Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Banana Republic Reviews: Camel Hacking Jacket, Black Quilted Leather Jacket, Tweed Pencil Skirt, Faux Fur Vest

In my last post, I mentioned that I was interested in this camel blazer from Banana Republic. Most sizes are currently sold out online, but I was able to use the Reserve in Store feature to find one at my local BR. Brief aside: I feel like all stores (especially J.Crew) should have this feature. I don't know how many times I made a trip to the mall only to find that the item I was looking for is sold out, but this really takes the guesswork out of the whole process. Other retailers, take note!

I usually wear 00 or XXS at J.Crew but 0P or XSP at Banana Republic. For reference, see my measurements here.

Camel Hacking Jacket (0 Petite)

I tried on this blazer in my normal BR size. The first thing I noticed when I put it on was that the button stance was quite low, especially compared to J.Crew's schoolboy blazers. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but in my case, the lapels didn't lie flat against my chest. Perhaps it would fit better for someone with a larger bust. The sleeve length and the overall length were good. I really liked the color, which is a true camel.

The body of the blazer was lined in white BR monogrammed satin, and the sleeves were lined with a striped fabric.

I took this close up of the wool blend material to highlight the colors and pattern. It has almost a woven texture up close. The fabric was a little rough and scratchy, similar to wool blends you can find at H&M rather than J.Crew.   

The flap pockets were a little small and have no buttons.

I was rather disappointed by the gold buttons on the body and the cuffs. They felt like spray-painted plastic. Just a little cheap and flimsy. Overall though, I liked this blazer. If the fit in the chest was better, I would have purchased it. As is I couldn't justify spending the money.

Verdict: like, mostly true to size

Black Quilted Leather Jacket (XS)

I really don't need another leather jacket since I already own a perfectly good one that I hardly ever wear. However, the quilted details on this version drew me in. The fit was surprisingly good on me considering it was an XS instead of my usual XSP, so I assume this must run small and short. The sleeves were a tad long, but that's to be expected. The leather was soft and supple albeit rather thin for the hefty price tag. Overall, a worthy purchase if you can catch it on sale for 40% off.

Verdict: like, runs small and short

Tweed Pencil Skirt (0 Petite)

This skirt reminded me of the J.Crew Factory pencil skirt in graphite tweed, except that the colors on this were crisper. It was a close fit in the 0P, but I don't think I would size up. The length was good at just above my knee. My only complaint is that the woven tweed material seems too easy to snag. The skirt I tried on here had several threads pulled out of the tweed, so it visually disrupted the pattern. I don't think it would be possible to even snip the threads, because the rest of the fabric would unravel. 

Verdict: too easy to snag, true to size

Faux Fur Vest (XS)

This faux fur vest only came in regular sizing, so once again I took an XS. I was hopeful that it ran small, but clearly that wasn't the case. I found it to be quite boxy in the torso, but it's probably true to size since I am effectively wearing something that is one size too large. The length seemed reasonable but will translate to cropped on taller ladies. The fur was decently fluffy, and I did like that it wasn't too bulky from the side. The zipper felt a little dowdy in my opinion; I would have preferred hooks. Overall, not bad but not a home run either.

Verdict: meh, true to size

And so my hunt for the perfect camel blazer continues. If anyone has recommendations, please let me know in the comments!


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  2. Thank you so much for the reviews, especially the camel blazer! I really like the color much better than the schoolboy from J.Crew a couple years back. I think the buttons could be swapped out easily enough to make it look/feel a bit less cheap. Did the button placement work ok when you had the blazer unbuttoned?

    1. Btw, the leather jacket looks fantastic on you!

    2. Good idea about swapping out the buttons! The fit was alright unbuttoned, but personally I like to wear my blazers both ways.

  3. Great reviews! Thanks!
    I agree, the leather jacket looks fabulous. Too bad about the skirt, I was considering it as I'd love a tweed skirt. The snags would drive me crazy, though.

    1. I was definitely tempted by the jacket but managed to talk myself out of the impulse buy. Good to know that the skirt review was helpful!

  4. You look great in that jacket! This bag will look great with it