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Dressing Room Diaries- Banana Republic

Happy Tuesday ladies. I hope you had a wonderful long weekend. I have a petite dressing room diary for you today from a retailer I am becoming increasingly fond of.

I find many retailers have an eery sameness to their collections. Banana Republic was sinking into that pit with nothing to differentiate itself from other brands until 2021 when it decided to rebrand and revamp its offerings.

If you’re new here, welcome. A dressing room diary is when I go into a local store for a try-on session so you can see what’s new and how it looks on a woman over 25. For reference, I am 5’4″ and weigh around 134 lbs with broad shoulders and straight hips. I have a long torso and long arms so I often buy one size larger on top. I try on clothes in colors and shapes that may or may not flatter me so you can see what’s in the stores and get some styling ideas. I tell you what sizes I am wearing to help you understand how things run.

woman wearing banana republic linen pants
RACER TANK TOP  / WIDE LEG LINEN PANTS

This top is a very pale, soft blue. It comes in 7 colors, sizes XXS-XL. I am wearing a medium and found it runs small so you should size up. It fits very close to the body so is a great layering piece. These wide-leg linen pants have a high, 11 7/8″ rise and are straight through the hip and thighs with front pleats. they come in petite and regular, 0-20, with short,  regular, and tall inseams. The inseams are petite 28.5″, regular 30.5″, and tall 33.5″. I am wearing a 4 petite.

woman taking selfie in mirror wearing BR cashmere sweater and jeans
CASHMERE SWEATER POLO  SLIM JEANS

One of the changes I’ve noted is the quality of their cashmere. It’s lofty and luxurious with a substantial feel and incredibly soft hand. This polo comes in three colors, regular and petite, XXS-XXL. I am wearing a regular small in soft, crisp blue. It’s a classic style with an updated dramatic Johnny collar and deep rib at the waist. These are the sort of classics that keep things modern.

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These slim jeans have a nice medium summer wash and stove pipe leg that’s skinny from hip to knee then slim, not skinny, to ankle…a favorite shape. It comes in regular, tall, and petite, sizes 24-35. I am wearing a petite 27 which is too snug so it runs true to size. The inseams are petite/short 26″, regular 28″, and tall 31″

side by side of banana republic cashmere sweater
I’M WEARING A MEDIUM ON THE LEFT AND A SMALL ON THE RIGHT

This is meant to have a relaxed and roomy fit. What are your thoughts about the sizes?

woman wearing silk blouse and linen shorts
MACHINE WASH SILK CHARMEUSE BLOUSE / LINEN BERMUDA SHORTS

I’ve had my eye on this silk charmeuse blouse for months. I love that it’s machine washable, has a relaxed fit, and classic styling. It comes in 5 colors, regular, petite, and tall, sizes XXS-XXL. I am wearing a regular small. This is the kind of blouse I would pull out every holiday season or anytime I wanted to add a bit of luxe to any outfit. I’m wearing the cream which has a cool-toned cast that is not warm.

These linen Bermuda shorts are really full and long…as you can see. They come in 4 colors in regular and petite, sizes 0-18. I am wearing a regular 6 which is large for me but also way too long. The inseam is short 8″, Regular 8.5″, and tall 9.5″. I would prefer the petite and even then, they’re likely too full for me in this stiff linen.

woman in banana republic dressing room in jeans and silk blouse
SLIM JEANS  /  WASHABLE SILK BLOUSE

Here’s the same silk shirt in crisp blue. Can you tell I’m pretty smitten with this blouse?

woman wearing linen cardigan over jeans and silk tank
LINEN BLEND DUSTER CARDIGAN IN FEATHER GRAY on sale / WASHABLE SILK CAMISOLE  / SLIM JEANS

This camisole is in the same washable silk as the above blouses. It’s got my favorite v-neckline and adjustable shoulder straps in petite, regular, and tall. It comes in 5 colors sizes XXS-Xl. I am wearing a regular small in cream. I think the cami runs narrow so I suggest you size up. The linen-blend cardigan comes in regular and petite, in 4 colors…this one happens to be on sale. It comes in regular and petite, I am wearing in small.

I used to shop at the Banana Republic often. I gradually found their merchandise ordinary. Their newest direction has me intrigued. The quality has improved and the styles are different than what I find in other places which makes them unique. Many are over the top for my lifestyle, but just as many are classic shapes with a twist.

Have you shopped at the Banana Republic lately?

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.

 

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40 Comments

  1. Hits and misses! The silk blouse is beautiful but no matter how many times I look at linen clothing I can’t get past the wrinkles. They just look sloppy! I try telling myself its cool and that is the style but it looks lazy and sloppy. Sorry linen is not for me.

  2. Shirley Davey says:

    Great post, I shopped at Banana Republic for the first time two weeks ago and had a great experience. I am only 5 ft. tall and weigh 130 lbs. I purchased two casual summer dresses, also navy and white linen pants and a soft cream blouse. The staff were wonderful in helping me with the right sizes, the bonus being they were all on sale. I came away very pleased and will definitely shop there again. This was in the Vancouver store Canada.

  3. Great post. So glad to know that Banana Republic is stocking petite clothing. I will be visiting them. Liked everything you were wearing. The best

  4. I’m loving BR these days, too. Such pretty, fun, classic ‘with a twist’ styles there! I found a great little white cropped jacket earlier this summer at the Scottsdale Banana Republic and I’m certainly ready to return to check out more of their merchandise. Thanks for doing some pre-shopping for me.😁

  5. I too have rediscovered BR. Sadly, our local store doesn’t carry petites anymore( I’m 4’11” so , geez guys.) I recently bought some thin v neck sweaters online and am so pleased. The shortened length and sleeves are perfect and the v neck go down below my bra!!!! I’m now in love with the washable silk.

  6. Yes, I agree that BR has really revamped their merchandise for the better, not trying to imitate some other retailers whose offerings are decidedly bland and low quality. Prices are higher but quality is also higher. I rarely pay full price for any clothing, it all goes on sale at some point, but in the spring I bought a nice soft light wash denim shirt that I love. Feels like I’ll have it for a long time.

  7. I love BR and I love those pleated shorts on you! Wish I could wear them!!

  8. I have that silk charmeuse blouse in a gorgeous green shade. It’s such a fabulous weight and washes like a dream. I have no regrets at all for spending the $$.

  9. Marin Mattingly says:

    The Medium top looks too big on you. It is as if you lost 50 lbs over the winter. The small looks a little small but 100% better than the medium

  10. None of the links worked. The error message “The link you clicked on is malformed. Contact the editor of the originating page”. The url displayed was “ https://gap.dodxnr.net. Have a great day Jennifer!

    1. Are you in Canada? I can’t figure out why you’re seeing this.

  11. I have shopped exclusively at BR and BR Factory for the last few years, mainly when they are having one of their awesome sales. I LOVE their “classic with a twist” clothing, especially their fine knit Forever sweaters, (I have every style in multiple colors) and their exclusive Italian merino wool is really beautiful. But, last season I was disappointed in their cashmere..although it was thick, I found it to be stiff and rather itchy. I was told it was mostly recycled cashmere, but I sadly, had to return. I also love their slim leg jeans! They are just right without being too wide or skinny. I do, however, find that I must try several sizes to find my perfect fit, depending on the particular item.

    1. I just discovered the BR factory this year and love it!

  12. You have to get past all the trendy styling and all the bare chests (both sexes) on BR website, but I like a lot of what I see and what you modeled helps a lot. I like the smaller sweater on you and the blouse is so classy. The other thing I love about BR is its move to sustainable fabrics — and also the colors. There’s a brilliant blue that is just stunning. I have to admit that I just don’t get dusters on small people: I have a decent shape, but add a duster and I just look frumpy.

  13. PS: Unlike other commenters, I am not having any trouble with the links.

    1. Thanks, Barbara…they open for me too. Gotta love the internet 🙂

  14. I haven’t shopped at BR since pre-Covid days but still have several not-quite-old items from them that I enjoy wearing. Their pants always fit me well and they have great sales. They used to have some special discount on Wednesday; wonder if they still do that? I love the silk blouse & linen shorts on you & wish that I, too, had a small waistline! Those pants would not work on my body. The linen blend duster is also very attractive. I’m eager to check out the clothes at my local BR again.

  15. Mary Divine says:

    I cannot tell you how many times I have looked at that oil blouse. It is quite pricey but if it washable that is a big plus

  16. Yes, I too have noticed a positive change in BR in recent seasons. There seems a more cohesive aesthetic and more luxe looks. They have some stunning halter gowns shown with white silk blazers for the younger set in need of dressier looks and darling renditions of safari clothes for babies and toddlers. Nicely made updated classics for the rest of us. I lived in Mill Valley back in the 70’s when the original Banana Republic store dealt in army surplus and safari clothes so I appreciated the wink back at their origins.

  17. Haven’t been in their store for ages, however do plan to check them out shortly however earlier in the season did order online one of their linen long sleeved shirts which I have mixed feelings about when comparing them to older and other brands that I have. That being said; do like the satin shirt blouse.
    -Brenda-
    Footnote: Re Yvonne’s comment below. I had the same problem with the links.

  18. I use too shop at BR a lot but like you the styles became very ordinary. From what you showed today it is time to revisit.
    The shirt sizes: the med. looked very large and the small looked a bit tight but better on you then the medium.

    1. That’s what I thought! I need something in between small and medium.

      1. I have the same size problem as you do Jennifer, except I am between a medium and a large, so tops are perpetually either too snug in the chest or too large in the hips. As a result, I am afraid to get rid of older tops that still fit me perfectly, but may be out of style or now the wrong color for my white hair. Or I strictly shop at stores that carry sizes in numbers, not letters!

    2. Just got two pairs of chinos from BR Factory. Great fit, great prices. I love the silk shirt. And the linen wide leg pants. I’ll check them out!

  19. I haven’t shopped at BR recently. So many stores have closed in our local mall and remain empty today.
    As pretty as the silk blouse appears, it does remind me of a top for a luxury pajama set.
    The linen duster would fit my lifestyle today. Casual, versatile and a piece I would grab for quite often.
    My summer shopping is on hold unless it’s a classic item at a steal. Very shortly, I will be thinking about what’s new for fall. Lol

    1. You’re not alone. Many of us are thinking ahead to fall too!

  20. Jennifer, thanks for the reminder and update on BR. I used to shop there a few years back for corporate management career. But never found any casual things. BR used to have great costume jewelry too – very unique! Now that I am retired I really never go there to shop. Will check it out. BR used to have a decent outlet too. But I am unsure what “outlet” even means now in continued supply issues. Loft was always a great outlet for casual clothes – now last I checked it was low quality and sort of weird.
    (Not to be negative!).

    1. I haven’t been to a Loft outlet for many many years. The clothes are made specifically for the outlets these days rather than being overflow from the stores.

  21. Really like everything you tried on but maybe not the shorts. They look so cute on you but not for me. I walked into a BR a few weeks back and could tell they’ve gone in a different direction. I wasn’t sure what to make of it but I like what you’ve showed us.

  22. Silk blouse is beautiful! I feel it cuts you in wrong place? Maybe a little too long? or too boxy? Maybe not enough contrast with the faded jeans and light blue? sorry, just feel lime that and the sweater missed the mark, didn’t seem to compliment your cute shape.
    I like the bottom look a lot! I guess the silk shirt and the faded jeans just seemed a miss. again, maybe a darker wash jean would really make that blouse pop.
    Love the shorts!! Super cute.
    Thank for your efforts!!! sorry if I seemed negative, I just thought this was a place to figure out styles .

    1. No worries! I do like us to figure out shapes. These are unusual pairings. The store didn’t have a lots of options for my short self.

  23. The silk blouses and jeans look great! The polo neck sweater looks too big in both sizes, especially in the arms.
    You are so pretty!

    1. Thanks for your kind words. It is meant to be quite roomy.

  24. Jennifer; I love all these looks. For the duster, when I look on line, it looks really full. Did you also try on the petite small by any chance. I’m wanting to get it but usually I look lost in these long dusters but this one seems light and airy. I was considering getting the xs? Just wanted your view. I’m 5’5”, 115 lbs.

    1. They did not have petite in the store but the run roomy so the XS should be fine!

      1. Thank you so much.

  25. Paulette levy says:

    Overall, a nice selection! The only piece I don’t care for is the wide leg tan shorts. You look cute in the jeans! And of the two tops with collars I’d go with the small if I were you. The medium appears too full through your midriff area— at least to my eye.

  26. Thank you for your recent reviews of Banana Republic Factory Outlet. I’ve ordered many pieces and have been so impressed with the quality, both fabric and workmanship. The sale prices are a steal! Many thanks, Jennifer.

  27. Jennifer, none of the links are working. The message is “dead end” “the link is malformed “. Perhaps due to directing to the Canadian online site?
    I agree with you on the classics with a twist. I used to shop at BR a lot for basics before retirement. I almost bought their black trench coat at the factory store, but I have too many trench coats to justify the purchase. Too bad!
    Oh and I love their jewelry collection.

    1. Oh oh! It must be for the Canadian site. Sorry.