There’s no getting around it: Banana Republic is in trouble right now. Over on J.Crew Aficionada (lively discussion going on there regarding this!) a community member linked to this Fortune article which gets former designer Marissa Webb’s name wrong (cringeworthy mistake) but gets the facts more or less right — shoppers are staying away after the brand ventured way too far into trendy and forgot all about quality and fit.
I don’t mean to start this post off on a down note, because right now BR is running two great sales: 40% off regular items (code: BRSTYLE; exclusions abound) and an extra 50% off sale, no code required But I do want to warn that the quality is more miss than hit right now at Banana, which is why I’ve assembled some great picks inside from the store that do hit the mark.
Here are some items included in the promotions that you can’t go wrong with:
1 | As I mentioned at the top of the post, Banana Republic’s merino is really nice! And the sleeves are full-length which has been very hard to find this year. I highly recommend the Merino Crew Sweater ($60 + 40% off, top of post)…
2 | As well as the Merino Boyfriend Cardigan ($78 + 40% off)…
3 | And the Extra-Fine Merino Wool Ribbed Cardigan ($98).
4 | The Extra-Fine Merino Wool Scallop Crew Pullover ($68) is excluded from the current promos, but I wanted to mention it too because the scallop-trim neckline is super cute, the fit is great, and the material is fantastic for the price.
5 | Any of those sweaters would look great with the Textured High-Waist Pencil Skirt ($88 + 40% off), which you’ll want to size up in if you’re curvy like me.
6 | The High-Waisted Pencil Skirt ($78 + 40% off) is another great option and I love the vivid royal blue color. Size up in this one too if you’re curvy like me.
7 | The basic oxford shirt gets a lovely feminine touch in the Riley-Fit Asymmetrical Ruffle Placket Shirt ($68 + 40% off).
8 | The Italian Silk Cotton Ribbed Vee Pullover ($78 + 40% off) is somewhere between sweater and top, and has cute contrast cuffs in all of its colors. Don’t forget to use code BRSTYLE for these items above!
9 | The Pleated Dot-Print Dress (now $78 + 50% off) is all-seasons cute, has a great fit, but is final sale.
10 | Size down two sizes and you’ve got a lovely tie-neck top in the Heritage Tie-Neck Silk Blouse (now $75 + 50% off).
11 | The Stripe Aire Yarn Turtleneck Sweater (now $65 + 50% off) comes highly rated and is very similar to a LOFT sweater I own, love, and have worn all the time on extra-chilly days.
12 | A pink shearling moto coat for under $250 before the promo discount? Yes please to the Faux-Shearling Trim Coat (now $228 + 50% off!!!).
13 | The Flannel Side Button Skirt (now $75 + 50% off) just hit sale. This skirt is cute, flattering and a great neutral for winter. I love the navy colorway.
14 | Although the skirt portion is not a-line like the picture leads you to believe (hence all the negative reviews), the Herringbone Flannel Peplum Dress (now $87-$97) actually fits beautifully and the burgundy color is rather stunning.
Have you bought and loved anything recently at Banana Republic? What are you missing there, wishing they’d bring back or change?
I personally am loving their new styles over the past year. They have more color and the clothes are more interesting. As much as I am a huge fan of Anthropologie, I find myself buying more from Banana now. Their prices are better, shipping and returns much easier and sizing more consistent for petites. They don't offer as much whimsy as Anthro, but I'm a big BR fan. I also think that sometimes when their quality isn't the best, it still holds up better than anthro and their prices are much more reasonable.
Oh, very interesting Guest! Thank you for this comment. 🙂
I hope Anthro is listening…
🙂 Of course! I'm loving BR's dresses especially. I hope Anthro is listening as well, I really miss their designs/clothing from about 5+ years ago!
Interesting that the comments and concerns on that linked JCA post are the same that we have about Anthro – poor quality, poor fabrics, poor fit.
Banana Republic needs to bring back their wool Martin fit pants. They were perfect. I hope the pairs I have now never wear out.
I posted a comment on the other thread. I KNOW all of these retailers are in big trouble with their horrible quality. That being said, I've found Bananas wool, cotton and leather offerings to be pretty good.
I like those merino sweaters that Roxy mentioned in the post. I'd much rather but that cardigan than a $200+ designer brand of “equal quality”.
There is also a really cute “Riley-Fit Sleeveless Dot Print Ruffle Shirt” that I want to try. I saw it in person briefly this week and it looks nice. This are also solid and stripe versions Some of their cotton buttondown shirts are too thin for my taste, but these look much better IMO. I also bought the Dillon silk shirt, liked this one much better than expected as well as a heavy cotton chartreuse blazer. I've received compliments on both. I purchased a leather dress last fall, which was nice. So far, the two Todd & Duncan cashmere sweaters i have from this season are not pilling and I'm happy with the purchase.
Sadly, I am not loving anything Anthro right now. They appear to have no plans to make attractive, quality items from what I've seen thus far.
I went to my local Anthro store earlier this week and the store manager was laughing with me at the horrid offerings they have right now.
She said Feb 1st is the “new year” for Anthro and we will hopefully see some nice things again. She said the store decorations are going to be especially lovely.
I always think of banana republic as a fall/winter store. Every year I buy a couple new colors of the merino wool sweater and I have never had any quality issues with them. I also got a beautiful maroon sweater with black shoulder buttons that has long been sold out that I love. I like a lot of the patterns and cuts of the tops banana makes but I cannot stand 100% polyester and so that eliminates over 90% of their tops it seems like. Even if they used a poly blend it would be better.
Agreed about the quality problems just about everywhere right now (with individual items being fantastic, but it means lots of searching).
BR was not a cheap brand in the 80s and 90s, and when they started they were quite expensive for doing vintage vibe safari clothes.
I still wear a perfectly fitting BR polyester rain trench I got in 2004 ALL THE TIME. It could be a Burberry of today. I will actually pay to have the lovely nylon-acetate lining replaced with silk when it dies. And I normally hate synthetics. The coat looks brand new.
I also have and still wear regularly a red cotton trench that gets me compliments for the lovely color and good fit. And those pure cotton t-shirts that are very old but still look great and came in fantastic flattering colors. And I wore my favorite cotton BR PJs until they fell apart which took a long time even though the cotton was so fine.
Still wear a petite wool suit jacket that I paid full price also around 2003 made of high quality tropical weight wool and 3% spandex that had an unusual yet classic cut that somehow still doesn't look dated. The Monogram collection was good, but too tall for me.
BR also used to be my go-to for work trousers as they had a cut that fit my hourglass/pear shape and didn't need to be altered.
Then they started changing the names, cuts, and quality, the colors became odd, hated the website, so I simply stopped checking.
OT: Zara has a splattered paint T-shirt featured in their new Boys collection. It must be a big trend coming on.
Looking forward to what February brings. I just received my order from the promo last weekend and nothing worked….it was all just disappointing 🙁 I am so sad.
Same here—even sadder (to me) that I used my birthday discount and still couldn't justify keeping anything. Ugly, ill-fitting, poorly sewn, and just plain old wrong.
One of the analysts in the article mentioned that closing the brand is an option. Whoa! I actually feel like I've been buying more clothes at Banana Republic this past year. And it's the only store my husband is willing to shop at.
When I browse at Banana Republic I see so many potentially cute things. Then I check the tag and they invariably are 100% polyester, which just doesn't work for me. I'd be willing to pay more if they'd explore other materials for tops and dresses.
Hi Roxy, I ordered the flannel peplum dress. What sort of sweater or jacket would pair nicely with it? Thanks!
Yay! I hope you love it. I just ordered this cardigan to wear with it: http://bit.ly/2kgyVuJ
Until it arrives I'm wearing grey with it, a gray sweater over it or a dark grey long. Jacketwise I'd say black, grey, pink would work great.
Does anyone know the name of the necklace in this photo? It's too cute, but it isn't on the site anymore.