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 (now discontinued, the Chelsea is the current version) — are glorious trench coats, sure, but they’re just….cotton. I was worried they’re weren’t even water-resistant, but UPDATE: they definitely are. They’re made from 100% cotton garbadine, which is a material woven specifically to be very water resistant. I’ve been assured that they should hold up even in a downpour.

That said, they do not have a hood.

However. Hood 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.)

Enough is enough. Is the Burberry trench coat REALLY the best...or is there 1 just as good (ahem, London Fog), that costs less? S investigates.

Burberry Kensington Mid (wearing a size 2)

The Kensington is available in short, mid, or long lengths.

Enough is enough. Is the Burberry trench coat REALLY the best...or is there 1 just as good (ahem, London Fog), that costs less? S investigates.

Burberry Kensington Mid (wearing a size 2)

Burberry Sandringham (Now Chelsea)

The Sandringham is almost exactly like the Kensington, but with a slimmer fit. UPDATE: Burberry has discontinued the Sandringham, but in its stead is the Burberry Chelsea Slim Fit Heritage Coat, which fits almost the exact same as the Sandringham.

In these photos, I’m wearing the same size Sandringham as the Kensington, 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).

Enough is enough. Is the Burberry trench coat REALLY the best...or is there 1 just as good (ahem, London Fog), that costs less? S investigates.

Burberry Sandringham Mid (size 2 for reference) | Other Option: Burberry Chelsea Slim Fit Heritage Coat

Annoying about the arms because LOOK HOW CHIC.

Enough is enough. Is the Burberry trench coat REALLY the best...or is there 1 just as good (ahem, London Fog), that costs less? S investigates.

Burberry Sandringham Mid (size 2 for reference) | Other Option: Burberry Chelsea Slim Fit Heritage Coat

Burberry Sisal (Or Taffeta Kensington)

Burberry does make functional raincoats in something other than 100% cotton, too, in they’re just not the ones that come to mind when I think Burberry trench coat. Happily, I found one that fit the bill: the Burberry Sisal (now discontinued).

The Burberry Sisal (pictured below) is currently sold out, but Burberry has also come out with a taffeta Kensington trench coat (water resistant, lightweight, same details as the traditional cotton garbadine Kensington) but this one also has a completely detachable hood.

Enough is enough. Is the Burberry trench coat REALLY the best...or is there 1 just as good (ahem, London Fog), that costs less? S investigates.Enough is enough. Is the Burberry trench coat REALLY the best...or is there 1 just as good (ahem, London Fog), that costs less? S investigates.

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.

Enough is enough. Is the Burberry trench coat REALLY the best...or is there 1 just as good (ahem, London Fog), that costs less? S investigates.

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

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.

Enough is enough. Is the Burberry trench coat REALLY the best...or is there 1 just as good (ahem, London Fog), that costs less? S investigates.

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):

Enough is enough. Is the Burberry trench coat REALLY the best...or is there 1 just as good (ahem, London Fog), that costs less? S investigates.
Enough is enough. Is the Burberry trench coat REALLY the best...or is there 1 just as good (ahem, London Fog), that costs less? S investigates.

One more side-by-side…..

Enough is enough. Is the Burberry trench coat REALLY the best...or is there 1 just as good (ahem, London Fog), that costs less? S investigates.

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.

What are your thoughts???

xo,

S