Colorful Midi & Maxi Dresses (Some Maternity-Friendly)

Banana Republic petite summer dresses review

Quarantine plus pregnancy has had me in a serious fashion rut, living in PJs or stretchy leggings. Although a return to our new normals still feels a bit distant, I’m finally feeling inspired again, and gravitating towards all the vibrant colors and prints to help brighten up these days!

Banana Republic always has an amazing selection of midi and maxi dresses that are machine washable, and come in petite, regular AND tall sizing! I’m reviewing non-maternity (but mostly bump-friendly) finds today, and will share a few maternity pieces next week. For fit reference, I’m 5′ tall, currently about 110 pounds in my second trimester. Everything I’m trying on in this post is one size up from my pre-pregnancy size.

1. Twist-front Midi Dress

This was love at first try on. I was drawn in by the flattering twist front detail and vibrant color, and am also a fan of the adjustable shoulder straps and stretch back panel which both help with fit. The medium weight fabric has a textured linen-like feel to it and needed a light steaming out of the package (took no time at all using my trusty handheld steamer), but it doesn’t feel as wrinkle-prone as linen. The length and material makes this easy to dress up or down.

petite maternity clothes pregnancy summer dress
Banana Republic petite summer dresses
0 Petite on the left (similar slip on mules), 0 Regular on the right.

Fit note: I’m trying on Petites sizing in the teal, and Regular sizing in the yellow. Since my growing belly requires a little extra length in bottoms, I’m keeping the regular, which is still short enough for me to wear with flat shoes. One size up from my usual fits comfortably with a little room to spare at my belly, so I expect to be able to wear this well into this summer.

Measurements: Size 0 is 13″ across the empire waistline, but the elastic back panel allows it to stretch up to 16″ across. Skirt length of the 0 Regular is 2″ longer than 0 Petite.

2. Satin Ruched Dress

Petite, Regular & Tall sizing. Also in golden yellow.

Compared to the other dresses in this try-on, the satiny fabric of this one is more lightweight and drapey / flowy. I’m not keeping this one as it’s a little more dressy due to the fabric. It’s partially lined down throughout the torso down to the knees, with a high-low style hem that ends above my ankles. There’s ruching at the top of the shoulders (the tighter you tie the string, the narrower the strap becomes), and also all the way around the waistband, making the mid section very stretchy.

Measurements: 0 Petite measures 16.5″ across the underarms, 11.5″ across the waist when lying flat, easily stretching up to 16″ across. Length is approximately 41″ in the front, and 49″ in the back.

banana republic petite maxi dress

Satin ruched dress 0 petite, Ann Taylor sandals (current version), Amazon earrings

3. Halter Maxi Dress

Petite, Regular & Tall sizing. Also in white and yellow floral print.

This is a simple column silhouette that can be easily dressed up for a wedding or down with flats for everyday wear. I love the pockets and the halter neckline, as the angled cut makes narrow shoulders look a little more “shapely.” The maxi length on me hits by the ankles and is still short enough to wear with flats. Material is the same as Dress # 1 above with a slightly textured, linen-like feel and no stretch.

petite summer maxi dress maternity outfit

The shape of this dress is fairly straight cut in the torso, and doesn’t have much waist definition if you don’t add a belt. I wanted to show this with the included string waist tie, as well as with a skinny leather belt!

Measurements: 0 Petite is 17″ across the underarms and waist when unbelted. Length excluding halter straps is 49″

what to wear to a summer wedding petite green maxi dress

Halter Maxi Dress 0 petite, adhesive nippies, Gucci belt 75 (my sizing guide), Ann Taylor sandals (current version), Amazon earrings, Celine bag

4. Floral square-neck dress

Petite, Regular & Tall sizing. Also in solid red, black, or white.
Same print also comes in a top

The beautiful blue porcelain-like floral pattern here gives me major tea party and coast of Italy vibes. Other features include a flattering square but rounded neckline, removable tie waist, and convenient side pockets. The shoulder straps are adjustable with 2 button hole settings in the back.

Note, unlike the other dresses in this blog post, the fit and flare cut of this one is not maternity-friendly and sadly too snug for me, but fit seems true to size for the brand. Fabric is a comfortable and smooth 100% cotton poplin material (with slight stretch), with a lined bodice and side zipper entry. Similar to the yellow maxi dress above, this also has a stretch ruched panel at the back center of the torso.

Measurements: 0 Petite measures 15.5″ across the underarm, and 13″ across the waist (stretches).

petite floral summer dress

Floral dress 0 petite, Castaner wedges 35 Jewelry: similar earrings, Etsy necklaces from this post, KJP pearl cuff bracelet, Baublebar braceletsring c/o

Which dress here was your favorite? Mine has to be #1 in the sunny yellow!

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When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

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Leave a Comment


  1. Mich wrote:

    Hi! I remember you recommended a pair of black sunglasses from Amazon lately, can you please share again? So sorry,I can’t find it. Thanks!


    Posted 7.5.20 Reply
  2. Tanya wrote:

    You look great in dresses!

    Posted 5.19.20 Reply
  3. Jeany wrote:

    Wow, amazing dresses! Really love them all!
    Lots of Love,

    Posted 5.18.20 Reply
  4. Briana wrote:

    Love the sweet looks on you!


    Posted 5.17.20 Reply
  5. Gwen Kennedy wrote:

    Jean – how on earth did I miss that you were expecting again? Congratulations! 🙂 I hope you are all retaining your sanity during this strange time. Your recipes around scallion pancakes have been a hit with my boyfriend as I’ve been working remotely at his house in Mystic, CT for the last 2 months. Looking forward to being back in Boston soon. Stay safe and be well! – Gwen

    Posted 5.17.20 Reply
  6. Lina wrote:

    Jean, I love the yellow dress. For a future post, could you explore “non-maternity” maternity pants? I am pregnant as well, and my go-to pants (Banana Republic sloan) really don’t work, and neither do jeans. Looking for drawstring, easy, culotte options that work for early -pregnancy petite sizing (sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in the wide leg styles).

    Posted 5.16.20 Reply
  7. Valerie wrote:

    Hi Jean! Love your looks. Is that the mini version of the straw sea and grass bag ? Thank you!

    Posted 5.16.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Valerie! My bag is an older version and I couldn’t seem to find the exact size currently in the store, but if you message the Etsy seller with a link to this post I’m sure she’d be able to tell you if it’s available or if she’s able to make it.

      Posted 5.19.20 Reply
  8. Angela wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    Your code is not working on the dress from Banana Republic. What is the code for 20% off?

    Posted 5.16.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Angela, my code is for Baublebar not banana republic! Banana dresses are currently 50% off with no code needed

      Posted 5.16.20 Reply
  9. Brandi wrote:

    Ive had my eye on that green satin dress from BR for a while! Trying to think of just the right occassion I can wear it to.. that color looks gorgeous on you lady! Thank you for including fit and fabric details and measurements, it always gives a better picture of how things really fit. Have a great weekend!

    Posted 5.16.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Brandi – of course! Shopping online can be a gamble so I try to include as much as possible!

      Posted 5.16.20 Reply
      • Jess. wrote:

        Agree with Brandi – that is your green!!! You should wear more of that color. It makes your skin glow.

        Posted 5.16.20 Reply
  10. Mireia wrote:

    So cute! My favourite is the floral one!

    Mireia from TGL

    Posted 5.16.20 Reply
  11. YZ Chan wrote:

    Colourful dresses are great for Spring/Summer! The floral square-neck dress is so pretty. x

    Posted 5.15.20 Reply

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