I was walking around Manhattan on Thursday when I saw a Banana Republic window display that literally stopped me in my tracks.
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!
Next is the blue dress from the window. It was a dream!
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:
The wide waistband, princess seams, and angled seams near the armpit were really great for a big bust.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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):