Banana Republic Classic Trench Coat

I’ve been working on a small DIY project the last couple of days. The genesis of the project was that I simply got tired of not finding my ideal Fall/Winter coat. I can buy all the super cute coats in the world (like the 3 I’m obsessing over at J.Crew), but I’m still missing my basic, classic, go-to coat. I’ve always pictured it to be a trench coat since they are so flattering, but I’ve been bored to tears by all trenches I’ve seen. The problem is they all look alike! I slowly realized what I was looking for was a classic trench with better and more interesting detailing, aka gold hardware. Something like this:

Banana Republic Classic Trench Coat

I hope I’m not alone with my obsession with gold buttons on clothing, but it just adds that “military/trendy” edge to a classic, flattering coat. Then I found a very classic, high quality trench coat with a great fit (and rave reviews) at Banana Republic for a very reasonable price – the Classic Trench.

Banana Republic Classic Trench

And I thought – HMMMMMMM….cue wheels turning in my head. If I just swapped out all the drab buttons on this coat with cute gold buttons of my choice – which wouldn’t be too difficult of a tailoring job – I can make my own ideal coat instead of waiting around for some designer to pump out some overpriced version of it. Here are my modeling pictures of the coat in its original form; pictures are a bit blurry, but you get the gist.

Banana Republic Classic Trench Coat

It looks like a typical trench coat to me. I wouldn’t go gaga over it. Then I set out to find the perfect gold buttons that I can order online. Since this coat is a rather light coat and not a heavy wool coat, I didn’t want to go with thick, engraved military-style buttons; rather, I picked some simple, thin shiny gold buttons. Cost me $40 to replace the entire set.

Banana Republic Classic Trench Coat

It wasn’t all that hard to replace all the buttons. I bought a simple sewing kit for a couple of bucks at Duane Reade and worked away at it, button by button, for a few nights. The result is definitely a much cuter trench coat. To me, at least!

Banana Republic Classic Trench CoatBanana Republic Classic Trench Coat

The coat comes with a belt, but the belt blocks the middle row of buttons and I’ll be damned if I let that belt block buttons I worked nights to sew on! It’s also a VERY long belt, so it kind of just hangs to the side like a tail, which I’m not a fan of. Anyway, I think this was a success, and if I ever get bored of this coat, an easy way to update it to look like a new coat is to change up the buttons! Have you guys ever done this with any clothing? I’m just hoping I did a good enough sewing job so buttons aren’t poppin’ off when I start wearing this out in public. Here’s an official last shot of what I’ll probably be seen wearing 95% of the time this season – this coat and my favorite plaid scarf (similar here)!

I purchased this trench in a Medium and though it’s slightly loose through the mid-section, once I start layering with cardigans and whatnot, it’ll fit perfectly. Plus this material is one of those shiny, stiff materials, so the fabric can look easily pulled, so I would err on the end of going bigger rather than smaller.

Get this trench coat (sans the buttons) here from Banana Republic for $198.

13 thoughts on “Banana Republic Classic Trench Coat

  1. What a difference the buttons make, and w/the addition of the scarf you look so stylish! The coat looks to be a perfect fit! It’s funny how the photo on BR’s site is shot in such a way the buttons look lighter then black; maybe they knew it needed brighter buttons too.

    BR has a lot of great looking coats this year. I want to try the Wool Short Jacket (w/silver buttons!) & the Heritage Leather Trench just for fun (I don’t have high hopes of it looking great on me).

    JCrew’s Stadium Cloth Peacoat fits and looks great but I am not settled on it yet. Have you tried JCrews Stadium Cloth Peacoat w/Gold Buttons? I love it in Navy and hope there will be one in my size if it goes on sale.

    Love your blog!

  2. You did a lovely job. <3 it ! I've been eyeing that BR trench too but in the khaki color. Never would have thought changing up the buttons would make it look so nice & stylish.

  3. I was just looking at buttons, no more than 15 minutes ago. I’m constantly thinking I’ll change the buttons on something, I just haven’t decided what to start with, a blazer or coat.
    You did an excellent job with the new buttons, it totally adds a more interesting look.

    Where did you buy your buttons from online?

  4. JustVisiting – Thanks! I feel the exact same way you do about the new BR coats. Really want to try on the leather trench just for fun too! Also obsessing over the J.Crew peacoat with gold buttons, in navy of course. Haven’t had a chance to try it on. Was it boxy at all or very fitted?

  5. Jenni & Rose – Thanks! I’m so glad I decided to be brave and try it. Definitely think it looks a lot cuter with the gold buttons!

  6. Myleesa – Thanks! I love the khaki color as well – it’s a true trench classic color. The thought of changing up the buttons only recently came to me too; the best part is with your own buttons, you will have a custom, one-of-a-kind coat!

  7. FSHONMYMIND – Ha, you will have to post all about your button-changing adventures. I would love to see what you come up with. I’m so hooked on this now – I’m eyeing all my boring black blazers and coats and going “hmmm…” I bought my buttons online at Mood. They have a TON of options!

  8. Hi! Just wondering – what’s that coat in the first picture? It’s SO darling! The link takes me to the J. Crew trench you bought, I believe — not the coat pictured.

    P.S. How do you get your buttons to stay on so well?? I tried replacing some buttons on an old wool jacket and they kept falling off…

  9. Hi Ran,

    I just stumbled upon your blog and I love it! Oddly enough, how I found your blog is part of the reason why I am commenting…

    I recently bought the very same Banana Republic black trench coat last week, but I have already lost the belt! Unfortunately, BR said that they could not sell me a replacement so I started browsing the web for alternatives. The first google result that popped up was your BR trench coat post. You wrote that you didn’t like how the belt covered up the lovely buttons you sewed on… Would it be possible for me to buy the belt from you?

    I hope this is not too strange of a request. It’s just that this was my first trench coat and I was so happy to buy it on sale. If you would be willing to sell the belt then please contact me. Otherwise good work on the blog. I look forward to reading your future posts. 🙂

  10. Nancy & J – I’m sorry I’m just now getting back to you guys. I’m not a HUGE fan of the belt but I do like having the option of belting if necessary, especially since there are belt loops built into the coat…Sorry, maybe you guys can try another belt? I don’t think it necessarily has to be the exact same material and color. Dark red belts would be great against the black, or my fav – cognac?

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