Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Banana Republic versus J.Crew - Part 2 ( Dresses)

This is a continuation of my yesterday's post, comparing some of Banana Republic and J.Crew pieces. This time I selected couple of dresses that caught my attention.

Mini-striped weekend dress


Size Medium, I am 5'6

$69.50 100% cotton

Compare to J.Crew:
I like the neckline, the finishing details and the sleeve length on BR dress mush better. Even the thinner stripe is I think more flattering because it is more subtle. And of course the J.Crew dress is twice as much if you get BR dress with 30% off.

They also had a solid version that I don't see on the website.

Size Small

More form fitting and much shorter
I actually regret not getting the striped dress with the 50% off full price they were running this weekend.  In fact I think it is still worth it with just 30% off. I am considering it.

Zoey striped wrap dress

Black combo
 This is pretty old but I never had a chance to try it.

Size Medium

Cut too low

It is a nice concept but I was not impressed with the fit. Maybe I am spoiled with my DVF wrap dress (see it HERE). I hated the stretchy, man made feeling clingy fabric. It is cut too low and you would need a cami or a pin to wear it to work (anywhere in fact).

The Mad Men® Collection sleeveless Draper dress

Size 8

Good length, I am 5'6

The Mad Men® Collection elbow sleeve Draper dress

Size 8

Both Mad Man collection dresses fit the same way and have the same fabric content. The difference is only in sleeve length and color.  They fitted me well in size 8, accommodated my 34D chest  and were not high waisted. The fabric felt very soft. The length is also good on me. My bra straps were covered in the pink dress, also a plus. They felt very comfortable which is not always a case with a lace dress.

The only small con was slight puckering on the side of waist band, like it was too much fabric there. You can see in in the closeup picture of the pink dress.

If I had a special occasion for which I needed a dress like a wedding, graduation or such I would definitely consider those dresses, especially because of good fit with comfort combination. Both dresses are $130, which would be quite reasonable with some discount. They are 68% cotton and 32% nylon, lining 100% poly.
That's all folks.

I will be watching the Mini-striped dress for sales and I probably get it. Overall, I think BR has some interesting items at great prices. And I always love the competition, it means more choices and for us shoppers.

Do you like any of the dresses?
Have you been checking Banana Republic offerings?


  1. i really like the black br dress on you even though it is a little short. it really flatters your figure. also love the 2 madmen dresses, very flattering too! where do you get your energy?!

    1. thank you janet, actually this blog gives me some of the energy, now I feel all this shopping has finally some purpose :)

  2. I love the striped dress, but I love your DVF even more. Where did you get it? I think I might have to stalk one. Do they ever go on sale? Love your blog.

    1. Hi Lizzy T, thanks. The DVF dresses do go on sale sometimes but only certain ones and they are still around $200, even on sale. Mine was a gift (wishlisted) from hubby.
      I also saw them on ebay but I am afraid of fakes.

  3. I have the 2 Mad Men dresses and the black Zoey, and now I must check out the Weekender dress - which looks great on you (and we are roughly the same size)... :) The Zoey does need a cami or a pin but I've never had a wrap dress (including my DVFs) that didn't.

    I have always been a BR girl, I have pieces that I have had for years and still get compliments on. We didn't have J.Crew until recently, and I have tried to get with the whole JCA thing, I've really tried... but mostly I can't. The quality at JC is no better than BR imo, the prices are double, and I find that their pieces don't fit me as well as BR. And pencil skirts and boy shirts aren't my thing. So I have gone back to Banana and abandoned my Jenna aspirations.

    1. cagliari67, I can totally understand where you are coming from. I agree that the quality is the same and BR pants are better fitting and the prices are much better so if you are not into pencil skirts and a lot of color there is no point to spending much more on J.Crew.

  4. I went back to BR today to check out the weekend dress; thank you for pointing that out! I love it -- to me, it's comparable to the JC maritime dress in shape in a slightly lighter fabric, which is great for warmer weather. I tried the skinny striped one that you show, as well as a version with thicker stripes -- did you see that one? Very cute. But it can wait until sale, esp. since they are starting those "40% off one full price item" coupons in April.

    Some good sales in store not online, as you have mentioned. This beaded cardigan is so adorable, and I got it for under $35 in store (they are running a 20% off purchases of $100 or more, 10% off lower amts for gap/br/on cardholders), even though it is still full price online:


    1. Thanks audreys, yes I saw that wide striped dress as well, forgot to mention it. I am only waiting for the first 40% off and then I will snatch the dress, I also have $20 in rewards to use!

  5. Apropos of your theme, Banana Republic's Chartreuse jacquard dress (#905239) is very similar to J. Crew's Basket-weave shift dress (item #64991), the yellow one you already reviewed. They're both slim-fitting sheaths in textured fabrics. The main differences are fabric content and the detailing on the bodices. In this case the price point is very close -- the BR dress retails for $140 while the JC dress retails for $148.

    1. hi rachel, that for the info about the dresses. I would say the real BR price is still better, because you can easily count on a discount. In April they will have those 40% off every week, I am planning to use one on the striped dress.

  6. Love your blog. Thanks for the BR/JC comparisons as the reviews are spot on!

    I'm also loving the two red necklaces you wear on these pics. Are they also BR pieces? Thanks!

  7. Hi Marisela, thanks!
    The first necklace is from J.Crew, not sure if they still have it in stores. The second one is from BR, it was on sale, but I don't remember the price. It also comes in cobalt blue.