In Shopping, Style, Women

Style Shopper: Review Banana Republic Silk Trench Dress, Striped Rib Knit Dress, Flounced Top


You can read all of my clothing reviews here under Style Shopper.


I am normally a US 4 on bottoms (Designer US 4, Banana Republic 2, J. Crew 4 for the upper half like for jackets, or J. Crew 2 for the bottoms).

I’m an inverted triangle and normally wear an Small or 2 (smallest sizes in all mainstream brands except for designer brands where I usually take a US 4).

I am also 5’6″ and fairly slim overall. Small busted (A cup).

I will say for my shoulders I ALWAYS take a size larger than the bottom, like a US 6 in designer brands, or a US 4 in Banana Republic, or a J. Crew US 4 for instance, because my shoulders are large, my torso is wider after the pregnancy, but my body is slim overall.

I am super picky and hate itchy items of any kind because I have eczema (most wool-items and wool-blends are out, or anything unlined), too-tight things and anything that doesn’t look or feel expensive and wonderful.

$9 is $90 is $900. The price makes no difference to me.



Just say the words: Silk. Trench. Dress … and I am ALL OVER THIS GORGEOUS Banana Republic Silk Trench Dress from their Icon Collection.

I know it doesn’t look like a double-breasted ‘trench’ dress, but this is the kind of minimalist trench dress I love. A little flap in the front, flaps a the back, thick silk, simple details…

I am all over this.

I took it in a size Petite 4, and I tried the Regular 4 (my usual size), but I found the arm hole to be much larger (it shows the top of my bra!), and it was just a little looser around the torso, and a few inches longer.

As a result, I prefer the Petite sizing and cut for me, but you may not feel the same ESPECIALLY if you have a bigger bust than an A-cup.

Give both a shot and see:

I love the front knotted section

And the back as that trench-like flap:

In the white dress, the pockets are ever so slightly visible, but it is really not a bothersome to me, and I am just happy .. that.. THERE ARE POCKETS!!!!!!

The only weird thing is.. why is there only a flap on one side? Where did the other one go? Did we do this to save on silk costs??

Whatever. You can’t really see it unless you’re a detail freak like I am.



I saw the rib knit on the dress and said “No”. I have an irrational dislike of rib knits.

If it looked more like this which is not ribbed, I would have kept them.

I don’t hate it on me but I don’t like rib knits:

It just isn’t special on me:


I bought this Banana Republic flounced top because it was on major sale and I wanted to try something new and trendy and I HATE IT.

The fabric is really cheap feeling. Like a thick polyester.

The band to keep it down below the shoulders is pretty thick and does the job well but I just felt uncomfortable.

I just felt like the shirt was hugging my shoulders and keeping my arms down like some marionette doll. I didn’t feel free to move or be comfortable.

I even tried it with one shoulder out.

It just also makes my shoulders look even larger.



I tried on this Banana Republic Quinn Fit Eyelet Shirt as a trendy thing because eyelet and lace are something I do not want to wear because it just seems so old to me.

I took the “Small” (usual shirt) to fit my body but even an XS would have fit better.

That said, I wanted to give it a shot, but the fit is too oversized — Quinn — I need something slimmer and more fitted.

The back is fine too. If you like this print and eyelet thing, go for it! Don’t let me hold you back, but it isn’t for me.

It did look much better knotted though. Maybe if I also rolled up the sleeves. Frankly though, I would just want to buy a plain white shirt instead.

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  1. Maria

    Trenches typically have one “Storm flap” not two. Think of it.. Trench Coat as in used in trenches by soldiers carrying guns, this is the best explanation I think:
    “Storm (Gun) Flap – Assumed by many to be padding for a rifle butt, the “gun” flap is actually a protective flap to ensure water does not slip into the jacket as it runs down the shoulders. It effectively serves as a cap, keeping the wearer dry, assuming he has on headwear. We see it on the right side for men and on the left side for women as the jacket buttons up in opposite ways for the different genders. The reference to this flap being a gun flap is probably due to it being requested during WWI when officers complained about water seeping into the coats after firing their rifles. The raising of the right arm opened up and exposed the early trench coat’s breast fold to the elements – not something you want in a downpour.”

    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh my! I loved learning this!!!!! Thank you

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