Normally I am not a fan of Banana Republic but I am always on the lookout for new stuff, so when I saw this contrast tipped cardigan, complete with classic elbow patches, I thought it was worth checking out. If you couldn’t tell yet, I’m a big fan of extra details on garments that separate them from the rest, and this cardigan definitely fits that bill.
What I like about this piece is that though it is simple, it contains some key details that keep it interesting (and certainly caught my attention on the mannequin in the store). Though it is a little hard to tell in the far away shots, there is both a color and texture contrast between the sleeves/trim and the body/elbow patches. This combined with the piping down the front makes this more than just your average cardigan.
The fit, to me, was not quite perfect. I tried on a Medium and the body was really nice and slim fitting. The shoulders were a little too wide though, and I have pretty broad shoulders. This resulted in one of two things. If I pulled the shoulder seams to where they should be, there was a lot of extra fabric between my neck and shoulders that affected how the sweater bunched. If I left the shoulders where they fell naturally, which was about an inch off, there was a lot of extra material underneath the arms, which affected my range of motion a little bit and looked awkward anytime I lifted my arms.
This sweater is made of 70% cotton, 20% nylon, and 10% silk. The nylon helps keep it from creasing or wrinkling too badly, and the fine cotton and silk give it a really nice hand. It definitely has the feel of a high quality piece. One great thing is that it is machine washable, which is always nice (dry cleaning can get expensive!).
One of my biggest problems with Banana Republic is that they are usually ridiculously overpriced for the quality, which is why I was surprised that this cardigan was only $89.50. As I mentioned before, the hand of this knit is really nice and, in my opinion, definitely worth the price as long as the fit works for your body.