Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Banana Republic: Striped Jersey Empire-Waist Dress Review

Banana Republic's Striped Jersey Empire-Waist Dress (item #629237) is a wonderful spring and summer dress that was originally $79.99, but is currently marked down to $49.99. The dress only comes in the navy-stripe pattern, and has an empire waist. It is alpha sized (XS, S, M, L, XL).

BR describes the dress as such:
Smart stripes offer nautical style in our jersey knit dress. An empire-cut waist creates a flattering shape.
I personally love nautical stripes (or any stripes), and I thought this dress was a nice nod to the nautical trend that is popular for Spring 2009. I also love jersey fabrics for spring and summer dresses, because I think they flow very nicely.

In real life, the fabric is very soft and smooth, and has a nice weight to it, but is not clingy, and moves nicely. It has a true empire waist with the interesting navy piping at the neckline, which I think provides a nice contrasting detail to the rest of the dress. The sleeves are nice and wide. They are very fluid as well, and gives nice breathability around the arms.

One thing that is always a concern with horizontal stripes, aside from the jailbird look, is appearing wider than you really are. From the front, I don't think this is such an issue, because the neckline and bust detail make a V, and help to break up and slim down the front of the dress. From the back, it might be slightly more of an issue, because it is just unbroken stripes.

I am very pleased with the length of this dress. In the picture, the hemline falls above the model's knees, but for me, it just covers my knees, which is fine with me. Knee-length will also allow me to wear this dress to work if I want, which makes this a very versatile piece.

If you are self conscious about this dress adding some volume to your waist or rear, then try to try this dress on if you can. As you can see in the side picture below, the dress is adding some heft to my front, and calling a wee bit of attention to my behind. It's not doing it so much that I would have a problem with it, but because jersey knits can be clingy at times, if you have any concerns, I think trying it on would be your best bet.

All in all, I think this dress is a great spring/summer dress to add to your wardrobe. Even when nautical trends go out of style, I think this dress would still be a great piece. I think the empire-waist adds a nice level of sophistication, while the jersey knit keeps the dress casual, while still allowing you to dress it up if you want.

What do you think? Do you like this dress?

Product details and a close-up of the pattern are below (both from BR website).


GingerSnap March 17, 2009 at 7:20 PM  

I think the dress is really cute, and like you, I also love nautical inspired pieces. If I were to wear this dress to work, I would belt it to make it look at little more pulled together (because it looks like a beautiful beach dress as is!). Similarly, I also love the pink/navy combo. Maybe pair it with a pink cardi for work with a brown belt over both, nipped in at the waist. You'll be a knockout! It's a keeper!

JTS March 20, 2009 at 1:34 PM  

Thanks for the styling tips, Ginger Snap! I definitely agree that a belt would help pull it together, and the cardi with the belt would be so cute!