Thursday, July 22, 2010

Review: More On Banana Republic

I think when retailers send out coupons, when they reach a certain percentage (namely 40-50% off), I just can't seem to be able to resist!  That is, unless I've already tried on everything they have to offer... and it looks like I'm trying to approach this point with Banana Republic!  Here's my latest go-round with them.

First is the Pleated Watercolor Dress in 00P:

This one turned out not too bad!

Pros: Nice fully-lined silk material, neckline and armholes not too low (although straps could be taken up a little)
Cons: Color slightly more somber than expected, still pricey even after 40% off (~$75), slight poufing at the waist pleats, although that was easily corrected with a belt:

Verdict: Possible keeper, although likely return and hope that it goes on sale for cheaper.

Next is the Silk Bouquet Pleated Ruffle Top in XXSP:

Maybe it's because I haven't fully outgrown my purple phase but I actually kind of liked this one:

Pros: Nice silk material, pretty shoulder detailing, armholes were a good size
Cons: Neckline too low and probably needs a cami/tank underneath, also expensive (~$42), borderline baggy silhouette... which I tried to belt with questionable success:

Verdict: Not too sure... I do like the material and my wardrobe needs a punch of color.  But this may end up being a return because of the price.

Next is the Bellflower Shell in XXSP:

I knew this one was a return even before I tried it on:

Pros: Not too much
Cons: Big and baggy, neckline WAY too low, color boring and shoulder detailing unattractive, expensive ($70)

Verdict: Return!

Next is the the Raw Edge Ruffle Top in XXSP:

This had potential, but somehow I wasn't too excited:

Pros: Simple but probably versatile, interesting shoulder detail, fully lined
Cons: Neckline too low but looks odd when layered, overall size too large including armholes, expensive for what feels like cotton material ($70), especially since I recently got a somewhat similar top from LOFT for much cheaper:

Verdict: Return.

Last but not least is my surprise favorite item of the bunch, the Skinny Metallic Belt in XXS:

This is the same one I used to belt the dress and purple top in the earlier pictures.  I actually bought it with half a mind to test out the leather hole puncher... but this one actually came already fitting snugly around my waist!  This was a huge surprise since no other belt I've bought ever even came close to fitting this tightly.

One thing to note is that this is VERY skinny.  Here's how it compares to my old skinny leather belt, also from BR:

Even the buckle is teeny!  I'd say the belt is probably less than the width of a finger (and I have small fingers!):

One possible con is that because it's so skinny it might not be as durable.  But I definitely do recommend it if you're looking for a skinny belt that fits off the rack (especially since a super skinny belt like this may be hard to punch a hole in yourself).  With a 40% off coupon that BR seems to be sending out weekly these days, it's not too bad at $18 and can be even cheaper with various cash back programs.  The one I have is the pewter color but it also comes in bronze, which I almost want to get too!


  1. I really like that first dress on you! It's so flattering and fresh :)

  2. My favorite items is the dress and the belt!!! You look super adorable in the dress and loved it belted!!! I am on the hunt for a nice skinny black belt!

    Thanks for the post!!! :)

  3. My favorite item on your is the purple top and the belt. I think the top will look so cute and more fitted on you if tucked in (like stock photo). Belt would work too but I do think it's still a bit long for you
    Last day to enter my giveaway for a beautiful necklace at

  4. Wow, great find on the belt! I just bought a BUNCH of belts yesterday but will have to review them still to see if I want to keep them.

    I like the dress the best out of the bunch, but I think it still looks a little big.

  5. These would have looked great on you if they were smaller especially that second ruffled top. I hate it when most tops are designed with super wide and low neckline. It drives me crazy every time.

  6. it must be a BR day today! everyone is reviewing BR stuff today! my favorite item is the white ruffle top...too bad its too big. i think the dress would be nice if it was shortened by a couple of inches. i think if you were to keep anything, i'd keep the purple tops. Looks like that one fits the best.

  7. I suggest try their factory stores. I usually have more luck going there than their regular stores.

  8. I like the watercolor dress the most! I think if you hemmed a few inches off the bottom it would look perfect on! I'm really liking the recent trend of watercolor and tie dye :)

  9. Thanks for everyone's opinions! The only two items I was considering keeping were the dress and the purple top, but I wasn't too sure.

    Nelah - I agree! I don't know why BR made the neckline so low on all of these tops.

    curls-and-pearls, Ping & sophia - I was thinking that if I have the straps taken up a little, that would bring up the neckline, the armholes, and also the hem!

  10. Veryyy cute belt! It kind of reminds me of the J. Crew metallic ones from the holiday season.. not sure if they still sell them.

    And your right about the raw edge ruffle top.. your top from LOFT is much better anyways (better detailing)


  11. All of the items seem a bit big on you (except the belt). I agree with PetiteGorgeous, the factory store seems to be more size appropriate than their regular store.

  12. I think the dress looks good. it should be an easy piece for any bright color accessories or cardigan.

  13. I give you props for having enough faith in BR to order their stuff to try on time after time, despite little success. The bellflower top was the only item I was interested in and the fit is terrible. I even thought it could be a replacement for my ann taylor petal knit top but the fit is COMPLETELY different!

    Did you make your final decision on which items to keep? If I can put in my two cents...I don't think you should keep anything but the belt. The dress is acceptable, but the print IS gloomy, it's nothing special, plus it was still expensive. I agree w/ sophia that if you keep it, it would need a hem, which would cost at least $20. I wouldn't want it to become another item that sits around unworn and "ages" in your closet : )

    And the purple thoughts are it is too baggy on you, and the belt cinches in your waist but at the same time accentuates the bagginess. That one actually immediately reminded me of your white loft top, which I like a lot better!

  14. PAG - I was overall pretty disappointed with the fit of all the tops... not sure what happened to their sizing but their XXSP seemed to run much smaller when they first came out with the size. Now they're more like XS than XXS.

    I really appreciate your input... a lot of the time when I post these pics I'm usually undecided and really need some honest opinions, one way or the other. And like the case of the white LOFT top, I had initially passed on it, but went back and got it since everyone liked it :)


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