Petite Lookbook: Old Bananas in the Closet

Last week I dug out an old Banana Republic dress from the back of my closet, blew off the layers of dust, and tried to breathe new life into it. I ended up pairing it with two other BR oldies. This ruffled cardigan is from Fall/Winter '09. You may remember seeing it on AlterationsNeeded here ... it's so loose on her in comparison!
Ruffle Cardigan: Banana Republic XXSP
Woven Belt: Banana Republic XS
Silk Dress: Banana Republic 00P
Pumps: Aldo sz 35

I've had a lot of ladies ask me where to buy small belts, and I always recommend BR XXS. Here is a pebbled black leather belt, on sale. A fellow petite recommends Boden, who also makes several belts in sz XXS. Here is a snakeskin skinny belt that comes in several colors.

I couldn't decide whether I liked this outfit better belted over the outside, or belted under the cardigan. What do you guys think?

The dress in action. Enjoying an al-fresco bento lunch with my coworker:

So this silk sheath dress was one of my first 00P purchases ever...I remember *loving* it and being so excited to find a size that actually "fit." I even wanted to get a second one in purple! However, upon trying it on last week for the first time in years, I was surprised at how poorly it actually fit...

The bust on this sz 00P dress was so big, it could probably accommodate a 34C. My coworkers even commented on the loose "boob flap" in the chest area (visible in the above pic). But alas, this dress is 100% silk and fully lined with a side zip - I have no motivation to spend $ to get it altered. A belt-and-cardigan combo sufficiently conceals the bagginess and gets the job done.

Good thing I didn't buy one in a second color. Several inches of extra width on the waist and hips:

Has anyone else ever tried on something old that you used to love, only to go, "what was I thinking?" I think that being in the blogging community has made me so much selective with my purchases...and thankfully so!


  1. Would have never noticed in the pics that the dress was a tad big. Still an adorable dress though.

  2. I think I like the belt outside better, since the cardigan is a lil boxy. But under looks good if you plan on taking the cardigan off during the day.

    As for belts, I've never found one that fits off the rack except for stretch belts. I have a skinny black leather one from BR in XXS that I had to punch a hole in myself to be able to use.

    And I definitely know what you mean about old items... I bought a black sheath dress from BR in 00P way back when, was so excited that it "fit". Only recently when I pulled it out of the closet did I realize how poorly fitted it was. I decided to bring it to the tailor because it's such a wardrobe staple (will post about it later).

  3. As always, love the outfit. I really like the cardigan and the ruffle down the inside.

    Btw, I got the package today from the TLBC giveaway! It took only 3 days (since they received my info!) Amazing service and I loved the way they wrapped the bra up.. it was packaged so well. Thank you again for holding the contest. =)

  4. haha definitely. i had a pair of HOT pink flare jeans i used to wear when i was 10. i wore it so much the zipper broke off xD.

    the cardigan and belt add so much to that dress! it looks even better in the lunch picture with your friend :)

  5. I personally like that belt on the outside (it looks blended in with the pattern when wearing inside). Your silk dress is very pretty though -I can't really tell it is oversized until you pointed out. Love the picture of you and your friend - you are so pretty.

  6. PAG -- i think i have that dress in yellow...not sure if its the same exact thing, but its very similar. I think I've worn it maybe once in hawaii where nobody knew me...haha it was definitely one of those what was i thinking. i was venturing out of my color comfort zone and every time i put it on, i'm like...omg its soooo bright. i know the size is 00p, but i can't remember how it fits.

    the color of your dress is definitely a lot better than mine. i think i like the belt underneath the cardigan, either way, it is cute...

  7. Yup, I've pulled things out of the dark depths of my closet and after inspecting the poor fit, wondered, "why did I think this was flattering again?" Blogging has definitely made me more critical of the items I buy. It's a good thing!

    Cardigan over the sweater is my fav. =)

  8. Funny how old dresses can become new. You look beautiful.

  9. I like the outfit with belt over the cardigan!

    You're looking good!

    <3 Nina from pinkberrii@blogspot

  10. I love going shopping in my closets and finding old goodies! I have that BR cardigan in gray and love it!

    And the belt over the cardigan is super adorable! :)

  11. I think if you're going to belt over both the dress and cardigan, you need to go with a slimmer, skinny belt otherwise the thickness of the belt enhances the fact that you're wearing layers. The thicker belt looks good underneath the cardi over just the dress. You look great though, I love the print on that dress!

  12. Thanks ladies for your opinions!

    Nicole- duh! A skinnier belt! I knew something was off. Thanks for the tip...too bad I have none to choose from.

  13. It's funny, I never really found it hard to find belts. Either I get stretchy ones that just seem to fit, or I have my dad punch extra holes. You look adorable, as usual :)

  14. You look pretty as always! I like the outfit belted over the outside better. I can fit in 00P most of the time but the selection is very limited

  15. I like it with the belt on the outside better... and I totally know what you mean about that "what was I thinking?" about the fit. I'm way more selective now too after finding all of these blogs.

  16. very cute <3

  17. Haha I was just talking about this w/one of my friends, like revisiting things in my closet and wondering why oh why I thought such ill-fitting items were appropriate to buy. You and your co-worker look so cute in your work outfits!

  18. Love the outfit! :) The dress has this gorgeous design that looks very modern, and very you. City girl living a very busy lifestyle it seems :D

    What a nice, versatile belt. Love how neutral the colors are and how it elegantly wraps your black cardi together :) I love this look!

  19. You look so lovely, definitely breathed new life into this dress!

  20. I love the cardigan belted - and like Nicole said, I think a skinny belt would be a nice alternative.

    Yikes. Digging through my closet - I can only do it in small dosages at a time. I can't believe all those tight pants, and ill fitting tops I wore in college.


    But I really loved my Kai Pao - the dress that I wore to my high school prom. I wore it again for my company Christmas party. Still love it!

  21. I have so much clothes in my closet that I need to take out and retry them on again...i still feel like i have nothing to wear every morning though!

  22. the banana republic dress looks amazing on you! it fits so perfectly. goes great with the belt

    great blog :)

    <33 [v] hobovogue

  23. The BR dress looks so good on you. I prefer belt on the inside. I can't even tell it's a little big with the cardigan on. Good cheap trick to disguise the bigger size! :)

    I have the same "what was I thinking" problem when I look through my closet sometimes. But I've been trying to make better clothing purchase decisions. I think that happens to the best of us and we learn through mistakes.

  24. The outfit is so pretty and put together!! I personally prefer it under the cardigan!

    I have become so much more selective with blogging now, thank the good Lord for that! I was a hot mess and can still be at times :P

    I will officially call you Jean now :D

    Great video, I will try to do an outfit tomorrow for ya!

  25. Usually I like the belt on the outside but for some reason the colors look better with it on the inside on this outfit. and YES I have definitely bought stuff only to later think "why did I think this fit/looked good on me?!" haha

  26. omg... i love the banana republic dress. it looks really classy. you could wear it in a nice dinner date, hang out with friends, or go to work. this really looks nice. the banana republic cardigan looks good as well!

  27. I have this dress and love it! In a 0p, it fits well on me because I am broader (ok chubbier). I like it belted on the inside/under the cardi better.


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