I was walking around Manhattan on Thursday when I saw a Banana Republic window display that literally stopped me in my tracks.

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The blue dress on the left caught my eye first, and then I noticed the pink skirt on the right, and finally the top row of photos. Why . . . they all had princess seams and full skirts—a boon to the busty woman! I had to stop in and try on at least the blue dress. But when I got inside, there were tons of fit and flare frocks, or as I like to think of them, professional-style skater dresses. So I tried on a whole bunch to report back!

First off, apologies for the terrible photo quality. The dressing rooms were tiny and dark, and all I had with me was my cell phone, no real camera.

Anyhow, first up is the pink skirt in size 8. It fit very strangely, with a weird pouch of bunched up fabric right in the front. Nope!

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Next is the blue dress from the window. It was a dream!

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I’m wearing size 8 here. I tried a 6 too, which also fit pretty well since the fabric was a bit stretchy, but I think it was maybe tighter than intended? I’m not really sure. Readers, does this dress look a bit loose? The 6 was better in the waistband and curved under my breasts more, but it also squished my boobs just a little.

The fabric was heavy, almost like a denim, but unlike denim it was smooth and without texture. It felt quite nice and I adore the print. Check out this closeup:

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Gorgeous!

The wide waistband, princess seams, and angled seams near the armpit were really great for a big bust.

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I so wanted to just take this dress home with me, but at $140 I am not going to pay full price. Perhaps I’ll sign up for the Banana Republic email newsletter and wait until there’s a decent sale. I could see paying up to $100 for this, but not much more. I would also want a second opinion in person as to whether I should get size 6 or 8.

Next is a knit dress with pleated skirt and raglan sleeves in size 8. This one also came in solid magenta pink.

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This dress was so soft and comfy. With the simplest bodice of the garments I tried on, it also proved to be the most boob-friendly. Check out these nice, clean princess seams:

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I liked this one, but not enough to actually buy it. It’s also rather more professional than I have use for. Maybe if I get a “corporate” job one day (not likely!).

This next one didn’t much appeal to me on the hanger, but I decided to try it anyways. It looked bigger than the others, so I tried it in 6. I think a 4 might have been even better, but I didn’t really have time to get another.

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Once it was on, I actually really liked this dress. The drop waist with flouncy skirt is cute and the print looks less like fussy floral and more like a graphic black and white print. And you know I love a neon detail. This pink piping here is a great way to wear the neon trend without looking immature. However, there is one glaring problem…

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What’s with the huge armholes?? That’s an inch and a half of my bra sticking out! I would literally have visible side-boob if I weren’t wearing a bra. Usually when there’s visible bra in the underarm, I just ignore it because it’s mostly covered up when my arms are down. But in this case you can even see it from the front:

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Seriously, what the hell? I know I’ve complained about Pin Up Girl and Heart of Haute making sleeves too tight, but this is just ridiculous. The armholes in the size 8 dresses are significantly smaller than this size 6. These are like body-builder armholes!

Moving on to the last one I tried, here is a nautical-inspired knit frock in size 8. The stripes look more like black in my photos, but I assure you they’re navy. This also came in solid navy or black suiting fabric.

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Again I wonder if a 6 might have been better, but no time to grab another size! I love the flouncy skirt with the stripes going in a slightly different angle than the rest of the dress. Though this dress didn’t have princess seams like all the others, it did have a pair of quite impressive underbust darts:

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Once again there’s an awful lot of bra sticking out, though it’s at least not as bad as the last one. And I bet going down a size would ameliorate the problem somewhat. I’m certainly going to keep an eye on Banana’s sales because I wouldn’t mind snatching this one up along with the first blue floral. Just look how great it goes with my new white glasses (yes, I build outfits around my eyeglasses):

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