FC Review: BR Gia Convertible Crossbody

Banana Republic Gia Convertible Crossbody Bag – $150 (wait for a sale code)

The Gia Convertible Crossbody bag from Banana Republic is a versatile leather purse that was pointed out in a sale post right before Memorial Day weekend. At that time I decided to take the plunge and give this purse a go, as I was looking for something a little larger than my current handbag. I’m a metallics kind of girl, so I went with, you guessed it, “Metallic”, which is a really beautiful champagne color. Of course that option is no longer to be found on the BR website, but there are three colors the bag is still available in. You might be able to find the metallic in-store.

Gia Crossbody and Shoulder

Reviews about this bag are all over the place, but I figured if I didn’t love it, I’d just return it to my local BR. I purchased it when a 30% off code was running, and the price dropped to $97 before taxes. My first impressions of the purse were really favorable. Great color, the roominess I was looking for, and the style is of a designer bag, but without the designer price. The perforated pattern on the main body of the bag looks great!

Many of the complaints about this purse is that the crossbody strap is not adjustable. I haven’t found this to be an issue, I like where the purse sits on the curve of my hip. I also had a friend of mine who is much taller than me put the purse on, and she found the purse to be really comfortable as well. I could see where a girl with a really long torso might find the length of the strap too short, but I think it will be fine for most. Another complaint is the corners of the purse can turn up┬árather than lay flat. This is true, but that doesn’t bug me too much. A designer fold-over crossbody bag like this with super soft leather likely wouldn’t do that, but you’d be paying at least 3 times the price.

The “convertible” part of the purse comes in when you swap the crossbody strap out for the included shoulder bag strap (as seen in the picture above). This option is pretty comfortable too, unless you carry a ton of bulk in your purse. Remove the straps altogether, and you have a large clutch. I’d just as soon keep that should strap on though, for ease of carrying.

Gia Turnclasp upclose

The hardware on the purse is a matte goldtone. The turnclasp is already making marks in the finish, but that can’t really be avoided. The bag has several storage pockets. There’s a zipper pocket on the back, a magnetic button pocket on the outside under the flap, and three inside pockets for storage. The leather quality is about mid-grade; not the best, but certainly not cheap and plasticky feeling. It seems well constructed, and hopefully all the stitching will last. One of my only complaints is the turnclasp. If you purse if full enough, it can be hard to get the placket pushed down far enough to allow the clasp to turn. ┬áIt usually can’t be done in one quick motion.

If you’re in the market for a crossbody, check this bag out. I’ve been using it for a week straight now, and really love it. Hopefully with the popularity of the metallic, a few neutral color options will be added at some point.

Gia footer

2 Responses to “FC Review: BR Gia Convertible Crossbody”
  1. Jennifer L. says:

    How is it to open/close? Right now I have a hobo with a zip top, and it’s hard to open with one hand if I don’t set it down on something – the tension from the straps keeps the zipper from sliding easily. This bad looks as though you can pop it open/closed?

    • Sarah says:

      Jennifer, it’s great to open one handed, but closing it is another matter. That’s my one beef with the bag. It does require two hands to get the clasp flush with the hardware so you can turn it and lock the flap. Since it’s a foldover, the flap does keep your contents private even if you can’t lock it right away, but still…