Monday, November 16, 2015

Review: Everlane Trench Coat

Coat: Everlane Trench, XS
Top: Equipment Lynn blouse, peacoat multi print, S
Pants: Loft Marisa Fit slim ankle pant, 4P
Shoes: Louise et Cie flats (old, similar in black)

Forgive the mirror selfies in low lighting and the wrinkled fabric, but I haven't seen any online reviews of Everlane's new take on the classic trench coat, and I thought that it might be a helpful review. The weather in NYC has been strangely warm this fall, and I desperately wanted a mid-length or longer coat that would be suitable for the only slightly cool temperatures. I have a short tweed-like moto-inspired jacket from Ann Taylor (similar to this one) that is just right for this weather, but the short length can look awkward when I wear it over my many long cardigans and sweaters.

I'm not the most knowledgeable consumer when it comes to trench coats. The only other ones I've tried are the Uniqlo Ines de la Fressange one from last year (now deeply discounted at $39.90, but it runs quite big and is only available from sizes S to L) which I thought was too heavy and unflattering on me and a single-breasted Calvin Klein design that I nixed because the shiny plastic buttons looked cheap and I objected to the 100% polyester fabric. 

There are a few not-so-good things that you should know about Everlane's classic trench if you're considering a purchase:
  • First, it runs very big compared to Everlane's other items. The measurements on their site are accurate (as they usually are), but before I received the item, I thought there was no way that an XS at Everlane could ever measure 20'' across the chest. Lo and behold, it does. I'm roughly 36.5'' around the chest, more than most women around my general height and build, but this coat is a bit big for me despite being Everlane's smallest size. 
  • Second, it is (unsurprisingly) designed for a taller woman, though I find it workable at my 5'3'' height. It hits right at my knee when its buttoned-up and belted, covering just the upper half of my kneecap. The sleeves are not particularly long, but other details are problematic. The belt loops and pockets are both intended for someone differently proportioned. 
  • Third, it is only partially lined, in the sleeves only. I'm not sure how typical this is at the price point ($175) because, as far as I can tell, very few competitors offer a classic trench in 100% cotton for similar or lower prices. The lack of a full lining bothers me quite a bit.

I ended up keeping this coat despite the issues I mentioned above, which might not be the wisest shopping decision I've ever made. I do plan to get a few alterations done, starting with maybe slimming the sides and having the belt loops moved up. I'd also like to get a lining added, but I suspect all of these alterations will easily add up to more than the price of the coat, given the high prices at NYC tailors. The 100% cotton fabric tends to wrinkle, and the belt in the same cotton material has a little trouble staying fully tied if I run to cross the street before the light changes. More photos and thoughts can be found behind the cut.

It took me almost a week from the date I received it to decide (with some reluctance and qualms) to keep this. Part of my motivation was that I was desperate to have a spring and fall coat in this length, and I was certain that I was not willing to go any higher, price point-wise, while still wanting a cotton trench. I did a bit of online window shopping, and I wasn't seeing anything else I thought could meet those price and material criteria. I might like to own a Burberry London trench someday, but I'm nowhere near ready for that kind of outlay on one single item. 

Because the coat needs at least a bit of alteration work to be a particularly good fit for me, it isn't  too flattering at present, though much better than those other two designs I mentioned. Some of it is just the inherent boxiness and straight up and down cut of many "classic" trench designs. I find the side view of this coat particularly awkward when it is buttoned and belted, though it isn't so bad if I don't tie the belt off. I think having a relatively busty figure can sometimes add extra emphasis to the bulkiness of a clothing item that wouldn't be so apparent on a straighter-figured woman wearing the same size.

Do you own a trench coat? Where did you buy it? Any suggestions and tips about alterations and care would also be very welcome!

EDIT: It seems I spoke too soon about there being no other online reviews of the coat. Jamie-Lee at Mademoiselle just posted a review today with a few side-view photos and links to her Youtube review if you want to see the coat in motion.

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