Banana Republic Pants Haul & Roundup Review
If you read this site, you know that we have been pretty down on Banana Republic (and many other similar companies!) for their utter lack of consistency in fit across their product line. This is why we’ve been trying to do more of these roundup/haul style posts in which we order a bunch of items from one brand, and compare them to each other. This gives a good idea as to the consistency of fit and quality across the particular product line. So, since Banana Republic now has more fit options and styles for their pants than most can keep track of, we decided to order a few of them and give them our quick rundown.
(If you don’t already know, we’ve taken a look at quite a few of BR’s offerings in the pants department already, and you can find all those measurements here.)
Slim Non-Iron Stretch Cotton Plaid Pant — $98: Yes, this particular model is sold out. But it is going to be the same story for any of their Slim Fit dress pants (as opposed to their chinos line which we get to below). In short, the fit on these things is a little whack. Super tight up top, and not very tapered below the knee. Could it all be adjusted by a tailor? Sure. Nothing too major. Let out the top, and taper below the knee. But, know that you will be needing a trip to the tailor. The waist on these is strangely smaller than any other 30” wasted pants we tested. And for a thigh measurements as slim as these, we would have expected more taper below the knee. Quality? Fine. Quite light and breezy. Certainly not going to blow you away with richness in fabric. Still, they’re very comfortable and do indeed have that nice hint of stretch. We also love the pattern!
Fulton Skinny Rapid Movement Chino — $98: Constantly on sale, so do not pay full price for these. We’ve reviewed these before, and found that they strangely bunched up around the knee area. Due to this, we ordered a size up in the waist (a 31” instead of the usual 30”). And they fit… fine. Still nice and slim, so they are a solid option for the taller, slimmer gentleman. The size up was now a bit too roomy in the waist, though, and, worse, they still strangely bunched up around the knee area. Plus, for some reason, these fit a lot longer than corresponding 32” lengths did, which made the bunching effect even worse. The fabric also has a certain stiffness to it despite having great stretch. This could get better with wear and washes, but know this going in. In short, these are a pass for us, and while they might work great for some guys, most will likely thing they’re just “meh.”
Mason Athletic Tapered Rapid Movement Chino — $98: Same deal about the sales here. Wait for one. Now, these were supposed to be quite interesting. They promise the same aggressive taper below the knee (just about) as the Fulton, but with roomier thighs and upper knee area — so, I was hoping this would clear up the odd bunching around the knee area for me, while also giving a bit more room in the thigh, an area I always found a bit too tight in the Fulton fit. And, guess what!, it worked! These actually fit pretty solidly! It is a very slim fit for guys with somewhat larger thighs. Still, because we weren’t in love with the fabric and the stiffness, we did not end up keeping them. But this “Athletic” fit of BR’s is definitely something worth checking out if any of the problems described here sound like they apply to you.
You can see the measurements for all these pants, and many more, on our Measurements page.
In short, nothing here was too impressive, in neither quality, nor fit (though, again, that Mason fit was not half bad). Overall, the continued downward trajectory of BR seems to be in full swing. Quality is without question deteriorating, and the fact of the matter is that I find myself buying less and less from them each season. Hopefully they’ll hit a few homers this year with various products because they are a brand I truly love and have a long history with. But until they get consistency down, it’s going to be hard to recommend them over other companies that do it much better.