second look: banana republic

I think we all shop at certain stores during certain life phases. Forever 21 or Express when you’re still buying into every trend that passes by. The Limited when you grow out of those a bit. Banana Republic when you get your first “real job.”

So, when I stopped going to an office every day, I kind of forgot about Banana Republic. I didn’t have a bad experience, or think they were awful, I just…forgot. Now that I was no longer absolutely desperate for an army of dress trousers and shells to wear underneath suits – and, if I’m honest, now that I know how to step up my game a little in the world of professional attire – the Banana dropped off my radar.

But last week, I went poking around hunting for something for a friend, and came across more than a few pieces that made me think “Hey, I totally need that!”. Closely followed by “Wait. That’s only¬†how much??”. Clearly, BR deserves a second look.

Before we even get started, let me say this: 30% off sitewide at BR through 11/14 with code GETSTARTED. (I know. My humor is not for everyone. But if you chuckled just then, I like you.) Not like there won’t be another code in 3 days, but I’m all about the now, people.

In my designer handbag snobbery, I’d completely forgotten how much I used to love their bags. This orange tote is so the kind of thing I’d work to death this winter, and it’s a relatively meagre $150. (Assuming, of course, you’re fool enough to buy things there at full price, which I know none of you are.) And the red satchel? Smart and pulled-together, and an excellent stand-in for, say, that LV Sofia bag all the “it girls” can’t put down.

Martin camel trouser, $110 / Kristina tote, $150 / Evan satchel, $220 / Martin wine ankle pant, $110

I actually stopped in last week and tried on both of those trousers. Sure, I’d want the cropped version in a tall size, as always (makes it a much easier length to wear, trust me). But those camel trousers are fantastic – like a fond memory of an old boyfriend, I recalled the Martin always did fit me pretty well. Add a chunky white fisherman’s sweater and an ankle boot? Done.

As for tops, well. Do they have a few too many shells to wear with your daily cardigan/trousers routine? Certainly. But every so often, there’s a gem. This printed blouse is polyester, which I don’t love. But I do love that that means it’s washable. And I absolutely love that abstract tassel print. Two “loves” makes it worth a try, no?

Mint majesty necklace, $70 / Snake pump, $98 / Belted wool coat, $225 / Lydia blouse, $80

And really, their jewelry was always fun…no disputing that. This fab little statement necklace clearly belongs in the mix. I’d wear it with a LBD for holiday in a hot second. But I’d also wear it with a white tee, black blazer and…oh, those wine pants. With maybe a snake heel that just happens to be my perfect slightly-less-than-3-inch height (or, who am I kidding, a ballet flat. But they have the exact same snake print in a flat! Mass-market geniuses, I say.). And heeeey, look at that…a work-apppropriate outfit with nary a cardigan or shell to be found.

What do you say? Am I the only one that had completely forgotten about BR?

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One thought on “second look: banana republic

  1. Wholesome Hedonist

    This so sums up every single thing I think about Banana Republic. After my undergrad, Banana was my entry into the wonderful world of work and ‘grown ups.’ I guess that why it holds a quaint charm for me now, but not enough to make me go in on a regular basis. Agree with you, though, that their jewelry and pants are sometimes worth it. Their handbags used to have some real gems, but now they are few and far between. Sometimes the shoes hit the right note, though. Their tops are still cut too boxy and made of too much polyester-blend for me – to my eye they always look matronly. But sometimes BR yields unexpected surprises – I recently found a gold textured pencil skirt with subtle seaming there that was absolutely perfect. For under $45 (on sale of course – one thing you can always count on!)

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