Trench Quest, Part I: Burberry Petites Double-Breasted Trench

This month marks the beginning of my quest for the perfect, classic Burberry trench. Bear with me if I seem to be nit-picking in the reviews, but I’ve splurged before on items that I wasn’t completely satisfied with, and I want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

The first candidate is this trench from Nordstrom’s anniversary sale in 2P, their smallest size. This coat got nothing but rave 5-star reviews from shoppers (“classic” …”gorgeous” …”slim”..), so my hopes were high. I was also curious about Burberry’s petite sizing – a Nordies exclusive – but the regular Burberry store does such a good job with alterations that petite sizing isn’t a huge deal to me. 

Coat: Burberry Double-Breasted Trench sz 2P ($895 was on sale for $550)
Jeans: H&M; kids sz 11/12
Heels: Aldo sz 35

Material: When I opened the box, my face fell. The material was reminiscent of waterproof windbreaker fabric, instead of the classic cotton trench material I had expected. Upon reading the label I saw that it was 100% polyester. After feeling the slightly shiny material, I already knew this coat was going back.

Style/Cut: The second thing I noticed was a huge “Burberry Brit” tag slapped inside the coat. This is their casual wear line that is supposedly more “contemporary” and “cheaper” than their classic Burberry London label (sources: Racked & CEO letter). Now why would Nordstrom not mention the Brit part in the title or description like they did for their other Brit merchandise?

The style of this coat was classic enough, but it definitely wasn’t cut slim like reviewers suggested. I also felt that the nylon-y material made it drape and crinkle in a way that just wasn’t  flattering.

Fit: Although the length and sleeve length were good, the overall fit was big. There was ample room at the chest/underarm area, and the bottom flared out too much after the waist was cinched.There also were no defined shoulders (raglan-style sleeves). If I were to keep this coat, both the sleeves and torso would need to be slimmed.

Measurements: Sz 2 Petite measured 18″ across the underarms, 16″ across the waist, 22″ across the bottom opening, 22″ sleeve length, 6″ sleeve width, and 15″ approximate shoulder width.

Trying it on with flats:
Shapeless when un-belted:

Verdict: A definite no. My aversion to the fit and material must be a personal thing, because everyone else who reviewed this coat on Nordstrom online had nothing but praise…? The boyfriend initially likened the appearance and sound of this jacket to a “garbage bag,” but we agreed it looked better under natural lighting.

Redeeming qualities of this trench: petite-friendly length, wonderful details (engraved buttons, shoulder epaulettes, buckles and check under the collar), plus a removable wool liner that zips in and out. From my experience, a removable liner is worth about $200 extra.

Two other petites also ordered this coat – hopefully SeeJessicaGo and PetiteXXS will have their own photos and thoughts to add.

On a separate note, I was browsing online and noticed that petite-favorite Gap Inc. is offering trench coats at three very different price points. From highest-priced to lowest:
Banana Republic Classic Trench in XXSP, Black or Khaki 
(now WHY would they exclude this slate gray color from petites?)
Gap Classic Trench in XSP, Pecan color
Old Navy Long Trench in XSP, available in 5 colors

Readers – will you guys be trying any of the trench coats above? All three of these stores have great coupons & shipping codes from time to time. I think I may try the BR one because the quality looks the best by far, plus it’s the only one available in size XXS petite.