Timeless tan trousers + crossover drape top

petite tan trousers workwear ideas

BR high rise pant 00 petite (3 colors), merino blend sweater xs petite (runs short), pearl earrings, similar pumps

One of my most-saved outfit posts over the years is a simple but timeless one, featuring high waisted, floor length tan trousers and a white crossover drape top. Similar pieces have been surprisingly hard to come by, so these pants from Banana Republic immediately caught my eye, and more so when I read all the positive reviews. The cut is just as I had hoped – a flattering high rise with a lightweight fluid material and slight bootcut. However note that the length is long, even in petite sizing, and they do not have back pockets which I usually like. I’m 5′ tall wearing the petite sizing with 4″ heels, so some ladies may need to get these hemmed. Measurements of these pants in 00 petite: 12.5″ across the waist, 9″ rise, 31″ inseam.

To further recreate the reader-favorite outfit, I was also happy to find a similar crossover top in several colors! This one is very lightweight and soft against the skin, and incorporates a more eco-friendly fabric (it was interesting learning about Lenzing fabrics in general). You can think of this as an elevated knit tee that pairs with jeans, skirts, and workwear. The white color is a little sheer unless you wear a skin-toned bra (I usually size up on white knit tops too so it’s not tight), so I’d recommend one of the darker colors. I thought this was very sleek and flattering in black and will share a fit photo soon. See BR’s entire Threadsoft line that uses Lenzing modal.

white crossover wrap top petite

After petting and trying on a whole bunch of sweaters this visit, there were two that stood out to me in terms of quality and fit. Fabric-wise, I look for ones that are not too fluffy (to minimize shedding), not too loose in the weave (snag-prone), and good pliability so that it’s easy to style and tuck / half tuck. Fit wise, a lot of the BR sweaters I’ve tried on recently have run short (including the two below), so are best paired with higher rise jeans and bottoms or you can try a size up for a more casual fit.

  1. Merino blend turtleneck sweater. This caught my attention as it was the softest one I came across in store, and is a good medium weight for wearing across 3 seasons. You’ll notice the reviews under regular sizing are positive, but several under the petite tab say it’s too short. I wear a lot of higher-waisted bottoms so the petites works for me (I did size up to XS petite for a casual fit), but I also tried on an XS regular and it fits me like a normal sweater. The “oatmeal” is a blend of cream, beige, and grays closer up, and I’d also recommend the dark olive green which I saw in-person. For merino blend sweaters, I machine wash in the delicates cycle in a mesh bag and then lay them flat to try on a mesh rack (similar to how I wash silk).
  2. Cotton blend balloon sleeve sweater. A stylish little sweater in a substantial, medium to thicker weight knit. This has textural details all over the sleeves, nice wide ribbing, and a tight weave with smooth finish that doesn’t look like it would pill or snag easily. Runs short as well and my usual petite sizing hits right at my waist line (will share a fit pic soon).

Lastly they are having extra 60% off sale items, and a few coats I reviewed last year are on major sale left in select sizes:

Banana Republic petite work outfits

business casual outfits for winter  Banana Republic review petite work outfits
Thank you to Banana Republic for partnering on this post.


20 thoughts on “Timeless tan trousers + crossover drape top

  • Reply June January 24, 2020 at 2:17 am

    Do you think the crossover top might be nursing friendly? Thanks!

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite January 24, 2020 at 1:38 pm

      Hi June – I had actually meant to note that it’s nursing friendly but forgot! It’s meant to be a fitted tee / top so you might want to go up one size for a more comfortable fit that easily pulls off to one side.

      • Reply Lauren January 29, 2020 at 8:30 pm

        Thank you SO MUCH for all your posts on petite workwear outfits. Finding petite business professional clothing is such a headache but after finding you on Pinterest I feel excited to dress for work, again! I bought these pants in 00P after reading your post and although the waist and length are perfect, but the fabric is really bunchy and baggy in the crotch point and back rise/lower bum – and not in the cute high-waisted trouser kind of way, but in the over-sized bummer kind of way. Did you have to get the trousers worn in your pictures altered to fit properly?

        • Reply Jean | Extra Petite January 30, 2020 at 1:26 pm

          Hi Lauren – oh no! That’s so odd. I didn’t have these pants altered at all. Pants are always tricky to fit from person to person though : / Thank you for your encouraging note and I hope there’ll be some other finds that work out better for you!

  • Reply Mireia January 24, 2020 at 2:47 am

    These pants look so effortlessly smart!

    Mireia from TGL

  • Reply Carla Krae January 24, 2020 at 2:48 am

    I’ve noticed a trend of cropped sweaters to be worn over slim cut button down shirts. The sweaters are deliberately short.

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite January 24, 2020 at 1:39 pm

      Good point! I love that look too. Some of their petite sweaters would be a great candidate for button-down layering.

  • Reply Rena January 24, 2020 at 6:23 am

    In love how you styled these elegant trousers!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  • Reply Janine January 24, 2020 at 7:32 am

    Loving the wide leg pants! And the color of that Prada bag is to die for.
    Xx Janine

  • Reply Angela January 24, 2020 at 10:35 am

    I love your work outfit posts as they are extremely helpful. I would love it if you could do a post on how to organize a closet for work clothes!

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite January 24, 2020 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Angela, I have a fairly small closet by blogger standards and have organized as such:
      Hanging space is divided into 4 sections: 1) blazers / work jackets, 2) skirts (I hang these 3 to a clip hanger), 3) dresses, 4) longer jackets / trench coats / pants folded over on pants hangers that hang multiple pairs one one hanger.

      I then have a chest of drawers with 2 drawers dedicated to sweaters (all folded, not hung), 1 for blouses, 1 for button-downs, and then 1 for tees and knit tops.

  • Reply Jada January 24, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    You cannot go wrong with a classic camel pant in your closet! Love those on you!

  • Reply Kim January 24, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks so much for this post, Jean. I’ve been looking for a good petite crossover sweater for some time but up until now haven’t been speedy enough to catch one in my size.

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite January 24, 2020 at 1:44 pm

      Hope you like this one, Kim! But I do want to note it’s not a sweater. It’s lightweight like a tee shirt material. I did see BR has another true crossover sweater which I tried on and found to be soft but pretty cropped, so would potentially suggest sizing up on that one or try regular length.

  • Reply Neeltje | Thoughts in Style January 25, 2020 at 6:48 am

    Such a classy look! I love it. X

  • Reply Ann McIntire January 28, 2020 at 9:11 am

    Love the merino wool t-neck, but am allergic to wool. If you see anything similar in a non-wool material, please mention. Yes, I know, no wool in Minnesota is NOT a good thing. 🙂

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite January 30, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      Hi Ann – oh no! I keep hearing from ladies with wool allergies, so will try to be mindful of that in keeping an eye out for alternatives!

  • Reply Lindsay January 28, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Hi Jean, do these pants have a waist gap for you?

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite January 30, 2020 at 1:24 pm

      Hi Lindsay, they only have a small waist gap on me but I’ve gained weight and my waist size can fluctuate quite a bit during the day. So I’ve started to make sure the waist and rise measurements are listed out in the post, since that’s the best way to compare fit to a pair of your own pants. (note your waist measurement needs will change depending on the rise)

  • Reply Elizabeth February 1, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    You’re always sooo chic and classy <3 🙂 In love with this pretty color palette!

    XO, Elizabeth T.

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