J. Crew Icon Trench in Burnt Caramel

I came home feeling sick today, but I thought I'd snap these pics before I got undressed and went in for a nap. Please excuse the sicky-face... Hank graciously lent himself as a second model to save the photo shoot. I had a heckofa time getting this package, but I'll fill that in to my USPS thread later.

Quickie review is that it's almost exactly like the Madewell trench, but subtly upgraded in almost every way. Real lining, better tailoring in the back (not as flat as the Talbots, but much better than the Madewell), a couple inches longer, better drape of the fabric (IMO, possibly because of the lining). It photographs to about the same color as the Madewell, but IRL it is a little more brown and less yellow-based than that one. It feels a little narrower in the shoulders but doesn't pull over the bust, even with my thick, cable knit sweater underneath.

I feel like it's a good length for warmer weather, and I think I like how it goes with the dress here. What say you?

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.


  • biscuitsmom replied 6 years ago

    One word- GORGEOUS!

  • Mo replied 6 years ago

    WINNER!!! (glad it finally arrived!)

  • Kirti replied 6 years ago

    This is my fave out of all the trenches that you have posted so far! I love it! Which ones are you keeping? :)

  • kellygirl replied 6 years ago

    The fit looks perfect to my eye! I love it!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    Sorry you're feeling sickly Rae!
    The fit on this trench is spot on - especially from the back. And I like how the belt is long enough that you can actually tie it (that was an issue with the Madewell if I recall correctly). Love the rich colour. I think this is a keeper!

    Hank is quite the photo hog isn't he???

  • CocoLion replied 6 years ago

    I love this trench and the color is great!

    ETA -- what size did you get? And where? I don't see them any more on the J Crew site.

  • Mochi replied 6 years ago

    Looks like it was made for you, rae. Spiffily spectacular! Some of the details of a higher-quality garment may not be readily obvious to other people, but for the wearer--for me, at least--they make all the difference. Glad you held out for better quality.

  • cciele replied 6 years ago

    You can tell the fit and quality differences when posted side by side. The JCrew looks fantastic Rae!

  • Meredith1953 replied 6 years ago

    It looks gorgeous! Very sleek and refined!

  • rae replied 6 years ago

    Yay, feeling better after some extra sleep, and happy to see the positive reactions.

    Kirti, photo 6 would be the keepers, assuming no one notices something terrible about this one that we have missed.

    Shannon, yes, this belt is much longer than the other one, and the fabric "takes" the knot better, if that makes sense. Hank is the self-professed star of the family for sure!

    Denise, tag says "J. Crew Collection" (not sure what "collection" means). I got a size 2 off of Ebay. I would never have known they made this color but for my saved search. It seems like the Icon is a style they bring back a lot in both cotton and wool.

    Nancy and Cathy, it's amazing how small these differences really are - found a blog that says the J. Crew was orignally $298 vs. the Madewell's original $199, and it's hard to believe that there's $100 worth of extra effort in there. Still, these changes seem to make a world of difference.

  • CocoLion replied 6 years ago

    Thanks for the info Rae!

  • christieanne replied 6 years ago

    I like the length so much better on the jcrew - keep!

  • Laura replied 6 years ago

    Keep! I haven't seen all the others but this one is definitely a winner. Hope you are feeling better soon.

  • Kyle replied 6 years ago

    Rae, you always look great and this is no exception. You will fit right in with the chic Italian women. By the way, it was hot today in Rome when walking in the sun. Short sleeves and we got sunburned! But it cools off quickly when the sun is not shining!

  • MNsara replied 6 years ago

    Yes, those little changes all add up to make this the most chic AND best fit of them all! How fun that you were able to nab it from ebay :-)

  • rae replied 6 years ago

    Kyle that is *good* to know, though I am sorry to hear about the sunburn! I am off to pack up another short sleeved dress - I can pull some leggins on once it cools off or we go into a church. I sure hope that the pretty weather holds up!

  • Parsley replied 6 years ago

    Rae, It looks super on you! It's sleeker in the back than the Madewell, with the nice vertical line of the vent- very flattering. It's a winner!

    Hope you feel better soon!

  • Inge replied 6 years ago

    This is a keeper for sure, Rae. What a fab coat!
    Hope you feel better soon.

  • Jjsloane replied 6 years ago

    It just looks better. Better button placement, less volume up top. Still great color. I like the sleek belt on the Madewell from the back, but not enough to trade.

  • Sarah A replied 6 years ago

    Rae, this is a great trench! It really fits you well and I love the color and the little details of craftsmanship you have mentioned! I think it will be great in Italy... And back home! It has been very educational for me to follow your process, thanks!

  • Jonesy replied 6 years ago

    I love this trench on you! How many are you keeping? The spy one and this one?

  • Aida replied 6 years ago

    Ooh what a great color! I like your keepers in #6, this one definitely looks better shaped for you than the other caramely trench. I vote keep!

  • rae replied 6 years ago

    Woohoo, I'm hearing what I want to hear so far...

    Jonesy, I'm keeping the paprika spy trench as "gear" and this one for "dress." The spy trench will probably do double duty when the shorter length and less tailored look feels right. This one will look better open and over lighter layers and brights for Spring workdays.

    Not taking the J. Crew to Italy, though, because it is not water-resistant, and I don't have time to let it air out if I sprayed with waterproofer.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that all the buckles (belt and wrist straps) are leather-covered. The inner UWP is pleased.

  • Angie replied 6 years ago


    The best trench so far :)

    Hi, Hank!

  • crazyone replied 6 years ago

    this is definitely the best trench of all the ones you've tried. the fit is phenomenal.

  • rae replied 6 years ago

    YES! K-word and no spanner! The long trench journey comes to a belted-and-double-breasted close.

    Hank says he knew it first. ;)

  • goldenpig replied 6 years ago

    Gorgeous coat! So much better than the Madewell. Love the paprika trench too!

  • Zapotee replied 6 years ago

    Holy smokes I missed all of the action. Yes, this is the best thus far. KEEPER!

  • raclar replied 6 years ago

    love love love! please keep-it looks so good on you-fit and color! is hank the kitty? he is gorgeous!

  • velvetychocolate replied 6 years ago

    You went to a lot of work to find just the right trench, and I'd say it was totally worth the hassle - this latest trench is 'the one.' It fits you beautifull, and yeah - I can tell it's better quality than the others you've tried.

    I still have a bit of a soft spot for the Gallery trench in citron, just because that colour was so amazing on you, but the fit wasn't 100% right...too bad. Agghh...that one was pretty nice too.

    This J. Crew trench though...is *to die for*on you. Not only is it a great colour...the fit is just perfect.

    I'm going to remember this for a long, long time - how you didn't have a ton of time to find just the right trench, but you didn't settle - you tried a whole bunch of stuff, and came out with something truly fab. YAY!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago


    Happy sigh. I love a good ending!!

    This one really looks superb on you, Rae. And I'm so glad you have TWO great trenches. You look wonderful in both.

    I am very keen on getting the spy one in the blue if it ever comes back. I will be keeping my eye on it.

    Hank is so beautiful. I hope he has a good kitty-sitter while you and hubby are gone. He will miss you!!

  • ManidipaM replied 6 years ago

    Rae, that is a beaut, and no mistake! So worth all the hassles and heartburn!

    I know the differences sound like little things --- but they add up to a BIG improvement in real life. Just look at how this one seems sleek and tailored in the last photo, vs the other one standing away from your body frockishly, or how the larger stiffer belt overwhelms your waist rather than the way this one emphasizes it!

    And delighted to hear about leather-covered hardware --- not as weather-proof, but for a dress coat, such pleasure!

    Now rest up and get back to 100% for your trip. You'll need your energy to face all the excitement! :-D

  • rae replied 6 years ago

    Zap, I could not have done this without your trench wisdom. That gem about the lining affecting the drape of the coat encouraged me to keep looking even though the Madewell was almost there.

    Suz, I see the blue available in small! And XL, if anyone else happens to be looking.

    Manidipa, can I tell you how relieved I was that you and others could see what I saw? Every now and then I doubt my eyes and wonder if I'm being swayed by the label, the price, the color... thank goodness we can "poll the audience" here.

  • DonnaF replied 6 years ago

    This was a real education for me in both fit and patience! Congratulations, Rae!

  • rae replied 6 years ago

    Oh, VC, I meant to say thank you to you as well for your kind comment! I sort of did this with this year's boot purchase as well - returned so many! But in the end I'm glad because I love my Fryes to bits. It has been a real learning experience for me, too. I got so used to a grab-whatever-fits mentality for so long. The citron was painful to send back... but there is more citron than usual this year. Maybe another style will find me at the end of season... or maybe in a few more years!

  • Freckles replied 6 years ago

    This one is stunning on you Rae.

    Oftentimes when in gear we do not want to bother with a purse.

    Get some rest and stay healthy for your trip...

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