Burberry Trench Coat Try-On: Kensington, Chelsea & Waterloo

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The term ‘investment piece’ gets thrown around so often it can often be interpreted as anything we’re willing to spend a bit extra on. I’ve used the ‘investment’ excuse to justify a lot of spendy purchases which haven’t worked out to be the smartest additions, but a true investment piece is a core wardrobe staple that you rely on over and over again. And it goes without saying that it can mean different things to different people depending on personal style and preferences. 

But then there’s the clothing items that have reached iconic status thanks to the reputation they’ve earned for being timeless – like a Chanel bag or a pair of Gucci loafers (I have both and can vouch for the latter being a great investment… not so much the former but I’ll talk about that another time 🙃). There’s no denying these items are instantly recognisable and go way beyond trends. In today’s post, I’m sharing my try-on thoughts on a forever wardrobe item that has been on my wish list for over 10 years – the Burberry trench coat. 

The trench coat serves as the foundation of the Burberry brand who have been crafting trench coats since the early 1900s. It’s hard to believe that something designed back in 1912 still remains so popular today. Made from gabardine, the trench coats are lightweight, water-resistant and the perfect outerwear piece for any season. 

L-R (from fitted to relaxed): Chelsea, Kensington & Waterloo

I paid a visit to the Burberry concession in David Jones during a lunch break a few weeks ago to try 3 of their popular styles from their heritage range –  the Kensington, the Waterloo and the Chelsea. There are so many different jackets offered by the brand but considering I don’t own one just yet, I wanted to stick to the classics. In this post, I talk you through the fit of each trench coat I tried and which style I’m most tempted by! It felt strangely empowering trying on $12,000+ worth of trench coat. So let’s get started on those try-on thoughts shall we: 

Kensington Trench Coat in Honey

Burberry Kensington Trench Coat (sz UK 8 – also here, also here, also available in a longer version), Arket tee (sz S), Nobody Denim jeans (sz 26), Everlane sandals* (similar here)

The Kensington is considered the modern take on the classic Burberry trench coat. It features a tailored fit, with a shorter length, making it a more versatile option for everyday wear. There’s also a throat latch which can be fastened to protect against the wind. I tried this style on in the classic Honey colour in a size UK / AU 8. The Kensington fit felt very familiar to me and is similar to many of the high street trench coats I own from Uniqlo, Marks & Spencer and Mango. I mean, obviously, the real deal feels so much more luxe and premium, particularly with the lining and the leather buckles on the cuffs and belt. You’ll see in the imagery above that the arms are a tad long. The Burberry sales associate said that they throw in free alterations if I do choose to buy directly from Burberry which is a nice incentive. 

Chelsea Trench Coat in Midnight Blue

Burberry Chelsea Trench Coat (sz UK 8 – also available in the classic honey version, longer version (in honey), longer version (in midnight blue), Arket tee (sz S), Nobody Denim jeans (sz 26), Everlane sandals* (similar here)

The Chelsea coat is a slim-fit option that is tailored to fit closely on the shoulders and torso. It feels more structured and heavy in comparison to the Kensington and is slightly longer than the original Kensington style. The weightier fabric of the coat makes this a great option if you live in a cooler climate. The closely fitted sleek style also looks dressier thanks to how it sits on the body. The sales associate marketed this one as the ultimate work coat thanks to how fitted it was. Immediately I was put off. Size wise, I’m wearing a size UK / AU 8 and while it was fitted, there is ample room to layer a knit. I tried on the midnight blue colour to give their other heritage colour a try, but I much prefer the classic honey colour in Burberry trench coats. 

Waterloo Trench Coat in Honey

Burberry Waterloo Trench Coat (sz UK 6, also here), Arket tee (sz S), Nobody Denim jeans (sz 26), Everlane sandals* (similar here)

The Waterloo style is a more traditional option and stays true to the classic design of the original Burberry trench coat. It features a longer length and relaxed fit. I sized down to a size UK / AU 6 in this style and I really like the fit of this one. The arms are still long and would need to be altered, but I like how it sits on my shoulders. The sales associate was a tad concerned that the style would be too long on my petite frame, but I like how relaxed it looks. This trench is made of the same lightweight material as the Kensington style trench that also features in this try-on. 

Final thoughts

Now that I’ve properly tried on 3 of the styles, I understand why there’s so much hype about these trench coats over others. The first time I tried on this coat was when I was 7 months pregnant with my now 6 year old – far from optimum try-on conditions! So it was nice to revisit these trench coats and try them on properly without my watermelon belly. They look and feel luxurious and the fabric is unmistakingly better than the high street version that I have in my wardrobe. 

Out of the styles that I tried, there was one that I was able to instantly strike off my list – the Chelsea. It felt too fitted and ‘stuffy’ for my personal style. As soon as the sales associate said this was a great work coat, I knew it wasn’t for me. Which leaves the Waterloo and the Kensington styles and if I’m honest, I’m constantly changing my mind as to which style is my favourite between the two. On one hand, the newness of the Waterloo style is exciting considering I don’t own anything like it in my wardrobe, but the classic and familiar mid-length tailored cut of the Kensington is hard to beat. Apparently they’re both equally popular which just adds to the confusion! I’ve crowd sourced some opinions (ie my boys) and they like the Waterloo. Perhaps we’re onto a winner.

The only thing holding me back from buying one of these bad boys (and probably everyone else who has this on their wish list!) is the insanely hefty price tag. They now retail for $4,150AUD ($2,490USD) a pop and there’s no doubt they’ll just continue to increase. Right now, I would prioritise spending that much money on a handbag as opposed to an item of clothing (*cough* Loewe bag please *cough*), but perhaps one day I’ll add one to my collection. I think it’s more then likely I’ll be hunting for one pre-loved. Thankfully I know how the styles fit!

I hope you found my Burberry trench coat try-on to be helpful.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by!

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11 Comments

  1. Amy Hall
    March 6, 2023 / 7:32 am

    How do the Waterloo and Kensington compare to each other as far as the fit in the shoulders and armpits? I hate a tight fit in that area so I’m just curious! I know most brands have been loosening the fit in that armpit area and dropping shoulders in recent years so I wonder if a pre-loved Burberry trench would be tighter in the shoulders than a new one?

    • March 27, 2023 / 9:27 am

      The Waterloo has a drop shoulder so it has more of a relaxed fit in comparison to the Kensington. The Kensington has more of a relaxed tailored vibe – it’s not as formal as the Chelsea style and it still enjoys a looser fit around the shoulders. I think that’s why I was drawn to those styles because like you, I don’t like a tight fit around the shoulders!

  2. Zoe Cossart
    March 6, 2023 / 5:17 pm

    I just got one (Kensington) 😊. Can’t wait for it to be colder to wear it more. Definitely was a love affair for a few years before I got it!

  3. Nikki
    April 7, 2023 / 3:33 am

    Thanks for the detailed post. Did you try to raise your arms up or above your head in any of these jackets? I have the Burberry Islington trench (new style) and it fits nicely except when I raise my arms it bites, and has very limited vertical arm movement. Thinking about buying a Kensington next.

    • April 28, 2023 / 10:41 am

      I actually did do this! No issues with lack of movement at all 🙂

  4. Sally
    April 23, 2023 / 1:20 am

    I think that the Kensington looks better on your frame

  5. Franzi
    May 12, 2023 / 5:01 am

    Thanks for sharing this, Vee! I’d love to buy a Burberry trenchcoat for a while and was really excited when I saw your post. I went to a Burberry store some months ago and tried both the Kensington and Chelsea. I had to heavily size up in the Chelsea ( I am from Germany, usually wearing a size 38 but in the Chelsea the 44 was just perfect – one of the reasons might be I am really tall). I also liked the Kensington a lot but I didn’t like that when I tied the belt the fabric was buckling because the Kensington is not fitted (is that how you say it? Sorry, I feel more comfortable in Business English). Did you tried them on with the belt closed? Thanks again and best regards from Germany

    • January 14, 2024 / 10:51 pm

      This is so helpful to know! Thanks for letting me know about the sizing. I did try them on with the belt closed – I didn’t have it cinched in too tight, but I understand what you mean about the fabric around the Kensington as it’s not as fitted!

  6. Charlotte
    April 24, 2024 / 5:03 am

    I really like the Waterloo on you – I’m your height/size and that’s the one I am going for.

    • April 30, 2024 / 11:01 am

      The Waterloo is great! So excited for you!

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