Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Review: BR Two Dresses & A Blazer

In general, Banana Republic has been a little bit of a disappointment to me lately.  I haven't found any pieces that I'm super excited about, and their "classics" are still too big on me even in 00P or XXSP, and usually require alterations.  But they keep sending me coupons and I keep ordering for some reason!  Too bad they don't offer free mail-in returns on petite items like they used to when they first came out with the line.

So on to the review, probably the most successful item I got was the In Plain Sight Dress in 00P:

There's smocking along the sides and back and it makes for a very fitted waist silhouette, which I really like.  The material is a soft crinkly silk, color is pretty although pattern is slightly camouflage-y.  The armholes are a little too low... but the biggest problem is that there's an odd extra pooch of fabric in the upper back:

There's enough extra fabric that it's definitely noticeable and I can even grab a fistful of it.  I'm sure it's alterable somehow but I have no idea how.  And I guess it can probably be covered up with a cardigan or blazer.  But I want things to be perfect darn it! :P

Speaking of blazers, I also ordered the Stretch Cotton Patterned Belted Blazer in 00P:

I like the built-in belt for waist definition and the word "stretch" in the name made me hope that it would run small.

Well it didn't run small that's for sure.  I do like the belt, which adds a lot of shape and looks especially good from the side.  But the belt lies a bit lower than my true waist.   And although it looks almost passable in some pics, it feels very sloppy on, especially when I try to raise my arms... which I can't because the armholes are too big:

The whole jacket slides up when I do and the "waist" ends up right below my bustline!  Very awkward and uncomfortable feeling.  Definitely a return for me unless I want to invest in extensive alterations.  I can see how it would look great on someone who's taller than me though with a longer torso.

The most disappointing in terms of fit was the Sleeveless Gathered Sheath in 00P:

Again, there's supposed to be "stretch" in the item description, so I was hoping to pick up another lighter-colored classic sheath that might fit.  But unfortunately, it was another shapeless potato sack:

I do like that it's lined, and I love the interesting side ruching detail, which emphasizes womanly curves (if it actually fits!)  But for a 00P dress made in a material with stretch, it was surprisingly huge:

Again, much alterations would be needed, which may be more expensive because of the side pleats.  Unless I can get this with a much deeper discount, I don't see my self spending at least $175 total to get this dress to fit.

I also got a bunch of BR belts in XXS... will post review next time! :)


  1. I was looking at that blazer today at BR but didn't try it on. I know I wouldn't pay full price for it anyway. It definitely is a cute blazer. Hopefully it'll go on sale soon. Other dresses are sure big on you. BR really need to size down their garments.

  2. Great review...confirms my beliefs that BR has been super "meh" lately! These items are all okay but none worth keeping. Sigh!

    Can't wait to see the little belts...I hope they fit!

  3. I wouldn't wear the blazer with the dress - it's a little too long. The blazer will look AMAZING with pants, though.

  4. I haven't order from BR for a while. Their cardigans and skirts used to fit me pretty well. No alteration was needed. This past week I order couple items from them. I should be receiving them soon. If the items I recently ordered fit poorly on me, then I would know their sizing for 00 and xxs petite have been changed.

  5. awww. the first would look great with a skinny belt! sorry the other two fit pretty "meh" on you :/

  6. I always get that little pooch of fabric at the shoulder of items like in the first "In Plain Sight" dress. I hate that! It usually means the waist of the garment is lower than your natural waist, so the garment hikes itself up to sit at your waist, but then a bunch of fabric bunches up at the shoulder.

    That jacket and sheath dress are huge! I'm pretty disappointed in BR's fit this season.

  7. yes br has been very disappointing lately! i think i been in there at least 10 times in the last few months and i haven't had any success. what is up with that?!

    everything is so big on you! if you like anything, i'd recommend waiting. everything goes on sale there.

  8. Too bad about your BR finds :(

    In all honesty I try to stay away from any smocking and tops/dresses with a single piece of elastic circling the natural waist. They make me look super frumpy! >:[

  9. elleandish - I never thought about it that way before, I thought some smocking at the waist or back helps to define it (like a belt). But I guess if it goes all the way around then it would cause poufing and hence frumpiness?

    Ping - I never pay full price at BR either, since they have so many sales and coupons. Sometimes I like to order first to see how things fit so I can jump on them as soon as they go on sale! :)

  10. i love the blue dress the best. i agree, not quite sure how that would be altered, but perhaps someone would be willing to give it a go:) i really love the style of the jacket, too.


  11. I was looking at that blazer as well, it's too bad that it doesn't fit. Lately, BR hasn't been very impressive with their pieces...it's just too standard and basic. Where are all the fun items?

  12. Great blog! I'm even a bit tinier than you, so it's great to see your reviews. Can't wait to hear how the belts worked out!


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