Is The Burberry Trench Coat Really The Best?

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I’ve been eyeing up Burberry trench coats for ages.  They’re expensive, but you’d be hard-pressed to identify a more classic, wear-forever piece.  But are they really worth the cost?  I was curious, so I ordered several Burberry trench coats to try….as well as a few lower-cost trench coats as a point of comparison (and I found one serious contender).

The Burberry Trench Coats

I’ve had many readers over the years rave about their Burberry trench coats.  They love the tailoring, the quality….and after trying them on….I totally get it.  But here’s the thing I found confusing: the two Burberry trench coats I’ve been drooling over – the Kensington and the Sandringham – are glorious trench coats, sure, but they’re just….cotton.  They’re not even water-resistant, nor do they have a hood.  Isn’t that surprising?  I was under the (mistaken) impression that all Burberry trench coats are both fancy and functional.

However.  Water-resistant or not… both are insanely chic.  I die.

Burberry Kensington

The cut of the Kensington is very classic – not too tight, not too loose.  But the armholes are nice and high so it doesn’t overwhelm, the details are perfection (there are even metal pieces on the belt to prevent it from sliding off the loops) and it’s basically just amazing.  (And amazingly expensive – it retails for almost $2K.)

Burberry Kensington Mid (wearing a size 2)

Burberry Sandringham

The Sandringham is almost exactly like the Kensington, but with a slimmer fit.  I tried the same size, but could barely raise my arms.  Everything else appears to be the same as the Kensington (and they both come in mid and long lengths).

Annoying about the arms because LOOK HOW CHIC.

Burberry Sandringham Mid (size 2 for reference)

Burberry Sisal

Burberry does make functional raincoats too, they’re just not the ones that come to mind when I think Burberry trench coat.  Reader K left a glowing comment about Burberry’s Bow Park rain jacket, but it only comes in black or navy and I reallllly wanted a classic trench.  Happily, I found one that fit the bill:  the Burberry Sisal.  It looks like a trench but is also water-resistant, lightweight, has a detachable, super-functional hood, and all of the little details that Burberry fans rave about. Even better?  The price point is half that of the Kensington and Sandringham (still a steep $795 though).

The Contender:  London Fog Heritage Trench Coat

I’ve been wearing London Fog coats since I was a kid.  They’re seriously functional.  But in the case of the London Fog Heritage Trench….it’s an almost exact replica of the Burberry!  Detachable lining? Check.  Water resistant? Check.  Glorious (and detachable) hood? Check.  Cool collar? Check.

The biggest difference is the fabric.  And while my London Fog (admittedly) could use a round with the steamer (sorry – came out of the box that way)…even if we ignore the wrinkles, the London Fog fabric is a little heavier and a lot less drapey.  It’s simply not as fabulous at the Burberry fabric. But…it’s a fraction of the cost at $178, and comes in both regular and petite sizes.

London Fog Heritage Trench (wearing an XS regular for reference)

Burberry vs. London Fog

The details on these two coats are so freaking similar that it couldn’t be a coincidence.  Observe…(London Fog Heritage on the left, Burberry Sisal on the right):

One more side-by-side…..

I mean….there’s no doubt that the Burberry Sisal (on the right) looks much more luxe….but for a quarter of the cost, the London Fog Heritage trench is tough to argue.

My mom ended up going home with the London Fog (in an XS petite – she’s so tiny!!), but I currently have both hanging up in my closet.  Decisions, decisions.

Also, before I forget, I’m wearing these Frye boots, these BlankNYC jeans (size 25) and my long-time favorite Maje tee (which was just restocked).

What are your thoughts???

xo,

S

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About Author

Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and denim-underwear, always.

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26 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this review. No doubt Burberry coats look amazing, but I’ve often wondered about the pricing. I had no idea the first two were so expensive! Really interesting comparison.

  2. So…I have both. A Burberry trench I purchased years ago as a treat. And I recently purchased a London fog. The Burberry was expensive but I have had it for years and I loooove it. School auctions, date nights, girl’s weekends. The London fog I picked up for more casual wear—with hoodies for car line pick ups and dashing to the grocery store in the rain. Both are lovely but for totally different reasons.

  3. You’re not gonna like my thoughts. The color of the Burberry is way better, IMO. The other coat is great, fine, wonderful but IMO that Burberry tan color is way better. I just wish that London fog were the same color…. but we can’t have everything.

  4. The color on the Burberry is amazing but I like the placement of the buttons better on the London Fog. It looks like the Burberry’s are placed right over your…ahem, nipples. 😬

    • So right about the odd Burberry button placement. Better trench color but the buttons.

      Great idea to do a side by side.

  5. I keep hearing things about the Jcrew trench. I’ll have to look and then compare to your photos. Thank you for the side by side.

  6. That’s so true about the button placement. It’s way better on the LF. So tough. You know, I I think it’s back to the drawing board or to a B in BLACK so the buttons don’t show. Google Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Bosworth wearing black Burberry trench coat and you just may die over a black Burberry.

  7. Sorry I did my own googling and I can’t find the old black Burberry Kensington photos for QP and KB, but they were good! I noticed that Gwyneth has worn a lighter Burberry like the LF you have. I don’t know why the lighter color bugs me. I like a little closer to camel obviously. Great article taking on the classic trench!

  8. I own 4 Burberry coats and have owned them for years – 2 quilted, the classic boxy one and a fitted one. A green anorak with removable lining and a black trench with removable lining. When I say years I’m talking 10 years on the one quilted and 3-5 years on the others. The quality is amazing. Nordstrom anni sale is a great time to try and pick one up!

  9. I have a Burberry trench, but be forewarned that if you live in a city, the tan shows dirt almost immediately (or, well, maybe I’m just a very messy person). After seeing my dry cleaner way too often for comfort, she finally took pity on me and told me that dark colors are the way to go. It was a great excuse to buy the same in black, which I LOVE. (I’m not sure which model I have in tan, but the pricing was around $800 several years ago -and then I got it for even less on sale, thank you Macy’s- and the fabric is substantial enough, ie neither lightweight nor crinkly. Maybe other fabrics are more resistant to stains?)

  10. This is one of those things where you have to look at the cost per wear. I bought a black Burberry Brit trench coat at a Nordstrom Anniversary Sale about 10 years ago… so it was Burberry’s lower end line and on sale (maybe $650ish from $850ish?). Even then, one of my friends commented on the color of the tan option, although I still picked the black one. I wore it a ton when I first bought it, but I’ve since moved to a warmer climate, where I rarely need a coat. But I still looooove it and I’m glad I’ve kept it. It has a zip out wool lining so I can still use it (and we’re moving back north soon so I will be using it much much more!) It’s an investment piece.

  11. I have owned a Burberry trench for over 10 years and I love it. It is, in fact, a superb rain coat — I am no expert on this, but there is something about the fabric fibers being woven so closely together that it keeps the water out despite being cotton; but because it IS cotton, it also breathes! (unlike every other raincoat I’ve ever had, anyway) There is no question this is what I wear whenever I need to look professional, and especially for business trips it is a sure thing. It seems to work in every climate, doesn’t overheat me but also warm enough for anything other than true winter temps (here in CT, verrrrry cold). All of this being said, if you’re not feeling it … As my grandma (the shopping queen) used to say, “If you don’t love it now, you’re never gonna love it”!

  12. Lisa Sullivan on

    This inspires me to pull out my trench. I rarely wear it, even though I love it.

    On a side note, those Frye boots! Love them. I hesitate to buy them as the climate here is starting to warm up. Curious if you feel they could be styled with shorter skirts or shorts? I always have a hard time figuring out this height boot/booties with something other than long skirts and pants/jeans.

  13. I like the Burberry trench more than the London Fog because the fabric looks better and it’s a warmer tan shade. But I like the first two Burberry trench coats the best on you.

    I have a Burberry trench in black that I bought during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in 2014. It’s a little badass because it has a leather notched collar and belted cuffs. For this kind of money, I wanted versatility. The black is perfect for day and night time outfits. And it doesn’t show stains. I really love this classic.

    For a tan trench, I have a Theory trench that was purchased 10+ years ago. And I still wear it. Theory’s tailoring is usually flattering to my body frame, so it was a no brainer.

    Both of my trenches don’t have hoods but I use an umbrella anyway. I do have a hooded raincoat but it’s not chic like a trench.

  14. Just do it. You will never regret the purchase of the Burberry. Bought mine in London several years ago and it makes me feel great every time I put it on!

  15. you can tell the quality in the Burberry coat is just better. doesn’t look as wrinkled, and the fabric looks thicker in the pictures. it’ll never go out of style. I live in a sunny area where it never rains so it wouldn’t make sense for me, but if you live in a rainier area, I would definitely buy one. looks great on you, too

  16. I have the Club Monaco Yulia Trench in tan from a few seasons ago (image search link):
    https://www.google.com/search?q=club+monaco+yulia+trench&rlz=1CAZZAF_enUS788US788&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi98szH2sbaAhVP7lQKHcBIBMoQ_AUICigB&biw=1333&bih=725#imgrc=IcCmJCfJ4xNCPM:

    $300 price range, seriously the best quality coat that I’ve ever touched, much less worn. It was recommended by a fashion stylist on another blog who raved about the quality, and she’s absolutely right. The fabric isn’t water-resistant though; it won’t soak through from a shower, but it definitely won’t stand up to a pouring thunderstorm. I’m a little precious with mine and tend to save it as my summer “dress” coat. I have a waterproof A-line mac that I wear more often as a casual trench.

    Anyway, if anyone is open to olive green and non-water-resistant fabric, CM’s current season Matie Trench looks promising:
    http://www.clubmonaco.com/product/index.jsp?productId=142728416

  17. I love the Sandringham best- also looks so elegant in black, and doesn’t have the weird button placement issue. I’d love to see a trenches part two comparing Burberry with JCrew, Banana, etc. And something similar to what Laura did with moto jackets for denim jackets, comparing Madewell, JCrew, AG, Loft, etc. Please 🙂

  18. I own the Burberry Sisal and love it. The more expensive Burberry’s are fab but I feel like I was never able to get the sizing right. I love a hood on a raincoat, too. I’d definitely vote against the LF in favor of the Sisal.

  19. This is quoting someone else, “buy once, cry once”. I feel this way about my Burberry Sandringham. Even now I get knots in my stomach at the cost ($2400 with tax in Canada!), but I love the coat. It is tailored so nicely and the fabric hangs so nice wear you wear it. I have a London Fog too, which I bought years ago because I couldn’t justify the cost of a Burberry Heritage Trench. But ended up buying the Burberry years later… this says it all, doesn’t it?

  20. I own and love the Jack Wills Ambrose trench coat in Stone- only $226
    I also own a wool Burberry trench and love that too, but I can’t really justify buying a regular Burberry trench since I already have my JW one

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