K/R: North Face Allena Trench Initial Review (pic heavy)

Zappos never lets me down - I received the North Face "Allena" trench today and popped it on immediately to see how things went.

Color: Somewhere between SSB and caramel. Not the worst beige on me, but not the best color ever. Would be better with a flattering colored top or scarf.

Form/Fit: I followed the North Face sizing chart, and I'd say it is perfectly true to size. It does not look gigantic on me, yet I can layer a thick polar fleece jacket underneath with no pulling or strain. I like that the waist sits lower than my J. Crew trench. Sleeves are nice and long, too. The back is also pretty nicely cut and does not form a huge, baggy bubble as many trenches I tried last year had done. It does however feel big when left open, probably due to the fabric. Drapes like gear, not like fashion.

Function: I believe it is truly breathable. It is 70F here today, and I did some pushups and crunches in it without feeling clammy. I also like the zip pocket placed between the inner zipper and the buttons (pic 4). This would have been *wonderful* for travel, providing for security but also allowing access to quick cash or a Metro pass without opening up the coat all the way. The hood is good and doesn't feel like it will slide off while walking. The real major downside is that the belt is way to short to tie in a slipknot the way I like. Seems like it stays okay with just a quick twist, but not sure if it would after continued movement.

Compared to color of the J. Crew Icon trench shown in pics 6-7.

Overall Impression for Me: I am very torn. It won't pass as a Burberry or anything, but it's so functional and fits well. Part of me wants to keep it, but not so much that I don't want to get the olive one I've bid on. This one would be perfect for Serious Rain, I think, but how often do I encounter that? And is a hood and extra breathability enough to make it my Only Trench, bumping out the J. Crew and my rust Scottevest trench? I just don't know.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Zapotee replied 7 years ago

    OMG you are the best!
    Ummm... I'm torn. I think I like the olive much more for you. Even the J crew looks better.

  • rae replied 7 years ago

    Yeah, I agree. How about versus the Scottevest? The NF is fully waterproof, breathable, longer, and has a hood and has 3 good pockets. But the Scottevest is a much better color and has way more pockets on the inside.

  • Vildy replied 7 years ago

    I'm not partial to the fit of the Scottevest in that picture. The J. Crew trench looks much younger. Since you're young.... I'd go with that and laugh at the rain.

  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago

    My gut reaction is no. When I try to say why it's mainly the colour & the "look" of the fabric (I know it may be different irl). Not much help sorry.

  • Zapotee replied 7 years ago

    Well, well, well. I do love the functionality of the Scottvest but dang it, the length and hood on the NF is really appealing.

  • rae replied 7 years ago

    I know, right? I think if the belt were longer and the color darker the NF would win. Maybe I should just return and sell them all. -_-

  • Zapotee replied 7 years ago

    I know! I think should keep the SV. I think I'm voting return on the NF.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago


    First of all, may I just say that I LOVE your reviews?!?

    So fab.

    I honestly don't know. I think it looks pretty darned good for a piece of gear!

    Question: Does it have to replace all the other trenches? Is the idea to whittle them down?

  • rae replied 7 years ago

    Suz, thank you! Yes, the idea is to whittle down. I'm already definitely getting rid of my loger black one, since it does not breathe, isn't fully waterproof, isn't a fun color, *and* has no special pocket functionality. I think I could maybe keep two: one for fashion and one for gear. However I also have my $1 brown suede trench that I'm inclined to keep as my fashion-y one.

    DH is voting for the NF.

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    I like the NF! Just not in love with the colour on you - that's why I said like and not love.

    I am the most difficult person in the world to please with shades of beige and lengths of cropped pants. So take my opinion for what it is worth to you :)

  • rae replied 7 years ago

    Hm, that is about how I feel, Angie. I think I will keep it around but continue looking. I have a big return window with Zappos.

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    Good idea :)

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