Shopping with experts : Banana Republic


Anyone wanting to emulate Michelle Obama’s way with a sleeveless sheath dress should look no further than Banana Republic on London’s Regent Street. The store is awash with sleeveless shift dresses that could have come straight from the White House, which is a pretty smart second guess from the American retailer, as everyone seems to have gone a little bonkers over the First Lady and her perfectly pitched style.

Sleeveless is a touch tricky for us, we love the look but panic slightly at the exposed upper arm flesh, a sweet cardigan flung over the top is an easy compromise and I suspect we all fuss a little too much over this arm thing. This lined printed cotton version, at £75, is the best in the store. What we particularly like about these American imports is that the sizing is wonkily distorted to make you feel smaller. A UK12 wears a Banana Republic 8 according to the in store chart, which sound nicer. Bizarrely, the sizing goes down to a doll-like US 00 (a UK2) and I wonder how many of these they sell?

Sadly the brand does not sell on-line in the UK yet and has only one outlet, but it's worth seeking out for that smart, softly tailored look in good quality fabrics American retailers do so well. The accessories are also great, look out for the pretty jewellery.

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