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What to Buy at Banana Republic FACTORY

Banana Republic Factory is what Banana Republic used to be, just a few years ago.

It is infinitely better, offering shockingly chic and a hundred times more affordable merchandise.

I said it last season, and it’s true going into spring, Banana Republic has gone off the rails. Their website is impossible to navigate and their prices even make me pause.

They still offer classic wardrobe-building pieces, but you’ll spend hours digging through their website. So don’t bother, I do that for you when they finally offer a rare sale.

But after only a minute on the Banana Republic Factory website, I had a dozen items saved.

I’ve been in retail for 20 years, starting my career as a buyer and eventually running my own businesses, so it takes a lot to get me excited.

But between their styles, size range, and price points, I am genuinely thrilled to share these options.

What to Buy at Banana Republic Factory

So what’s the difference between the Banana Republic and Banana Republic Factory?

Well, Gap Inc owns both.

Banana Republic is their mainstream brand, marketed as a low-end luxury retailer, while Factory is the less expensive version.

And their Factory store is NOT an outlet. Just like J.Crew Factory, the clothing is specifically designed and manufactured for the store.

Here’s where I think they are messing up.

In the case of J.Crew / J. Crew Factory, the merchandise is entirely different.

J.Crew is more sophisticated and elegant, while their Factory store is generally more casual. So it’s easy to shop at both because they each fill a different void. 

But with Banana Republic / Banana Republic Factory, I think they look the same.

Maybe this is just because I’m staring down the barrel of having to pay for three college tuitions sooner rather than later, but I’m tired of everything under the sun being so expensive. 

And at the end of the day, this is still a Gap brand, so they need to calm down. 

So let’s go shopping because there are SO MANY good finds at great prices, and you can take an extra 15% off of your order of over $125 (no code needed).

Sizing

They offer a nice range in both regular and petite sizes in XXS – XXL.

Their XXS is a 00 and their XXL is a 20. I tend to wear either a medium or a large, but note everything I have bought in a large I have had altered down. So I basically buy the large if the medium is just a little too small.

Volume-Sleeve Blouse

Need a blouse for work?

Look no further than this updated split neck blouse with gathered shoulders and full cuffed sleeve.

Available in several gorgeous colors, including black and white in regular and petite, in XXS – XXL.

1

Volume Sleeve Blouse

Banana Republic Factory

$42.00

Melton Utility Jacket

It’s not easy to find fresh, new looking layers, so I JUMPED on this short, modern jacket available in grey or tan (below) in regular and petite sizes, XXS – XXL.

Note: Because of the beautiful banded detail, you want to keep your under piece simple. The neckline of the under piece in the product picture is perfect.

Pair with your favorite cut dark jeans (I’ll use a pair of bootcut).

2

Melton Utility Jacket

Banana Republic Factory

$54.00

Classic Cotton Shirt

When I think of a springtime basic, a classic cotton, button down shirt is top of mind.

I just ordered this one, in “crescent navy” in a wider stripe. You can also pick up a traditional tight blue stripe or a camel and blue combo.

Available in regular and petite in XXS – XXL.

Pair with any-legged jean in a dark or light wash, white bottoms, twill pants or, my favorite, shorts.

3

Classic Cotton Shirt

Banana Republic Factory

$42.00

Cowl-Neck Top

Years ago when I dressed private clients, Nordstrom sold a similar style, cowl-neck sleeveless top, and I sold hundred of them.

This is the closest I’ve found since then.

It’s the perfect layering piece for under a blazer, if you want something other than a basic tank. You can put it under any cardigan, or wear it alone.

The cowl-neck drape gives it dimension and, while it’s sleeveless, your shoulders are still covered.

Available in XXS – XXL, in six easy to wear, and mix colors.

4

Cowl-Neck Top

Banana Republic Factory

$39.00

Long Faux Leather Jacket

Are you KIDDING me?

This looks like a major splurge, but it’s only $100. I don’t where I’m going, but I’ll look chic getting there.

Available in XXS – XXL, I ordered the large.

In a timeless cognac color, this piece has lasting power in your closet.

5

Long Faux Leather Jacket

Banana Republic Factory

$108.00

Cotton Blazer

We regularly receive requests for natural fabric pieces, so I always have my eye out for good options.

One is this tailored cotton blazer, available in navy or white in regular and petite in 0 – 20.

Just a lovely year round wardrobe staple.

Please note, this is priced at $98 and is excluded from the promotion.

6

Cotton Blazer

Banana Republic Factory

$96.00

Johnny-Collar Sweater

When you want something that’s more than a tee shirt but not a bulky sweater, this lightweight collared knit is it.

Featured below in a trend-right blue, also available in cream, black or camel in XXS – XXL.

7

Johnny-Collar Sweater

Banana Republic Factory

$54.00

Forever Stripe Sweater

If you love the look of a striped top but feel like they may make you look wide, consider it in a v-neck.

Like this one in charcoal or neutral stripe.

Available in XXS – XXL for $42.

8

Forever Stripe Sweater

Banana Republic Factory

$42.00

Sloan Slim Plaid Pant

We don’t feature many print or patterned bottoms, but in a neutral color combo they can be a fantastic option in your closet.

Available in blue plaid (below) or in a brown combination in regular and petite, in 0 -20.

Keep your top simple, like a Quince sweater or the popular Amazon Turtleneck.

9

Sloan Slim Pants

Banana Republic Factory

$60.00

Curvy Highrise Bootcut Jeans

These are as close to a trouser jean as I’ve found in the last several years.

10

Curvy Highrise Bootcut Jean

Banana Republic Factory

$54.00
What to Buy at Banana Republic FACTORY
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Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Sherry

Tuesday 14th of November 2023

Hi, I love your fashion expertise. Are you able to provide any CANADIAN recommendations? Thank you very much!

NelliRose

Sunday 26th of March 2023

SO agree - I miss BR years ago. Thank you for sharing!

Julia

Tuesday 7th of February 2023

That jacket is stunning! I wear a petite side in jackets because my arms are short, but I ordered it anyway, hoping I’ll be able to get it altered. Fingers crossed!

Rebecca

Tuesday 7th of February 2023

I LOVE those plaid pants and just got a pair for work. The Sloan style is a perfect work pant WITH WORKING POCKET!!!

And I totally agree - I have bought a ton of stuff from BRF and almost nothing from BR lately - the styles are matter and the prices are reasonable for the quality. I don't mind paying more for amazing quality, bit just don't see the difference with BR as enough to justify the price hike!

Tammy Stokan

Tuesday 7th of February 2023

I loved this post -it checked several boxes for items I needed to update or add to my closet. Thank you for investing the time to find these selections for all of us! I really do like Banana Republic and BR Factory so always appreciate a round-up from either, but do agree that BR has lost touch with their customer base in terms of price-point. I ordered the both jackets and the striped button down - can't wait for them to arrive!

Teresa

Tuesday 7th of February 2023

Thank you for providing affordable options! I've completed your wardrobe challenge as well as I could. NOTHING in my closet matched my style board so I HAD to leave some things in my closet to wear. I lost myself as far as style when I turned 50. I felt like I was trying to dress like a teen or an 80-year-old frump. After retirement I resorted to worn out tees and shorts or jeans. For the couple of times a week I'm out and about I have a few dated/worn outfits that are on rotation. I'm trying to be better dressed but also finding that I need an entire wardrobe refresh.

Tracy

Tuesday 11th of October 2022

I agree 100% about BRF! I've been shopping there for over 2 years now after my local BR closed in Chadds Ford, PA area. I love their Forever Sweaters - in both crew neck and V neck - great layering sweaters with or without blazers (I just bought 4 - at $35 each). I also love Wide leg pants - and I got their flannel Wide leg pants in black - dress up or down - and the Parc Wide Leg plaid pants. I can't say enough about how great BRF is! The bonus is that by being a GAP Mastercard holder, I never 'pay' for any of the items since I have so many Reward $ to spend. It is a win-win.

Dana

Monday 10th of October 2022

I agree wholeheartedly. I love BR but I also believe their prices are unrealistic for their customer base. I find BR Factory to provide a nice alternative and great for adding interesting or textured pieces for reasonable prices. That being said, I have found sizing to be really off and inconsistent. So, it means a lot more trial and error. I loved the faux suede tops this season and honestly tried them all in different styles and sizes. None of them fit me well enough to keep. And while I like the double breasted blazer in photos, in person it looked a bit cheap and the fit was also off. Because they closed my nearest BR Factory store, I am a bit more wary of ordering as returning isn't as easy. And I hate to pay for return shipping. Anyway, thanks for your recommendations! I always appreciate your recommendations.

Kelly

Monday 10th of October 2022

Spot on Megan! I have noticed a decided shift toward more functional clothing at the Factory. I continue to agree with you on the “over-styling” situation that permeates both sites!

Pam

Monday 10th of October 2022

I happened to be at the Banana Republic Factory store this weekend, and I tried on that double-breasted blazer. I really wanted to like it; but the fit was a little off (tight through the shoulders; a little shorter than I wanted, and the sleeves were too long) and the buttons were distractingly nautical. With some tailoring and new buttons, I probably would like it but it was not enough to make me buy it. I did however pick up a pair of their coated jeans, which they still have in sporadic sizes in both "barn red" (which is actually brown) and black; and they were only $40. I also got some of their vintage stretch skinny jeans because yes, I still like them; which were under $40 and the dark wash is so nice and they wear well all day without the knees stretching out. I do love having this store nearby because the nearest Nordstrom from me is over an hour away and I like trying on my clothes before I buy them. I also stopped by the J Crew Factory store and got that plaid shirt you featured recently--thank you for that tip!