Review: Banana Republic Navy Anorak

I don't have "sporty" in my style description. If I do sporty luxe it is 90% luxe and maybe 10% sporty - if that. And yet I was mysteriously drawn to this navy anorak from Banana Republic and decided to give it a try. My excuse was that my current purple trench ( my travel staple) does not have a hood from the rain and  - maybe - I need a more casual jacket in addition to the trench?

It arrived this week - and it is going back. I love the color - rich navy with a slight sheen, very beautiful. I don't mind the oversized style at all - even find it attractive. This is size M in Tall and it is pretty oversized on me...except for the sleeves. Sleeves are very slim to the point that when I wear a thin wool jacket under it is uncomfortable  to bend the elbows.

The sleeves are the main reason it goes back but there are others:
- I just do not feel all these hanging drawstrings, especially on the bottom. I tied them in bows to make shorter but they still bother me. I know it is the style but...
- I don't feel the slit in the back - you can see it in pic 2. I feels weird to me - slit while the ends kept together by the drawstring on the bottom.
- the fabric is too stiff for my liking - it does not drape as well as I hoped. It is especially bothersome in an oversized style - to me anyway.
Just to compare the sleeve fit I tried on my old almost 5 year old purple trench (pic 5 -unfortunately its beautiful rich purple-red color does not photograph well indoors) - and my mind was made up immediately. The trench sleeves fit much more comfortable, the fabric is softer and lays better and there are no annoying strings hanging anywhere. The anorak style may be a fun wildcard for me but the classic trench style wins my heart every single time! I would rather use umbrella when travelling but wear my trusty old trench which feels completely me.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    At least you know now :)  Your trench looks fab on you.

  • CocoLion replied 6 years ago

    I love the anorak on you, actually.  I think it looks very modern-classic with a sporty twist.  The sporty strings don't bug me nor are they noticeable, and I love the collar on you. But the sleeve fit sounds like a problem indeed.  You need to be able to wear more than a short sleeve tee under it, given your climate.

    You look great in that trench, so I get that you are a trench girl.  You need more trenches.  In every color.  With a hood.  Now.

  • Day Vies replied 6 years ago

    I'm probably going to be in the minority because I think it should go back. It looks a little too sporty for your basic style unlike the vest which I felt was a lot more refined. I love the shirt tail dip detail on the back hem, but I am baffled by the split in that same shirt tail dip. I certainly appreciate details and rarely say this but it seems like this anorak has a lot going on that makes it appear over styled. I think you can do much better than this. You're not missing out on anything sending this back. 

  • Summer replied 6 years ago

    Definitely too sporty for you, Sveta, but it's good to try these things out.  I agree with you about the drawstrings and the strange slit at the back, it does look rather odd.  
    I'm the opposite of you in that I can never make a trench work for me, although this parka style usually does.  It's difficult to find a sleek, stylish version though.

  • Elizabeth P replied 6 years ago

    Hmm, I quite like it. But the sleeve thing alone means it needs to go back. That sounds just plain annoying!

  • Daria replied 6 years ago

    Sveta - it's beautiful, but if it feels too casual I totally agree with you. Actually I would probably return it based on stiff fabric alone.. I think new trench with a hood is your answer. :)

  • shedev replied 6 years ago

    Good decision. It doesn't feel sophisticated enough for your style.

  • Lucy replied 6 years ago

    It is not slick enough for your style, I think :) 

  • lyn67 replied 6 years ago

    I actually very much love the ideea of a sporty-but DE LUXE anorac for a bit of unexpected juxtaposition and contrast with your polished modern classic wardrobe. This one is a great shape, color, cut, and fit  but if too narrow in the sleeves-it's no reason to keep-plus, the slit on the back baffles me, too. Oherwise the ties are not noticeable, and do not bother me. I say keep looking for one in the same category, as I also think you can get a lot of use of THE PERFECT one. Oh, and still love your purple trench:-).

  • Nebraskim replied 6 years ago

    I love that anorak but I feel it's way too "gear" and "outdoorswoman" for your personal style and life. I am sure you can find a more casual coat that fits your style rubric. good decision to not "settle."

  • replied 6 years ago

    I quite like it on you. I love the way a sportier anorak style looks with dressier clothes - a cool juxtaposition and really modern.  But that sleeve fit issue is a deal-breaker for sure. That's really too bad.

  • retailgirl replied 6 years ago

    I see what you mean about the anorak, and the sleeve thing would be a deal breaker, but I do like the way it looks on you! Maybe an anorak is in your future, just not this one. I'm a trench girl, too, I think they look tailored enough over business clothing but OK for casual too.

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    I hereby crown you Princess Sporty Luxe. (HAH. Isn't that a fun change, you gorgeous creature). 

    Sveta, what a pity about the sleeve fit. I LOVE the anorak on you. The colour is sublime. 

    But your burgundy trench is gorgeous too. Onto the next fun thing. 

  • Karie replied 6 years ago

    While I do like the navy anorak on you, there's no comparison to your older trench - that is a much better fit with your style. I do like the navy one for MY style, and might just have to pop in to BR this week to take a peek at it...

  • Thistle replied 6 years ago

    Not good enough for you. Sleeves have to fit and all that :)  at least you tried it and you know.

  • Sheila replied 6 years ago

    I think it looks too short on you - from the front at least. I like a longer length to emphasize your line. The trench is the perfect length.... and your could probably go longer.  You are right to send it back.

  • Carole replied 6 years ago

    I totally see your points about the jacket, Sveta. It is a fun piece and looks great on you but seems a little too casual for your style. The trench moves so smoothly from casual to more dressy occasions...hard to compete with that! Love your pretty burgundy trench.

  • UmmLila replied 6 years ago

    I really liked the anorak (more than the trench) and would bug you to keep it if the sleeves had worked.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    This is a fascinating review. 

    While I actually think you look great in the anorak, I wouldn't keep it if I were you, either. Not only are the sleeves a problem, but that back slit is just plain ridiculous. 

    My view on sporty luxe is that if it isn't truly FUNCTIONAL, what is the point of going sporty? Wouldn't it be more fun to feature STYLE? (As in a great trench).

    So for me, an anorak like this not only needs to look fantastic (which this one does) but it has to work as gear. 


  • Sveta replied 6 years ago

    Thank you for the opinions. It is definitely going back for the issues I mentioned but maybe this style can work for me in the right implementation? I kind of liked it with the dressier outfits.
    Suz, I think it will work as a gear  - if by gear you mean protecting me from the rain. I don't think I would wear it on the serious hiking trip but not because it is not functional - because I would be afraid to ruin it. 
    Angie, the color IS sublime! It is a gorgeous shade of navy and the slight sheen makes it dressier and deeper. The color is what I regret the most in letting it go!
    Karie, do report if you go and look at it. If your arms are slim the sleeves may not be a problem for you. But I do find the back slit ridiculous...

  • greycat6 replied 6 years ago

    Late to the party here but I agree that the anorak looks great but should go back if you are not feeling it. 

    On a side note, I found a similar style winter weight anorak last year.  Perfect in every way except for the silly draw string hanging out of the back like a tail. :)  Very annoying.  To solve the problem, I removed the draw string completely.  The anorak is completely wearable and the slit in the back now makes more sense.  Problem solved. 

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