Brand that Sometimes Runs Small: Banana Republic Petites

My closet would be in a sad state if it weren’t for the Banana Republic Petites line. While not everything works, I find a few gems here and there. The BR aesthetic is pretty close to my person style, so it has been a great resource for me. The petite XS and petite 00 items either fit just right, or seem to be about 1 size too big. Here is a rundown of what the fit has been for me so far:

Tops/Blouses:
I put the tops in 3 categories: silky, button down, and rayon/stretchy.

Silky tops in PXS always fit about 1-2 sizes too large on me. This includes the bust, waist and sleeve. I suppose a tailor could make one work, but it would need to be altered to within an inch of it’s life, and I’m a little nervous to take that leap. For instance, this top looked ridiculous on me. The puff sleeve certainly doesn’t help.

Petite silk tie-neck blouse


Button down “work” shirts in PXS are always about 1 size too big. The sides could be taken in easily enough by a tailor, but I’ve found the shoulder is also a little big, and might be more difficult to take in. Try it if you’re brave!

Rayon/stretchy tops in PXS usually fit pretty well. The stretchy fabric certainly helps the fit, since they’re cut smaller. Most of the things from BR I own are of this variety. For example, this top fit me fantastically!

Petite sleeveless tie-neck top (rayon/spandex)

Jackets:

I’ve found a few blazers in P00 that have worked me, and each one has had the word “stretch” on the label. Go figure, since the stretchy fabric garments are cut smaller right? Look for things that say “stretch”, and there’s a chance it’ll fit.

Pants:

Just like with the jackets, the P00 pants that have the word “stretch” somewhere on the label have worked for me in the past. However, I still have needed the waist taken in just a bit, but this is an easy alteration, and not really a big deal. My favorite cut was the Ryan, since it was a little slimmer and sat lower on the waist (I’m short-waisted, so lower waists on pants are more flattering), however, I haven’t seen the Ryan cut in a while, and think BR is phasing it out. So sad! I really hate the wide leg trouser look this fall/winter, as my little legs get lost in all that fabric! Oh well, maybe fitted trousers will come back in soon. If need be, a tailor can slim the legs on your trousers.

Petite plaid houndstooth wide-leg pant (way too wide for tiny legs!)


Jeans:

Forget it! BR jeans run big all over. The waist, thigh, and leg are always huge on me. I’ll pay for premium denim that fits WAY better any day!

Dresses and Skirts:

BR dresses and skirts in PXS and P00 run about 1 size too big. On dresses, I find the shoulders a little big, and the chest seaming too low, so the girls are never where they should be. The sides usually need some taking in, and the hem is usually just a tad too long. The dresses that have the most promise after easy alterations are the silk sheath dresses. Just get the sides taken in a bit, and, wallah! Perfect. Similar to the dresses, the hem of the skirts is usually a little too long, and the waist has always been too big, so that they sit on the low hip instead of the low waist where it should be.

All in all, BR petites is definitely worth checking out! There are gems to be found, and with some simple alterations, most items will work well.

All photos from bananarepublic.com

2 Comments

  • Reply October 23, 2009

    Anonymous

    I am almost as tiny as you 5'3″ 90lbs.I have found shopping in the junior departments much more convenient as far as dress pants go.These dont need any alterations and theres no way to tell its from a junior dept.The brand 'My michelle' at kohls in a size 0 fits really well with no alterations needed.

  • Reply May 26, 2011

    Anonymous

    I am almost as tiny as you 5'3″ 90lbs.I have found shopping in the junior departments much more convenient as far as dress pants go.These dont need any alterations and theres no way to tell its from a junior dept.The brand 'My michelle' at kohls in a size 0 fits really well with no alterations needed.

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