Work horse no more

banana republic beyond workwear | via vmac+cheese

Can I be honest? The only time I really used to shop at Banana Republic was for work clothes. BR was a great go-to for comfortable, professional, reasonably stylish work clothes that could last you for a few seasons or more. The minute I stopped working at a traditional office job (and I mean traditional — jeans were never allowed, even on Fridays), I stopped going into Banana. While the styles were great for the office, they weren’t exactly the types of things I would wear on the weekend — a little too blah and boring, with fits that never seemed quite right for anywhere but work.

So you can imagine my shock when Joe and I popped in there two Mondays ago over the holiday, and I found myself with armfuls of clothes to try on. You guys…Banana has totally amped things up for spring. The colors were all very fun and punchy, and the entire line had a lot of classic, nautical references — perfect if you have a simple, typically preppy style.

I still struggle a bit with some of their fits, even when it comes to their petite sizes, but I still managed to snag a few things and found myself lusting after more. Here were my faves found in store:

{Click on any item to shop it!}

banana republic

PS – nope, this isn’t a sponsored post. I really got THAT excited while browsing BR!

necklace peplum top belt purse bangle pants tote

Leave a Comment


  1. 2.26.13

    I’m still in that work environment — although we JUST got casual Fridays! — and I had avoided Banana outside of the basic work staples. Ever since the Mad Men collection, I feel like BR has upped its game. Also, that mint purse is an affordable substitute to a Rebecca Minkoff one that I was ogling over.

    • 2.26.13
      vmacandcheese said:

      Ack — well I just realized I totally typed in the wrong price for it — it’s $220. Sorry to mislead! Photoshop error on my part. :(

  2. 2.26.13

    Oh my gosh. I read the title of this blog and thought it said horse meat. Shows what I’ve been reading in the food world!

    I think the reason I’m such a die hard JCrew fan is because they do pull of the tiny bit of funky with their classic cuts. And it looks like BR is definitely doing the same.

  3. 2.26.13

    i don’t do BR for weekend wear either – when i was teaching BR and Gap were my go-to’s

  4. 2.26.13
    Kristina said:

    I really wanted a couple of skirts from BR recently, but went into the store to try them on and the fits were really weird on me. Those are some really cute bags you pulled though!


    Kristina does the Internets

  5. 2.26.13

    These picks definitely have a more J. Crew flair. I stopped shopping at BR long long ago, mainly because I wasn’t happy with the quality of their material (the sweaters pilled pretty quickly for the price paid). Everyone else seems to love them, though – Could just be me!
    FashionEdible Blog

  6. 2.26.13
    Kimberly said:

    Cannot believe the price of that mint bag & love the fun yellow statement necklace too – you’ve convinced me to pop into BR next time I’m at the mall! :)

    • 2.26.13
      vmacandcheese said:

      See above! I had a major typo happen with the bag. :(

  7. 2.26.13

    I don’t really shop Banana Republic, but these pieces are so fun and classic. Kind if reminds me of things Ann Taylor has been putting out.

  8. 2.26.13

    I find myself shopping at Banana Republic almost exclusively. It’s almost a rut! I work in a professional environment and the tops and sweaters easily transition to after work and weekend wear for me. It’s hard to justify clothing that I can’t wear often and their items hit the mark.

  9. 2.26.13
    brighton said:

    YEP. I can second you on this one! I’ve been frequently BR more often lately and they have REALLY stepped up their game!

  10. 2.26.13

    I have that tote in the cognac color – in my opinion, SUCH a steal I use it every day to tote my laptop to and from work in something other than the awful Dell computer bag they give us! BR has totally amped things up this season; I’m loving their navy & orange combos especially. Thank god for their great sales!

  11. 2.26.13
    Maddy said:

    Wow! I never stop into Banana for the same reasons that everyone is mentioning. Though I am not ready to give up on J. Crew, I may have to make my way in soon. Plus they always do have pretty great sales.

  12. 2.26.13
    alyson said:

    Some great finds; that green tote is perfect. I also haven’t been in there in ages but I’m starting to see editorial with pieces I really like. I’m still in a work environment but I also think with J Crew and Gap so in tune with my style, BR became a little more corporate (and pricey). Need to check back!

  13. 2.26.13
    kelsey said:

    gorgeous! adore these options. i should really shop there more.
    kw, ladies in navy

  14. 2.26.13
    Meghan said:

    I haven’t been much of a fan of BR, because I felt the same way. Felt too businessey for me. I have a $50 gift I have been holding on to forever. Looks like they may actually have something I can buy! Thanks for sharing.

  15. 2.26.13
    Randilea said:

    Oooh I completely agree! My boyfriend loves their stuff, but I can’t quite ever find things that fit right or casual enough for me. I totally just bought a gorgeous white coat last weekend!

  16. 2.26.13

    I love the pants!!!! OMG I saw some similar pants in J.Crew 2012 spring line… and they have a few now that resemble these

    I would totally wear these, prints are IN! I honestly LOL when I read this post… Because I see BR the same way. Great finds.

  17. 2.27.13

    Ahhh, I love it all! Especially those pants. But now that I’m pregnant I can’t fit into normal clothes- its definitely been the hardest thing to get used to!

  18. 2.27.13

    I started shopping at Banana Republic again with a friend who is almost 6′ tall, she says it is the best place for tall girls.

  19. 2.27.13

    Love what the first model is wearing, I found it to be the same at H&M recently, they seem to really be trying with their new collection, will have to pop in BR!

  20. 2.27.13
    Chelsea said:

    I couldn’t agree more! They have definitely upped their game and I think could start competing with JCrew a little even!

  21. 2.27.13

    Totally agree. BR is much more versatile than it used to be. I love that I am able to pair up their items with casual/formal pieces.

  22. 2.27.13
    Phoebe said:

    They definitely have some versatile pieces in there. I have a top from them that I wear at least once a week! It’s great for business formal with a pencil skirt/blazer, but it’s also great with jeans. Love it. I don’t always walk out with something, but they’re generally great.

  23. 2.28.13

    I used to work there and they have really stepped up their game since I left in 2009. Their fit is what drives me crazy! I can’t wear their pants at all. And then in skirts and dresses I have purchased size 2s and size 6s. It is very inconsistent. Everything goes on sale so if you can wait on something I suggest you do it! But it’s definitely worth checking out.