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Journal

The Journal is a collection of articles on the art of cleaning and designer brands. Here are some of our most impactful stories, expert tips and exciting updates. Look out for “Stains with Wayne” and our advice column.

Burberry vs. Max Mara: Which Overcoat Makes Sense For You?

 

Throughout this article we are going to explore different overcoats from two popular haute couture brands. The purpose of the actual article is to provide information on popular overcoats of two distinct companies — the “old” vs. “new”. Factors for the actual purchase of one or the other is entirely up to customer preference.

Living in and around New York City, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Max Mara and Burberry. Two staples of traditional style that have withstood the test of time. Since 1951 and 1856, Max Mara and Burberry, respectively, have produced classic designs that demand attention. Although a heavy price tag can accompany both pieces, winter is back and a warm overcoat is essential to get you through it.

 
 

 
 

We’ve seen Max Mara coats retail for up to $9,000, with the average piece valued between $1,000 and $2,000. On the other hand an average Burberry coat will run you between $600 and $1,200 with some jackets fetching upwards of $5,000. Price differences between the two beg the question which one, if either, is worth the price tag?

 
 

 
 

Which is better?

At Meurice, we place heavy emphasis on recognizing quality garments despite the associated cost. It’s one of the issues we face most often in the garment care industry--an extremely expensive garment that was simply not made to last. With a sizable investment required to purchase either one of these coats, we want to be sure that they can withstand changing fashion trends and have the quality to last for years.

For this comparison we will be looking at both brands highest performing jackets. From Max Mara, we have The 101801 Icon Coat, Max Mara’s best selling coat over the course of the last thirty years, with an emphasis on the coat’s timeless style and clean lines. Meanwhile, we’ll also be looking at The Westminster Long cotton-gabardine trench coat. Burberry’s signature relaxed-fit trench coat with vintage check lining and collar.

The Breakdown

Before giving our opinion on the two coats we feel it’s necessary to provide you with the specifications and features of each. Each coat is made using a distinct process which emulates the traditional aspect of the two companies and the foundations they were built on.

 
 
Max Mara 101801 Icon Coat  $3,890.00

Max Mara 101801 Icon Coat

$3,890.00

 
Burberry Westminster Trench Coat  $2,090.00

Burberry Westminster Trench Coat

$2,090.00

 

Max Mara

$3,890.00

The 101801 Icon Coat

115cm / 45in

100% Cotton

Personalized with label describing coat’s history

98% cupro, 1% viscose, 1% metallised fiber

Wool and Cashmere

Double-Breasted

oversized silhouette, kimono sleeves, elegant double-breasted fastening, finished with a matching belt

Burberry

$2,090.00

The Westminster Trench Coat

104cm / 40.9in

100% Cotton

Vintage Checker

100% Cotton

Buffalo Horn

Double-Breasted

epaulettes, hook-and-eye collar closure, gun flap, belted cuffs, D-ring belt, check undercollar, storm shield

 


The Price and Process

Both Burberry’s Westminster and Max Mara’s 101801 coats are priced above two thousand dollars, with the 101801 coming in at $3,890.00 and the Westminster at $2,090.00. What could make these two coats demand such a high price point you may ask? Beyond notability and the name recognition associated with both brands, the quality of both pieces determines their individual value.

Let’s begin by understanding how both coats are made. Max Mara’s 101801 is made “from start to finish in Max Mara’s Italian factory, the 101801 takes 168 minutes to put together ‒ in a sequence of 73 individual operations. From laser cutting the pieces to the final hand-sewn details and fluffing and pressing the coats ready for sale, each element is overseen by a member of the Max Mara team.” With this attention to detail and level of craftsmanship, the Max Mara Icon Coat has become synonymous with the brand’s stellar reputation. In fact they recorded a video of the process specifically used to build The 101801 Icon Coat.

The Timeless Max Mara 101801 Icon Coat

The Timeless Max Mara 101801 Icon Coat

On the other side of the table we have Burberry’s Westminster Trench Coat, made in Yorkshire, England with a similarly demanding process and attention to detail. Each trench-coat is made up of roughly 80 individual pieces that are stitched together with over one hundred different processes. An individual Burberry trench coat takes up to four hours to complete, and is inspected by hand; from the on site making of the gabardine all the way through the final stitch of the eight piece collar. The labor intensive operation has been finely tuned throughout Burberry’s history and still emphasizes the importance of human touch and durability paired with timeless fashion.

Burberry’s Iconic Vintage Checker Inner Layer

Burberry’s Iconic Vintage Checker Inner Layer

Each coat’s price is based on the labor intensive and specialized manner in which the products are constructed. With nearly four hours devoted to the actual production of a single overcoat, both brands leverage time hardened experience to make these classic garments. Max Mara and Burberry are both luxury brands with a strong following in the world of fashion, and the quality of their products speaks for itself. Max Mara and Burberry can both be found gracing the covers of the world’s top magazines, as well as on the catwalks at the upcoming New York Fashion Week 2019. However, for us here at Meurice, we give the slight edge to The Burberry Westminster Trench Coat. Burberry gets our nod because the amount of care, legacy of the brand, and functionality are all on par with Max Mara, for a significantly lower price. If cost is no issue the question becomes what you are looking for in terms of design. The Westminster is a timeless design that can be used throughout the Fall and Winter to add a smart layered look. Both coats are incredibly well made, functional, stylish, and worth the price tag. At the end of the day the intricate design and prestigious history of both The Max Mara 101801 Icon Coat and The Burberry Westminster Trench Coat make either a worthwhile investment.

Finally, it may be worth noting that the garment specialists at Meurice are expertly trained in cleaning, restoring, and finishing designer overcoats. Whether you go with a Max Mara or Burberry overcoat, take note that both brands make it a point of emphasis to dry clean only. We take great pride in our work and offer some of the best service in the NYC metro area. If you have a Max Mara or Burberry jacket that needs cleaning, give us a call and we'll set you up with a quote and even a free pick up and delivery depending on your area.

Keep clean,

The Meurice Team

 
Lynn Luong