+ Look for Less

Morning Line: February 19

A trench coat completes an interview outfit.  It’s a better choice than a nylon anorak or fleece jacket.

If you buy a less expensive trench, you can make it look nicer by changing the buttons and buckles.  Cheap fasteners are a dead giveaway.  You can find new ones at most sewing supply stores or on sites like Etsy and eBay.

Elected Official


J.Crew Collection Trench ($298)

The leather fasteners went to pot after the second cleaning, so I swapped them out for tortoise.  Much nicer.

Middle Cubicle


London Fog Double-Belted Trench ($149)

Intern Desk


H&M Trenchcoat ($69)

Plus-size: London Fog Trench with Detachable Liner ($218) Petite: J.Crew Factory Trench ($158, also in misses) Tall: LOFT Tall Twill Trench ($168)



  1. Melanie says:

    Hi Belle,
    Do you have the link for the tortoise buckles — my j.crew trench needs a swap! Were you able to change them yourself?


    February 19, 2015/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I picked them up at a fabric supply store in Montana. Sorry, no link.

      February 19, 2015/Reply
  2. Christine says:

    Can you give an example of the type of buttons you switch out to? I am not sure my buttons on my London Fog Heritage trench make the grade – it’s from a few years ago, and they are tortoise with metal banding.

    February 19, 2015/Reply
  3. Mo says:

    Anyone found a softer-fabric, drapey trench they are happy with? I love the one on Diane Lane in Unfaithful but have never found a good quality one at a decent price.

    February 19, 2015/Reply
  4. erika says:

    I usually wear pencil skirts instead of pants, but have a hard time finding coats that are long enough that the skirt doesn’t hang out the bottom by a few inches. Can you recommend a knee length trench coat?

    February 19, 2015/Reply
  5. giggling gourmand says:

    Somewhat related, any recommendations for a colorful (not casual) trench or topper that can be worn to spring or summer weddings (cotton or silk)? I love this but they don’t have my size: https://us.asos.com/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=4801645&CTAref=Saved+Items+Page. And this is way out of my price range: https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/etro-plaid-print-cotton-topper/3885546. Any not tan or black solids would work too.

    February 20, 2015/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Let me look around. I’ll see what I can find for next week.

      February 20, 2015/Reply
  6. Abby says:

    Just bought a black London Fog trench from Nordstroms and one week in, I’ve lost two buttons! Surprised for the quality, especially as I was just walking around in it.

    February 21, 2015/Reply