • Bruna Correa June 30, 2011 at 1:16 pm

      beautiful trench. I loved it!


    • Janice Liao Shiao June 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      You look gorgeous! Great buy! A Classic to last forever!

    • Neris June 30, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      You look wonderful! Love your trench! First time on your page and already love it!


      Fashion Fractions

    • Ping June 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      jean– you look so gorgeous in that coat! so glad you found one that fits with minimal alterations and at such a good deal! it's cute that you and nick are cautious about spending your winnings. if it was up to me, the gift card would be been depleted very long ago. lol!

    • cinnyangel June 30, 2011 at 2:07 pm

      Definitely a keeper. Will last you a long time and will always be a classic.

      Btw, I love your make up in this post. Makeup tips for this look?

    • AubreyOhDang! June 30, 2011 at 2:50 pm

      That Nick…he is a selfless man.

      You know my favorite part to a Burb trench? the collar. Let's breath a sigh of relief that the search has ended. I'd still love to see everything post alterations, so mb an update post is in order?

      To anon, don't compare yourself or your income or budget or living expenses to others. You do what you can with what you got. Just try to look good while doing it. Don't envy, appreciate. And if that doesn't work out, keep on buying lottery tickets or raise the %age of your 401K and someday, if you dream big enough, you will be able to buy the item of your dreams.

    • banclothing June 30, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      You cannot go wrong with a classic trench. I personally love the black buttons over the light ones. I think a good trench is ones of the pieces I can justify spending more on. It's classic, doesn't go out of style and looks fantastic on.

    • LitLaur June 30, 2011 at 4:09 pm

      Lovely! Someday I'll find a great trench for myself.

      This post has some good advice for bargain shopping: http://thehairpin.com/2011/05/how-to-shop-at-discount-stores-without-looking-cheap

      I love Target for basics like tanks, tees and leggings. They tend to carry certain styles year after year (I keep buying their long & lean tanks), updating with new colors from season to season. Plus, sometimes their Go International pieces run small, great for us petite ladies.

      I usually splurge on bottoms (jeans, trousers, skirts) because fit is so important. I love jeans, but there are only so many different styles of denim that actually look good. Currently in rotation I have two pairs of dark, slim bootcut jeans (short inseam for flats and longer inseam for heels), one pair of dark skinny jeans and one bootcut pair in a lighter wash. So I rely on more budget-friendly tops and accessories to add variety to my wardrobe.

      If you really want a designer item, especially something classic like a trench, do yourself a favor and save up for it. Going back to the jeans example, I could spend $200 on 4 pairs of American Eagle jeans that I feel so-so about and end up donating to Goodwill because the fit is saggy in the butt, or save for one really great pair of Paige jeans that I love. (Not dissing AE, their jeans just don't fit me well.)

      In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with a well-made knockoff, but I avoid items with logos. Aficionados will know it's not legit, and obvious logos usually aren't a good look anyway.

    • Angie June 30, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      congrats jean on finding that perfect coat! it is much more flattering on you than previous burberry finds and i must say you look so sophisticated especially with the hairstyle.

    • Anonymous June 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm

      Love the trench- it'll look great when the alterations are finished, I'm sure! Alterations are something I've come to accept are necessary (yet still somehow dread) with almost all of my "dress" clothes, but it's so wonderful to get suggestions about the best way to "downsize" clothes.

      Anonymous, as for lusting after high-priced clothing and designer items, I know I do all the time! I love to use a great bag as inspiration and often find similar colors and shapes in much more affordable venues. There are ways to find great deals and scores on some wonderful designer duds, especially if you are willing to buy gently used.

      Look for high-end resale/consignment shops and even Goodwill's in nice neighborhoods. It sounds funny, but I can't tell you how many jcrew, ann taylor, twinkle, Salvatore Ferragamo, and banana republic clothes and accessories I've found at Goodwill Stores in nice neighborhoods that have never been worn! I've also scored well-loved LV's and other designer bags at crazy low prices at vintage resale shops. It's work and can be time-consuming… but it's worth it to build a wardrobe that you love. I love to use these wonderful fashion blogs as a starting point- they do a great job (Jean in particular ๐Ÿ™‚ of putting together great outfit ideas!

    • Callandra June 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      So many things to say………first of all, Yay! Your search is over and I love this trench! I would love to see pics again after you've had alteration done though (if you get a chance). Secondly, loving your hair in this post, how cute is that?! …And lastly, thanks so much for the shout out ๐Ÿ˜‰ Def true I am not rich and my items are certainly not designer but I still enjoy them every bit as much as if they were! hee

    • Kassia June 30, 2011 at 6:02 pm

      You are so gorgeous Jean! I'm so happy I got to meet you. I am totally lovin' your outfit!

    • Anonymous June 30, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      hi jean! im going on my 1st job interview tomorrow. pls give me some tips! im really nervous on what they're about to ask me!

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