J.Crew Wool Cashmere Icon Trench

Just wanted to share a belated, quickie review of a J.Crew coat I tried on earlier this season. I have always had a soft spot for pretty coats because they bring a little joy to dreary winters, and am willing to spend more for a special piece. I used to splurge almost annually on a designer coat, but have been so pleased with lady day coats that I turned to J.Crew once again.

I was looking for a classic camel coat, and was hopeful that one of these would be a winner. However, I was underwhelmed by both and am now passively looking for new options.

First up is the icon trench in wool-cashmere which comes in 3 colors. This pretty much met all of my requirements on paper, but in-person it made me feel a little like Friar Tuck.

Sizing & fit: Un-belted, this coat is boxy with no waist shaping whatsoever. As a result, the amount of fabric at the mid-section causes unsightly bunching from all angles after the belt is tied. The chest and hips were slightly roomy on me, but could be filled up by layers in the winter. The shoulder width felt fine, but looks a smidge wide from the back. If you like every other aspect of this coat, the torso might be able to be tapered in by a good tailor for $50-$60.
Material: The camel wool material was “felt-like” to the touch and didn’t feel as luxurious as the description would lead you to hope.
Design & quality: Aside from the shapeless waist and average material, I liked the design and details of this coat. It bodes trench features that I like, such as a double-breasted front, shoulder epaulettes,  tortoiseshell buttons, and belt with leather-covered buckle. It felt moderately heavy and warm (more so than the next one, at least), but just didn’t “wow” me…

Interiors – Top: Icon trench in wool-cashmere. Bottom: Double-cloth slim trench.
Next up is the double-cloth slim trench in “camel”, starting at $280 and left in 5 colors:
Sizing & Fit: The fit of this jacket felt very similar to lady day coats from previous years, except it is a few inches shorter in total length. I am on the fence about the shorter length, but havea strange complaint – the belt is disproportionately wide for its length! As some readers warned me, the belt was also much too short for tying casually, which I love to do with coat belts. Unlike the icon trench, this coat does have a slight hourglass shape and is more fitted in the torso. And good news for longer-armed petite ladies – the sleeve length is about an inch longer than lady day coats from past years.
Material: The material feels exactly the same as double-cloth coats from past years, however contains less wool and more nylon than prior years. In 2010 and 2011, J.Crew’s double cloth was comprised of 94% wool, 6% nylon. This one was maybe 80% wool, 20% nylon (I wrote the exact % down before returning and unfortunately lost it – if anyone knows, please share in a comment!). This coat is also not available with Thinsulate lining, which both of my lady day coats have. The material felt noticeably less warm so I don’t think it’d be able to sustain Northeast winters.

Below – trying to tie the belt casually but all I could get was a little nublin. I don’t think it would stay put like that.
Design & quality: I think this coat is a good option for anyone who doesn’t own the lady day coat, and prefers a shorter, belted version. After I saw this in-person, I realized it was much too similar to my existing lady day coats to warrant keeping. The single-breasted front, the collar shape, the curved seaming on the torso, and of course the material – all super similar. The quality is good aside from the small decline in material composition over the years.

Compare of the Icon Trench vs. the Slim Trench:

Measurements of both, per J.Crew live chat (I forgot to verify these by measuring on my own – sorry!):

Icon Trench in Wool-Cashmere (above pic, lying on the bottom): chest circumference: 33.5,” waist circumference: 32,” hip circumference: 34.5,” sweep circumference: 44,” across shoulder: 14,” center back sleeve length: 29.125,” and center back length: 34.75.”
Double-Cloth slim trench (above pic, lying on top): chest circumference: 33.5,” waist circumference: 30.75,” hip circumference: 37.5,” sweep circumference: 42.25,” across shoulder: 13.5,” center back sleeve length: 29.125,” and center back length: 31.25.”

So in summary, the Icon Trench is wider in the waist, hips, shoulder (slightly), and longer in length than the Slim Trench.

Compare of the Slim Trench (on top) vs. last year’s Lady Day coat (on the bottom):


Readers – Have you tried either of these coats? If so, what are your thoughts?

Leave a Comment


  1. I've been hoping to pick up a Slim Trench this year, and given the popularity, expected it to be back. I emailed the company and they seemed to be saying it had already come and gone for Fall 2013, but I've been watching every day and haven't seen it. Did anyone else notice it in the online store this year?

    Posted 10.9.13 Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote:


    Posted 12.29.12 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi jean! Jcrew has the petite funnel coat in camel. Since you are looking to buy a camel colored coat, have you considered the funnel coat?

    Posted 12.6.12 Reply
  4. Posh Pearl wrote:

    Love your blog and reviews! So glad I stumbled on here! I noticed you're a 00P. How tall are you? I'm also petite and trying to use your photos for reference of where the coat will hit on me. Thanks! xx

    Posted 11.20.12 Reply
  5. Hi everyone….I am about to purchase the Jcrew "double cloth slim trench" and I never order online before because I prefer to try on before buying. Anyway, I wear size 4 Jcrew sizing for blouses and blazers (schoolboy wool flannel), etc. So, guys you think I will be fine if I purchase size 4 Petite coat as mentioned above? I am only 5'1". Thank you and I will really appreciate your response.

    Posted 11.14.12 Reply
  6. oooh i def like the longer sleeves on the slim trench.

    Posted 11.12.12 Reply
  7. I've been reading this blog a long time too, and I've never seen any posts where she returns clothing or shoes that are not in resell-able condition. The comparison to swatching makeup is ridiculous, as you can't "try on" makeup without rendering it unsellable. Seriously, why are you taking this so personally? If you don't like the blog, why are you reading it?

    Posted 11.8.12 Reply
  8. Retail School wrote:

    Anon – 80% – 90% is a statistic you've made up. You can't base an argument on something imaginary. *shrugs*

    Posted 11.7.12 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    Are you confusing Extra Petite with Stylish Petite? Because Ive read this blog for years, never saw shoes returned after worn. Ive also havent seen her "going into a store, buying a bunch of stuff, and returning 80-90% of them" because 00p and small shoes are NOT available in store. Jcrew doesnt have ANY petites in store so you're forced to order if you just want to try something for size. Really dont see how that's like swatching makeup at Sephora.

    Posted 11.7.12 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    to Retail School: "But there’s a certain group that returns 50% of what they buy." I think that's my point. 50% is generally a good cut off, but if you're returning 80-90% of what you buy, I don't think it works out the same.

    to Wendyslookbook: I totally understand what you're saying, but I still think she's borderline abusing it. Do you see any makeup bloggers buy a bag of stuff from sephora just to review them, swatch them, then return them? No. Most of the reviewers either 1) buy it if they have the money 2) swatch it directly in the store if they don't want to buy it (similar to her fitting room pictures which I do find helpful and enjoy reading) or 3) got the items for free from the company to review. I still find it somewhat odd for her to go into a store, buy a bunch of stuff, then return 80-90% of them. Also, the point on prices, zappos do not charge higher retail, but they have much lesser sales and most items remain at retail price, so that's what I meant by higher premium. You will likely never find a pair of Frye boots at more than 50% off on zappos. Also on the shoe comment, I remember a while back there was a post about I think an Ann Taylor flat that she wore to work (not gonna dig it up but totally happened!), then later said she returned because they were slipping off. I felt like that's something that should be evaluated before you walk around for a day. Then, when she buys something online and receives it slightly scratched and tattered, she notes it and is unhappy about it, but in turn she returns some of the stuff in the same like the shoe that she wore outside.

    Posted 11.7.12 Reply
  11. Returns are cost of doing business and every product oriented business factors this into their budget. Jean is in no way abusing the system but rather she is providing an invaluable service to the rest of us who might or are considering purchasing the same item(s). What she is doing is no different from the reviews that you read on Zappos for example. Moreover, her reviews are incredibly in-depth and much more useful. And by the way, you do not pay a higher premium shopping on Zappos. They offer the same price as any other retail store.

    In addition, companies spend a large portion of their budget, million of dollars, into marketing to acquire new customers with the hope that they will initiate their first purchase. Whether they return the item or not is the cost of doing business, because it's cheaper for them (in a marketing standpoint) over time to have the opportunity to potentially retain this customer. Jean is actually performing a great service for the brands by giving them exposure and potential customers.

    Also, Jean has never ever returned worn shoes. I have never read that anywhere. I admire her for keeping, and more importantly, re-styling things that she loves. She takes the time out of her busy day to write, take pictures, and share items so we, the readers, can save time and money.

    Posted 11.7.12 Reply
  12. Retail School wrote:

    Hmm…I've been reading Jean's blog for years and never read anywhere that she wears shoes for a few days and then returns them. I'd like to see you link to where that has happened. I know she's sold her worn pairs of shoes on the second hand market…totally fair.

    I also think you're missing the point…of very simple retail concepts. A brand's best customers…the ones that spend the MOST money on merchandise, are also the ones with the highest return rates. From a Zappos exec:

    “Our best customers have the highest return rates, but they are also the ones that spend the most money with us and are our most profitable customers,”


    So, you see…while you're feeling sorry for J.Crew and Ann Taylor, they actually care more about Jean and her purchases than they do about yours. Jean buys more than you, returns more than you, but guess what…she makes the brand more money than you ever will. These brands love Jean and people with similar shopping habits as Jean.

    I also want to point out that Jean shops sizes than many stores only sell through their online retail arms, so they're already expecting high volume returns on these items. These brands have decided that dealing with the high returns of these items is more profitable than placing them in their brick and mortar stores, which take up valuable selling floor space which is actually calculated by price/square footage. Retail's not dumb. Retail's making money. Don't feel sorry for retail.

    Posted 11.7.12 Reply
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    You're missing the point, but that's fine. I just find it unethical and her being all "I only keep super happy purchases" might encourage other people who read this blog to behave in the same way. If a company wanted her to review something to increase sales and exposure they'll send it to her. The posts in dressing rooms are great too. It's kind of off putting whenever she buys a bunch of stuff and then returns them all, sometimes shoes that were WORN for a few days and then she decides it's not comfortable or something. If there is a significant manufacture defect where the thing broke after a couple of uses, then yes, return it. If you just no longer like it and changed your mind and you USED it and then you return it, seems kind of like you should've made a better decision ahead of time. Companies like zappos will be lenient toward these kind of returns, but you pay a higher premium with higher prices. So if you want to behave in this kind of way then you should not complain about prices. It's kind of selfish to expect the most discounted price with the ability to return worn merchandise that you decided you no longer like.

    Posted 11.7.12 Reply
  14. My coat arrived today! And 00R is a perfect fit! I love it! The torso is pretty boxy so I wouldn't wear it unbelted, but the sleeve length and shoulder width are just right for me. I'm glad I didn't order a petite size as the sleeves would have been far too short. If anyone is thinking of ordering this size, I'm 5'3" and 110 pounds.

    It's also a great color! The picture on the website looks kind of like a washed out medium-dark blue, but in person it's much darker, a true classic navy blue. Anyway, thanks for the review! Actually your previous review is the one that helped me to make up my mind to order this coat.

    Posted 11.7.12 Reply
  15. Wow, relax. This blog is actually good for businesses. It's free advertising for their products. As a Canadian I had about zero exposure to J.Crew before I started reading this blog, but I started coveting their stuff long before a J.Crew store ever opened in my city, to the point where I was seriously considering making cross-border trip just to shop at J.Crew. I also think it's safe to say that every J.Crew post by Jean probably sends hundreds of hits to their website.

    Posted 11.7.12 Reply
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    I dislike returning items too. If Ann Taylor and J.Crew didn't make my size "online only" that would probably eliminate most of my returns.

    Posted 11.6.12 Reply
  17. Anonymous wrote:

    How do you get away with returning so many items? I'm always leery of my own purchases and returns, and will often not buy something if I feel like I will highly likely return it even if it looks cute at the moment. Seems to me like you keep 20% of the items you buy. I know you should return anything that you're not completely happy with, but most companies keep a 50% buy vs return tab on their customers and will get rude and tell you to stop shopping there if you return so much. I mean, I know companies are supposed to be nice, but customers are supposed to be thoughtful too. If you return everything, it must mean you don't like that particular companies' stuff, which, makes sense to me if they tell you to just stop shopping there. Stores do not stay open to be a charity so everyone can look good, they are open to make money. There's nothing wrong with that as long as they provide relatively competitive prices, quality, and style. I can't help but think, you complain about Ann Taylor and J Crew being sketchier on quality in recent years, yet you buy and return 80% of their stuff, which costs the company money (every return transaction costs labor and/or shipping fees) and they have to make up that margin somewhere. I guess as selfish people tho, from an individual stance it doesn't matter, but your entitlement mentality is raising the prices and being paid for by everyone who shops where you shop.

    Posted 11.6.12 Reply
  18. I too was looking to invest in a J. Crew petite coat this year after coveting one for the past few seasons. I ordered the Lady Coat and the Metro Coat and was really disappointed. The Lady coat this year is significantly longer than previous years. I'm 4'10" and both the 0P and 2P on the lady coat were 4 inches below my knees! They looked ridiculous. The Metro coat was also quite long, but not as bad. I ended up returning the metro coat because it had awkward front pockets instead of sleeker side pockets of the other coats. I'm going to give some others a try but I was disappointed because I wanted the thinsulate option.

    Posted 11.5.12 Reply
  19. Kasia wrote:

    Ciekawy blog,fajne pomysły, chętnie zajrzę od czasu do czasu 😀

    Zapraszam też na mojego bloga http://www.modakafi.wordpress.com

    Posted 11.5.12 Reply
  20. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi! I'm wondering how you tied your belt in the first pic! looks nice! love the colour of the trench coat on you!

    Posted 11.5.12 Reply
  21. Their R vs P sizing as the sizes go up is very tricky. Hope you end up finding your perfect coat and best of luck for the rest of your pregnancy : )

    Posted 11.4.12 Reply
  22. I'm wearing a 00P. If your arms are long, you may need the regular sizing because many ladies have had troubles with the sleeves being too short. J.Crew online customer service live chat can give you exact measurements for any style, any size.

    Posted 11.4.12 Reply
  23. Yep, I own a 0P from 2011 and a 00P from 2012 in the lady day coat. They measure exactly the same.

    Posted 11.4.12 Reply
  24. Hi there – mine are actually an older version gifted from a friend, so I am unsure of the color name. They are not patent, but they also don't look exactly like the bisque, so the colors might change over the years.

    Posted 11.4.12 Reply
  25. Thanks for the rec – we have a Reiss store in Boston and I've popped in a few times.

    Posted 11.4.12 Reply
  26. Hi there – sorry for not making this clear, but I'm trying on 00P in both. Good luck with your coat!

    Posted 11.4.12 Reply
  27. The measurements were given to me by J.Crew for a size 00P.

    Posted 11.4.12 Reply
  28. Yep – almost all my coats (aside from the J.Crew ones) have had the sleeves altered. It can cost from $25-$40.

    Posted 11.4.12 Reply
  29. Hi Ally – I did a quick belt tying tutorial in this video http://www.extrapetite.com/2011/10/all-about-belts-how-to-tie-hole-punch.html

    Posted 11.4.12 Reply
  30. 00 Petite

    Posted 11.4.12 Reply
  31. THanks, Julia!

    Posted 11.4.12 Reply
  32. Thank you for the review, What size are you wearing in the pictures? I'm 5'2 and107 pounds, not sure which size I should get.

    Posted 11.4.12 Reply
  33. I thought I remembered you doing a review of this coat once before and found it by googling "extrapetite icon trench." I might just be seeing things, but I think last year's coat looked like a better fit. For some reason I can't link to your older post, but the one you had before was a 0P. I wonder if the coat in this post is the same size? Hopefully the sizes aren't getting bigger.

    Posted 11.4.12 Reply
  34. Anonymous wrote:

    What color is your shoe, patent beige or bisque?

    Posted 11.4.12 Reply
  35. Divya wrote:

    I meant way too short in the above post!

    Posted 11.3.12 Reply
  36. Divya wrote:

    I love your blog. The first coat is def too big. If not for the short belt coat #2 fit well, I actually like the shorter length. I just purchased my first j crew coat last month. I got the lady day coat in 0R. The petite sleeves were WAY too long. I actually ordered a 0P 2P and 0R before deciding on the 0R. I'm 5'2 and usually 105 pounds. I'm currently 6 months pregnant and instead of craving food, I've been addicted to shopping. So I really hope the coat fits perfectly after baby.

    Posted 11.3.12 Reply
  37. Anonymous wrote:

    I think you should check out Reiss (it's a Britain-based chain store) if you want a good wool coat. I love the quality and the lines/silhouette of their clothes.

    Posted 11.3.12 Reply
  38. Julia wrote:

    Btw, the double-cloth was comprised of 75% wool and 25% nylon. You guess was close enough!

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  39. Suzie Q wrote:

    Great review, Jean! I like the fit more of the second coat, but the trench features of the first coat. Good luck searching for your perfect camel trench this year =)

    Suzie Q

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  40. Oy, I just ordered the Icon trench in navy. It was on sale for $212 Canadian, so I had to jump on it even though I couldn't try it on and it was final sale. I tried on the Boulevard trench for sizing, and a 00R seemed to be a good size (I'm on the taller side of petite, with longish arms). Jean, may I ask what size those two you tried on are? I agree that the coat looks too boxy and big on you, but I'm hoping that a similar size will fit better on my bigger frame.

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  41. kimmie wrote:

    Thank you for your awesome reviews as always, Jean! I was debating on getting the slim trench, but I felt the buckle for the belt was too flimsy feeling. I think I might just stick with getting a lady day coat since they're pretty similar. 🙂

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  42. Gini wrote:

    Totally off topic, but your phone case is AWESOME! Ohh, the good old days of Nintendo!

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  43. Christie wrote:

    Aside from the cut of the coat, the color and quality seems very nice. Love your blog.



    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  44. Law Moda wrote:

    I do love those lady day coats. And in all those bright colors, they're to die for!


    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  45. Anonymous wrote:

    Great review. Just one question, are these meaasurements based on 0P or 00P?

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  46. I always appreciate your thoughtful reviews!

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  47. Thanks for the tips! Are you keeping either of them?

    Check out our Friday Five on The Glitter Life! http://the-glitter-life.com/2012/11/02/friday-five-12/

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  48. I've been searching for some new winter coats and was considering these. Thanks for the reviews! What size are you wearing for these? Also, what do you normally do when the coat fits your body, but the sleeves are too long? Do you just get them altered?

    xo, Yi-chia

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  49. Ally wrote:

    I have the icon trench in wool-cashmere in the cabernet color and absolutely love it! I think it looks great on you, but I think you look better in the other coat. Quick question, how do you tie the belt like the way you did on the icon trench? I've been trying but can't seem to figure it out! Thanks!

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  50. Anonymous wrote:

    你长得好像梁静茹MV 里的女主角。歌名叫”会过去的” youtube

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  51. You are very talented with tailoring your clothes! The jacket ended up fitting you perfectly!!

    Come visit my blog!!!


    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  52. Carol Li wrote:

    The second coat looks better on you than the first one. I'm glad you didn't get either as they both weren't right 🙂


    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  53. Sabrina wrote:

    They are both pretty, I think! I wouldn't care about the shapelessness of the first one, the belt makes up for it! I so wanted to buy a coat this year, I love beautiful coats too, but it just didn't happen! But doesn't matter anyway, I've got too many to count already! 😉


    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  54. Ursula wrote:

    What size are you trying on?

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  55. Anonymous wrote:

    thanks for posting your reviews of the coats, jean! i had tried on both coats myself and ended up keeping the wool-cashmere trench (i tried it on in Navy)and returning the slim trench(tried on in Navy and Maroon). you're right in that the wool-cashmere trench is boxier (although I think it looks a bit slimmer in Navy than it does in Camel bc of the color), but i loved the heaviness of it and the material felt much more luxurious to me than the slim trench (especially since both were around the same price range during the 25% off sale).

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  56. Helen wrote:

    Very classic coat. Love the green color.

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  57. Ngoc N wrote:

    I just got my dress coat in Viridian green in the mail today. LOVE IT! Jcrew is the best.

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  58. rach wrote:

    please blog more. i don't know what to buy w/o your reccommendations. US retail sales need u 🙂

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  59. Jen wrote:

    Great trench coats. I especially love the second one. <3

    Sexy Little Things

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  60. Anonymous wrote:

    The lady day coat looks more better, a more polish and better fit. I would not return it because of a belt. The other coat looks boxier and a little big for a small frame.

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  61. Julia wrote:

    I have the double-cloth slim trench (review for the Navy one here if you want to see the difference)and I am very impressed by the fit. None of the other J. Crew coats I've tried before had a better fit than this one. If anyone who is looking for a coat that is well fitted rather than being able to layer up multiple sweaters inside(maybe for the new england folks :p), then this is a good option to consider.

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  62. MizzJ wrote:

    Hmm both are quite nice, but I think I prefer the Lady Day Coat as I found the double breasted one looked too boxy. Too bad about the belt – could you switch it out for a longer one?

    Posted 11.1.12 Reply
  63. Emilie wrote:

    I was considering getting one of those. I'm glad I got to read your review before ordering! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Posted 11.1.12 Reply

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