Sunday, September 11, 2011

Banana Republic Mad Men Begonia Dress Review

It's here! or rather...I got it! Because Winnipeg is only an hour and a half drive from the Canada/US border we shipped the dress to a parcel pick-up depot on the US side of the border making it $70 cheaper than ordering from BR's Canadian site and having it shipped to my door. Score! Yesterday we drove to pick up the dress.

But I'm stalling. You all want to know what I think of my new dress don't you?

In a word, I'd say I'm dissapointed. The dress I ordered is WAY too big. I'd like to start this rant off by saying that as someone who has designed and sewn costumes before, worked in a costume shop for 4 years and worked in the Fit and Quality department at a major Canadian retailer for a year makes me more than comfortable around a tape measure.
In short, I know what size I am. I know what my measurements are.

According to Banana Republic's size chart I should be a size 10. I have a 37" bust and a 28 1/2" waist. A size 10 (according to their chart) should have a 37" bust and a 29" waist. I thought "Perfect! It will fit my bust and have room for comfort and movement in the waist." So I ordered it.

Well, here's what it looks like on me:

Is it hard to tell that it's too big on me? I feel like this picture isn't doing it justice.

Here's how much extra room there is:

The bust of this dress actually measures 40", 3" larger than advertised and the waist measures 32", also 3" larger than advertised. Now you see why I'm dissapointed?

And of course BR is sold out of size 8's.

All of this being said, there are many things about this dress I like.

I love that it has an exposed metal zipper with a grosgrain pull (handy for getting ones dress on by oneself!). Perfect vintage style detail.

I love, love, love that it has pockets! All dresses should have pockets. Period. They make me happy.

I've read online that some people are less than impressed with the construction and quality of the dress. I for one think that it's well made and is rightfully deserving a modern $150US price tag. Let's keep in mind ladies, this is not a vintage dress. It does not bear the same quality and care that our beloved vintage clothing has. It was made overseas like everything else in the mall. The difference is that it has a "MadMen" label on it to entice crazy people like me to buy it.

I also love the print. It is just as nice in person as it is in the photos online.

Aside from the size. This dress has met all of my expectations. I was sooo excited about this collection and even more excited that I'd get to own a piece from it. I'm so dissapointed.

Ok, now that I've said what needs to be said I can give you the good news.

I have a wonderful friend Jen (who I've mentioned before on this blog) who is amazing with a sewing machine. For my birthday she gave me this:

Do you like how I've used my bracelets as paperweight? The paper was rolled when I got it. 

And she has deemed my dress alterable and will fix it up for me!! Thank you Jen! You're the best!!

And you all know I will show you the dress once altered. Stay Tuned!



  1. That is such a good present idea!

    I don't understand the sizing thing either- I bought some Pearl Lowe dresses from Peacocks (UK shop), size 8, which were far too big for me!

  2. That annoys me so much when they bother to have a size chart and things are so huge!

    The dress looks lovely though. It'll be lovely when it's altered!


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