Author Posts

Women’s Flightsuits

I imagine over the years Banana Republic carried some surplus military flightsuits, though there is only one appearance in a catalog, the 1982 Sale Flier. Flightsuits were a staple women’s garment for BR from 1984-1988. I think it’s interesting that they only made them for women, but I guess despite its origin as as a […]

Coat of Bananas Shirt

This is listed in the catalogue as the Banana Republic T-Shirt, but since that name is used on several items over the years I am calling this one the Coat of Bananas Shirt. Sold from Spring 1987-Spring 1988, this was a popular item judging by the number of them that show up on eBay and […]

Tribal Animal T-Shirts

These shirts were only offered in the Fall 1988 Catalogue. However, they are one of the most common BR T-Shirts to show up now. This may be due to the wide distribution of the catalogues by 1988 and/or the large number of stores in operation by then.

Safari Dress

A Safari Dress was a staple of the women’s wardrobe for a long time. As you can see in the catalog gallery at the bottom of the page they switched from the fine Egyptian Cotton of the Safari Jackets to a slightly heavier “Naturalist’s cloth” later in the run. The photos on this page are […]

Denim Skirt

From the catalogue: “A skirt to satisfy even women who normally shun skirts: slim, spare, absolutely fuss-less.Traditional jean styling–including a coin pocket–and deep 13-inch slits before and behind for making great strides. In tandem with our Denim Jacket, and outfit to range from Wyoming to Weisbaden.” Photos from an Etsy sale

Cold War Cast-Offs! NATO Fatigues from 1986

  Interesting surplus items show up all the time that were not listed in the catalogue but were sold in stores because they were available in more limited quantities. Not so these NATO fatigues, sold in 1986 and found in what must have been somewhat large numbers to justify featuring them on the page. Complete […]

Chanteuse Shirt

Some silky rayon to counteract all the expedition cloth, this shirt was offered Fall/Holiday ’86-’87, variously in khaki, ivory, wine, black and sage. This shirt is discussed (but not named) by Patrica Ziegler in the Wild Company memoir. “Whenever we passed through Paris, a must-stop was the flea market at Porte de Clignancourt—officially called Les […]

Equestrienne Shirt

Whenever this shirt shows up online it’s listed as a Men’s shirt, probably on the assumption it’s some sort of cowboy shirt. I was confused for the longest time until I realized it just women’s Equestrienne Shirt. The misconception is probably also attributable to the wide torso on the shirt, which is meant to be […]

Transitional Pieces

This blog is dedicated to the travel and safari era of Banana Republic as defined by the 1978-1988 catalogues. However, the name Banana Republic Travel and Safari Company continued for some period of time after the Zieglers departed. The company moved in a more upscale direction with the branding, but attempted to retain some of […]

Mombasa Suit

I love the marketing for this wonderful suit. It’s all classic Banana Republic, with a great spread of artwork with background art that inspires the imagination and catalog copy that manages to namedrop both Isak “Out of Africa” Dinesen and St. Tropez. It really makes you want to be this person. From the catalogue: “Mombasa,” […]

There was a FLAG!?

An official store flag???? According to the eBay archive website Worthpoint, this printed nylon flag sold in 2016. I would kill to have it, fair warning. I’ve never seen it before but it’s pretty clearly the real deal. I absolutely love it!! If you are the owner of such a flag, please get in touch.

Proletarian Shirt

The keyword for this shirt is Corduroy. BR didn’t make a lot of them, there was a corduroy shirt with leather elbow patches and a leather collar called the Lodge shirt and there was this shirt seen in the Fall 1988 catalogue. It was made in Manila, Green and Blue. Pictures below from a September […]

Weekend Dress

Available from Summer 1985 through Spring 1986, this dress came in Natural and Black and was as versatile as advertised. From the catalogue: “Put it in your purse when you go to work on Friday. On your weekend getaway wear it over pants like a big t-shirt; belted at the waist; belted at the hips; […]

Duster Coat

One of the reasons I enjoy this hobby is spotting an item that doesn’t quite match the artwork. Case in point, the Duster Coat. Made of cotton Expedition Cloth in ivory and olive, it has a classic BR look that the catalogue artwork doesn’t really convey. The 1988 catalogue art generally lacks the character of […]

Collar Stud Belt

My personal theory is that this was Patricia Ziegler’s favorite belt. Featured from 1984 through 1986 as an item and on numerous illustrations of other items of clothing. As the catalogue says, it’s a true classic. From the catalogue: “A terrific hip belt with heavy sweaters, a waist cincher with pants or safari dresses. Three […]

Outback Shirt

These shirts are easy to identify because they are the only stiped collarless shirts in the catalogues. Sold from Fall 1985 (the Outback issue) to Summer 1986, they came in several different colors. See the catalog thumbnails below. From the catalogue: “India is famous for its hand-loomed fabrics but its equally superlative milled textiles are […]

Correspondent’s Dress

The Correspondent’s Dress is the fair companion to the Correspondent’s Jacket, made of the same material and possessing the same details. The belted dress came in Ivory and Pewter and is easily distinguished from the Safari Dress by its angled lower pockets. From the catalogue: “She won’t reveal her sources, but her dress speaks for […]

90-Degree Shirt

These shirts were only offered in Fall 1988. Interesting to note that they bore the Stars and Bananas tag, which indicates the tags were more dependant on where the garment was made than when it was made. From the catalogue: “We used all the right angles to create a boxed-plaid shirt of the coolest Indian […]

Quiet Madras Shirt

From the catalogue: “Play word association with “madras” and you probably think “preppy”, “golf course”, “fifties”, or any combination thereof. Truth is, madras doesn’t have to signify loud plaids in violent colors: it refers simply to the lightweight yet surprisingly strong cotton hand-loomed in the villages of southern India. The subtle patterns and soft hues […]

Men’s Fatigue Pants

100% cotton fatigues sold in Khaki, olive drab and sand in the 1986-1987 catalogues. From the catalogue: “Designed by Uncle Sam’s tailors to prove we Yanks have a few good ideas of our own. Fatigues are the best of both worlds-a pair of military pants that was made for nonmilitary wear. Tow buttoned back pockets.”

Traveler’s Raincoat

From the catalogue: “Most “travel raincoats” are sorry affairs that cling uselessly to one’s limbs. Ours weighs just 26 ounces and folds into a compact envelope, yet springs out looking like the dashing, authoritative garment it is. Like the U.S. Marine corps, we chose a nylon fabric that’s sturdy without being heavy, and discourages rain, […]

Egyptian Cotton Safari Shirt

From the catalogue: “Egypt’s long fiber cotton enjoys a reputation as the world’s finest. Old-timers who’ve led hundreds of safaris through the African bush wouldn’t think of owning a safari shirt out of any other fabric. This is because its long fibers build strength into the weave of the garment without adding bulk. Our Egyptian […]

Short Sleeved Expedition Shirt

Originally sold as part of the Expedition Outfit in 1984, this shirt was reissued on its own in summer 1987. From the catalogue: “Any expedition is a foray into the imagination as much as a geographic journey. Our Short-Sleeved Expedition Shirt-in touch 100% cotton canvas, pre-wahsed for suppleness-is designed with creative exploration in mind. What […]

Houndstooth Shirt

From the catalogue: “Houndstooth is a true composite with a checkered past. To the British it looks like dog’s fangs; in France they think it resembles chicken’s feet and call it coq. We’ve even seen houndstooth gaucho pants in Argentina. Our Minister of Checks and Balances has chosen a most subtle version of this worldly […]

Australian Schoolbag

Running from Summer 1986 to Spring 1987, this wonderful twill and leather bag was also made in pigskin leather in 1988. Photos below from a September 2020 eBay sale. From the 1986 catalogue: “We took a full-sized suitcase to Australia, but needed a smaller bag from which to conduct daily business. So we ducked into […]

Women’s Ticking Shirt

The Women’s Ticking Shirt differs significantly from the men’s, tapered in all the right places and with very full sleeves. From the catalogue: “As clothing archaeologists, we like to discover wearable artifacts. Our latest fiend: authentic mattress ticking, pre-washed for softness and woven with more warp than filling yarns for extra strength. We think it […]

Expedition Shorts

The staple Men’s Short from 1985-1988, the Expedition Short is easily distinguished by the wide belt loops in the front. From the catalogue: “No fewer than six deep, roomy pockets-two in the back, four in the front. The tough cotton canvas is pre-washed for the look of an old salt.”

Lambskin Flight Helmet

This is classic Banana Republic, offered in nearly every catalog until Spring 1987.  From the catalogue: “A menacingly true reproduction of the notorious Red Baron flight helmet in soft glove-weight lambskin. This is official headgear in our Banana Republic Air Force.   

Amelia Earhart Jacket

This amazing jacket was made in two different styles. The Fall/Xmas 1986 version is brown with a button-on mouton collar attachment and striped lining (photos courtesy Tiff Wimberly). The following year they offered the jacket in dark brown without the attachment and with a quilted lining. The 1987 version is pictured below thanks to fellow […]

Shawl-Collar Traveler’s Dress

Featured in Fall 1986 through Spring 1987 in black and khaki. From the catalogue: “Italian cotton knit is one of our favorite fabrics for travel: reasonless, wrinkle-shedding, flatteringly drape, it looks as fresh over a midnight grappa as it does over morning cappuccino. Our Traveler’s Dress has side slits to liberate your legs, deep side-seam […]

Populist Pants

Available from Spring 1987 through Spring 1988. From the catalog: ““Raise less corn and more hell!” So admonished a tough-spirited slogan of the Populist movement back in the 1890s. Styles have come and gone since then, but certain values persist. Our Populist Pants, steeped in grass-roots sensibility and the simple good sense of solid workmanship, […]

Windbuffer Jacket

Offered from Summer 1987 through Spring 1988 in 4 different colors (khaki, white, blue and coffee) depending on the season. From the catalogue: “They do make ’em like that anymore-if they choose to ignore the dictum that time means money. We took our time-two years, in fact-making sure our Windbuffer Jacket lived up to the […]

Bench Leather Jacket

This jacket reminds me of the On-The Road jacket a little It has the same leather cuff protectors and light coloring. I also like the lining very much. A handsome jacket only offered in Fall and Christmas 1987. From the catalogue: “Once upon a time, in a humble saddler’s shop, there was a lambskin covering […]

Snap Collar Bomber Jacket

New the Fall 1988 catalogue, the Snap-Collar Bomber Jacket is described as dark chocolate brown, so I am not at all sure that the pictures from eBay below are the same jacket, but I think so. However, there are no black jackets in the catalogue that match the photos. (It may simply be that the […]

Open Cockpit Aviator’s Jacket

Issued only in Fall 1983 and Fall 1984 this Goatskin jacket is more rare than the other BR leathers. From the catalog: “Issued in the 1930s to the U.S. Navy Air Force pilots, this ingenious jacket was uniquely designed for the special demands of open cockpit flying. The average altitude for flying then was 5,500 […]

Hooded Field Jacket?

Life’s little mysteries… This catalog era coat comes up on eBay from time to time and I’ve never seen it before. A khaki jacket (update: red has been seen too) with a bit of a windbreaker vibe and with a hood built into the collar, same as the Hooded Bush Vest. The Stars and Bananas […]

Army Air Corps Jacket

Made in the USA of Argentine cowhide, the distressed leather Army Air Corps jacket was wildly popular in the 1980s and was much copied as I remember. All is fair, seeing as it’s a copy of an original anyway! It was in the catalogues along with the Goatskin Flight Jacket and Leather Flight Jacket so […]

Leather Flight Jacket

The catalog copy for the new Leather Flight Jacket begins with a critique of the faults of the “classic Flight Jacket” without mentioning the previous Goatskin Flight Jacket from BR was an updated copy of the classic and had many of those same faults. From the catlogue:” The classic leather flight jacket originally worn by […]

Goatskin Flight Jacket

This is the original Banana Republic Flight Jacket, dating from 1982 to 1985 when the Leather Flight Jacket replaced it. It’s distinguished by it’s dark brown almost black color, dark mouton snap-on collar, and buttons on the pockets. From the 1982 catalogue that introduced it: “Over the years we’ve examined, tested and lived with virtually […]

On The Road Jacket

This jacket really revels in its San Francisco roots. Made in San Francisco by the Golden Bear company (as detailed in the Wild Company memoir) it’s a tribute to the legendary Beat writer and at one point the catalogue copy included a testimonial from poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti whose famed City Lights Bookstore sits along Jack […]

Employee Plane Shirt and Badge

To be honest, I don’t know a lot about these two items. I’ve never seen the logo before. It’s really marvelous, I have a soft spot for the BR Air Corps plane. I found the shirt on eBay a few years ago and didn’t know what to make of it. My assumption is it’s an […]

Waterproof Cotton Bush Jacket

This great looking jacket was only offered in the Holiday 1986 catalogue. Thanks to a fellow collector for sending in these awesome pictures of his! From the catalogue: “Our winterized bush jacket shrugs off downpours and carries on valiantly in pea-supers. We adapted the classic bush style-epaulets, four cargo pockets, double-buttoning cuffs, leather-buckled belt-in our […]

BR Beaded Belt

These Banana Republic Beaded Belts come in a wide variety of colors and are the most commonly seen early pre-GAP item on eBay. They were sold into 1984 (top image is from an order form centerfold) but were first seen in 1982. Advertised as “an American Indian condiment for your khakis”, they remind me of […]

The Pith Helmet

From the catalogue: “From Her Majesty’s former burden, the colony of India, comes our genuine Bombay Bowler. Water repellent khaki cotton covers the pith. Positively sunroof. For extra protection on particularly scorching days, we suggest dunking the hat occasionally in cool water.” The Pith Helmet was a staple of Banana Republic from the very beginning. […]

Guide to Leather Jackets

From the July 1986 employee newsletter Communique comes an exhaustive breakdown of the manufacture and care of Banana Republic leather. Click to enlarge.  Leather jackets were among the most expensive and popular items in the Banana Republic catalog, often taking up prime real estate near the front or at the center of the catalogue.  Banana [...]

The Ventilated Shirt

The BR Ventilated Shirt was originally manufactured for the British Army for use in tropical outposts. The cotton shirt is soft and light with an intricate weave to allow breathability. Introduced in 1983 it was sold in both short and long sleeves, with the short sleeved version selling until 1988. Interestingly, the earliest long-sleeved “Authentic […]

Aviator’s Scarves

White Aviator’s Scarf This is truly one of the ICONIC pieces from Banana Republic. Stylish and fun, it instantly transports you back to the era of the WWI Flying Ace. By far the most common of the three Aviator’s is the white Army Air Forces scarf. White silk, measuring 13 inches across and nearly two […]

Ventilated Tropical Dress

The Ventilated Shirt was a staple of the catalog from Spring 1983 until 1988. The Ventilated Tropical Dress debuted at the same time but was discontinued in 1985. From the catalog: “A civilized way to survive in a scorching desert, a steamy jungle, even a humid metropolis. We can attest to this because our short-sleeved […]

Women’s Vaquera Belt

From the catalog: “In the 16th century two Portuguese brothers introduced seven cows and a bull to South America. Within 100 years, cattle had so overrun the pampas that legions of caballeros had to be recruited to round them up. At the vaqueria-as these expeditions were called-a young man could gain proficiency with lasso and […]

Women’s Equestrienne Jacket

This elegant and stylish jacket was only offered in Fall 1985 and came as a suit with a skirt (not pictured). From the catalogue: “Elegant and romantic as the gaslight era, yet bold as its dauntless horsewomen, the Equestrienne Suit was inspired by a turn-of-the-century riding outfit. We took this thoroughbred of a design and […]

Banana Republic Store Photos

First, a small collection of photos of Banana Republic Travel & Safari stores I’ve purchased online from news archives.  The photos below are images taken from around the internet. Where possible they are credited.

1983 Summer Catalogue

I have the Summer 1983 catalogue in the standard newsprint and also a glossy paper version, the first and only glossy BR catalogue I’ve ever seen. As you can see the newsprint version is announcing the opening of the new Stanford store, so I am left to assume it came out after the glossy which […]

Italian Waiter’s Jacket

First appearing in the summer 1985 catalogue, this light, easy to wear jacket that seemed both timeless and very 80s. You could easily roll up your sleeves, slip on some deck shoes and be at home in the background of Miami Vice. They came in white always, khaki often, as well as once in navy […]

The Missing Banana Republic T-Shirt

I hadn’t noticed this shirt before because it is hidden within a folded order form at the center of the Fall and Winter 1984 catalogues. When I first scanned them my copies didn’t have the order forms in them, they’d been torn out. Subsequently I’ve found complete catalogues and finally saw this shirt. Hence, “The […]

Ventile Poplin Safari Pants

Prior to Fall 1984 the line of safari jacket and pants were called “Kenya Safari Clothing” and the copy implies that the clothes were painstakingly sourced by Banana Republic but made by another company. This changed in Fall 1984 when Ventile Poplin was introduced, or re-introduced, according to the catalogue: ” As the premier, pre-eminent […]

Ventile Poplin Safari Jacket

Beginning with this first Bush jacket offered in 1979 Banana Republic always had some form of safari style jacket. Catalog number 3 in Spring 1980 carried some “limited supply” of a surplus “safari antique” that had been found in Australia. The fabric is described as a light tropical cotton weave. They must have been frustrated […]

Shetland Writer’s Sweater

This interesting sweater just showed up on eBay. Kind of a fun challenge to identify! Going through the sweater category on the Abandoned Republic website turns up the Shetland Writer’s Sweater in the 1983 Christmas catalog, but without color to guide us. Is this brown sweater “russet” colored? The leather buttons, side pockets and collar […]

Israeli Paratrooper Briefcase

Without a doubt this is one of the best remembered items from 1980s Banana Republic, a book bag for countless students, I took full advantage of its generous pen holders and used it as a sketchbook carrying bag for many years. Even today it’s a great laptop bag, though a padded laptop sleeve would be […]

A Letter about a Flight Jacket

I jumped at the chance to buy a 1986 Mel Ziegler letter on BR letterhead and I’m really glad I did. First, it’s just a great look at what a classy company they were and how Mel’s gift for language never fails to charm. It’s so warm and witty. Secondly, this particular letter points directly […]

Banana Republic Logo Bandana

This was shared by a member of the Abandoned Republic Facebook group. I’ve never seen one before. It wasn’t shown in any catalogs and she purchased it in a store. I love these surprises from Banana Republic! This is a color version of the stacked logo usually seen on the clothing descriptor tags.

Women’s Ranch Boot

Up for current auction, a beautiful pair of Women’s Leather Ranch Boots. From the catalog: “We modified the classic Western boot for women who pound pavements rather than punch cows. The insole is tenderly padded and the outsole covered in rubber, making the boots as luxurious to walk in as they are to look at, […]

All Night Flightsuit

From the catalog: “Cotton fleece is so comfortable it begs to be used for something other than sweats. When we made the All-Night Flightsuit, our idea was to give the intercontinental traveler a cozy yet stylish alternative to tight waistbands, jabbing buttons, and rumpled clothing at journey’s end. Perfect for the redeye: the elastic and […]

True Surplus: Swedish Bandolier

A favorite item is the Authentic Swedish Bandolier.  Banana Republic was selling these “authentic relic” surplus bandoliers in their catalogs from Holiday 1984 until Fall 1985. UPDATE: Discovered the Bandolier was offered as early as 1979!! See below.  From the catalog: “One never has enough pockets on safari. This leather bandolier with canvas insets offers […]

Pedestrienne Boots

New Auction: These amazing mint condition Pedestrienne Boots in a fabulous BR boot box. “….I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” -Robert Louis Stevenson Produced for Fall and Christmas 1987. From the catalog: “The English equestrienne boot is both elegant and pragmatic […]

Shopping bags and boxes

Collecting the shopping bags, boxes and other store ephemera is great fun. They put so much creativity into this branding, each one is keepsake in it’s own right. 

Mr. Brady’s Traveler’s Bag AKA The Gelderburn

Updated with new pictures! I recently set out to understand the differences among popular leather and linen English bags Banana Republic produced: The Low Profile Bag, The Correspondent’s Bag, Photojournalist Bag and Mr. Brady’s Traveler’s Bag. As is described in the Fall 1984 “Outfitters Who Outlasted the Empire” catalog the Zieglers contracted with many old […]

The “Save-The-Tiger” Belt

“For the cat person of conscience” comes the Save-The-Tiger belt. An essential accessory that pulls many a BR outfit together with a bit of an edge. I think it’s a beautiful belt that would be shocking were it to have an actual tiger tooth, certainly, but it feels like a missed opportunity not to donate […]

Correspondent’s Jacket

Produced from 1985-1987, the Correspondent’s jacket came in Khaki, Ivory, Olive and Pewter over the years and has a variation that comes with pockets on the sleeves. It’s the quintessential bush jacket inspired by globe trotting journalists. From the catalog: ” An overseas tradition that has stood the test of Time, as well as Life, […]

Women’s Traveling Boots

I always thought these leather and linen Traveling Boots were way cool. The leather cuff, the floppy linen shaft contained by criss-crossed leather straps. So class and perfect with everything. The leather and linen combination made for some great looking bags as well. Page from Spring 1987. The boots were featured from Spring 1985 to […]

Linea Viaggio Duffel Bag

These bags were available from Spring 1985 through Spring 1986. Abridged from the catalog: “Traveling with natural fabrics is as dear to our hearts as the lure of the open road. As the premier travel clothing business in the nation, we have certain standards to uphold. Up til now, we’ve been able to offer very […]

Kenya Convertibles

The Kenya Convertibles are a concept Banana Republic did not invent, and it’s a common item now from other outfitters, but let’s just say BR made them famous. The idea was featured in 1982 and resurrected as BR factory made item in Summer 1985 and was a staple item through Fall 1988. From the Catalog: […]

Yukon Shirt

I love the Yukon shirt. Ubiquitous in the catalogs, lined up in a wonderful array of colors like candies in a bowl. It came in a short-sleeved version, but to me the proper Yukon shirt is the long sleeve variety that will keep you cozy on a crisp fall day. It was introduced in summer […]

Women’s Battle Jacket

From the catalog: “It wasn’t fashion that inspired the World War II uniform known as battledress; it was economy. Because there simply wasn’t enough fabric around to make the customary kidney-covering tunics, wartime tailors whipped up a waist-length version instead. Ike liked it, and so did a lot of enlisted men-women too, who especially appreciated […]

Elephant Bandanas

The set of Elephant Bandanas were sold in the summer of 1985 and are very fun to collect. BR did a number of bandanas and scarves, but these have the best pattern and use of the logo in my opinion. They came in two color sets–“African” (khaki brown, red earth, tan, and blue) and “Indian_ […]

Haversack

This Italian made bag is a fantastic artist’s bag, just the right size for a sketchbook or tablet, with pockets for pencils and a pouch for supplies, it’s unquestionably stylish and made to last. I actually prefer it to the Israeli Paratrooper briefcase for those trips when I don’t need a laptop bag. It’s one […]

Richard Walker’s Pants

Richard Walker is mentioned in the Wild Company book (pg. 106) as an American working in London as a buyer who helped connect the Zieglers with Mr. Brady for the Traveling Bag, among others. When they ran into difficulties with fussy English factories he sent them to Italy for designing their leather and linen bags. […]

Artisan’s Nightshirt

As advertised: “At the turn of the century, British artisans-the empire’s potters, silversmiths, cabinetmakers-wore shirts made of the thickest, plushest traditionally stripped cotton flannel, woven 29 inches wide; the fabric was doubled and the shirt sized by cutting a hole for the neck. The resulting garment was more like a cozy place to live than […]

Safari Skirt

As advertised: “Patterned after a turn-of-the-century riding habit, our 100% Egyptian Cotton Safari Skirt is equally at home sidesaddle or astride (simply unbutton the front buttons for more legroom). Smoothly tapered over the hips, the skirt flares gently into a wide, mid-calf A line that’s ample yet not voluminous, a practical choice whether sitting or […]

Traveller’s Roll-Up Hat

The Traveller’s Roll Up Hat was a popular item featured from 1983-1987. The wool hat from England was designed to pop back into shape after being rolled up in a pocket or suitcase. It provides a no-fuss, classic look that truly evokes Banana Republic to me.

Gurkha Hat

A rare sighting on eBay was this stunning example of the Gurkha Hat. It seem like a perfect hat for the Banana Republic Travel and Safari Company to sell (especially with all the Gurkha Shorts they sold!) but surprisingly, this hat was only featured once, in the 1983 Holiday catalog. It has the same look […]

Photojournalist’s Vest

The Photojournalist Vest was staple of Banana Republic until well-past the catalog era. What’s most surprising to me is that there were catalogs when it WASN’T included. (Spring-Fall 1986) It is ubiquitous on eBay to this day, as many were sold and they never wore out. Version One Version One of the vest debuted in […]

British Correspondent’s Bag and Photojournalist’s Bag

I recently set out to understand the differences among popular leather and linen English bags Banana Republic produced: The Low Profile Bag, The Correspondent’s Bag, Photojournalist Bag and Mr. Brady’s Traveler’s Bag. As is described in the Fall 1984 “Outfitters Who Outlasted the Empire” catalog the Zieglers contracted with many old English factories to produce […]

Apocryphal Affiliates Shirts

I love, love, LOVE the Apocryphal Affiliates Shirts. The series of 4 was only sold in the summer 1986 catalog, and advertised as being in limited quantities and very rarely show up on eBay. The team at BR must have had a ball inventing these fictional colonialist sporting clubs and creating logos for each of […]

“Safari” Shirt Guide

I’ve always had a hard time keeping these shirts straight in my mind, especially “Safari” vs “Expedition” so I created this guide as a cheat sheet. They all have different types and weights of fabric, but online pictures make it hard to tell. Pockets hold the most clues.

Bombay Shirt

The Bombay Shirt was available for a long time, from 1982-1988 in the catalogs that I know of. The distinctive light cotton shirt sports no less than seven pockets with buttons: Two on each sleeve and three on the chest. It came in a dizzying array of colors over the years, usually offered in the […]

Dinkum Aussie Football Blanket

Part of the Fall 1985 Australian Outback catalogue which included Australian football jerseys, Outback clothing and boomerangs, this Dinkum Aussie Football blanket is rare to see. Check out the April 2020 eBay auction.

Banana Republic Catalogue #12 1983

The timing of this catalogue is a bit of a mystery, because there was a Christmas gift catalog (AND UPDATE) at the end of 1982 AND a Spring 1983 Catalog. #13. So is #12 an additional holiday catalog?? Or another Spring Catalog? It simply doesn’t say. The content is similar, but changing, and the #12 […]

Franco Pants

The “Franco Pants” are one of the more memorable pieces of surplus for Banana Republic, first listed in 1983 and resurrected in 1985. The story told in the text is that the pants were designed by the Spanish dictator himself and the distinctive bullseye pattern stitched into the rear end was there so he could […]

True Surplus: RCAC Jacket

This is a nice piece of authentic military surplus that was not featured in the catalog, presumably due to more limited quantities. A beautiful wool with silk lining women’s uniform jacket from the RCAC-Royal Canadian Army Cadets, a youth ROTC-type program of the Canadian Army. Complete with price tag and “Discovered By Banana Republic” tag, […]

A Post about Posters

Sold in the 1984 catalogs, these posters showcasing catalogue covers are really wonderful collectibles that appear now and then on eBay. Advertised were catalogs 18, 19, 20 and 21, but I also came across one from catalog #22, presumably sold in stores.   My copy of the African Safari poster was signed by Patrica and […]

Carry-On! Luggage

Recent auction for a Globetrotter bag caught my eye. I hadn't seen one in real life yet and really like the olive linen and leather look! A very nice stamped luggage tag. This line debuted in the Fall 1986 catalog and was highlighted in the "Carry On!" Fall update catalog. "Globetrotter" is a name used for [...]