Burberry Heritage Trench Coat Reviews (Chelsea vs Sandringham)

harbourne7
From the blog archives, 6 years ago! Trench is old in sz 2 (altered)

The Burberry trench coat was high on my wishlist when I first started shopping for “grownup” clothes. It’s timeless and functional, plus you can wrap it over any ole’ outfit and instantly feel so much more polished. I ended up buying one years ago, and since then, Burberry has changed their trench options and sizing quite a bit. Their classic ones now cost an arm and a leg (maybe 2 legs...consider yourself warned), and the number of cut and length options can cause anxiety for first-time shoppers. I’ve heard from several readers who are thinking of splurging on a Burberry trench but don’t know where to begin, so I've put together a run-down of their current options and some fit photos!
burberry trench gucci soho bag spring biking outfit
Trench, 6 years later // Gucci bag (also sold here), Paige jeans, Madewell turtleneck

I've also been working on trench reviews across a variety of other brands, but keep on being thwarted by styles selling out quickly or brands changing their quality. At the bottom of this entry are a few budget-friendly trench options, which I'll be reviewing in a follow-up post!

Burberry heritage trench coats header
A few years ago (after receiving backlash for moving production out of England), Burberry streamlined their trench coat offerings into basically two categories: a core Heritage collection of trench coats handmade in England, versus other styles that change seasonally and are made of different materials at different factories.

The Heritage trenches are beautiful (comparable to their former Prorsum runway ones) and pay homage to the brand's roots in terms of styling and craftsmanship. They also come in very slim cuts and smaller sizing, which were unavailable back when I bought mine. The major downside, however, is it seems Burberry got rid of other classic cotton trench options outside of this very pricey Heritage line!
burberry heritage womens trench coat different lengths
Burberry Heritage trench coat in short, mid, long, or x-long 
(struggling to understand the crop chinos with star trek shoes!)

Heritage Trench Features
Water-repellent Cotton Gabardine
Gabardine is what put the brand on the map over a century ago, when Mr. Burberry created a material that would protect soldiers from the wind and rain, but was also lightweight and breathable. I was told gabardine is made at their mills in England, using cotton fibers that are first waterproofed before being woven into fabric. The assembled garment is then finished with additional water-repelling techniques, including being dipped as a whole. When you first put on one of these jackets, the garment feels very structured, tailored and sharp. The medium weight of the material helps keep the jacket looking and feeling that way.

Classic Trench Elements
These have all the iconic trench "bells and whistles" plus a check lining. Many of the elements I love were each designed to serve a purpose back then:
- buttoned shoulder epaulettes used to display army rank
- storm shield (back flap) enabled rain to run off the upper back
- D rings on the belt hung supplies (these also help keep you from losing your belt!)
- adjustable wrist straps can be tightened to keep rain out
- intricately-constructed collar for a close, comfortable fit around the neck. Burberry makes a big deal about their collars, which supposedly involve a number of components and take a while to stitch and construct.
burberry heritage sandringham womens trench coat colors
Options, Options
Length: Out of the four lengths, my favorite is the mid. This hit right above my knees, and would be the most versatile for wearing in different seasons and outfit types.

Color: A very personal choice! I always wavered between their lighter khaki "sand" vs deeper tan "honey" - my older trench is sand, but I really love the darker honey. Black is also timeless and slimming, and would probably be the easiest to keep looking pristine.

Sizing: Sizing now starts at US 0 (equivalent on their tags to a UK 2 and EUR 34) and runs smaller than American brands, in my opinion. FYI on Burberry.com the US sizes are presented as 00, 02, 04, etc, so just drop the first 0 for the actual size. Depending on the cut, I wear either 0 or 2 in their coats. Also as someone under 5' tall, two alterations I usually have to get are shortening the sleeves and raising the belt loops, which make a big difference visually.

Cut: I found the three cuts to range from super slim (the Chelsea), to slim (the Sandringham), to regular (the Kensington). Here's a look at the two slim cuts:

Burberry chelsea fit trench header
Burberry chelsea classic slim fit trench coat petite review
Burberry mid-length Chelsea trench in sand US0 / UK2 / EU34

The Chelsea (sold only at Burberry)
"our narrowest fit, with a fashion silhouette and cinched waist"

They weren't kidding about narrow. A size US 0 fit closely on me throughout the slightly-padded shoulders, torso, and sleeves. Out of the three styles, the sleeves also ran the shortest and might not need hemming on some petite ladies. I'm wearing a thin turtleneck tee here, and wouldn't want to layer much without sizing up. I used to be obsessed with all things tight, but over time (and shifts in weight!), am starting to appreciate pieces with a little more wiggle room.
Burberry check chelsea trench jacket review for petites
In the upper right picture, notice the defined hourglass silhouette even when the jacket is open. There are several curved panels at the back which contribute to a close fit. This kind of contouring when unbelted is hard to find with other brands, which usually rely on the belt to add shape. The Chelsea cut is for someone who wants a very sleek and contoured trench, and doesn't plan on layering underneath.

Size US 0 measures 14.25" across shoulders (including very slight padding), 16" across armpit, 13" across waist, 17" across hips, 22.75" sleeve length, 5.25" sleeve width, 33" total length.
Burberry chelsea classic slim trench coat for petite women
burberry chelsea trench coat interior lining

Burberry sandringham fit trench header
Burberry sandringham classic khaki trench coat petite review
Burberry mid-length Sandringham trench in Honey, sz US0 / UK2 / EU34

The Sandringham (sold at SaksBloomingdalesNordstrom, and Burberry)
"cut slim to contour the body for a streamlined look" 

The Sandringham falls in the middle of the Heritage slimness range, and is their best-seller. It's still slim fit by any definition, with just a touch more room throughout the torso and sleeves compared to the Chelsea. I have to say this cut was my favorite, since it allows light layering but still looks fitted either open or closed.
burberry sandringham check trench jacket sizing
I've never ever seen Burberry mark down their Heritage styles, however the Sandringham is sold at department stores (in-stock at SaksBloomingdales, and Nordstrom) so look out for occasional eligibility during tiered discounts or gift card / point promotions.

Size US 0 measures 14.25" across shoulders (including very slight padding), 16.25" across armpit, 14" across waist, 17.5" across hips. 23.25" sleeve length, 5.5" sleeve width.  33" total length.
Burberry sandringham slim khaki trench coat petite women
burberry sandringham trench interior lining
As for the third cut - the Kensington "modern fit" is a little roomier and felt like my old trench coat prior to slimming alterations. I've tried it on in-store, but didn't take photos as I preferred the two cuts shown above. I also wanted to add that both Burberry and Nordstrom stores will do do complimentary basic alterations (ie. sleeve shortening) on Burberry coats purchased at full-price. If you bring your coat to a local store, Burberry will do it within 30 days of purchase, and I believe Nordstrom might not have a grace period.

I hope this provides a start for anyone contemplating a Burberry trench splurge! And here's a preview of the aforementioned alternatives that I've tried on and will compare in another post:


51 comments:

  1. La Bijoux Bella | by miaWednesday, April 26, 2017

    Always love a good trench look ... especially a beautiful Burberry ... nice looks! :)

    ❤LA BIJOUX BELLA❤ | BY MIA | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

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  2. I'm a Londoner through and through and probably see a hundred women wearing trench coats every single morning in this Spring weather. There are plenty of shabby looking ones, but two brands whose crisp fabrics and high quality cuts I can spot from a distance; Burberry and Hobbs. I'm 5'4 and Hobbs' 'Saskia' trench is a perfect just-above-the-knee length, and at a fraction of Burberry prices. Hobbs offer a camel colour every season (from their 'the faithful' collection), and usually two or three other colours that change over time; currently there is a lovely olive option for anybody looking for a slight twist on a classic. Highly recommended.

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    1. Thank you for sharing! I've seen Hobbs a few times (now that they're sold at Bloomingdales) but haven't come across the Saskia trench in-person. I saw on the model it looks like the UK4 was perfect length, but then read she was 5'9" so didn't think it'd suit someone my height!

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    2. "Shabby looking ones" - not all of us can afford Burberry mate.

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    3. I doubt she intended it that way since she was suggesting a lower-priced alternative. Plus we all know expensive items can sometimes be shabby quality, just like bargain brands can have the occasional high quality gem.

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    4. The Hobbs is a gorgeous coat and at $380. It is much more affordable.

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  3. I find the Sandringham fits you better somehow! I'm thinking about getting one myself and this is really helpful <3

    The Sandringham

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    1. The Sandringham would be my choice out of the three! I thought it was the most versatile

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  4. how's the length? Do you alter that? You mentioned just sleeve and belt loop alterations. I'm 5'3" asian and find many London-based companies make things longer and doesn't compliment my yellow-toned skin as well.

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    1. I'm trying on the "mid" out of the four length choices and there's no alterations in these try-on photos. I didn't alter my old one either.

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  5. Burberry is such a classic trench. 💕😍 Thanks for the detailed review of trenches!

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  6. Great! i ve been searching burberry trench coat review for long time! many thanks!

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  7. This was a very good overview and informative review of the Burberry Heritage trench coats. I myself am 5'2" and bought the Sandringham short length in a size 4UK in the colour honey. It hits me at about mid thigh. I preferred having a bit of room to allow for some light layering so that my arm movements would not be overly restricted. Yet when it's hot out and I'm only wearing a light sleeveless dress the trench coat still looks and feels fitted on my petite frame (I'm likely in between size 2UK and 4UK). Also since I bought my trench at a Burburry store I was able to get the sleeves shortened and the wrist straps shifted up with the sleeve hem line free of charge. So something to think about if you can't wait for sales at the places you mentioned that carry the Burberry line regardless if it's the heritage collection or not.

    Oh and I love the fit, colour, and length of my Burberry Sandringham trench coat! I've had it for about 3 years now and will keep it for many years to come so in my opinion it is worth saving up for a really good quality and well fitted trench coat to my body type.

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    1. Hi Emily, the Sandringham is such a gorgeous coat! I hope it'll last you for many years to come. And oh yes I forgot to mention that .. Burberry boutiques will do complimentary standard alterations (I think now, it's just limited to sleeve shortening and moving loops up whereas before it was a little more liberal) on full-priced purchases from their stores or website within 3 months of purchase. I do think some department stores are matching that though (or at least Nordstrom did).

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  8. I saw the khaki with black leather sleeves on a blog and I have never been able to find it. Do you know about this one? Thanks for breaking this down, it's only a coat but sooo confusing, right?!?

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    1. Hi Jill! I think I know which one you're talking about and it was a seasonal fall/winter style : /

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  9. This coat is so cute very trendy right now and it is great for spring it is very classic. I would love if you would check out my blog as well cheers http://nakedlydressed.com/denim-jackets/

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  10. I love a good trench coat! I'm amazed how incredible yours still looks after 6 years, Jean!

    Thanks for the wonderful post!
    I hope you have a marvellous Thursday!
    Michael
    https://www.mileinmyglasses.co.uk

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  11. Thanks for the review Jean, very helpful. I've had my eye on a black Sandringham for awhile. Your pics are just what I needed to see.

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    1. I don't think you can go wrong with the black Sandringham!

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  12. I love these type of coats! X
    http://www.thoughtsinstyle.com/

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  13. Where did you get your sleeves shorted? I've wanted to shorten the sleeves on my Burberry coat for a long time but wanted to avoid the $70/arm cost of shortening them in store!

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    1. Hi Maggie - I go to a tailor in Boston Chinatown located on Knapp St. He doesn't have an english business name (and only speaks Cantonese/Chinese), but Knapp street is super short and you can see his sewing machine through the window. Since it's a complete hole in the wall, I know some might not be comfortable getting very expensive items tailored there, so maybe check out Rodolfo's mens suiting in Copley or one of the tailors in the Copley mall.

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  14. Hi Jean,

    Thanks for putting this togehter. I got a stone Sandringham from the London Store. They did shoulders alteration for me but refused my request to move up the belt loops. Where did you get your loops moved up?

    Best wishes,
    Mi Jia

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    1. Hi Mi - that's so odd! The last time I visited the Boston Burberry store, they told me they would absolutely not do any shoulder alterations because it would affect the water resistant seal that the coat was dipped in as a whole. They would only shorten sleeves and move up belt loops. I have heard from several friends that each Burberry location seems to have some of their own rules about the alterations they will do, which is unfortunate.

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  15. Perfect coat <3

    www.evdaily.blogspot.com

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  16. its so fun to see older pictures!!

    -Kirsten // pork & cookies

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  17. Hi Jean, slightly off topic question for you. I recently moved to Boston and have been on the hunt for a good and reliable tailor who understands us petite folks. I have some rather pricey items that I need altered - can you recommend someone in the area? Thx!

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    1. Hi there - I go to a tailor in Chinatown on Knapp Street. He only speaks Cantonese or Chinese and you can see his sewing machine through the window from the street. Tailoring is always going to be hit or miss in my opinion, but I'm very happy with him the majority of the time and his prices are more than reasonable for Boston. I've also been to Kim's alterations in Copley mall, which is a little more conveniently located.

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  18. Where can I find the shoes in the first picture with you against the wall. love them!

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    1. Ah they are very very old from Aldo, I believe!

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  19. Cool outfit! Love that trench!
    xx

    http://www.mybeautrip.com

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  20. Hi jean, how about looking into kids size burberry trench coat? I'm almost the same size as yours and I think we might fit into that and it can be cheaper? What's your take on it?

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    1. Hi Kristine! I've tried on tons of Burberry kids coats and would not recommend them for women. There is no tailored shape to them and the proportions are all off (the ones I tried on more recently are short and wide, with the belt hitting way above my waist). I know the options have changed since, but here's a really old post where I tried some kids trenches on: http://www.extrapetite.com/2010/08/trench-quest-part-ii-burberry-kids-sz.html

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  21. Hi Jean, this was a great review! I'd be really interested to know what you do to keep your trench clean. As you mentioned, black is the easiest to keep looking nice, but the lighter colors are usually what people go for. Would you be willing to share how you've kept yours looking so nice for so long?

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    1. Hi Jen, so I know this is not always practical, but when possible I wear a layer underneath that keeps my skin from rubbing against areas that get dirty easily (ie. around the neckline, around the wrists). This could be via a lightweight scarf around the neck, or a thin turtleneck tee like I've worn here. Other than that, I get mine dry cleaned about once a season.

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  22. Hi Jean,
    Great timing for the post, I am just about to make a purchase! May I ask, how high did you move the belt loops up?

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    1. Hi there - I think about 1.5 inches, but it was a while ago!

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  23. Such a timely post! I was just back from a trip to London 2 weeks ago and bought the Sandringham trench from Harrod's. I was told that I can get it altered in any Burberry stores so I brought it to the one closest to my home. It was such a pleasant experience. The sales lady in the store I brought in for alteration asked me to try it on (UK6) and recommended to exchange for a smaller size (UK4) without additional cost and the in-house tailor did a fantastic job. I didn't have to move up the belt loops though. With the dollar being stronger I got it cheaper in UK on top of the VAT refund and good customer service, couldn't be happier!

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    1. Such nice customer service! i didn't know they would do size exchanges from Harrod's at a Burberry boutique!

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  24. Such a beautiful blogpost. I love the Burberry Trenchcoats. Their quality is so amazing.
    Have a nice weekend.
    Love, Esther
    https://lifestyle-tale.com

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  25. Lovely and detailed review! You haven't changed much over the years, looking always gorgeous! ;)

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  26. have you tried the kensington Jean? any thoughts?

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    1. Hi there - yes I mentioned it quickly at the bottom, but I thought the fit was pretty standard (however, closer and better than most non-Burberry trenches). I think the slimmer fits really show off the beauty of Burberry tailoring.

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  27. Hi, i'm curious, how much should i expect to pay for the alteration?
    I'm pretty sure I'll need the same alteration that you do

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    1. Hi! If you purchase a Burberry coat at full price from either Burberry or Nordstrom, they will do basic alterations for free if you bring it into the store. For other brands, the alteration costs for shortening sleeves on a jacket with lining can range from about $30 to $50, or more if you're in a big city or if the sleeves have detailing.

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  28. In my experience (just spent a long time researching, trying on numerous styles and sizes, and purchasing my first Burberry trench):
    The Sandringham only works for someone with a really petite frame, really narrow shoulders, and a really small chest -- and I am by no means tall, have broad shoulders, or big chested lol. For reference, I am 5'3, 110 lbs, 32D. I really wanted the slim cut to work on me but the size 4 was so tight I couldn't even lift my arms (it fit perfectly everywhere else). Meanwhile, the 6 was so loose on me that it looked baggy. I feel as if like there was a huge jump in size between the two. I then tried on the Kensington, and I was between a 2 and a 4. The 2 fit me like a glove (slim, like how I wanted the Sandringham to fit) however I ended up going with the 4 as both the sales rep and my mom recommended it, and I wanted to be able to layer a suit jacket underneath (I'd only be able to wear a thin cardigan under the 2), and also so that if I ever gained a few pounds, I would still be able to wear it (especially for the price you are paying). Also, when I have the belt tied around the waist, you can't really tell the difference between the two sizes. They were much closer in size than the 4&6 Sandringham. Also, I opted for the honey color based on your recommendation :) I'm so happy to finally make my purchase!

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  29. ^ forgot to mention, those are US sizes

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  30. Hi Jean, thank you so much for sharing your research on the different styles and fit. I am thinking of buying a used Harbourne, which I think is the style of your original Burberry, and wanted to know if the label inside are different? On the newer styles, the "made in England" label is separate from the main label. Was this the case with your Harbourne? Also, I noticed your Harbourne doesn't have buttoned slash pockets. Does your mobile phone fit comfortably in the Harbourne?

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