Author Posts

Pinwale Corduroy Shirt

From Fall 1988: “Pinwale corduroy’s velvety touch belies its toughness. Soft, yet invincible, the fabric grows more comfy with every wearing. With its rounded collar and softly tailored silhouette, this short blends durability and elegance in one wardrobe essential.” Rust version courtesy Julie Higginbotham. Eggplant version via Poshmark.

Prince of Wales Shirt

From Spring 1986: “A shirt is subjected to merciless appraisal before we make it a traveling companion. Is the fabric warm enough for an unexpected scirocco? Will the shoulders bear the strain of straps? Can the shirt be worn over and over without looking like it slept in train stations? Our Prince of Wales shirt […]

10th Anniversary Top Ten List!

Today marks the 10th Anniversary (!) of the start of the Abandoned Republic blog, when my collection first started with this wonderful haul pictured above. I can’t quite believe I’ve not only kept it going this long but that the tenth year has been the MOST productive, bringing plenty of new discoveries. I’m grateful to […]

Crossroads Belt

From Spring 1988: “East is east, west in west, and twain do meet on the buckle of our Crossroads Belt. We combined patterns we’d met in various regions of the world to produce this multi-ethnic motif. The buckle is antiqued silver plate; the slightly tapered belt is English leather. We beg Rudyard to reconsider.” Photos […]

Regimental Scarf

From Holiday 1987: “Traditional British regimental patterns are usually made into ties. We relaxed the concept and knit them into soft, mediumwight wool scarves. Simply smashing in three authentic patterns.” Argyle and Sutherland Highlands version via eBay May 2021.

Women’s Outback Pants

Introduced in the Spring 1985 Catalogue: “Dashing, loose-fitting pants in which Matilda could waltz, wrestle a wallaby or brew black billy tea beside a billabong. Whatever the occasion, she’d find six compartments for necessary sundries–enough to make any observant marsupial paint from pocket-envy. 100% pre-washed cotton canvas.” Photos from eBay May 2021

Roving Sweater

From the Fall and Holiday 1986 catalogue: “Rovers by nature, we’re always looking for sweaters that make congenial fellow travelers. Especially since our vagabondings Down Under convinced us of their virtues as outwear. (As serious hikers know, no fiber matches wool for warmth, even when soaked by a squall.) When we discovered roving yarn–a blend […]

Jaguar Bandana

Appearing in the Spring and Summer 1986 catalogues, they made a re-appearance in Spring 1988. Only $15 for a set of four! Such a deal! From the catalogue: “If a leopard could change its spots it would surely choose the showier ones of the jaguar–ornate, rosettelike, rich in hue. We’ve printed them on our bandanas […]

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 […]

Town and Bush Hat

A very wide brimmed water-repellant hat. From the Holiday 1987 catalogue: “Some things you can do with this hat: Push it back to scan for storm fronts, wear it for protection when it rains, flips cards into it to pass a slow afternoon. Of French design in a sturdy herringbone twill, nicely finished inside and […]

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 […]

In Store Music

This picture of the original music tapes in the early BR stores came in from former BR executive John Mavrakis, who writes: “Patricia had one of our employees create music cassettes to be played during store hours.  As we began to grow our store base, it was no longer practical to go this route.  As […]

Copacabana Shorts

From the Spring/Summer 1985-1986, and 1988 catalogs: “A sublimely romantic design, these are the classic shorts worn by the heroines of those delightful ’40s musicals–vibrant traveling women forever on the road to Bali-Hai or flying down to Rio, dancing up a storm wherever there were palm trees and the scent of jasmine in the night […]

Town and Bush Shoe

Replaced by the Leather and Canvas Safari Shoe, the Town and Bush Shoe was available from Spring 1985 through Holiday 1985: “A surprisingly lightweight shoe that looks and feels better with age. The ideal all-purpose travel shoes-equally suitable for village cobblestones, hikes in the rough, and city restaurants. True moccasin construction offers a hammock for […]

Tropical White Shirt

Available Summer 1985 and Summer 1986, this shirt is similar to the Yucatan Shirt but doesn’t have pleats in the pockets. “As the basic black dress is to winter in the city, so the basic white shirt is to summer in the tropics. Cooly crisp, it takes the traveler from afternoon sail to twilight sip […]

British Land Forces Money Belt

Purchased from the supplier to the British Military, this British Land Forces Money Belt was sold from Fall 1984 to Summer 1985: “The factory that makes money belts for Her Majesty’s lads makes ours too. 100% cotton canvas, with a pouch and an official stamp of the royal crown. For extra security, you can wear […]

Expedition Hat

From the Fall/Holiday 1986 Catalogue: “The sun may have set on the British Empire, but it will shine eternally on this British wool felt hat. The sturdy leather band is buckled like a belt; air grommets and grosgrain sweatband help you keep a cool head. It even looks good hanging on the wall back at […]

Grip Bag

From the Summer/Fall 1986 catalogue: “Something about the word “grip” conjures up the sounds of steam engines and clattering horses’ hooves–travel by train or carriage, before the days of metal detectors. You simply threw your grip aboard and clambered up yourself. When you got off, the driver or conductor threw it down to you. We […]

Riviera Shorts

In the the entries from 1984-85, the shorts come with a belt made of the same fabric as the shorts. In Spring 1986 they added a webbed belt. From the catalogue: “Lightweight enough for a midsummer promenade in Nice, yet stursy enough to sit through a week’s worth of screenings at Cannes. The pre-washed 100% […]

Serengeti Shirt

Debuting in the Spring 1985 Catalogue: “Graceful styling and soft, drapy fabric belie the fact that this shirt is as enduring as the Serengeti itself. The cloth is overdyed, 100% cotton chambray–the same sturdy chambray fine workshirts are made of–dyed khaki and washed so it has the broken-in feel of a favorite workshirt, but the […]

Serengeti Skirt

Debuting in the Spring 1985 Catalogue: “Like the gentlewomen of the British Empire, who dressed in similar garments, the Serengeti Skirt is stylish yet very nearly indestructible. It’s rather full, for taking important strides, but not so billowing that it catches between the legs. Cool on the Serengeti itself, it can also conceal layers of […]

Ventilated Scarf

From Spring and Summer 1988, this light Italian-made scarf came in Rust, Olive, Khaki and Natural. “Made from the same liberating fabric as our famous Ventilated Shirt, this breezy scarf confers instant panache in even the stickiest of circumstances. Unfurl it on mild days or balmy evenings when you want: a head wrap to repel […]

Athletic Clothing

Athletic clothing was a regular feature in the catalogs, dating back to the early days. A “Jogging Suit” was offered in the 1983 catalogue. In 1985 a line of fleece Athletic Clothing was introduced and it had the a Banana Republic Athletic Department emblem using the Parrot Logo printed on them. The line continued in […]

Swedish Watering Can

We are very lucky (and more than a little jealous!) that Wendy Joffe found this hidden gem on eBay. This rare surplus item, offered only in Summer 1984, is identifiable as a BR item only still with the tag on it. From the catalog: “The Swedes who made them must have had some use or […]

Shoe Bag

We are not sure the proper timeframe for this piece. It’s the only one we’ve ever seen, and while the presence of the Star and Banana would date it to the mid-80s, the font does not. Read more below… This was submitted by Friend to the Republic Wendy Joffe, who writes: “This is an item […]

Market Bag

The bag was seen in the Summer 1983 catalogue, with a very unusual source: “British Linen Market Bag-Crafted By Authentic Felons: Made by genuine thieves, thugs, perverts, swindlers, pickpockets. Her Majesty recently put some of the knaves in her prisons to work sewing this classic market bag for little old ladies throughout Great Britain. With […]

Linea Viaggio Shoulder Bag

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 few travel bags. The reason, to be frank, is that […]

Platonic Shirt

This shirt is an exciting find, as it’s quite rare due to a limited run in only two early catalogues; Originally introduced in the Summer 1984 catalogue and discontinued after the Fall 1984 catalogue, the artwork for the Platonic shirt was changed in the Fall catalogue with a more accurate illustration by Ellery Knight. The […]

Women’s Traveling Shoes

Introduced in Spring 1985. From the catalogue: “At last–intelligently designed traveling shoes for women, blissfully comfortable for walking but dressy enough for dinner; shoes equally at home with skirts, pants, or shorts; shoes that mold to your feet, ad give when they swell. The heelless Vibram sole has ridges that grip the ground and cushion […]

Savanna Bandana

This bandana is not found in the catalog as far as I can tell, so I named it the Savanna Bandana. It’s made in Italy and so far I’ve found two variations, brown and white.

Nile Shirt

From the Spring 1988 catalogue: “Along the banks of the Nile, as in so many equatorial zones, we noticed how many dwellers shun the all-white clothing rule, choosing instead to weather the swelter in darker hues. The toasty tones of our brown plaid shirt recall the baked Sudan, where dun-colored native garb is both practical […]

Trekking Jumper

Available from Fall 1987 through Summer 1988 in Dark Khaki, Ivory, and Faded Blue . “With character as variable as the weather (or your travel plans), our Trekking Jumper is made of lightweight canvas Expedition Cloth that spurns wrinkles and welcomes a change of seasons. Wear it over a flannel shirt for clams at the […]

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 […]

Leather Shirt

This suede shirt is not listed in the catalogue. BR did make a leather shirt called The Real Thing Chamois Shirt, but it didn’t have these pocket flaps. Made in Korea, the labeling appears to be correct, so I don’t suspect a knockoff.

Aztec Belt

From Spring 1988: “A sturdy union of fine English bridle leather and Aztec-influenced metalwork with contrasting top-stitching, this was the only belt co-founder Patricia Ziegler took with her to Burma last year. She says she needed no other.”

Shoulder Tote

Made of Cotton Canvas and Leather, this Shoulder Tote was available in Summer 1987 through Holiday 1987. “Imagination is the only limit to what this bag can carry. It accomodates overnight changes, swimsuits, shopping finds, legal pads and files; zips securely shut at the top; even includes and interior pouch for miniscule accessories. The straps–inch-wide […]

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 […]

Impressionist Sweater

From the Spring 1987 catalogue, this 100% cotton sweater was made in Italy. “In creating this sweater we used yarn the way Monet, Sisley and Cezanne used daubs of paint: to reproduce the shimmering effect of light in the natural world. Thus, each “color” is really a palette of complimentary hues–as many as six shades […]

Australian Puttees

Photos from an expired eBay auction, these 1942 surplus Australian military wool “Puttees” were sold in Banana Republic stores with the “Discovered by Banana Republic” tag on them. These are the wraps that soldiers wear around their forelegs and are still widely available. More about Puttees here. This last photo is not of a Banana […]

FAKE: Odd Small Pocket Shirt

Another FAKE! From eBay March 2021 comes this terribly odd shirt that has been identified as a knock-off. While the tag looks correct as an early one, it’s sewn in an unusual way, and the very small single pocket is incredibly odd. I asked Patricia Ziegler about it and she said: “You’ve developed a great […]

Barn Jacket

This is a mystery jacket not shown in the catalogues. It has a leather collar, a plaid lining with two large pockets in the inside back of the jacket. Judging by the tag I’m guessing 1986-ish?

Rambling Jacket

From the Fall and Holiday 1984 Catalogue: “The deepest satisfaction of the autumn ramble is a brisk zephyr crisp on the cheeks. But never whistling down the spinal column. Our Rambling Jacket tames and gentles the howling west win–as well of those of the north, south, east, and change. Khaki twill lined with cotton flannel; […]

Four Winds Jacket AKA Windbuffer Jacket

Originally called the Four Winds Jacket in Spring 1987, the Windbuffer Jacket was 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 […]

Shoulder Loop Shirt

This shirt came up in February 2021, but I’m unable to locate it in any catalogues. It’s a linen/cotton blend made in Hong Kong and is distinguished by loops on the shoulders, we think they are called glove loops. A red version of the same design but in 100% cotton and made in India. A […]

San Remo Shirt

From the Summer 1987 catalogue: “We went to San Remo for the art film festival and discovered a lovely, unpretentious village a stone’s throw from the glitz of Monaco. It’s sort of an off-Broadway version of the Riviera: a town full of stubborn artists, gregarious merchants, resplendent greenhouses, friendly hotels, and delicious cheap seafood. We […]

Kenya Pioneer Shirt

This romantic shirt was featured in three catalogues in 1987 in three different colors: Ivory, Olive Drab, and Khaki. “The work was hot, hard, and unglamorous at Karen (Dinesen) Blixen’s coffee plantation in the Ngong Hills, and she pined for cultured companions. So at the least opportunity to be festive, she rose passionately to the […]

Savanna Skirt

The 100% Cotton Twill and Leather Savanna Skirt. Note they created entirely new illustrations between Fall and Holiday so as to pair them with different tops they wanted to highlight. From Fall and Holiday 1987: “Rugged performance with a civilized soul: The shapely silhouette of our Savanna Skirt comes from its eight-gore construction (dressmakers know […]

Chambray Workshirt

From the Spring 1988 catalogue: “Casting aside the well-worn adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” we present a variant of our well-worn and well-loved “White-Collar” Workshirt. The softly sturdy chambray that serves steadfastly in both boardroom and back shop now works a short-sleeved shift. Equally opportune for weekend roustabouts and industrious workers of […]

1982 Catalogue No. 10

The 1982 catalogue No. 10 isn’t listed by season, but I’d guess it’s a Summer/Fall catalogue since there is a 1982 Gift Catalogue for the holiday season. The cover features a wonderful cozy safari lodge scene with mascot Livingstone Zebra in the center, a pith helmet on the chair . Inside, it opens a welcome […]

Union Pacific Shirt

From the final, Fall 1988 catalogue: “The substantial brushed cotton cloth of our Union Pacific Shirt is a swatch of American history: It’s woven in the pattern worn by conductors on the Union Pacific, Santa Fe, and Rio Grande lines when they crossed miles of rough new territory. Made in the USA, the fabric will […]

Blitz Jacket

From the 1980 Winter Catalogue: “Twenty five years ago, Her Majesty’s tailors outdid themselves when they made this splendid garment. They created a front closure which tidily conceals the buttons, a collar which stands up easily and hooks shut if so desired, a buckle which closes off to the waist, and epaulets with buttons that […]

Tank Dress

From Summer 1987, this cotton dress was made in the US. “A minimal dress in a most practical fabric: wide rib knit that skims rather than clings for hot-weather comfort. The neck and armholes are bound in a fine rib kit; the back vent lets you move unhindered. Stuff it in a tote (it resists […]

Women’s Plaid Flannel Shirt

From Fall 1988: “Along with providing warmth and security, plaid flannel is also an ideal travel companion. So we too the homiest plaid and the softest, warmest Portuguese flannel and added a measure of worldliness and style. It’s a bit like being able to wear your pajamas to work–or halfway around the globe.”

Women’s Safari Pants

The matching pants in the Women’s Safari Suit. From the 1986 catalogue: “Properly tailored, perfectly fitting, with unstitched double pleats that forgive you that second helping. Two deep side pockets; two open welt pockets in back.” Poshmark photos.

Pueblo Scarf

From Spring 1987: “No matter how far we wander, we still find rich sources of inspiration close to home. The designs on these scarves echo the patterns of Southwestern Indian blankets and pottery. We’ve interpreted them on featherweight cotton, light enough for a blistering Arizona noon, in a desert palette of azure, adobe, tan, sandstone, […]

Animals!

Banana Republic stores often had large fiberglass (or resin) animals on display. I have been told they were produced by artisans that usually worked for the San Francisco Academy of Sciences, although the quality is a little less realistic. Presumably there are examples of this scattered across the country as store fixtures were sold off […]

Kente Scarf

The Kente Scarf From the Spring 1988 Catalogue: “The bold geometric designs and vibrant natural colors of the scarves were inspired by the large Kente-cloth drapes worn by craftspeople in Ghana. Each scarf is a wearable, affordable piece of art, illustrating the warm hues of the African landscape.” Indigo version from my collection Brick version […]

Mudcloth Scarf

From Holiday 1986: “The Bambara women of Mali paint designs on their hand-spun cloth with mud, the bleach the exposed areas. What’s left when the mud is washed away are intricate, indelible patterns that tell stories of local heroes and happenings. We’ve reproduced these designs (called bokolanfini) on light wool challis squares, and dyed them […]

Padded Shoulder Vest

Totally unknown vest, not shown in the catalogues yet bearing a ‘Stars and Bananas’ Mill Valley tag. The padded quilted shooting shoulder is unique. From Depop

Aran Sweater

The authentic Aran Sweater was offered in Fall 1984 Update in the British Isles catalogue. It was also offered in Holiday 1984. The hand-knitted sweater was a work of art that sold for $250 and came with a tag signed by the artist who knitted it. The tag read: “In my own home on the […]

Bushman’s Shirt

Introduced in Summer 1985 and running through 1986, with short sleeves, epaulettes and pointed pocket flaps, the Bushman’s Shirt is easily confused with the Sahara Shirt, but the Bushman’s Shirt has pleats in the pockets. It only came in three colors: Khaki, Ivory and Pewter. From the catalogue: “For trekking the Outback, adventurous Aussies rely […]

Floral Scarf

These elaborate made-in-Japan floral scarves are not listed in the catalogues, despite bearing a Stars and Bananas label. One of them features a price tag with red text and a bar code, which indicates it’s from the 1988/89 transitional period after the end of the Ziegler era but before new branding came in. The scarves […]

Pyrenees Shirt

From the 1987 catalogue: “”Africa begins at the Pyrenees,” sniffed Alexandre Dumas. At the time it was a snub at Spain, but a century later we find it an apt comment on our own Pyrenees Shirt–sophisticated enough for the Continent, in rich, vibrant hues evocative of a bazaar on the Dark Continent. The fabric is […]

Brushed Twill Skirt

From the Fall 1988 catalogue: “Among the many virtues of cotton twill are strength and soil resistance. Our cotton twill further distinguishes itself with a luxurious hand, as soft and velvety as doeskin. We consider this the perfect fabric for a traveling skirt: It washes well, rarely wrinkles, and can be worn over and over […]

Herringbone Vest

What’s interesting about this vest is it was sold in Fall 1988 but it’s label says 1986! It’s the same 1986 Original Design label seen on the Photojournalist Vest. From the Fall 1988 catalogue: “We’ve always felt that vests encompass the best of both worlds: warmth without weight or constraint. We’ve styled a sleek, low-bulk […]

Portable Pockets Vest

Originally issued in 1985 as item number 3514, the Portable Pockets Vest was redesigned and issued in 1987 as item number 3353. From the 1987 Summer Catalogue: “On the hottest summer days, or in the sultriest climes, even the air seems a burden, never mind extra outergarments. How then to carry the trusty pocketknife, the […]

Wardrobing

Featured near the front in the introduction to the catalogue, inspirational “wardrobing” illustrations put entire looks together and really sold the sense of adventure and romance that defined Banana Republic. Here are some of the best examples.

Fisherman’s Sweater

Running from Holiday 1985 through Holiday 1987 in a number of colors. From the Holiday 1986 catalogue: “We’ve always admired the intricate cables of the Irish fisherman’s sweater–mythic patterns with sould in every stitch. Yet when all’s said and done, every fisherman’s sweater we’ve ever owned seems to have been made for the North Sea, […]

Samburu Shirt

From the 1986 catalogue, the Samburu Shirt and Skirt were sold separately. “The shirt to wear when protocol–but not the thermometer–demands modestly covered arms. Made of cool, featherweight cotton, the Samburu Shirt has deep, roomy armholes for air circulation, twin shoulder pleats for added fullness, shoulder pads to cushion carrying straps, and two buttoned pockets […]

Buenos Aires Shirt

From Fall/Holiday 1986, an Indian made, striped, collared shirt distinguished by an extra panel in the armpits of its full sleeves for freedom of movement. “As sophisticated as the nightclubs of El Barrio Norte, this shirt embodies the debonair spirit of Buenos Aires. And when the sun comes up, it will still be as fresh […]

Original Artwork

I was given these two colored pencil illustrations from the catalogs drawn by artist Nick Backes that show the marvelous detail and large size (7″x10″ and 6″x14″). Thanks for the donation from Mike Madrid! These are both from the Summer 1985 catalogue. From Holiday 1985, these incredible colored pencil illustrations of the Kashmir Sweater by […]

Tartan Shirt

From the Holiday 1986 catalogue: “The Scottish Highlands are a dreamworld of luminous lochs, special ridges, and clouds playing loose with the light; the landscape itself seem incurably romantic. Tartans–the rich textile color compositions of vanished Highland clans–grew naturally out of this place, like the mosses and berries first used to dye them. ROmantics ourselves, […]

Army Air Corps Logo Shirt

I found this shirt with the Employee Name Badge logo in embroidery on eBay a few years ago and didn’t know what to make of it. My assumption was it’s an employee shirt meant to replace the Guide shirts and vests. Judging by the shirt label this would be late in the safari era. Circa […]

Employee Name Badge-UPDATE!

Confirmed: This is an employee name badge! I was given this employee badge by Mike Madrid in BR’s design office. It’s a laminated badge with a clip on the back of it, he didn’t recall it’s origin. I found this article in the employee newsletter (below) about a January 1986 Manager’s Conference meeting (In the […]

Knock-Off BR “Uniforms”

I found this shirt was found on eBay in February 2021, and the jacket was found several years earlier by Wendy Joffe, also on eBay. They have been identified as fakes by Patricia Ziegler and another BR executive, John Mavrakis. The same result as the Banana Pocket shirt I found. For what it’s worth, however, […]

British Regiment Belt

First seen in Summer 1983 as the British Regiment Belt, this nifty two-buckle adjustable twill belt with English leather and brass fittings was re-introduced as the Twice Buckled Belt with an updated design (the new belt was not adjustable length and made of jute, leather and brass.) The British Regiment Belt was likely a copy […]

British Mine Laying Glove-Updated

After years of not knowing, this piece has finally been identified as the “British Mine Laying Glove”. This unique piece of military surplus was sold in Banana Republic Travel & Safari stores but was not featured in the catalogue. It is mentioned by name and item number in a 1987 Communiqué employee newsletter wherein a […]

Kamarband Belt

From the Summer 1988 catalogue: “It was the Hindi word kamarband (“waistband”) that gave us the cummerbund, that elegant evening sash. Ours is made of striped cotton with leather closures and brass loop.” eBay photos February 2021 Salmon version

Ox Horn Bracelets

Sold from Fall 1984 to Holiday 1985. From the 1984 catalogue: “Fine jewelry, costly and delicate, has. built-in anxiety factor. The alternative, costume jewelry, is not viable to anyone with an aversion to plastic. Hence our happily imperfect trio of natural ox horn bangles. Nearly translucent raw material, from India and Australia, just as the […]

Shirt 1035

This shirt is thus-far unidentified in the catalogues. It appears to be a heavy twill. The tag bearing the words ASSEMBLED IN MEXICO has not been seen before. I’d guess this is from late in the run, possibly even after the catalogues stopped but before new branding came in. Just guessing.

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 […]

Australian Boomerang

From the Fall 1985 “Down Under” catalogue: “One-way boomerangs for war and hunting have been used in Africa and India and even Arizona, by the Hopi Indians. But the returning boomerang–the world’s image of the dinkum item–is found only Down Under. The aborigines employed it to imitate hawks, driving game birds into nets hung from […]

Knock-offs: The Banana Pocket

I’ve had this shirt in my collection for awhile and just didn’t know what to make of it. Patricia Ziegler has identified it to be a knock-off not made by Banana Republic. It’s a very mysterious item and I don’t quite understand what the point of making it was. It’s not like a Gucci handbag […]

White Collar Workshirt

The White-Collar Workshirt ran from 1984 through 1988, originally in Blue Chambray and later also in White or Khaki. It’s one of several shirts with a pencil slot in the pocket. From the catalogue: “Rugged enough to earn its blue collar, yet tailored finely enough for white-collar work, our chambray workshirt is the truest of […]

Save The Wales Pants

The Cotton Corduroy Save-The-Wales Pants were sold in the Fall 1987 catalogue, with copy written by a unrepentant clothing geek: “A world without wales? Unthinkable! Yet wales are virtually an endangered species, most wearing thin quicker than you can say “cetacean.” The wales on our corduroy are preserved for posterity because the fabric’s woven in […]

Fjord Shirt

This shirt is similar to in style to the Equestrienne Shirt. It was made in Fall 1985 and came in three striped variations. From the catalogue: “We found the prototype for this crisp cotton shirt in Norway, but took it to the other end of the earth–spectacular Fiordland National Park in sounternmost New Zealand–to find […]

Chief Petty Officer’s Wool Shirt

This heavy wool shirt came up for sale on eBay in 2011 and for the longest time I couldn’t identify it. Now that I have a more complete catalogue collection I believe it to be the surplus Chief Petty Officer’s Wool Shirt from the 1983 Fall catalogue: “The U.S. Navy’s Chief Petty Officers are generally […]

Caribbean Shirt

The collarless Caribbean Shirt was originally sold in Summer 1984 in discrete striped patterns. In Summer 1985 it returned in solid colors of blue chambray and white. From the catalogue: “Our classic collarless shirt, loose-fitting with full-cut sleeves, has always been our hands-down favorite for the tropics. It can be worn over a swimsuit or […]

Yucatan Shirt

The Yucatan Shirt was primarily a white shirt when introduced in 1987. From the 1987 catalogue: “Ancient Mayan legend tells of a women in white from whom warriors waged fierce battle and princes abdicated their thrones. By all accounts, she was graced with an ease of motion and the singular appeal of confidence. Our crisp […]

1951 Mercury Stockings

Some unusual surplus, not sold in catalogues, these (presumably) Korean War era surplus nylon stockings came in in various sizes in striped paper bags. Marked MERCURY 1951 and tagged with “Discovered By Banana Republic”.

British Binocular Case

From the 1987 Holiday Catalogue: “When scanning horizons for enemy troops during World War II, British soldiers peered through field binoculars they kept in canvas cases. The fittings are pure brass, the thick, reinforced canvas is sturdy but lightweight, and the shoulder strap is widened at the top for comfort. Will hold a camera, eyeglasses, […]