Madewell X Banjanan Dress

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post sharing the best breathable sundresses.  For that post I researched brands I was not familiar with and through it found out about Banjanan.  Sustainable, ethical, and some of the prettiest prints, I quickly fell in love with Banjanan but was disappointed to find it only goes up to a size 8/10.  I truly do not comprehend why any brand in 2020 has such a limiting size range; as indie fashion brand Alice Alexander shared this weekend on Instagram, this is the range of sizes worn by American women. For Banjanan to have such a ridiculously small size range they were excluding over 70% of women.  Then I saw Banjanan collaborated with Madewell; by partnering with Madewell the whole collection had to be available up to a 3XL and decided to place an order to see if this line is as cute as it looks online. For reference, this dress is a size Large which I think fits like a 14.


Shop the Look:

I hate to say this dress is exactly what I wanted for this summer.  The straps are wide enough to cover my bra (though the straps are a bit long for me and I need to shorten them – easy enough to do myself).  The cotton is super lightweight and breezy; there is a lining but it too is super lightweight cotton. I don't love dresses that tie in the back; it's uncomfortable when sitting and if you have a tummy it can veer into maternity style.  I tied the ties in the front which gave a bit of shape without looking second trimester.  Banjanan dresses can be found at various online retailers and the Banjanan website.

Shop Banjanan Dresses:

I saw the collection on Banjanan's Instagram a little over a week ago and placed an order same day (and of course had to leave a comment about sizing).  I received the dress just a few days after I placed the order and now?  The collection is gone.  No mention on their website, no product left, nothing.  Maybe it all sold out, but I am surprised to see it's gone altogether. I was really hoping that this collection would do so well it would inspire Caroline Weller, the woman behind Banjanan, to extend her size range.  Thank you to readers I found the collaboration was canceled by Madewell and for good reason.  Per Madewell's Instagram post, “At Madewell, we are committed to showcasing diverse talent and creating a community that welcomes all. We have heard your feedback regarding our collaboration with Banjanan and we recognize that it was not the best way to honor those commitments. With that in mind, we will stop selling the collection, effective immediately. As always, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, and please know that we are putting them to good use.”

This is the kind of dress that is perfect for hot summers.  I love how it floats on the breeze, how nothing is clinging or restricting, and how the print makes it fun and cheerful.  It's such a great kind of dress for all women, and such a dress that is so difficult to find in larger sizes that isn't made of a sweaty synthetic fabric or a clingy jersey.  I found some, all the ones below come at least up to a size 16 but most go larger.  

Shop Sundresses:

With Madewell's response, I look forward to their next collaboration as it gives designers an opportunity to reach a larger audience and have a collection be available in a broad size range.

6 Comments

  1. Kate
    July 28, 2020 / 10:34 am

    Hi Allie- this is a really pretty dress. Can you say more about why the collaboration was pulled? You mention it and that it was for a good reason but don’t talk about why. You got me curious! On sundresses…I love the maxi dress you got from J Crew, but I didn’t love the price tag and so I have bought and returned FOUR other (lower priced = $90ish so not actually very low) J Crew sundresses each of which was just not right. One was too heavily lined, one made my already large breasts look yuuuuge (and not in a good way to me), one the two others were shapeless and cheap looking. I expected more from them after your raves about the sundress. But what I learned from all of this is that I need to be willing to fork over the big bucks in certain scenarios to get a nice product. I’ve had great dresses that I’ve worn for years from Old Navy, so I know you don’t always have to spend big to get lots of wear, but in this case, I really should have. I spent $21 on returns before all was said and done!

    • July 28, 2020 / 12:40 pm

      It was very tonedeaf of Madewell during BLM to choose to partner with a white designer who moved to India a decade ago versus choosing a designer of color. They decided to pull the collab and come forward with a new one.

      I’ve struggled with J. Crew sundresses as well, the one I got was unusual having room for my bust and not being really heavy. I don’t know why they put such heavy linings in their dresses! So sorry that happened to you!

  2. Sarah
    July 27, 2020 / 8:34 am

    Hi, did you read the comments on the Madewell Instagram announcement? They explain why it disappeared.

    • July 27, 2020 / 8:58 am

      Oooh I didn’t and I love the reason. I figured the collab was a year in the making but it is an inappropriate collaboration right now. THANK YOU.

  3. Krista
    July 27, 2020 / 8:23 am

    I was ready to make a
    Purchase until I saw the part about the collection going *poof*. How disappointing. This is a beautiful dress.

    • July 27, 2020 / 9:13 am

      It’s for a good reason, I found it’s because Madewell customers were in an appropriate uproar over bringing out a collab right by a white woman who lives in India. I’ve researched her business and she is very fair and ethical but out of all the designers out there to collab with right now, this was the wrong choice and they pulled the collection. I look forward to who they partner with next.

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