Monday, December 30, 2013

Spring 2014: Women's Trench Coats Round-up, Part 2

Banana Republic New Classic Trench (US$ 225.00)
Uh oh, what's the "new" for? The next one up in the lineup is from Banana Republic, which is my go-to store for luxury on the cheap. I adore this store for its more traditional and formal designs, quality materials, and good workmanship at a reasonable price. Like the Gap, they also regularly have 30-50% off sales. As for the coat itself, this one is a 53/47 blend of cotton and polyester with a center rear vent and shoulder epaulettes. It is belted and comes in "cocoon" and "classic navy" -- otherwise known as toned white and dark blue. Sizes range from XS to XL. Length appears to be around 3/4 landing mid-thigh on the model.

It's okay, but it doesn't really work for me. The colors alone should explain why -- deviation from the traditional look. A 53/47 blend of cotton and polyester should be fine. However, my preference is for 100% cotton. Not a bad choice if one is looking for some more options in terms of color while maintaining a classic design.

Banana Republic Flared Trench (US$ 225.00)
Same store, same price, slightly different design. This is the more classic looking edition, but with a flared hem. It comes in black and "coconut husk" (khaki-ish), 100% cotton, has epaulettes, belted, and comes in XS to XL. The coat also appears to land around mid-thigh on the model. One thing that isn't noted in the description is a vent, and I don't see either a center vent or side vents as the hem appears continuous from front to back to front again.

Regardless, this is a very nice looking trench coat and my favorite of the bunch. Having a flared hem, I find, also adds to the look of a trench coat. I'd love to have an accentuated flared hem on my trench, but something about boxy, square male torsos? Compared to the Gap version noted above at half the price, the two coats look very similar outside of color. However, there's something about the Banana Republic version that I love. The hem? The better presentation in the photo? The fact that I know it costs double from a more "exclusive" brand? Color? Probably all of the above.

J.Crew Collection Icon Trench (US$ 298.00)
Moving on up with the price, we have the J.Crew Icon Trench. The coat is vented, belted, comes in "light khaki", hits mid-thigh, and is made of Japanese cotton (no details on materials breakdown). One big difference from the Gap and Banana Republic versions is that the J.Crew one doesn't appear to have shoulder epaulettes. It's a nice detail that I've found on most trenches, but not one I would put down as essential. Sizes range from 00 to 16. Lovely looking coat. If I had to choose between this and the Banana Republic version while disregarding price, I'd base my decision on the color. The J.Crew version appears lighter. However, the $73 difference and the availability of sales may put the Banana Republic version ahead.

Burberry Short Cotton Sateen Trench Coat (US$ 1995.00)
If you can afford it.... I don't think the Burberry brand or their trench coats need any introduction. They have a large selection of trenches available, and this is the one that I like best. It's 100% cotton, belted, vented, features epaulettes, and comes in "trench" (khaki-ish), black, and "ink" (navy blue). Sizes range from 34 to 36. Exquisite. Personally, I'd never leave the house with it, let alone wear it in the rain. Cheapest Burberry alternative I found was a US$ 695 100% polyamide version.

<<< Cheaper Trench Coat Options

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