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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Leave a Comment


  1. Jennifer wrote:

    Fits exactly as expected, and the stretchy part is just stretchy enough. The color is a little (hair) lighter than the picture, but I love it! i would recommend devon and jones dp625w

    Posted 8.29.13 Reply
  2. alx wrote:

    Thanks Jean for sharing! I loved that yellow jacket and tried it on the store. It fit perfect was discourage cause I wasn't sure how to wear it. Leave it to you to always pull a great outfit together…So I finally got the jacket!

    Posted 3.7.13 Reply
  3. Ami wrote:

    At Banana Republic Factory store I saw a Blue (white trim) version of the yellow jacket. It was only available in regular sizes, but overall it looked very similar

    Posted 1.24.13 Reply
  4. i like your black and white dress, very chic.
    2013 formal dress

    Posted 1.21.13 Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    Is the dress shirt tucked in your underwear, like in your 'how to' video??

    Posted 1.19.13 Reply
  6. Banana Republic Piped Poplin Shirt is very nice. It is made of 95% cotton and 5% cashmere. This fashion is already starting to flare out. Of course, the idea of a comfortable, stretchy knit skirt, finding the right fit seems more challenging.

    Posted 1.19.13 Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    Love the polka dot skirt with that yellow blazer!

    Posted 1.17.13 Reply

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