Reviews: Banana Republic Petites New Arrivals & More

*My LXR & Co giveaway ends soon – I’ll be drawing the winner of a beautiful Hermes scarf! More info here.*

Earlier last weekend, I popped into a BR for the first time in a while. This yellow tipped blazer was the first thing to catch my eye. It’s reminiscent of my J.Crew lady jacket, but in a cut that most women would prefer over that one.


The blazer is fairly slim with a double vent in the back. It fit well on me from what I could see, with the sleeves being just a tad long. The cut is easy to style for various occasions (picturing casual chic with a simple striped tee and jeans). I felt a small twinge of regret for having gotten the boxier J.Crew, but one aspect I do like better about that one is the quality wool. The BR version is a thick cotton material that felt like twill – more versatile for all seasons, but more wrinkle-prone.

Although I’m not much of a dress shirt wearer, I do love the look of a good piped blouse. This poplin one reminded me of BR’s piped Laura blouse (which is more luxurious in 100% silk and only retails for $10 more…but alas, no petite sizing). It fit very slim, with narrow wrist openings that I had to unbutton to get my hands through. The body of the sleeves are about an inch too long on my short arms. You can cuff them up as I usually do, but the cute piping there would then be hidden. The poplin material already had some wrinkles, which makes the silk version seem even more attractive.
Banana Republic Piped Poplin Shirt in 00P (similar in silk, but regular sizes only)

The piece my friends & I liked the most was this honeycomb sweater skirt (not yet online in petite sizing), made of 95% cotton/5% cashmere…
But as much as I enjoy the idea of a comfortable, stretchy knit skirt, finding the right fit seems more challenging. I’m trying on an XSP here and the elastic waist was a little loose, but the back is already starting to flare out below the tush. I’m not sure what other women would prefer with sweater skirts – size down and enjoy the bum-hugging look, or size up and laboriously take in the waist + taper the bottom opening?

Of all the things I tried on this weekend, the crowd favorite seemed to be this GapKids sweater dress. An XL fit shift-like (cut straight up and down) on me with a little spare room. This dress is currently sold out online, but if interested, you can locate one in-stores using the item #300651001 (thanks, Hana!). It was full price for ~ $44 at my local stores, as of Sunday.

Gap Kids dress in girls XL/12 (item # 300651001), (other striped sweater dress option)

I thought the GapKids dress was cute, but have been holding out for a simple navy & white one. Striped shift dresses are so easy to wear and require minimal styling. This adult option below seems to be what I’m looking for in 100% cotton. As tweeted, I ordered an XSP with today’s promo, but please note I haven’t seen the material or quality in-person. I probably could’ve waited for further markdowns, but online-only petite sizes have been selling out on me (as with this vibrant wrap dress).

Gap Harbor Jersey Striped Dress, 2 colors, ordered navy/white to try in XSP

While on my way to the fitting room, I saw this version of Gap’s popular polka dot chambray shirt from last season. It’s cut very generously, however, and did nothing for me even when tucked in with the sleeves rolled up. The shoulders are very wide and the material is on the stiffer side. Sorry for the low quality photo.



My search for a cozy winter white crewneck sweater is now going on 3 months. Had I known well-fitting, affordable basic sweater options would be so sparse this season, I would’ve bought a few more J.Crew honeycomb ones last year.

Ballet Neck Cozy Cable Sweater, sz XXSP, 5 colors (temporarily $30 online, $25 in-stores)

Apologies again for the blurry photo. I liked the tighter-knit material and length of this one the best, however did not love the ballet neckline (looks odd when layering). The cable design is also more classic than the version below, but still leaves something to be desired.

LOFT Button-Back Cable Sweater, sz XXSP, 7 colors (now extra 50% off)


In comparison, this sweater was almost tunic-length on me. The knit was looser, so if your shirt underneath is a very different color, it may show through a little. The buttons on the upper back go down just a few inches. The sleeves of both sweaters are strangely “bracelet length.”

Ann Taylor
Last but not least, Ann Taylor had a large markdown section with extra 40% sale items. The only thing I tried on was this electric-colored silk camp blouse (see my previous review). Price after discounts was $36, which isn’t bad if you’re looking for a 100% silk blouse to brighten up your wardrobe. A 0P is the smallest size my local stores carry, and it would work as a casual fit on someone my size.
Ann Taylor Silk Camp Shirt in 0P (more sale colors available online, but pricier than in-stores)


Phew! Haven’t done one of these in a while. I didn’t purchase anything tried on here, but just wanted to share. Please feel free to follow along on FB, Twitter, or Instagram for more on-the-go pictures like these.

Readers – Have you picked up anything during the after-holiday sales? If so, please share!
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  1. Liza Smith wrote:

    I like your striped dress and the red denim. Anyway all outfits are really looking classy. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted 1.16.13 Reply
  2. anita b. wrote:

    Jean you have impeccable taste and have inspired so many including myself. I haven't replicated any of your looks due to budget but I have bought staples that help enhance my current wardrobe thank you so much for all your tips and style!!
    I have followed you for a while and rarely comment but just wanted you to know…you are one of of the three fashion bloggers in love to read about during my lunch break;) keep up the great work
    Ps I just read about yor copycat and immediately unliked her page it seemed fishy to me all along but I googled it last night and saw it

    Posted 1.13.13 Reply
  3. B. wrote:

    Thanks for this review. I was looking at the polka dot top last week but will probably wait for further reductions. I love the silk camp shirt on you! Such a great color. Will have to check that out. Have a good weekend!


    Posted 1.12.13 Reply
  4. gaby wrote:

    Love the yellow blazer and the last look too!!


    Posted 1.12.13 Reply
  5. Hi Jean,

    Whats your secret for tucking in shirts? I looks so good on you but when I try to tuck it in myself, it looks so messy and sometimes makes me look bigger than I am.


    Posted 1.12.13 Reply
  6. Nancy wrote:

    Hi Annie, if you want a company, I can join you for level I. Sort of interesting in studying CFA from long time, but haven't started yet.

    Posted 1.11.13 Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm from UK, I believe they only have banana republic in London. I've been to the one in Westfield shopping centre in W London. The prices are more expensive than US though, and they don't do petite sizing in the stores unfortunately, so basically a no go for me as a fellow petite.

    Posted 1.11.13 Reply
  8. I have been following your blog Jean for a while, really inspiring out outfit! I start to fish silk and skirts too which I never thought about before! Thanks for sharing!

    Anyone from UK here? Do we have banana republic in the UK? Did not see any BR in Aberdeen though.

    Posted 1.11.13 Reply
  9. Suzanne wrote:

    Hi love your blog! I bought the Jcrew lady day coat, 2P and fits great, EXCEPT it hits me below the knee. Worth hemming? I'm 5'0"

    Posted 1.11.13 Reply
  10. Ilfaith wrote:

    Just wanted to add that I tried on the Harbor Striped dress in a regular XS and it was huge and boxy. I don't know how much smaller the petite size will be, but I am not as tiny as you are (5'3", 110 lbs)

    Posted 1.11.13 Reply
  11. Ilfaith wrote:

    Somewhat similar in feel to the Banana gold tipped blazer is their tipped sweater jacket (in yellow, red, navy and white). I tried it on in-store yesterday in a regular XS (I am typically a 0P or XSP at BR) and it fit perfectly everywhere but the sleeve length, which was too long. I have it sitting in my online shopping bag now in a petite small and XS, but I am wondering if it might be too short through the torso, since the regular size fit perfectly through the body (which is also why I am going to try both the small and XS, since petites run a bit narrower, I wonder whether the XSP might be too snug through the bust…I am a 32C).;=3&pid;=328007012

    Posted 1.11.13 Reply
  12. Christie wrote:

    Such cute finds. Love the sweaters and the polka dotted blouse. You style is so classic.


    Posted 1.11.13 Reply
  13. Giovanna wrote:

    Cute pieces! Loving the striped Gap dresses!


    Posted 1.10.13 Reply
  14. The skirt is beautiful !!

    Posted 1.10.13 Reply
  15. Sarah wrote:

    Cute finds! I did–a rugby striped green and navy GAP sweater for $16!

    Posted 1.10.13 Reply
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean-FYI–In a few select BR petite stores in the country (Houston & McLean VA that have bigger petites selection apparently)–I just bought the blazer you tried on in a coral color/cream trim piping===so if you like the blazer-it comes in a coral option as well for petites!

    Posted 1.10.13 Reply
  17. bearing wrote:

    Oh hey! I bought that same orange blouse last week! Looked great with dark bootcut jeans.

    Posted 1.10.13 Reply
  18. I ordered Gap jersey striped as my Thanksgiving outfit for dinner with the family. It is basic but still has enough "umph" to make a statement. It is the great quality which Gap harbor has always proven to deliver on. I normally wear an extra small but since I'm a little more curvy I figured a small would be could so that it wouldn't ride up when I walked. It fit me perfect and didn't look sleazy at all. I paired with a pair of platform heels.


    Posted 1.10.13 Reply
  19. Anonymous wrote:

    theres a leopard wrap dress at gap available in xs Petite..

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  20. Celena wrote:

    Jean, I am a long time silent reader of your blog, and your blog along with some other petites' blogs have inspired me to start one as well.

    I recently bought a skirt at H&M; that seems similar to the Banana one that you tried on. I really love mine and from reading your blog posts think that it might be a good fit for you as well. I have a picture of it on my blog if you're interested (I don't mean to advertise my blog, I just wanted to share with you a similar skirt).

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  21. Danielle wrote:

    You have such strength not to buy anything! I love love the GapKids sweater dress on you – looks great for a casual day at work while still being super comfy. Wish I could pull off horizontal stripes 🙁

    I miss these types of posts. I don't know what to look for at Banana and AT otherwise 😉

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  22. Personally, I just picked up the white Petite Modern Sporty Twill Straight Leg Pants at Ann Taylor (Link:;=12417469&catid;=cata000048&productPageType;=saleProducts&defaultColor;=9192). I've been looking for a great white pant for a really long time, and I think these fit the bill. They make me look taller too, which all us petite ladies need, of course. Try it on the next time you're at Ann Taylor! ^_^

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  23. Shira wrote:

    I need need to find a chambray polka dot shirt in petite! Let me know when you find one!

    Also, I see what you mean about that Banana skirt-thanks for posting it because I like my skirts super fitted and that flare out would bother me…

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  24. I love that coral blouse!

    I tried on that Loft button-back sweater and the hem got all stretched out just from putting it on. I was not about to keep it if that's all it took to get it all old and worn looking. Disappointing, for sure!

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  25. Anonymous wrote:

    try Talbots for winter white sweater!

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  26. Anonymous wrote:

    Love the sweater dress!!
    Jean do you have any pointers to slouchy knit tops? I need a couple to wear with leggings.

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  27. Ashley wrote:

    The yellow blazer. You can see a green clip making the left sleeve smaller.

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  28. Oh, and can't wait to hear about the Gap adult jersey dress. The girls version was cute but the pockets were too low, imo.

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  29. I love the piped blouse in silk and got that AT bright colored camp shirt over the summer, marked down to about the same price. I LOVE IT! Great review. Hope you find a white cable knit!

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  30. Thanks, Georgette!

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  31. Thanks! They're old Cole Haan, actually.

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  32. Which item?

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  33. Hi Annie – I think 6 months is definitely enough for Level 1, and my advice is to formulate a study schedule that works with your job/school and stick to it. It also depends on how well you retain information over a long period of time. I tend to forget stuff I read a few months ago, so I mostly crammed during the last 3 months. I was able to put windows of free time before work, after work, and both days on the weekends to use. Other tips: take the last week or two off of work so you can devote yourself 100% to the material. Make sure to take all the practice exams available (I had the Schweser ones or borrowed from a friend) b/c they help much more than just reading. The Schweser books in general are much easier to read through than the regular ones. Study with a friend who is taking it as well, if possible, to mutually motivate. Level 1 in my opinion is the easiest but the next two require more prep time. Best of luck to you!

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  34. Jane wrote:

    Regarding the BR jacket that's similar to your JCrew one — Note that the white piping on the BR jacket only goes slightly along the front bottom and then just stops. For that reason alone, I think the JCrew is the better jacket. I know you're having second thoughts about it, but don't despair. You're going to find at least three more outfits with that jacket that you'll be very pleased with.

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  35. You should've bought the neon orange silk shirt from Ann Taylor! Looks great on you and would be an amazing pop of color on one of your next outfit shots!


    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  36. Janice wrote:

    For anybody looking for a shift dress that's both work appropriate and weekend casual, I recommend this dress from The Loft:

    I got mine for $30 on sale and absolutely love it, from the fit to the softness to the subtle color. (I'm 5'2" 115lb and got an XS Petite).

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  37. Anonymous wrote:

    OMG! I just love the color combo of the neon orange AT camp shirt and burgundy corduroy leggings in the last pictures.

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  38. Olivia wrote:

    Thanks for all the great reviews Jean!!

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  39. Nope, haven't done any after-holiday sale shopping. Last piece of clothing I bought was a ZARA leather jacket when the sale begun. Of all the items you tried, I liked the teal LOFT sweater on you the best.

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  40. Unknown wrote:

    Hi Jean are you shoes Ferragamo??? love the shoes that you are wering in this post, can you give me the model?
    The stripes dress with the chambray shirt looks so nice!

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  41. Jackie wrote:

    I love the BR skirt you found!! It's a very unique pattern I could see that as a very versatile piece.

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  42. Ashley wrote:

    Did you notice the green clip on the sleeve in the online photo? A friend pointed it to me 🙂

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  43. Emelie wrote:

    Oh yay, I finally found a petite fashion blogger! 🙂

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  44. Hi Jean! I wasn't sure how to reach you but I am studying for CFA Level I (June 2013) and was wondering if you could please kindly share some of your studying tips/guides with me. Thank you! -Annie

    Do you think 6 months is enough time to prep for it? I just started studying earlier this month..

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  45. I had just bought the silk camp shirt last week in the sweet date color! Love how it fits! Also bought a similar striped tunic during the holidays from NM last call (French connection) if you are looking for something similar for a bit cheaper (it was 38.50) 🙂

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  46. Carol Li wrote:

    Thanks for sharing your fitting adventures. My favourite is the striped dress from Gap.

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  47. I love that BR shirt, classic and modern at the same time.

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  48. I literally just bought that BR piped poplin shirt last week! I wish it were made of the same cotton as their non-iron shirts (as in…"what do you mean I can't just steam you and be done with it? I have to iron you?!") but it's still very cute and I've already worn it. And I share your sentiments on the BR blazers. I'm liking the cut but wishing the fabrics were better.

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply
  49. Love the red colored denim you're wearing in the last few pics – they were a great purchase!

    I didn't do much after-holiday sale shopping as I had overdone the pre-holiday shopping LOL! I only picked up 2 pairs of heels from ZARA.

    Posted 1.9.13 Reply

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