Banana Republic Has My New Favorite Pair of Jeans


I once wrote about mourning the loss of my favorite jeans, the Ava straight leg by Citizens of Humanity. They still carry it, but the new versions are a little wider around my calf and ankles, making it look more bootcut than straight. The extra ½ inch circumference does make a difference.

I became every sales associate’s nightmare, trying on seven, eight, ten pairs of jeans and not buying a single pair. I get it. I used to work in retail. But I’m not going to shell out a lot of money for jeans that aren’t, well, almost perfect.


I went for two years wearing jeans I liked but didn’t love, buying a few decent pairs at Ann Taylor for as low as $20 on the sales rack. I even found a $10 pair at Forever 21 that lasted me for six months. At that price, you can’t really complain.

On a recent visit to the mall, I decided to stop by Banana Republic to see what was new. I’m a fan of the new creative director, Marissa Webb, but I was already traveling around the world by the time she released her first collection. Was she able to weave her J.Crew magic for BR? I wanted to find out.

One foot into the entrance and I saw a table with Banana Republic’s line of premium denim. “Premium” denim? This was news to me. I picked up four different styles and headed to the dressing room.

The first few were the usual disappointments – too tight in my thighs, too big of a gap around my waist, or too baggy around my calves. Then I tried on the Distressed Skinny Ankle Jean in Mia wash.


They were…pretty close to perfect. I even started grinning to myself in the fitting room. The fabric is super soft with just the right amount of stretch, but cut to skim my legs instead of pinching or flapping. I couldn’t remember the last time something fit me so well off the rack. On someone who is 5’2”, the uncuffed ankle jean cuts off right past the ankle for me, which is where I would normally pay someone $15 to hem.

I liked them so much I didn’t even bother asking if there was a sale, or when the next sale was going to be. $98 is expensive, but they’re still less than what I was willing to spend on a near perfect pair of jeans. Plus I was going to save $15 by not needing to hem, which almost never happens. The quality is truly comparable to designer jeans that are double the price. Trust me – I’ve tried them all (or at least, a few dozen). I only wish they came in a dark wash (though the Medium Wash does come close) and a black version.

When did Banana Republic get so good? I can’t wait to see what else the new creative director Marissa Webb has in store for us!

Do you like the new direction Banana Republic is going? What do you think of their Premium Denim line?

BRdenim-2Banana Republic jeans, Banana Republic sleeveless blazer (similar), Express black lace top (similar), Brian Atwood Malika2 heels (similar), Lancel crossbody purse, watch (thanks to Caravelle!)

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  1. Carol lee says

    ive been on the hunt since my old favorite- AG Stevie petite ankle cut- tore holes from over wear. I’m dying to try these now!! And to check out the new BR. Jen, you look much taller than 5’2″!! I am same height, as well!

  2. says

    Oh how amazing it feels to wear the perfect pair of jeans. My most expensive pair were a pair of 7 for all mankind skinnies and I wore those things raw. Since I can really only wear jeans three times a week, I can’t seem to bring myself to purchase another pair, but I’ve found a few others that do a semi perfect job.
    These look fantastic on you. I’m all for cuffs. I feel like the perfect fit yields confidence, and hey, don’t we all need some of that? (;

    • lifeunrefined says

      I agree. Once you find the perfect jeans, you reach for them again and again because they just make you feel good. :)

  3. says

    So cute! I think it’s worth it to pay more for a wardrobe piece that you are going to love and get a lot of wear out of. I’d rather have one really nice, expensive pair of jeans than 5 cheap ones that fall apart after just a few wears!

    • lifeunrefined says

      Totally. My Forever 21 jeans stretched out like crazy and I hated wearing them after awhile.

  4. says

    Those look so great! I’m not just saying that…they really look amazing! I’m going to have to stop by Banana Republic and try some on! I’m bummed to hear that Citizens of Humanity changed their fit slightly. I currently own a pair that are my favorite, but they have become so worn that I definitely need new ones.

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