I Shopped It: Issa Collection for Banana Republic

Happy Friday, internet friends! From the state of my news feed this morning, everyone was feeling the crunch of this shortened week. I know it couldn’t come soon enough for me – it’s been a wild one!

You might have seen some photos float by on Instagram or Twitter yesterday of my Issa Collection for Banana Republic shopping adventures. I was really excited for the collection to debut since I’d been coveting Kate Middleton’s Issa engagement dress since the second the first photos surfaced. I’m no stranger to Banana Republic’s amazing collaborations (I’ve purchased from Milly and both Mad Men collections) – they always have such great pieces and I love that they’re limited edition. Knowing how quickly the best pieces sell out, I know now to get to the store early or to send a proxy – my mom! When I got home yesterday, the ceramic print red dress along with the engagement dress – the two pieces I predicted would sell out first – were waiting for me. Since I can’t stay away from a great collab, I also visited the Bloor St. store during my lunch yesterday. Ready for all the selfies?

Issa Collection Three-Quarter Sleeve Wrap-Tie Dress a.k.a. The Kate Middleton Engagement Dress

Banana Republic Issa Collection - jersey wrap dress Kate Middleton Engagement Dress

This was the dress I was most excited for. It’s a well-cut jersey faux-wrap dress with three-quarter sleeves. I’ll be honest – I was expecting it to be a more brilliant royal blue and to be a more substantial jersey. For the dress everyone was most excited to buy, I was a bit let down by it. I’m keeping it in my closet regardless – it’s a beautiful piece and I know I’ll get a ton of wear out of it. What I love most is that the deepness of the V-neck is adjustable by how tightly you tie the wrap – great for busty girls! The bow can be tied in the front or the back. I’ll be wearing this with a statement necklace and stacked bracelets (or a cuff). ($160, Banana Republic) **For whatever reason it’s no longer available on the Canadian site, but lots avail. on the US one. Check your local store!

Issa Collection Red Ceramic Printed Three-Quarter Sleeve Wrap-Tie Dress

Banana Republic Issa Collection - ceramic print wrap dress

Second to the Kate Middleton dress, I knew the Red Ceramic Printed wrap dress was a must-have for me. The bold polka-dot-esque print kind of looks like leopard from afar and is the perfect work-to-play dress. The fabric is 100% Rayon but it has the exact same cut at the jersey dress above. I kind of wish both dresses were in this material – it feels substantial and has a luxe look and feel. I had to stop myself from wearing it out last night – it’s that fun. Of all the dresses in the collection, this one is the must-have. I’ll be wearing it throughout fall with cuts flats and maybe even boots and well into winter with tights. Buy it full price if you can find it – it’s worth every penny. ($160, Banana Republic)

Issa Collection Short Sleeve Pleated Dress

Banana Republic Issa Collection - short sleeve pleated dress

This dress is a bit of a toss-up for me. It comes in black & emerald green – great shades for the cut – and nips in at the waist, highlighting the waist and bust. I was hoping the dress would be a bit more versatile – for me, it’s just a bit too low cut so I wouldn’t be able to wear it to work. I also found that it can create a suspicious baby-bump look on the not-so-tiny ladies. With Spanx and a party to go to, it would be a great dress to have in your arsenal. I didn’t bring this one home but would consider it on-sale. If you’re looking for a fun summer dress, give it a try! ($160, Banana Republic)

Issa Collection Coral Printed Kimono Dress

Banana Republic Issa Collection - Coral Printed Kimono dress

I have mixed feelings about this dress as well. While I love the print and the cut of the body of the dress, the sleeves were just a bit too overwhelming for my frame. I think on someone more petite and less busty – or even someone my shape but taller – this could be a great pick. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart – this dress is BOLD! The deepness of the v-neck is adjustable by a front-zip (it’s fully zipped here) so you can go from demure to daring in 5 seconds flat. Unfortunately the zipper toggle is visible – a miss, IMO, as it cheapens the look of the dress. When this goes on sale, I’m definitely considering it. ($175, Banana Republic)

Overall, I found the pieces from the Issa Collection to be good additions to anyone’s closet. The fit is universally flattering thanks to nipped in waists, elongating v-necks and forgiving fabrics. Hello, hourglass figures! You’ll probably need Spanx to make the jersey dresses work as well as they could, but it’s worth it. The shirts in the collection have beautiful tie-waist features as well, so you can believe I’m going to pick some of them up this weekend – Mom has been raving about hers.

Will you pick up the pieces in the Issa Collection or are you waiting for them to go on sale?