I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (2024)

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Chloe Caldwell

I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (1)

  • I tried on similar linen-blend dresses at Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Gap.
  • All the dresses were made of the same material but varied greatly in price.
  • I liked the fit of the Gap dress but thought the Old Navy version provided the best value.

I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (2)

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I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (3)

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I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (4)

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I've always been a fan of feminine fashion, and dresses are a staple in my wardrobe. Linen dresses are my go-to summer ensemble because of their versatility and lightweight, comfortable feel. With the warm weather officially here, I went on the search for some new staple pieces for my summer wardrobe.

I visited Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy — all owned and operated by parent company Gap Inc. — to try on similar linen-blend dresses and find the best overall value.

Gap Inc. is the largest specialty retailer in the US, with 2,554 company-operated stores worldwide. I figured that if that many people were shopping at Gap Inc. stores, they'd likely have a good selection of options to choose from.

I evaluated each brand and dress based on the quality of materials, garment construction, fit and comfort, sizing, in-store experience, and price.

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Here's the full breakdown of my shopping experience at Banana Republic, Gap, and Old Navy.

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I started my journey at Banana Republic.

I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (5)

When I think of Banana Republic, I think of well-made, timeless styles.

The retailer, which has over 400 stores worldwide, was created to bring customers a sense of everyday luxury. However, that's not exactly what I found while shopping at my local outlet.

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I picked a white linen-blend dress from the rack.

I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (6)

I picked out a linen-blend midi dress from the rack and immediately noticed how high-quality the materials felt.

The fabric (55% linen, 45% rayon) was thick, and there were several layers of lining, which made me think the dress would likely last for multiple seasons without tarnishing.

I also loved the design of the dress, which featured a pleated bust with a straight neckline and hemline. Plus, it had pockets, which are always an exciting and convenient addition.

However, the $150 price tag made me wonder whether it was really worth the investment.

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Once I put the dress on, I was let down by the fit and sizing.

I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (7)

I tried on an extra small (I'm five-foot-two and typically wear either an extra small or a small), and the dress swallowed my figure. The straps were much too long, leaving the bodice loose and sagging, and I had to stand on my toes to keep the hem from dragging on the floor.

Banana Republic does offer petite sizing, but I couldn't find any petite options in-store. Since the regular sizing seemed off, I was apprehensive about ordering anything online. Plus, I didn't think the dress was worth the $150 price.

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Next, I went to Old Navy.

I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (8)

I frequented Old Navy growing up because of its affordable styles that cater to budget-conscious families — most items I saw were under $50.

The retailer opened its first store in 1994 and now has over 1,200 locations worldwide.

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The midi dress I found at Old Navy was made of the same fabric as the Banana Republic version.

I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (9)

Sifting through the racks of Old Navy made me nostalgic, but I was doubtful of how the quality of materials would hold up against its sister stores, considering the price differences.

Turns out, the dress I tried on at Banana Republic had the exact same fabric makeup (55% linen, 45% rayon) as the fit-and-flare linen-blend midi dress I found at Old Navy. But the latter option was one-third of the price — $45 vs $150.

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This dress was comfortable and complimented my frame well.

I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (10)

While trying the Old Navy dress on, I realized it did have less substantial lining than the Banana Republic version. The shape and cut of the dress, especially around the sweetheart neckline, felt a bit flimsy.

However, I liked the shape of this style more than that of my first try-on. It fit comfortably and complimented my frame well.

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Finally, I took a trip to Gap.

I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (11)

I made my final stop at Gap, which has over 700 locations across North America and Asia, to try on a linen-blend midi dress.

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I ended up liking a lot of pieces from Gap.

I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (12)

I've never thought of Gap clothing as "trendy," so I was surprised to find styles that replicated what I've seen influencers wearing on social media — trench coats, chic dresses, relaxed denim, and everyday basics.

I ended up picking up a handful of pieces to try on along with the dress. While I didn't take any of them home with me, I'd consider going back to browse again.

The final linen-blend midi dress I tried on was $98 and made of the same material (55% linen, 45% rayon) as the options I tried on at Banana Republic and Old Navy.

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I loved how the Gap dress fit me.

I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (13)

The dress felt well constructed, and I loved the front seams that lined the bodice. It looked effortless and feminine, like something I'd pack in my suitcase for a summer trip to Europe.

However, the sizing, similar to Banana Republic, ran slightly large. In order to buy it, I'd need to shop this dress from the petite-sizing options online, as they weren't available in-store.

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Overall, I thought the Old Navy dress provided the best value.

I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (14)

All the dresses I tried on were made from the same 55% linen and 45% rayon combination. However, they ranged in price from $45 to $150.

With this in mind, I thought the dress from Old Navy offered the best value. However, I liked the fit of the Gap version best.

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I tried on similar dresses at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. The most expensive one was the most disappointing. (2024)

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