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5/15/17

Fitting Room Reviews + Sale Alert



I had the chance to try on a few things recently, and fell in love with a lot of them, so I wanted to share them with you before they start selling out! If you've seen my previous post, you're already familiar with one of the pieces that made its way into my closet.

I have to tell you, Banana Republic has really stepped up their game lately. If you haven't shopped there online or in-store in some time (like me), now's the time to reconsider and jump back on the bandwagon, so to speak. I've been surprisingly impressed with many of their recent styles, and have noticed that the pretty, feminine details that I once loved at Banana are finally being re-introduced:  

 - stripes intermixed with ruffles or bows
 - scalloped trim and hemlines
 - colorful florals and other seasonal-appropriate prints
 -  lovely embellishments like jeweled collars and eyelet lace

Aka, modern and beautiful pieces for both the office and the weekend that aren't stuffy and boring!

Is that really you, Banana? Because if it is and you're here to stay, I think we can be friends again. ;-)

My online cart/wish list has gotten a little out of control, so in true fashion, I'm attempting to whittle it down by actually seeing and trying on the pieces in-store. I still have more I want to get to, but here's a small sampling of what I tried on and my thoughts. Also, I wanted to share my picks with you while there's a sale promo running: get an extra 40% off sale styles (no code needed; some exclusions apply.)

Oh, and before we jump in, here's my usual fitting room disclaimer: I apologize in advance for the wonky lighting. I always try my best to capture the true colors of every item to give you an accurate assessment. Sometimes that means I have to brighten them or adjust the colors in post-processing.

Let's get started!


First up is this Sateen One-Button Blazer in the prettiest aqua blue, which is called "island shores" on the BR website. This is such a lovely shade of blue and one that's perfect for a Spring/Summer office look. Pair it with a classic, navy pencil skirt like I'm doing here or with an ivory one to keep the look light and airy. Or, swap out the skirt with some white skinny jeans for a dressy-casual look on the weekend or after-hours. The one-button style looks crisp and sharp and will elevate even a basic white tee, which is what I layered underneath for this look.

I'm trying on size 00P, and I'd say it fits true to size with the waist running slightly wide. (For fit reference, I'm 5'2" and about 100 lbs. with measurements 34-25-36.) The sleeves fit nicely, aren't too wide, and the length hits right at the wrist. The blazer itself has a nice weight to it, giving it a structured look, which I prefer with all of my blazers. The fabric has a slight sheen to it but is nice and understated. 

It's a great-looking blazer in such a lovely, unique color. Love it and would definitely recommend!


Next I tried this Riley-Fit Bow-Neck Stripe Shirt, which I've been swooning over since I first saw it online a few weeks ago. Blue and white stripes with a bow neck? Yes and yes! It truly didn't disappoint in-person either. I just adore it. It needs a little steaming (you can see some crease marks in the tail of the bow) but apart from that, it's the perfect blend of feminine and sweet with "let's get down to business." There's no shortage of tie-neck blouses in my wardrobe, and for good reason:  I love the style and often wear them either on their own or layered under sweaters, both for office wear or casual wear.

I'm trying on size 0, which was the smallest size available in the store. I noticed that petite sizes aren't available for this blouse online either (darn) but this size still fit pretty well, albeit a little wide in the torso. You can see that the sides are bunching out slightly when the blouse is tucked in, which drives me crazy. I'd probably have to slim the sides to ensure a better fit, but that's just my personal preference.

That aside, this is one of my favorites! 


Next up is this Riley-Fit Purple Scallop Shirt in size 00P. This was another immediate favorite. I love just about anything with scalloped detailing, and the scalloped placket on this blouse is just darling. The lavender color is also quite lovely and fresh for a Spring work look. The material is crisp and lightweight and has a very slight stretch to it thanks to the 3% elastane in the otherwise all-cotton fabric. 

Size 00P fits me well but is slightly tight across the bust. If you have a larger bust, you will want to size up to prevent any pulling or gaping at the buttons.


Next is the Double-Breasted Belted Trench in size XXSP. I'm always on the hunt for a classic, well-fitting, petite trench coat. Most trench coats fit really large on me: sleeves are too wide and/or long, waist is too wide and bulky, or the coat itself it too long and swallows me completely.

The shape of this one is better than most on me and has some structure to it, however the sleeves and waist are still too wide for my liking, so if you're similar in size to me, you may need to consider investing in alterations. And while I like that this trench has most of the elements of a classic trench, it is missing shoulder epaulets, which I personally prefer on a trench coat. That aside, it is still a great trench and the color is a true beige -- not to light or too dark. The 100% cotton fabric is noticeably stiff to the touch and when trying it on, but this allows the coat to maintain its structure/silhouette, so I can get past it. As far as I can tell, the fabric is not coated or waterproof, so you will want to keep that in mind if you live in a rainy climate or are looking for a waterproof option. 

Overall, this is nice, lightweight trench if you're looking for a classic, neutral coat to layer over your outfits on chilly days. I love the double-breasted styling and wide, notched collar, and of course, the pockets. Please note: it's dry-clean only.


Last up is this striking, vivid coral, laser-cut dress. Unfortunately, I don't know the exact name of it since I can't locate it on the BR website; I'm thinking it's already sold out online. You still may be able to find it in stores, though, like I did. There were several sizes on the rack in my local store, but the smallest available was a size 2. As you can see, it runs wide on me in the waist and hips, so I'd definitely need a size 0. The fit-and-flare silhouette is ladylike and flattering, and the almost-elbow-length sleeves are also nice and modest. And let's talk about the detailing -- so beautiful! The laser-cut lace and the scalloped collar and hem definitely speak my language! I love pretty, feminine details like these. 

This dress would be perfect for a Spring/Summer wedding, graduation, party, or other special event. It's truly a stand-out dress!

There are so many other pieces that are definitely worth checking out. These yellow floral pumps, for example -- so very pretty! I snagged them in size 5 when they popped back in stock online, and can't wait to get them! These pumps have received several glowing reviews on their comfort alone, so I'm optimistic.

Below are more of my favorites that have made their way onto my ever-growing wish list. (Just scroll through and click on the ones you like!)

MORE OF MY FAVORITES:



See what I mean? I think more trips to my local store are in order...

I hope you found these quick reviews helpful! Let me know which ones are you favorites or if you've snagged anything!

Have a great day, and as always, thanks so much for stopping by!
XO  

5/5/17

Striped Trench Dress: Styled 2 Ways


When I see a dress that has all the classic elements that I love, and that I know will do double-duty, I know it's a keeper. This striped trench dress from Banana Republic has become an immediate favorite of mine for these reasons. I just adore it! It's a fresh, modern take on the traditional striped dress: the variated stripes that give the illusion of a chevron pattern, the double-breasted trench styling, the self-tie belt, the side pockets. It's lovely and ladylike and transitions nicely from the office to after-hours with only a few key style changes.

In this post, I'll be showing you how to style this dress two ways: one that's dressy, polished, and suitable for the office or Sunday brunch, and another that is more business-casual and ideal for the weekend or a night out on the town.





This first look is sleek, polished, and definitely on the dressier side. Here, I'm letting the dress speak for itself and serve as the focal point of the entire outfit. The alternating stripes are such a fun take on a traditional, striped dress and keep it interesting. The hidden-button closure of the dress keeps the lines clean and sleek, which is a really nice touch, too. A simple tie of the waist belt, and you're set. The matching belt cinches the waist nicely and the skirt portion of the dress gently flares out into a flattering A-line silhouette. And I can't forget the side-seam pockets: love, love, love them. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: dresses with pockets are my favorite! 

To keep with the modern-classic theme, I've added a rich cognac saddle bag and a pair of nude patent pumps. The nude pumps don't compete with the dress and also have the added benefit of lengthening the leg line. Sometimes simple is best, and these accessories are both simple yet elegant. If you need more coverage for a conservative office environment or just a chilly day, add a navy cardigan or blazer and you're office- or luncheon-ready.





This second look is more casual, fun and slightly unexpected. Here I had fun taking liberties in styling this dress as a vest. This is a great way to get more mileage out of your favorite dresses, ladies! Remember I said I'm drawn to pieces that can do double-duty? This is a perfect example. The trick is to use a button-down shirt dress or trench dress, like this one, that can be worn open and layered. If the dress has a tie-belt, just slightly cinch and tie it at the back. You want the vest fitted but not overly so; otherwise, it won't drape properly in the front. 

To keep the look dressy-casual, I've styled the dress with a silky, cream shell and dark skinny ankle jeans. The shell is crisp, drapes nicely, and serves as a neutral backdrop for the dress/vest. The dark jeans serve to anchor the look, with the slim, ankle fit also lengthening the legs. The long, openline "vest" also gives the illusion of added height, which is always nice for us petites! To infuse some color and a few extra playful details, I've added a roomy, camel tote and my favorite blush-suede, tassel, high-heeled sandals. For both style offerings I've added a cute and affordable pair of sunglasses and I've kept the jewelry minimal with dainty, gold necklaces and bangles. This look is one I'd wear out to dinner or to a business-casual office/event.

And there you have it -- one dress styled two ways! Which look do you prefer? I hope this post inspires you to re-style some of your own favorite wardrobe pieces and breathe new life into them! Also, if you have any questions on this amazing dress, please let me know and I'll be happy to help. I love it and highly recommend it, plus it's currently on sale for 30% off with no code needed!

To wrap up, I've prepared a Pinterest-friendly photo for you below, should you want to save/pin it for future reference. Each of my blog photos can be pinned by hovering over the photo and clicking on the pink "pin it" button in the top, right-hand corner. :-)

Look 1 (Left):
Striped Trench Dress (00p) // Coach Cognac Satchel - old (similar here, here) //
Nude Patent Pumps // Sunglasses // Gold Choker Necklace - gifted (similar here) //
Earrings - old (similar here) // Gold Bangles - gifted (similar here) // Lipcolor "HD Spark"

Look 2 (Right):
Striped Trench Dress (00p) // LOFT Cream Shell - old (similar here) //
Skinny Ankle Jeans - old (this season's here) // Anne Klein Tote - sold out (similar here, here) //
Gold Choker Necklace - gifted (similar here) // Earrings - old (similar here) // 
Gold Bangles - gifted (similar here) // Lipcolor "HD Spark"

Thanks so much for stopping by!
XO

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