Which Burberry trench coat to buy—and why they're completely worth the investment

Finding the right Burberry trench coat is no easy feat, but our round-up of the best Burberry trenches for women will help you choose the right one

Burberry trench coat photographed on three celebrities: Alexa Chung, Suki Waterhouse and Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images / Future)

A Burberry trench coat is probably the most iconic piece of outerwear there is. Synonymous with classic, effortless elegance, simply slipping it over any outfit is enough to catapult you into the realms of the seriously stylish.

Designed in the early 20th century and patented by Thomas Burberry in 1912, the trench coat was originally created as part of Britain's official military uniform. Made from durable, weatherproof gaberdine, it was first worn by soldiers in the Normandy trenches—hence its name. Since then, the iconic trench coat silhouette has become a wardrobe essential for men and women and despite how many brands make an iteration of this classic style. A Burberry coat is still considered one of the best winter coats every year. 

Why a Burberry trench coat is worth the investment

A Burberry trench, like the best designer bags, is made by highly skilled workers. Crafted in England by expert tailors, the Burberry trench coat remains at the pinnacle of exquisite quality and style. It takes one year for each specialist to learn the stitching of the trench coat’s collar, which is handmade using more than 180 stitches. And such credentials don’t come cheap. Retailing for around $2,000 (£1,500), buying one is certainly an investment. However, like purchasing any of the best Chanel bags, it’s one that is guaranteed to last you a lifetime. Plus, it pairs effortlessly with everything—from the best dresses to your fave jeans and even on-trend Chelsea boots, there is no look that a Burberry trench can’t enhance. 

Today, multiple iterations have been borne of the original, incorporating unique details and features for all tastes, which means that there is a style for every shape. 

Now of course a Burberry trench coat is a huge investment, but this is a piece that will be one of your wardrobe essentials for years to come. Here’s our guide to help you to decide which Burberry coat will work for your shape. 

How to pick the best Burberry coat for your shape

The Best Burberry Trench Coats for Tall Women

When making a purchase, the first thing to consider is length. The right hemline can make or break a trench, so it pays to get it right. Those with a tall build should opt for a longer-line coat to play to their elongated silhouette. Due to a lengthier frame, longer-line coats won’t swamp them but will help the eye to be drawn up and down the body. This also can make you look leaner as it streamlines your appearance and avoids cutting your outfit in several different places.  

A Note on Print and Pattern

When it comes to choosing whether you go for a plain or printed coat, tall builds often can often carry off louder prints and patterns. The classic Burberry plaid—also known as the Haymarket Check, was introduced in the 1920s and is as synonymous with the house of Burberry as their trench coat. Largely used as a lining print, in recent times, Burberry has played with print, migrating it to the outside of the coat for a more fashion-forward look. The medium-sized square and fine-lined print is surprisingly versatile and largely flattering on most. However louder iterations of the print and bolder patterned styles that have emerged in recent seasons sit best with taller frames that can carry off what can otherwise be an overwhelming pattern.

The Best Burberry Trench Coats for Petite Women

When looking at the best winter coat trends 2022, there is little distinction made for various heights, so if you’ve been left wondering if a Burberry trench coat can work for petites, then you’ll be thrilled to know the answer is, yes, but there are some things to consider. 

If you’re petite, it’s best to go with a shorter-length coat which will work best with your proportions and won’t drown you. As a designer brand, producing an exclusive and detailed product, Burberry has really considered how their products will work for different heights and have trench coats that come in both short and regular lengths. Their short coats are 90cms, which hits around mid-thigh, a great length for petites as it will balance your proportions. For those looking for something that skims the knee, they also do a 100cm version too. 

A Note on Print and Pattern...

While the classic Burberry Haymarket Check in a small fine print is largely flattering for all, if you’re nervous about being overwhelmed, opt for a block color or invest in a plain style, and turn up the cuffs a fold or two to reveal just a hint of check, a chic and subtle way to show off your Burberry buy.

The Best Burberry Trench Coats for Curvy Women

Perhaps the reason for the popularity of the Burberry trench coat is its ability to flatter all silhouettes. A trench coat will work easily on apple shapes, curvy figures and those with bigger busts and there are even a few ways to style them too, depending on the look you want. 

Want to show off your curves? Use your trench coats self-fabric belt to cinch yourself in at the waist, this will instantly highlight curves and help to create a more hourglass silhouette—you can even swap the fabric belt out for a statement leather belt to really customize your look. If you’re not a fan of belts, then look for slightly more tailored styles, that nip in at the waist, doing the job of the belt for you. 

Want to appear taller and more streamlined? Opt for a style that hangs from the shoulders and skims the body. Wear your coat open, over a sweater or any of your best shirts to create a centralized panel. This will draw the eye up and down your body, adding extra height to your frame, no heels required. 

The trench coat is quite an androgynous style and often is cut with double-breasted buttons. This can be quite bulky and boxy on curvy frames, so look for single-breasted styles of this classic look. 

The Best Burberry Trench Coats for Rectangular Shapes

A rectangle shape is largely considered model-esque, meaning most styles will suit your frame. While rectangles aren’t always tall, they are slender meaning they can carry off both fitted styles and oversized silhouettes. 

For tall women who want to add volume to their shape, opting for an oversized trench coat that hangs from the shoulders can be an incredibly chic look and one that is particularly popular with the fashion crowd. Oversized silhouettes also have a nonchalant, androgynous appeal which never fails to look stylish. Look out for added detail such as drop shoulders or large epaulettes to add interest to this aesthetic. The classic double-breasted style of a Burberry trench coat is a brilliant way of adding shape and structure. The double horn button detailing running down the front is very flattering and adds shapes. 

How to choose the right color Burberry Trench coat

Warm skin tones

If your skin is warmer in tone, warm colors such as honey, olive and tan will suit you best. These are great all year through colors, as they team well with lighter neutrals for spring and navy and brown for fall. If you're still wondering, we have a full guide to 'what color suits me' to help you navigate this. 

Cool skin tones

Cool skin tones suit cooler colors so reaching for styles in versatile grey or navy is a good idea. As the Burberry trench coat has grown in popularity, so too has the availability of styles and colors it comes in. When it comes to neutrals, cooler beige tones rather than warm honey will suit you best.

What makes a Burberry Trench coat so iconic?

Audrey Hepburn wearing a trench coat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Burberry’s popularity dates back dates decades. The appeal of the Burberry trench was bolstered by society's elite and exclusive entertainment scene. During the 1940s, the Burberry trench hit the silver screen catapulting it into mass consciousness. Famously worn by Humphrey Bogart while uttering the unforgettable line “here’s looking at you, kid” Bogart was filmed wearing a camel edition of the now iconic style. And while this moment set the Burberry trench coat on an upward trajectory, it was an appearance on Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s that cemented the coat as a style classic.

 In the years since, the trench has been worn by the best-dressed around, from Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot to Alexa Chung and Gwyneth Paltrow. It even has the royal stamp of approval having been worn by Princess Diana and the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex.

Frankie Graddon is a fashion and beauty journalist and co-founder of @thewingwoman, a weekly podcast and newsletter about thirty-something life, honestly. 

Frankie has over a decade of experience working as a writer, editor, podcaster and consultant. She got her start at 10 Magazine before moving to The Telegraph in 2010 as a junior fashion editor. A few years later she became head of fashion & beauty at The Pool, the Webby award-winning platform for millennial-minded women. That website sadly closed in 2019, and since then she has been a regular contributor to a number of high-profile publishers including The Telegraph, The Times, Grazia, You Magazine, Glamour and woman&home.

Frankie has interviewed numerous industry experts and celebrities, from Claudia Schiffer and Karlie Kloss to Sam McKnight and Trinny Woodall. She has also created content for numerous fashion and beauty brands including Liberty of London, Whistles, Kitri, Hush, Boden, Madewell, John Lewis, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Pandora, Marks & Spencer, Mint Velvet, Clinique, Caudalie and Neom.