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.

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  1. Old Navy is not worth it. Tried it on today and looked messy. Soft canvas material probably made it look too casual. Will have to check out BR and Gap.

    Posted 8.3.10 Reply
  2. Loves Cardigans wrote:

    Thank you for an in-depth review! I made the mistake of purchasing a Burb trench at Saks Off-Fifth at Woodbury. It's black, single breasted, with a heavy removeable wool lining (all okay by me), but the length is just below the knee, which makes me think of Matrix (the movie) or funeral attire. So it is rarely worn… a 800$ mistake. The size is 2reg, which fits perfectly (I'm 5'1, 90 lbs). I just wish it wasn't so morbid looking!! So I suggest to go for a classic beige trench.

    BTW you petite ladies should check out m0851, it's originally from Montreal, but they have stores around the world. Their rainwear is durable, stylish and classic, and their sz 0 and 2 fit amazingly well. I much prefer it over Rudsak. M0851 leather jackets (and bags) are fabulous as well, and fit petites really snugly! Their leathers just get better with age.

    Posted 8.3.10 Reply
  3. Anonymous @ 12:04 and 1:40 – I think AlterationsNeeded owns both? Check her Burberry archives to see how they look on her! Also if you're near a Burberry store defintiely go in-store to try them on/get fitted versus shopping online. It's so hard to tell just via photos online.

    Rosie – yup, that right! Thanks for sharing with the others. To be honest I haven't browsed the sale at all…too focused on buying a trench, lol!

    Khatu – yup, I returned all my Nordies anniversary sale items. Nothing worth dying for, but there were some decent deals on new merchandise, like booties, etc, that were nice.

    Posted 8.3.10 Reply
  4. I am Khatu wrote:

    I was thinking about getting the same one! However I made up my mind a little too late, my size and color was no longer available. But now, I don't have to wonder anymore. Nordstrom's Anniversary sale was over rated, they didn't have anything good, at least nothing worth "dying" for.

    Posted 8.3.10 Reply
  5. Rosie wrote:

    Hi! I apologize for going on a tangent, but I thought you ladies would like to know that Ann Taylor Friends and Family is going on through Sunday, both at AT and the Loft. Use the code FBFRIENDS. Coupon is here:;=SMO182

    Unfortunately, there are no double-breasted trenches in the fall collection so far.

    Posted 8.3.10 Reply
  6. Rachel wrote:

    I agree, at first glance it is a very pretty jacket but I can see what you mean about the material and it just hangs unbelted!

    Posted 8.3.10 Reply
  7. jen wrote:

    Wow, that Burberry trench looks like a huge disappointment. Maybe it would fill out bigger girls better, but the fact that it's 100% polyester is enough of a negative in itself. I know that many designers have incorporated polyester into their designs, but I still hate it when expensive items are made of polyester! Seems like a ploy for companies to increase their profit margins and sacrificing quality. Anyway, hope you find your perfect coat soon.

    Have a great day!

    Posted 8.3.10 Reply
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    so,, Burberry Ledstone or Harbourne short trench for 5'2?
    nd:ledstone has narrow buttons. Harbourne wide apart.

    Posted 8.3.10 Reply
  9. Linda wrote:

    great review! i've always wanted a trench coat. although i am not petite, i found this very helpful!

    Posted 8.3.10 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    I agree the material Polyester/cotton would be better.
    I'm deciding on the classic harbourne (small cuff buckle, clean pockets with no buttons. Belt is plain without D ring) style # 10000000001
    at the burberry website OR style # 10000003187 (wide cuff, flap button pockets, belt with metal D ring).
    Which style should I go for? Help……
    The classic HArbourne I worry if the buttons are too wide apart?
    Anybody our there with any ideas?
    will the Harbourne give a slim look cause it's tailored?

    Posted 8.3.10 Reply
  11. What a shame it didn't work!! I've never found a trench that I loved so, don't feel bad!!

    Posted 8.3.10 Reply
  12. Ahh, thanks guys for your opinions and suggestions. I see I'm not the only one who felt "duped" with the Nordstrom's sale Burberry coat.

    Also seems like quite a few of you have a petite trench from BR and like it! The next time a 40% off coupon rolls along I might review it.

    AspiringMinimalist – Rudsak, hmm! I've never heard of that before. I just browsed the website and looks like it's a Canada only brand!

    Claudia – whoops! I did see that…the shoes are from Aldo. I don't really recommend Aldo because it's just uncomfortable…but it's cheap, and they make sz 35! Also I am so, so curious about how Jcrew's winter coats in sz 0P fits on someone my size. I can't wait for a fellow petite blogger to do a review!

    Apple – I saw london fog petites on the Nordstrom website while I was shopping for this, unfortunately it looked like none of their current styles were either highly reviewed nor ran small, but I'm definitely keeping my eyes peeled for future styles…esp. one with a liner!

    Anonymous @ 12:41 – I must have missed this coat while browsing on Nordies…pls let me know what you think when it arrives!

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  13. nicole wrote:

    My trench quest seems like it will never end until I can afford to just have one custom-made for me. There's always something off about the fit whether it's the length, the sleeve length, the shoulders or the overall fit of the bodice. I think the sleeves are too long on the Burberry Petite trench. It definitely looks better when belted for sure, but I think you can find better. Otherwise, you look lovely in a trench so I do hope that you find one that fits you in time for the fall/winter! I love the classic look of a trench; it's timeless. So far I've only settled for a cropped beige trench from H&M; but I'd like a full-length one.

    hope you had a good weekend! xo

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  14. Vicky wrote:

    After reading your post last week, I went to Nordstrom to look for this trench last Saturday. I didn't expect it to have any 2P left, because online the smaller sizes were all gone quickly. To my amaze, there was still one left. I suspect that it was a return. The collar was dirty and the front had some smear on it. I tried it on. The fit was so so. The material was plasticy (which I hate). I really liked the color a lot, but that wasn't enough to convince me to spend $549 on a trench. I walked out, knowing that it was my last chance to see this coat. I'm glad I did seeing your review. I don't own any Burberrys, so I didn't know anything about the low end Brit. I'm glad you mention it. Thank you very much for the review, and looking forward to more to come.

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  15. Nukem wrote:

    That's too bad about the fit and material. For that price I would want it to fit perfectly. I hope you find the trench of your dreams. I've been looking for one too but just haven't bit the bullet (plus I don't really need one, since I live in smoldering Houston, but it is still cool to have one).

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  16. I got a gorgeous trench at BR which I LOVE! I'm pretty sure it's the same one pictured above. It's a PXS and fits my 5'2" frame perfectly. It was expensive for me (almost $200), but totally worth it. I hope you find your perfect trench!

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  17. Claudia wrote:

    Hello! I'm re-posting this here because I doubt you are going to see it under this old Urban Out Review post:

    Here is what I wrote:
    What a great blog. Thanks for sharing. I'm petite like you (a few inches taller) ;). I'd love to know what brand are your shoes in this entry? I love the nude color.

    Good luck finding the perfect trench. Have you try Jcrew (p)? Last winter, I got a beautiful Jcrew coat, which for the 1st time was perfect fit for me in OP and I was amazed by their small fit for us xxs petites.

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  18. Hanna wrote:

    Aww, the major focus of the trench (the torso) is lost because of the extra fabric hanging loose around the sides. Usually, it can be easily remedied by the belt but sadly it just looks like it got puckered in around the waist. =0(

    I'm actually on the hunt for a trench or a coat that has a swing-like bottom so I can pair it will voluminous dresses and skirts for the fall or winter.

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  19. Nelah wrote:

    Too bad it is too big on you. I am not sure whether I should be jealous or not of those who live in the upper states. It rarely gets that freezing cold where I live. I enjoy seeing winter outfits.

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  20. Anonymous wrote:

    I bought the BR trench coat. I usually wear PXS, but this one the sleeve is too long and the chest is a bit large. I ordered PXXS

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  21. PetiteXXS wrote:

    It fits pretty similarly on me, and I was also very taken aback (despite being warned by you) by the material when I first saw it. Definitely reminiscent of a plasticky windbreaker, and not at all what I expected from my very first Burberry trench. It's definitely a return… I'm not even sure I wan to take pics of it!

    As for BR, I did try a trench they had months ago, but found the XXSP not quite well-fitting enough. It was probably ALMOST okay, but in the end I wanted something that fits better.

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  22. I've been on the eternal search for a trench and have found that being petite makes it super-difficult to find it. The length and proportions seem difficult to do for some reason, and then too many buttons,flaps, buckles, and make the overall shape overwhelming.

    Good choice on returning the coat. I think the length was good but it just looks big overall, including the sleeve length. Kind of a disappointment for a Burberry product.

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  23. roxy wrote:

    the trench looks very big on you. I agree that it's not a good fit and probably worth spending the extra money on the regular trench's. Regardless, I like the coller detailing from the back! Very cute!


    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  24. Annapurna wrote:

    I had the exact same experience with a burberry trench in 2P bought at their anniversary sale either last year or the year before – I was so psyched to get a petite and a discount but when it arrived it was a shiny, overwhelming disaster – too many flaps and buttons etc. It went back in the box asap! I agree with the commentators that you may have better luck in Asia. DH (who is a skinny skinny 6 feet) and I had great luck in Japan, for example.

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  25. I don't own anything from Burb so I was looking forward to this post. This trench looks good on you but not great (not for that kind of money). I agree this is definitely a no. I like the BR one but we all know how their sizing lately. Thank you for a great review.

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  26. Anonymous wrote:

    The BR one is pretty nice, I own it and love it. Another you may wanna chk out is one at Zara. Its the only other one that I thought had really good shape even when it was not belted. I did not buy the one at Zara because I had just bought a gorgeous one at Takashimaya for 800$ (but worth every penny – its so gorgeous, I want to live in it!!! =))

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  27. kali wrote:

    It does look big. At a glance, it look alright but when you look closely, it's pretty big! =( I always wanted a (long) GAP coat to work for me but the last few I've tried, even in petite sizes, have been HUGE. The regular, shorter coats are fine on me though.

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  28. Stephanie wrote:

    I would suggest a Banana Republic trench since I got a white trench this April in Portland on sale for $100.I was lucky that the xs petites was small enough for me. However, from your pictures & measurement details – I think it would be big for you =[

    I think the material of Banana Republic trenches are quite nice though =P

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  29. MizzJ wrote:

    Hmmm it doesn't look *that* huge on you, when belted, but unbelted it definitely loses all its shape, which isn't good. Plus nylon?? I suppose that makes it more durable, but that's definitely not the type of material you were expecting!

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  30. Aw, the fit of that Burberry trench is so disappointing =( Totally overpowers your petite frame. I've been looking for a trench, too.. even though I'll rarely need one in Florida. I'll check out the BR one! Good luck on your quest!

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  31. April wrote:

    Those H&M; jeans look soo good on you! I have chunky thigh and don't think I could fit into those jeans, but I will try next time I'm at H&M; since we are almost the same size. 🙂 I adore your blog! You put so much time and thought into every single post. You are also super pretty and I love your outfits. I am in love with your Aldo heels by the way!

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  32. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi – I had the exact same thing happen to me when I bought the trench. I was duped and got the Brit version and was disappointed. But nordstroms is also selling the regular Burberry version at the sale price in petite sizing. I ordered one and it should be coming any day now. I'm going to be sooo bummed if they send me the Brit.

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  33. Aww…so sad about the fabric and fit. I hate that "garbage bag" plastic fabric too. That one doesn't fit as bad as the cashmere/wool 2P one I tried last year, but it's still pretty big. The smallest fitting Burb I've found so far (classic trench style) is the Ledstone. You should definitely look for it when Burberry does it's winter sale.

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  34. sophia wrote:

    In your first pic I immediately noticed the underarm thing, but the coat doesn't look too bad in the other pics. But, like Ping said, when you pay a lot it should fit PERFECT as is, and you should have zero are almost no complaints. I never try on trenches here, but I would love to go to Asia to shop for one! I had several experiences in Japan where I couldn't fit into the largest sizes in stores (SO embarrassing to ask the salesperson for a larger size, and for them to respond..uhm.. there's nothing larger LOL!).

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  35. Apple wrote:

    Oh, and the London Fog coat has a removable liner and is not shiny at all. And I've had mine for 4 years and it is in great condition.

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  36. Apple wrote:

    Ugh, typed a long post and the comment form ate it! (Four times, but I'm being persistent…)

    Anyway, I have a great, great classic trench by London Fog. I adore it. I think it's exactly what you're looking for. I found it for $99 at Burlington Coat Factory and I see similar ones every season at department stores. You should really try London Fog.

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  37. Mmmm, the 2P does look big. I tried on a Burberry quilted version in 2P last winter at Nordies that ran quite small. It seems like their sizes vary from style to style. I am going to be coat shopping soon, and I am kind of dreading it.

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  38. Bummer! The size 2P is huge! I don't ever look right in trenches…..

    I love the color – too bad it's not 2 sizes smaller!

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  39. mich LA wrote:

    Oh my! For that price tag, it's definitely not a keeper. I personally hate jackets made of that weird polyester material. Maybe the beige version doesn't look as shiny, but this one was definitely no bueno!

    I've always wanted a nice trench coat, but they're not very practical for LA. :/ I also intensely lust after your beautiful Burb coat you put up in your last post though! That one was definitely worth the money.

    Posted 8.2.10 Reply
  40. Angie wrote:

    ooh i really like the old navy one. i'd love to get a nice trench coat sometime but for the price tag, i'm not really that pleased with the fit and material of that burberry one 🙁 aww boo! maybe you can find a really nice one that will fit perfectly and save some too 😀

    Posted 8.1.10 Reply
  41. Sorry to see it so big on you. Your post reminds of those I saw at the outlet store, which looks like rain coat to me. I still prefer the classic version. Besides what you listed above, Zara and J crew carry somme interesting one too.

    Posted 8.1.10 Reply
  42. aww, boo sorry to hear that it's a bit big on ya. it's always so disappointing to open a package u've been anticipating and it's just subpar:( i had no idea burberry had petite sizing. thanks for the tip! i'll definite check it out. i do like the back region of this coat and the length is perfect on u! hope ure enjoying ur sunday!:)

    Posted 8.1.10 Reply
  43. When I saw the photo before I read anything, I thought… yikes… 😛

    I've been lusting after classic items since I started working full time. Although the trench was on the list, I wasn't really pursuing one full time.

    I happen to stumble upon on just this Friday at a little leather boutique store in DT Toronto. Not even sure if it's available where you are, but it's called "Rudsak".

    Posted 8.1.10 Reply
  44. Ping wrote:

    awww Jean i totally agree with you unfortunately! the trench does look big. 🙁
    i have tried the size 2P Burberry trench from Nordies awhile back and it did run big overall. i think for an expensive item, it should fit perfect! it sucks when stores don't disclose what line they are selling you…remember that maxi from hautelook & it was from marciano & not guess! anyway at least nordstroms will let you return anything….thats y i buy all my expensive items from nordies…they are the best about returns.

    Posted 8.1.10 Reply
  45. Revanche wrote:

    I have a BR trench I bought about two years ago and it's really light but I wear it all the time.
    I have to agree with you about texture and material, I really don't like shiny 100% polyester stuff, it looks and feels cheap.

    Posted 8.1.10 Reply
  46. Winnie* wrote:

    Yea it still looks rather big on you. Not sure about the material – as I dont have any experience with Burberry. But definitely check out I remember seeing them last winter for 30% off the regular price. A lot of styles and colors to pick from too. The BR one looks really great! looks it it would go well with a lot of things. maybe give it a try?

    Posted 8.1.10 Reply
  47. Jessica – A peacoat is nice too! If you can hold out, they have a pretty decent sale in December/Jan. on winter styles. And yea, if you look on the Burb website, every single trench is either cotton or cotton/poly blend…except for the Burberry Brit "packable" trenches which I envision are just like these. Mine's already sent back too…I feel deceived!

    Jessy – oh neat! Can't wait to see. And I agree…it just looks bad. I had better luck though with the children's one, so stay tuned : )

    Posted 8.1.10 Reply
  48. By the way, those heels are cute!

    Posted 8.1.10 Reply
  49. I'd probably try the BR one, though the GAP one doesn't look bad either.

    I didn't like how that Burberry trench coat looked on you at ALL! There's a lot of room in the underarm area and it doesn't look "slim", like you said the reviews stated. The colour and style of it is okay, but I don't like the windbreaker material mostly because the sound of it drives me nuts! haha

    My post with the ASOS items is scheduled to be posted at midnight EST tonight. : )

    Posted 8.1.10 Reply
  50. Jessica wrote:

    Oh man the 2P looks huge on you! I already returned my 4P to Nordstrom. I don't have much experience with Burberry, so I thought the material was the normal type of trench coat material (like a raincoat).

    Mine fit okay, but I think I'd rather spend more to get a "true" classic Burberry trench from the store and have them alter it for me if needed, or I was thinking of just getting a very nice peacoat from them.. I will refer to your older post for tips on that =P

    Posted 8.1.10 Reply

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