Banana Republic Has A New Look…But Is It Worth The New Pricing?


I’m fascinated by the evolution of Banana Republic. It’s like the girl who definitely didn’t peak in high school and now is looking at the rest of us down from her golden tower of cashmere.

To debrief you: Banana started as this little retailer with the vibe of a safari traveler in all white with luggage trunks and scarves. Then, it became Ann Taylor’s cheaper sister who works as a temp at Ann’s office. And now? Lord. Not only are we in another ball field, that ball field is in Aspen, and you can only get there via private jet.

OK, I promise to speak in fewer metaphors going forward.

I went in with this question: Is the recent price increase (and it’s a big one) worth it? I’m talking $500 skirts, $600 jackets and $300 pillows (??). I’ve always known Banana Republic as that store in the Gap family that’s basically giving away cheap sweaters for 40% off, plus a Friends and Family Code, plus an extra 15% off, just for being you.

I was fully prepared to come back and be like, “Guys, this is a big money-stealing joke.” Spoiler: It’s not. It’s really good, and I hate it. But I love it.

Is Banana Republic’s New Style Worth The Price? A Try-On & Review

My last in-store try-on sesh was with Everlane, and they were all, “Go to the back and find a room and good luck.” This store? I was a CELEBRITY, and it’s all I ever wanted in all of my dreams. They assigned me a personal atelier named Eric, who is beyond all of the things. This post is essentially a love letter to Eric.

I put together most of these outfits, but Eric has his touch here and there as you’ll see. You can also make an appointment with Eric, but he wanted me to make it clear that you only call him if you’re ready to SPEND money. LOL. Bless him.

A Little About Me: 5’2’’ | 115 lbs. | Long torso, shorter legs | Sparkling personality | Top size: 2/XS, usually | Bottom size: 4/27/S

The New Banana Republic: Best Of The Best

Let’s jump in. Starting with the, “Yes, Please, I Will Take It All” category. These are the pieces that I LOVED.

1. Dreamer Silk Maxi Skirt & Morocco Leather Belt Bag

The flow, the slit, the ease, the color…this Banana Republic silk maxi skirt is PERFECTION.

skirt (S) | turtleneck (XS) | bag | boots (my own)

I do own this silk maxi skirt in real life. But I wanted to show it to you all because it’s phenomenal. The flow of it, the slit, the ease, the color…it’s PERFECTION. And the fabric is heaven. I wanted to dress it down for you to show its versatility.

This turtleneck is also really great. The fit’s tight but not too tight and won’t stretch out. And we must discuss this belt bag. Oh, my, it’s this deep chocolate-brown leather and just so cool.

1. Captain’s Blazer

Sometimes gold buttons can feel plastic or cheap & ruin a blazer, but the ones on this Banana Republic captain's blazer don’t disappoint.

skirt (S) | turtleneck (XS) | blazer (2) | boots (my own)

This blazer is really cool. I loved it with the vibe of the boots and the silk skirt. Sort of a high-low thing. The buttons on this are really good. Sometimes gold buttons can feel plastic or cheap and ruin a blazer, but these don’t disappoint.

I will say that for me, almost everything in BR runs a full size big.

3. Merino + Suede Bomber & Tapered Cargo Pants

This Banana Republic bomber jacket killed it. It’s from the men’s section, & it was so soft & chill.

bomber jacket (men’s M) | T-shirt (XS) | pants (2) | scarf | bag | boots (my own)

I get that this reads a little costumey, but hear me out. Each of these pieces individually are unbelievable. Again, Banana Republic shining in the outwear department. This bomber jacket killed it. It’s from the men’s section, and it was so soft, so chill, so everything.

And the tapered cargo pants are amazing. I love them sort of tucked, but they’re a full-length (on me) taper. I would maybe tie the scarf to the bag and use a different tee. But all good things here.

4. Stella Blanket Skirt + Franca Cashmere Top

The inside of this Banana Republic blanket skirt has 2 buttons for sizing, & the leather buckles are functional, so you can make it fit high or low on your waist.

sweater (S) | skirt (XS) | boots | bag

I’m D Y I N G over this blanket skirt. This is such a cool piece. The inside has two buttons for sizing, and the leather buckles are functional, so you can make it fit high or low on your waist. I’m not sure if anything is more perfect in this world than edible cookie dough and this skirt. Apparently, Banana Republic carried this exact skirt back in the ’70s.

I also really love the flow and vibe of this cashmere top. The cashmere is definitely on the thinner side, so it’s not too warm. It has strong padded shoulders but is otherwise flowy. AND this bag. It’s in the men’s section, and Eric knew I would dig it. He isn’t wrong.

5. Cortazar Herringbone Coat

This Banana Republic herringbone coat feels like a vintage men’s coat but the nicest, heaviest quality you can imagine.

dress (XS) | coat (XS) | bag | boots

(I’m running out of ways to describe the amazingness of things.) THIS COAT. HOLY MEATBALLS ON THE WALL. This feels like a vintage men’s coat but the nicest, heaviest quality you can imagine. I wanted to stop everything, shove it in my bag and run. I did not do this, though, because…laws and manners. 

6. Leather Bomber Jacket + Barrel Jeans

I love this look of the Banana Republic barrel jeans bunching a bit at the ankle & the surprise pop of color at the shoe.

tank (S) | jacket (S) | jeans (26) | bag

This leather bomber jacket was another Eric surprise — and this jacket is for sure the star. However, I think Eric almost fell over dead when I told him that I wanted to put my maroon socks with open-toed heels. But by the end he said he didn’t MIND it. WIN for me!

I actually love this look of the barrel jeans bunching a bit at the ankle and the surprise pop at the shoe. I think it’s cool and interesting. 

7. Sunday Coat

This Banana Republic coat, leather skirt, belt…all of it is just so beautiful & put-together.

shirt (M) | coat (XS) | tote | belt | boots

This picture is not my life. I’m not this girl. But if I were, I would wear this. The coat, the leather skirt, the belt…all of it is just so beautiful and put-together. All of these have no business being on my body, but I relished it while it was on me.

Now, Actual Amanda would probably take this coat and wear it with pajamas and Crocs to the bus stop and be all, “I’m so chic.” Eric was sad that my life was so uneventful. I felt like I let him down. Sorry, Eric.

The New Banana Republic: Maaaaaaybe…Just Maybe

The pieces from Banana Republic that I like but are only just maybe worth the cost…

1. Oversized Balmacaan Jacket

This oversized jacket by Banana Republic is a luxe flannel-ish tweed, & the collar buttons to make it more of a turtleneck vibe.

shirt (XS) | jacket (XS) | jeans (26) | belt

Are you catching a theme with the outerwear? I think it’s really where Banana Republic is shining right now. This oversized jacket is a luxurious flannel-ish tweed (I made that up), and the collar can actually button to make it more of a turtleneck vibe. This jacket is perfectly boxy and so cool.

We’ll talk about the jeans later.

2. Ceres Merino-Cashmere Sweater + Rivoli Relaxed Corduroy Pants

I’m not really a corduroy gal, but if I were, it would be these high-waisted, pleated, cranberry pants from Banana Republic.

sweater (S) | pants (0)

I really liked this merino-cashmere sweater, but to me, I have a million sweaters, and it’s not worth the cost. However, I LOVE a unique cut, and this is definitely giving it.

I’m not really a corduroy gal, but if I were, it would be these high-waisted, pleated, cranberry jammers. They’re awesome. With a higher heel or hemming, I might’ve changed my mind. FYI, I’m a standard size 4, and the 0 fit. 

3. Muse Silk Shirtdress

This silk shirtdress from Banana Republic is stunning. It's just soft & flowy & lovely.

dress (XS) | bag | boots

Eric was medium horrified that I took the belt OFF of this dress. He really wanted a waist-cinch moment, but I told him that I wanted a chill, laid-back moment. He nodded, and we understood each other.

This silk shirtdress is really stunning. It’s the same silk as the green skirt, and it’s just soft and flowy and lovely. I would maybe do a higher-shaft boot if I were actually going to wear this. Or sneakers. Always sneakers. Eric would faint.

Have I mentioned Eric?

4. Rivina Leather Midi Skirt + Boxy Cropped Shirt

I’ve had my eye on this Banana Republic leather midi skirt for a while. It’s real-deal leather, & the quality is beyond.

shirt (M) | skirt (2) | beltboots

I’ve had my eye on this leather midi skirt since it first hit the scene a month or so ago. It’s real-deal leather, and the quality is beyond. Like, I can’t believe this is from Banana Republic.

The shirt is a cropped style and very cute. But while I love this outfit together, but this one wasn’t worth the price for me. Vegan leather has come so far and is so much more affordable right now.

Now the belt on the other hand, swoon.

The New Banana Republic: Oh, No, No, No, No, No…

While so much of Banana Republic’s new lineup is stunning, admittedly, there are a few pieces that are just…nope.

1. Cropped Sherpa Coat

This cropped sherpa coat from Banana Republic is In theory it's great. Furry, fluffy, a major statement. On me? I look like an unkempt sheep.

coat (S) | skirt (S) | bag

OK, I’ll wait. All done laughing? K.

This jacket is Eric’s top pick, and in theory, I get it. It feels AMAZING. It was at least 79 pounds, and it’s a statement. But on me? Oh, lord. I look like that 70-year-old sheep that no one has cut (…shorn…sheared?) in ages. It’s not good.

If you’re tall and a rockstar, get it. Send me a pic. Sorry, Eric, I feel like I let you down — again.

2. Sherpa Officer Coat

THIS Banana Republic sherpa coat is even heavier. It's a statement, just not a good one. This coat was made w/ tall women in mind.

tank (S) | coat (S) | jeans (26)

THIS sherpa coat was actually 97 pounds. I could barely put it on. It’s a STATEMENT. For 5’2’’ me, it’s not a good statement — the collar alone could eat my head. But I feel like it’s me not doing the coat justice. Sorry, coat, I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller…

3. Leopard Bomber Jacket

This is an unexpected Banana Republic bomber jacket in a really unexpected print. But no. It’s a no for me. 

tank (S) | jacket (XS) | jeans (26)

Maybe you’re getting a sense of the Eric + Amanda story now. Eric LOVES this. I mean, again, in theory, I get it. It’s an unexpected bomber jacket in a really unexpected print. But no. It’s a no for me. 

4. Sheer Expedition Shirt + Côte Wide-Leg Jeans

These Banana Republic wide-leg jeans are low to mid, but for this cut to work on me, it needs to be a high rise.

shirt (XS) | jeans (26) | scarf | belt

Eric did that thing with the scarf. He knows ALL about scarves. OK, let’s chat about these jeans. I thought they would be amazing: I love the dark wash, the pleats, the wide leg. But for me, it’s the rise that doesn’t work. They’re low to mid, and for this cut to work on me, it needs to be a high rise. Maybe a petite would have worked better? But secret: Banana Republic is phasing out petites (!!!!!).

5. Essential Leather Jacket + Belay Silk Pants

This leather belt from Banana Republic has purposeful horizontal metal pieces for wrapping the belt.

turtleneck (XS) | jacket (XS) | pants (2) | belt

I’m not a white-leather-jacket girl. This was a no for me. And these poor pants deserve better than my little stick legs. They’re gorgeous silk — I do them no justice. (This is WITH a heel, by the way.)

However, this leather belt is super-cool. Look through the pics to see it better, but it has purposeful horizontal metal pieces for wrapping the belt.

A Peek At Banana Republic Home

Banana Republic is starting to add a home line, and it’s NOT for the faint of heart. That pillow I’m holding? Yes, it’s a gorgeous haircalf leather, but the price almost made me fall over dead. They also told me that they will be carrying furniture in the future!

That Banana Republic pillow I’m holding? Yes, it’s a gorg haircalf leather, but the $350 price almost made me fall over dead.

leather pillow | printed pillow | cashmere pillow | blanket

There are a few takeaways from this sesh:

  1. Banana is no longer for the common man — it’s now an investment. But believe it or not, it’s a good one. I’m talking, like, right up there with a Vince sweater or a STAUD dress or MOTHER jeans.
  2. If you are so inclined, use the atelier service (not all stores have this just yet). And if you’re near KOP, obviously call Eric.
  3. Focus in on outerwear. I think it’s the best bang for your buck.
  4. Put a sock with a sandal, and let me know if the world implodes.
  5. And last (the one B is waiting for): What did I buy?


I didn’t buy a single thing. This isn’t because I didn’t WANT to. I wanted like 100 things. But this is the sort of price point that is probably pricing me out unless I become a friend or family member to someone (cough, cough, Eric…).

Also, as you know, I’m trying to be conscious about purchases and shopping new only when necessary or something extremely special.

Back to top

Let me know what your faves are. Have you invested in the new BR yet? Do you think you’ll make the jump?


How often do you want to hear from us?
Previous articleMy Top 5 Favorite Jeans for Curves
Next articleA Little Morning Vlog Ft. My Skincare Routine
After multiple existential crises, I've been an interior designer, a store window designer, a personal stylist (when I want to say something fancier than friend who went to the mall with another friend to "help"), a teacher, an author and illustrator, a graphic designer, NFT creator, a t-shirt designer and cat and Broadway enthusiast. But NOT Cats on Broadway. Just cats, the animals. What have I learned through all of my careers? You can really do a thing and then call yourself whatever you want. No one will check. But before all of this, in the year 2008, I was a blogger. And now I'm back with my favorite blog of all time. Let's go.


  1. I loved that Captain’s Blazer online but ended up returning it. It was stiff and itchy. The style was cool but there are others who do a softer wool in a blazer at that price point- which I didn’t think was overly expensive. I’m curious to try some of their other new items to see if the fabric stands up to the price.

  2. TBQH, most of these clothes look too big for you. (At 5’1″, I wear the same size as you, and I wouldn’t have bought anything either.) Which is why I’m HORRIFIED that BR is phasing out petites. What!! Please tell me it isn’t true!! I’ve shopped there for years off and on– mostly remembering their awesome silk sweaters from the 90s. The new look is… OK. There are some beautiful pieces, but you can only own so many coats. (I say this as a Boston girl who owns a lot of coats!) And so. much. wool. I get itchy just thinking about it. Anyway, great post.

  3. I’ve always been a BR fan, but this price point earns it a big “hell no” from me. In the age of inflation, why would they do this to their customers? Makes them appear seriously out of touch.

  4. I am your body-double. 5’2″, 113 lbs with a long torso and short legs. I watch all of your try-on’s like a hawk and love your style. Scooping up that Stella Blanket Skirt for this winter. Hope it looks as good on me as it does on you!

  5. Loved this piece! So thorough, so fun. Those cargo pants are going to haunt my dreams, I think–I love how you styled them with the boots. The BR outerwear is all SO gorgeous; I wish I needed a coat.

    That said, I think I land where you do on the scale of “is it worth the price”–it’s just a LOT of money for me, and much as I adore the look and appreciate it, I’ll have to do so from afar.

  6. I have bought a few items from BR this fall, but much of what they are now offering doesn’t really work in my mostly WFH life. I just can’t justify the cost and I’m wondering who their target shopper is. Its no longer me.

  7. Thanks for the review! I actually found this rather interesting and am quite keen to see the pieces in person. I know the price points will disappoint many, however I wonder if this was a strategic play by BR. I have been looking for actual quality pieces (and that used to be BR and jcrew) but for many pieces (across many price points) the quality just isn’t there. I am wondering if this is how BR intends to get out of this cycle of constantly being 60% off. I know it’s unreasonable to expect good quality at The t cent price point.

    But if the clothes are at a high price point and the quality is still garbage, then they can go suck a bag of dicks.

  8. OMG this was such fun to read! I don’t care that you left with nothing…you gave ME a ton of laughs. Also, we need a pic of Eric.

  9. The links are taking me to the landing page for BR, but not the actual item. Not sure if this effects your commission, but thought you might want to know.

  10. Agree with all of the above! I love this post…and not sure I’m ready to make the jump. I feel like BR’s look is a little…something for me. Dated? Out of touch? Precious? It doesn’t have the cool-girl vibe I’m always looking to cultivate. It feels kind of costumey. I’d be interested to hear how the company is doing.

  11. Loved this post and the moments of laughter it brought. No more petites? Say it ain’t so! What have you heard about this? 😭

  12. Horrified they are phasing out petites! As a fellow short person, I loved the blanket skirt, but it’s… knee length on the model and ankle length on you. I hope the new home section crashes and burns, no one needs that. If I want a $200 pillow, I’ll go to Anthropologie.

  13. Omg, even if you don’t like any of the clothes, click through and look at the BR marketing pictures and videos on their homepage. Hilarious. I don’t know where to start, horse wrangling in a $500 coat, or unloading an ancient Viking ship? Someone funnier than could have a field day with this marketing campaign!
    It will be interesting to see how this brand does.

  14. That blanket skirt looks incredible on you-– although for the price, I would expect more wool, less polyester. And the leopard bomber? No, Eric. You (and anyone who wore this) look like you’re ready to get your Bingo on. Such a fun post, as usual. I may need to wander into a Banana for the first time in a decade. And will probably also leave with nothing.

  15. I say BR is totally worth it! I love the style, fit and how I feel in my BR peices not sure if your article would have changed that if your perspective had been less than.

  16. Great feature and timely for me. I bought the black Captains Blazer this summer (w/discount code) as a consolation for missing out on the blazer with the red racing stripe down the back (obsessed). A bit disappointing upon arrival (steep price, plastic buttons! Stiff/itchy fabric) but I’m happy to say it has become an important piece for me. The fabric is softening a bit, too. And it looks so very sharp.

    My recent obsession has been the Sarta blazer dress. I couldn’t buy it because of it’s high price tag ($280!), plus it doesn’t come in a petite which probably means an alteration. But the the black version came out, plus a 40% off code, plus a little bit in rewards money and throw in free shipping and it’s on the way to me. So excited, even though it is probably my Christmas gift from my husband. At least I know I will love it.

    Overall, the new BR is beautiful and heritage-feeling, but way too expensive. I feel that there are other, similar options for $100 less for almost all of the women’s items. And, “…phasing out petites…” ????? I guess that means BR doesn’t want my business going forward, and that’s OK with me.

  17. I am also your body double (minus the boobs) and I think the longer coats look amazing on you… but most of this is so oversized it seems unwearable. I would love to see a post showing how you really style everything IRL (including at the bus stop!)

  18. I actually can’t stand their new clothes and pricing. I used to spend a few thousand dollars
    at BR every year, and it was my go-to store for jeans, dresses, work clothes, sweaters, t-shirts, sunglasses, earrings, necklaces, and shoes. Now I can’t find anything I would consider “normal” and everything is overpriced. I miss the old Banana Republic, and I think their re-branding is going to be their demise.

Leave a Reply