You know the iconic Burberry check, right? It’s the crisscross plaid rendered in black, camel, and red that you see on the street in London, New York, Shanghai, and seemingly everywhere else global nomads travel these days. The now-ubiquitous Burberry plaid was first produced in the 1920s as a lining for gabardine raincoats and similar all-weather gear. Today this venerable pattern is among the most identifiable emblems of any luxury brand worldwide, and, if you’re shopping for a Burberry trench coat, you’ve no doubt seen scads of Burberry plaids—interpreted in classic and novelty color combinations—on clothing, scarves, umbrellas, and, of course, the once-lowly trenchcoat.
As is the case with so many coveted items these days, the best place to shop for a Burberry trenchcoat is undoubtedly online, where you can peruse the brand’s offerings and compare prices at your leisure. Start with the official Burberry U.S. Web site, then check the wares of specialized retail stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, both of which sometimes offer discounted prices.
At Nordstroms, for instance, you can find the Burberry Brit Double-Breasted Trench ($995), which originated when Thomas Burberry developed a similar raincoat that became standard issue in the trenches during World War I. It featured all sorts of useful epaulets and other straps that help explain its almost instant popularity. And it has remained a perennial favorite ever since, including in March 2011, when Kate Middleton (now Katherine, Dutchess of Cambridge) wore a close-fitting Burberry trench in Belfast while traveling with Prince William. The news blitz that followed ensured that the Burberry style sold out around the world, so you may still have to scout around to locate this classic, military-style trench.
Another classic from the brand’s Brit line, this time found on the Burberry site, is the Short Cotton Trench Coat ($750), available in densely woven cotton twill in three fab colors: bright caper green, inky blue, and plum. It features a mid-thigh length, a slim fit, and the regulation epaulets and belted waist. Lastly, it claims the Burberry lineage with the subtle use of the signature plaid, peeping out from beneath the trench’s collar, and the logo engraved on its buttons.
If you’re still shopping at the Burberry site, check out the new Drop-Waist Duffle Trench ($2,595), available as part of the pricier Prorsum collection. This structured, trench-style jacket is adorned with four black leather straps on its front and has tapered sleeves and a dropped waist. It’s available in dark olive green wool, and also features the Burberry Prorsum logo on the black buttons that adorn the coat’s wrists and collar.
One final style you’ll want to shop for: The Burberry London Patent-Sleeve Trenchcoat ($1,695), which designer extraordinare Christopher Bailey has re-interpreted for the Fall 2011 collection. The coat has details usually associated with classic biker jackets, this time manufactured in glossy black patent leather that gives the trench a cool, futuristic look. Consider cinching the waist with a black patent-leather corset belt (available separately, $495), adding some nice curves to the jacket’s sleek profile.