Author Posts

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 […]

Apocryphal Affiliates Shirts

I love, love, LOVE the Apocryphal Affiliates Shirts. I’m super excited to have finally completed my collection of Apocryphal affiliates with the addition of the Botswana Bowling League Tank Top. These are some of the most fun items in the catalogue, just bursting with imagination. The series of 4 was only sold in the summer […]

The Naturalist’s Shirt

The Naturalist’s Shirt was a staple of the brand from 1983-1988 (and beyond) and is distinguished from other BR shirts by front pockets that do not have closure flaps, as well as no epaulettes. Most commonly, these shirts have smooth dark copper snaps rather than buttons. However, they did switch to buttons for a brief […]

1988 Conde Nast Article: Banana Republic Coup

“I think of myself as a traveler in the same way other people think of themselves as Democrats or Republicans or vegetarians.” Mel Ziegler once said. Just one of many wonderful quotes in this fascinating article from a 1988 issue of Conde Nast. Published immediately after the Zieglers left Banana Republic, it’s a look at […]

Yukon Shirt Dress

Sold only in the Spring 1988 Catalogue, the Yukon Dress seems a little late in coming. The sibling to the Yukon Shirt, which dates back to 1982 seems a logical choice for a company that loves its shirt dresses. From the Spring 1988 Catalogue: “This is the tale of a shirt that grew into a […]

British Drill Trousers

An up close look at the Banana Republic Drill Trousers included in the Ziegler’s gift to Abandoned Republic. As mentioned in the previous post, there were two versions available in the same catalogue in 1983, authentic surplus or newly manufactured, which I believe these to be. The early Mill Valley large tag places it squarely […]

Safari Shorts

Featured on the back of the 1980 Catalogue No. 4, the first appearance of what were then called British Safari Shorts, original surplus 25-40 years old. These were the precursors to Banana Republic’s very popular, long-running Gurkha Shorts. From the collection of Mel and Patricia Ziegler, gifted to Abandoned Republic.

1978 Banana Republic Patch

This is the patch that customers could request be added to the sleeve of their Spanish Paratrooper Shirt Dress or Short-Armed Safari Shirt we mentioned in the 1978-79 catalogs. This Coat of Bananas logo was also affixed to a bag called the Diplomatic Pouch or a Safari Cap. I’ve never seen one come up for […]

Cobles

This photograph of endless stacks of surplus clothing was included in the collection Patricia Ziegler sent. It was taken at Cobles in London. The Zieglers went abroad searching warehouses in England for a great price on great quality surplus goods. Mr. Cobles is featured prominently in the Zieglers’ book Wild company. Here, Mel writes”…the courtly […]

Dress Khakis

From Fall 1986-Holiday 1987, the Cotton Twill Dress Khakis have double-front pleats and a distinctive zippered coin pocket. Thanks to Gary Pinkerton for the assist! From the catalog: “Boys may be boys, but sooner or later they’ll be men. When that fateful day arrives, one’s khakis must pass muster with contacts and colleagues, as well […]

Foreign Legion Shoe and Boot

Introduced well before the Gap era, the Foreign Legion Shoe is billed as Mel Ziegler’s favorite shoe. The famous French Foreign Legion boot was made by Palladium and was called the Pampa, while the low-top version is an Oxford. Later on, the catalogue implies the shoe was replicated by Banana Republic (or made by Palladium […]

Knock-Off Safari Dress

Over the years we’ve seen a few knock-off items labeled as Banana Republic but clearly NOT Banana Republic. But little has been known about the origins of these items. Here at last, we have a little evidence to go on for at least one source of piracy. This safari-style cotton twill dress was sold on […]

The BR Studio Services Department

Banana Republic had a Southern California Studio Services Department that served the needs of the film and television community. Born at the Beverly Hills store and then later headquartered in Beverly Center, the department was headed by Louise Voisine who wrote me: Developing the Studio Services Dept. was a dream. I already knew alot of […]

Sahara Shirt

The Sahara Shirt is easily confused with the Short Sleeved Expedition Shirt. The obvious difference is in the pockets, the Sahara pockets come to a point at the button while the Expedition Shirt has angled corners on the pocket flap. It’s also confused with the Bushman’s Shirt which has pleats in the pockets. The Sahara […]

Aboriginal Lizard Scarf

From the Fall 1985 Catalogue: “The frilled lizard of the Australian Outback may be less of a celebrity than it’s marsupial neighbors, but zoologically it’s equally unique. We found these depictions on Aboriginal bark paintings and rendered them in the vivid hues of the bush at sunset. Rectangular, no frills.” Pictures from Wendy Joffe’s Collection. […]

Batik Scarves

From the Summer 1987 Catalogue: “Printed on light, finely woven cotton squares, these richly layered designs come from Africa and the Middle East. The colors are vivid, the designs are bold. Suitable for wearing or for framing.” Pictures courtesy Kimberlee English Anderson Brown and Rust Versions Photos of the Teal version courtesy Wendy Joffe.

Rucksack

From the Summer and Fall 1987 Catalogues: “A traditional rucksack is not a “daypack” or a “knapsack”, or a “backpack”. It’s not made of blinding synthetics that betray your citizenship from across a valley. It’s constructed of heavy-duty cotton canvas, double-needle stitched for durability, in pigment-dyed tones that address earthly business. It’s surprisingly spacious, with […]

Banner Crest Shirt

This previously unknown shirt came up on eBay in March 2022. The price tag dates it to late 1988-89, after the Ziegler era and before the first rebrand. The crest on the breast is not seen anywhere else; it’s very distinctive with the globe, banners and starburst. H/t Wendy Joffe for bringing it to my […]

Knock Offs-Banana Republica

A rare look at a verified knock-off item, these pants are labeled “Banana Republica” (California, Acapulco) with an otherwise accurate label design. BR had a lot of trouble with knock-offs, bringing lawsuits against counterfeiters and shutting down copycat stores. The catalogues even warned against knock-offs from Mexico: Thanks to Wendy Joffe for bringing these to […]

Merry Christmas

This is not an official BRT&SCo Holiday card, but it’s the next best thing. Our friend Gary Pinkerton shares with us this Christmas card from photographer Robert Castellano who took a lovely winter wonderland photo of the Banana Republic at the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, CO. The card is dated 1999 but it was […]

Swedish Naval Pea Coat

Here’s a very cool piece of authentic surplus that came up on eBay, a Naval Pea Coat. Originating from Sweden, not the three crowns on the buttons and the word “Storlek” (size in Swedish). This is not in the catalogue as far as we can tell, it has the original price tag and the Discovered […]

Pampas Jacket

From the Fall 1986 catalogue: “We found the prototype for this jacket in Argentina’s gaucho museum. Horsemen of the pampas wore leather for two reasons: because it was the only stuff that stood up to vicious winds and mosquitos, and because it was there for the taking. We admired the jacket’s rugged character, but for […]

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 five variations, brown, white, red and blue–and PURPLE!

Architect’s Plaid Shirt

From the final catalogue, Fall 1988: “Form follows function in the magnified plaid of this mediumweight cotton shirt. The cording in the fabric sets it apart slightly from the skin, making this already generously cut shirt even more breathable and comfortable. With two perfectly proportioned front-button pockets and a locker loop discreetly hidden beneath the […]

Culottes

From the Spring 1988 Catalogue: “A house divided cannot stand, but a skirt divided equals a pair of culottes, which will stand up to nearly any situation in which modern women find themselves. Our culottes multiply the benefits of both skirt and trousers, combining the modesty of the former and mobility of the latter. They’re […]

Gabardine Sportcoat

From the Fall 1987 Catalogue: “When Bogart donned gabardine, he raised gumshoeing from hack trade to high art. We’ve applied the same precedent to our Gabardine Jacket. The styling suggests countrified tweeds, but the fabric bespeaks utter urbanity–it’s a silky wool and cotton blend we found in an old British trenchcoat, then traced back and […]

South of Market Shirt

From the 1987 Fall Holiday Catalogue: “San Francisco is a city of neighborhoods, and ours–the old warehouse district known as South of Market (Street)–has evolved into SoHo West. It’s anything but a three-piece scene, so when we head for work (down the wind-whipped alley under the freeway) we’re likely to wear this shirt: businesslike of […]

Andes Shirt

The Cotton Flannel Andes Shirt from the Fall and Holiday 1986 Catalogue: “In the Andes, one is rarely comfortable except when the sun is shining,” claimed the American explorer Hiram Bingham, who in the winter of 1911 journeyed up the Urubamba River to discover Machu Picchu. Had Mr. Bingham worn our Andes Shirt on that […]

Cotton Canvas Athletic Shorts

Cotton Canvas Athletic Shorts from Spring 1988.“Today’s high-tech activewear persists in ignoring certain basic human needs: e.g., pockets–essential for hiking or perambulating at large. Our Athletic Shorts are thoughtfully equipped with two side-seam pockets for keys and money, plus a rear one with buttons for wallets or other rectangular impedimenta. The elastic waistband is rather […]

D-Ring Shorts

From the Summer 1987 Catalogue: “These days it’s hard to find shorts that really live up to the name–might as well be called “longs”. Big and baggy are fine in their place, but when maximum freedom is the aim, minimal shorts are the name of the game. These carry not a scrap of superfluous fabric, […]

Banana Republic Store Photos

First, a small collection of photos of Banana Republic Travel & Safari stores I’ve purchased online from news archives.  This is not an official BRT&SCo Holiday card, but it’s the next best thing. Our friend Gary Pinkerton shares with us this Christmas card from photographer Robert Castellano who took a lovely winter wonderland photo of […]

Save-The-Crocodile Bag

From Spring 1988: “Like crocodile tears, our snappy little bag is not, we’re pleased to report, the genuine article. Instead, we’ve borrowed the croc’s toothsome texture to stamp on our own unendangered leather. So while crocodiles struggle worldwide to save their numbers (and their hides!) we appeal to consumers of conscience to bag a bit […]

English Sportsman’s Bag

Sold from Fall 1984 through Summer 1985, the English Sportsman’s Bag looks to have been made by the same factory that made the Brady Bag. From the catalogue: “An old world design originally meant for carrying fish, it’s also perfect for files–snap out the waterproof lining and you have a handy tropical briefcase (or overnight, […]

Jungle Fatigues

From Spring 1986 through Fall 1988, the Jungle Fatigues came in a variety of colors. From the catalogue: “When exploring equatorial regions, one needs to keep vital things close at hand while keeping crawling things far from foot. Ergo our Jungle Fatigues, equipped with huge bellows pockets on the thighs and drawstrings on the ankles. […]

Fog City Turtleneck

From the Holiday 1987 catalogue: “Our fair-weather cotton turtleneck can metamorphose almost as fast as the summer weather shifts in our famous hometown. Suggested for resourceful residents, and would-be visitors alike, the convertible turtle buttons up snug against July’s changeable westerlies and wily summer fogs, and unbuttons to admit warm breezes when summer finally comes […]

Safari Rain Hat

This handsome safari style hat appears as early as the 1982 Holiday Catalogue and runs into Summer 1985. From the catalogue: “A crease-holding crown vented by four grommets, with a dozen rows of stitching that give shape to the brim. A most civilized off-white silky puggaree band. The waterproofed cotton chino hat keeps the noodle […]

Mudcloth Jersey

From Spring 1988, the Mudcloth Jersey is a take off on the Mudcloth Scarf from Holiday 1986: “In Mali we discovered the African mudcloth called bokolanfini. Indigenous to the Bambara people, it’s the result of a painstaking process supervised entirely by women. Mud paste is aged, then painted on handwoven fabric to outline a design […]

Wakamba Bag

The rarest piece I saw in the Banana Republic Archive was this example of the Wakamba Bag. How rare? It was only featured once, in the Summer 1986 Update. “Using an ancient method unique to their region, the Wakamba women of Kenya twine these sisal bags by hand after dying the fibers with natural bark […]

My visit to the NYC Banana Republic Archive

This week I received an unexpected invitation from the Banana Republic Creative Team to visit the Banana Republic Archive in New York City. It turns out the team has loved following the Abandoned Republic blog and Instagram and they really wanted to meet me and share the archive. It was a whirlwind trip, and we […]

Trekking Boots

From Fall and Holiday 1987, the Men’s Sueded Cowhide Trekking Boots. “What good is a handsome pair of hiking boots if they’re gutless on the upgrade? No good. That’s why founder Mel Ziegler wear-tested these sturdy Italian-made boots on a rigorous trek to Machu Picchu. The response: unbridled enthusiasm, and his official stamp of approval. […]

Wedgwood Scarf

This large (29″x29″) scarf was not found in the catalogues. It’s pattern remind me of Wedgwood Blue china, so I’m calling it the Wedgwood Scarf. We have no idea when it was made, other than between 1984-1988. A Red version appeared on eBay in August 2021

Kikoi Stripe Scarf

From Spring 1986, a scarf inspired by the Kikoi Cloths: “We loved the texture and brilliant colors of the authentic African Kikoi Cloths but preferred a lighter weight fabric for scarves. So we had this feathery, drapy cotton specially woven for us in four color combinations that add a judicious measure of gaiety to an […]

Suspenders

The Linen and Calfskin Suspenders were only offered in the Holiday 1986 Catalogue, and the only pants with suspender buttons were the Covert Twill Trousers in the same issue. From the catalogue: “To some, a belt is merely a constricting device; suspenders do the same job while allowing greater comfort and better drape of one’s […]

Correspondent’s Skirt

There’s the famous Correspondent’s Jacket, Correspondent’s Bag, Correspondent’s Dress and now, in the Spring 1986 catalogue, the Correspondent’s Skirt. “Female members of the working press must dress for the practical demands of the job as well as for situations that require more finesse. Our Correspondent’s Skirt offers a neat compromise: slim and flattering, it’s also […]

Donegal Tweed Pullover

From the Fall 1984 catalogue: “A sweater as cozy as a bowl of oatmeal. For reading in front of fires or rambling on the moors, a dog of excellent pedigree frolicking behind. It looks as if one’s mother might have knitted it, and just as much care went into it. Full-fashioned, which means the sleeves […]

Donegal Tweed Sportsman’s Cap

From the Fall 1984 catalogue: “This genuine Irish cap is distinguished by two features. The brimsnaps down, and the back sits low. Our hatmaker, David Hanna, the world’s last tailor of true Donegal caps, actually handcuts the already handwoven fabric to achieve the exceptional fit. In the literary cafe of dublin, this is the cp […]

Donegal Tweed Shirt Jacket

From the Fall 1984 “Outfitters To An Empire” catalogue which detailed the Ziegler’s adventures sourcing traditional garment manufacturers in the UK: “Stride through the misty bogs, hands deep in deep pockets, thoughts deep in iambic pentameter–what else is a jacket for? Here’s a handwoven Donegal tweed shirtjacket that is character itself, oozing amenities like leather […]

Canadian Army Winter Pant

From the Winter 1984 Catalogue: “We had to buy some airplane parts and dented K-rations in order to get these marvelous Canadian Army pants. (Frankly, we’d have even bought a few tanks if it was the only way to get these pants.) Every imaginable amenity here: expert seaming, concealed button flap pockets, thoughtful suspender buttons. […]

Lamb’s Twill Shirt

Another item from the Fall 1988 Catalogue, the Lamb’s Twill Shirt came in three variations. From the catalogue: “This luxurious cotton twill fabric feels like the lamb gave you the shirt off its back. As elegant as fine wool, yet soft, reasonably priced, and easy to care for. Generously cut, in three plaid patterns–each equally […]

Surplus Swiss Military Gaiters

Wendy Jofee writes: “I purchased these (Leather Traveling boots) from the original owner, who says she wore them only a couple of times.  When she bought them, a store employee suggested the “straps” as well, since they were an addition popular with the customers.  I figured they must be gaiters of some sort, perhaps military […]

Roll-Up Hat

From the 1987 catalogue a bucket style hat similar to the Desert Hat and Snap-Brim Jungle Hat. : “For the sudden shower, the moonlight stroll, or the morning hike that lats into midday: a water-repellent cotton twill hat so compact and lightweight that one hardly notices it–particularly when it’s rolled up and stored in a […]

Desert Hat

Sold from 1982 to 1986, the Desert Hat is a classic “bucket hat” distinguished from the Snap-Brim Jungle Hat that replaced it primarily by the hat band, which is divided up by stitching on the Desert Hat. From the catalogue: “A cool, all-cotton hat to spare your head the sun’s worst punishment. Rolls up to […]

Australian Bushman’s Hat (1984)

The larger-brimmed predecessor to the Fur Felt Safari Hat, the Bushman’s Hat was made for Banana Republic by the famous Australian hat maker Akubra. The hat was sold for $95, much more than the Fur Felt Safari Hat. From the 1984 catalogue: “The 120-year-old Akubra company, one of only a handful of fur felt hat […]

Winter Tennis Vest

From the Fall/Holiday 1987 catalogue: “On cold, wet winter days, when the closest you can come to racquet sports is a desultory game of Ping-Pong, our Winter Tennis Vest is a remembrance of swings (and springs) past. V-necked and striped like a traditional tennis vest, it’s as soft as a new tennis ball and as […]

Women’s Leather Traveling Boot

An all-leather version of the famous Women’s Leather and Linen Traveling Boot was produced in Fall 1985. While it lacks the buckled straps of its sister, they were apparently sold with surplus Swiss leather and linen “gaiters” available in store. The catalogue copy partially matched the Leather and Linen version: “Most boots are just excess […]

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.

Safari Jackets

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 […]

Somalia Skirt

From spring 1988: “We were dazzled by the natural wealth of East Africa’s landscape; brick-red earth, tawny golden savannas, the faded green of endless tea fields stretching further than our eyes could see. And so we set out to capture Africa’s ancient earth tones in this skirt of airy Indian cotton. Deep of pocket and […]

Kasuri Shirt

From the Summer 1987 catalogue: “From Asia to America, almost every region on earth has a way of coloring yarn in intervals, then weaving the “space-dyed” threads together to create a shimmering, feathered effect. In Jaoan, this craft is called kasuri; in Indonesia, ikat; Guatamala, jaspe, meaning speckled or variegated. We’ve modeled our versions after […]

Lawn Bowling Trousers

Pairing with an Apocryphal Affiliates Shirt or an Italian Waiter’s Jacket made for a stylish ensemble. From the Summer 1986 Catalogue: “The serenity of a summer morning…the patience of men awaiting their turns…the beauty of a ball describing a slow, shrewd arc as it kisses the jack and comes to a stop. The very British […]

Shirt 1866 Men’s Painter’s Shirt

The pictures below are not the same Painter’s Shirt shown in the catalog page: the buttons are on the man’s side and in the catalog the buttons are on the women’s. It is mostly marketed as a women’s shirt (the blue one is a little androgynous) but the size chart show both men and women. […]

Low Profile Bag

Introduced in the Spring 1986 catalogue as the British Low-Profile Bag, it subsequently ran until Summer 1988 as the Cotton Twill and Leather Low-Profile Bag. From the catalogue: ” An elegantly informal legal-sized bag in which to carry movie scripts, plans for the new restaurant, specs for your latest invention–or just your tennis togs–this briefcase […]

Leather Cardigan

From the 1987 Holiday catalogue: “When the seventh Earl of Cardigan lef the ill-fated Light Brigade wearing the front-buttoning top of his long johns as an outer garment, fashion, if not history, was forever altered. But, with all due respect to Her Majesty’s forces, it took Yankee ingenuity to realize the cardigan’s full potential–by recreating […]

British Drill Trousers

British Drill Trousers (AKA Safari Trousers) were limited surplus items from 1980 until Fall 1983 when they were mass-produced by BR through 1985. They have the same waist as the Gurkha Shorts. From the 1980 Catalogue No. 4: “These spectacular British safari trousers, an inspired creation of Her Majesty’s tailors, were made for colonial wear […]

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 […]

1980 Catalogue No. 4

From the introduction to the 4th Catalogue, comes a great statement of the founding principles of Banana Republic: “When our first catalogue appeared in 1978, we gambled that there were others who shared our interest in functional, classic safari-style clothing, others who had as much difficulty tracking down these hard-to-find clothes as we did. We […]

Banana Republic Goes Vintage

ON June 17th, 2021 Banana Republic launched “BR Vintage”, selling actual vintage BR clothing from the 1980s and 1990s. A most unusual development, they selected items from the same sources we collectors do: eBay, Etsy, Poshmark, etc and resold them on their website at astonishing markups. A Hooded Bush Vest for $175, a Bombay Shirt […]

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 […]

Gurkha Shorts

Gurkha Shorts originally were called British Safari Shorts when they were authentic surplus items. When they were mass produced they were renamed Gurkha Shorts and were sold for most of the run of the safari catalogues and even into the post-Ziegler 1989-90 era. From the 1985 catalogue: “The year was 1814. A young British lieutenant […]

Safari Socks

From the catalogue: “Dr. Livingstone wore socks like these, as did all the British is all the beastly climes of their empire. Indeed, ours are made by a sockmaker who has been cosseting feet in all the colonies (and former colonies) for a century. Fine combed cotton, turnover top, 18-inch leg; correctly imperial with a […]

Corduroy Bush Dress

The Corduroy Bush Dress replaced the Cotton Bush Dress in the Fall and Winter of 1985: “Cord du roi is the cloth of kings, but nonetheless we make our corduroy bush dress equally available to women whose blood runs less than blue. Indeed, the most red-blooded adventurer will appreciate its comfort and practicality: the hefty […]

Bush Dress

The Bush Dress was sold in Spring and Summer 1985. In the Fall and Winter it was sold in corduroy. From the Spring 1985 catalogue: “In the bush, it swings cool and loose, barely touching the body, yet protects thighs from a punishing sun. In the mountains, layer it over a Yukon Shirt (as shown); […]

1982 Bush Shirt

This is the earliest Banana Republic piece we’ve documented and it’s a very exciting find. From the collection of Gary Pinkerton, this is the Bush Shirt from the 1982 Holiday catalog. This makes it a definitive pre GAP item, and as such it’s exciting to confirm that the Stars and Bananas tag was in use […]

Whistlestop Dress

From the Fall 1988 catalogue: “Eager departures, ecstatic arrivals, and all connections in between wear equally well on this soft yet purposeful dress. Made of tightly woven, lightly brushed ventilated cotton, with collarless necline, capacious gored skirt, unfitted button-up bodice and yoke back, buttoning cuffs, and elasticized waist.” Blue version Bronze version modeled by Kimberlee […]

Linea Viaggio Legal-Sized Tote Bag

The Linea Viaggio line was offered from Spring 1985 through Spring 1986. The Legal-Sized Tote Bag was only offered in the Spring 1986 catalogue. 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 […]

Kalahari Shirt

This handsome women’s shirt was only sold in the Summer of 1986: “When the rains return to the Kalahari, so do the elephants, springbuck, zebra, wildebeest–and then the carnivores who hunt them. For this inhospitable “desert” becomes a breifly blooming paradise when the hot dry winter ends. Our Kalahari Shirt is at home in such […]

Men’s Outback Shorts

Debuting in the Spring 1985 Catalogue, Men’s Outback Shorts did not run as long as Women’s Outback Shorts: “Hiking the harsh, demanding Outback, you carry as little extra equipment as possible and look for practical ways to distribute essentials. How best to manage this problem? Witness our Outback Shorts with expandable cargo bellows pockets and […]

Bushman’s Shirt

Debuting in the Fall 1985 Catalogue: “For trekking the Outback, adventurous Aussies like to rely on the durability of tough cotton twill. But most twill, until washed a few times, feels stiff. How to improve on a good thing? Weave a 100% cotton gabardine–a twill so fine it soothes the skin. Then pre-wash it for […]

Women’s Expedition Shirt

From Spring 1987: “For the real down-and-dirty work of travel–shadeless desert treks, kidney-jolting Jeep rides, damp dawn encampments–there’s absolutely nothing to equal mediumweight cotton convas for comfort and durability. It feels good, looks great even when unpressed–those few strategic wrinkles are proof of hard-won experience. We modified our popular Expedition Shirt to fit a woman’s […]

Pamplona Shirt

Whoever wrote the copy for the Pamplona shirt was channeling Hemingway in a serious way. From the Spring 1987 catalogue: “It was hot and fine in the plaza. The American sat at his usual table. “The ordinary,” he said to the waiter, who was young and sleepy and nervous. The waiter was thinking about the […]

Trips Magazine Advertorial

It’s unusual, of course, to see photography paired with Banana Republic clothing. The March 1988 Trips Magazine however, had a 16 page spread of artfully treated photographs of models wearing BR clothes from the Spring/Summer 1988 line. The photos are taken in San Francisco (including one shot in front of the Polk Street store) and […]

Banana Republic Bookstore and Catalogs

Tara Sendelback of GPF in the Travel Books section of Banana Republic (March, 1988) – Photo by Richard Lee, Detroit Free Press. Photo Courtesy Neal Moore Collection. Banana Republic launched the Bookstore Catalogue in 1986, and there were five editions in total, the last coming in 1988. At the same time, bookstores were opened in […]

Proletarian Shirt

From the Fall 1988 Catalogue: “Corduroy (cord du roi in French) was created just for kings, but this shirt is made of more robust, plebeian stuff–its aristocracy is born of honest labor. The fabric’s sturdy, low-profile ridges give it the softness and look of corduroy, but make it gutsy enough to engage in hard work […]

Halter Dress

From Summer 1988: “The halter neckline made its 1930’s debut on the beach, but it was not for another 20 years that it found its way onto a dress. Our soft cotton knit version has a modestly self-lined bodice, comfortably wide ties that don’t cut or bind, and a flowing bias-cut skirt that channels many […]

Merikani Shirt

From the Fall 1986-Spring 1987 Catalogue: “In the 1890s, Zanzibar was a teeming island marketplace, resonant with a thousand voices bartering in almost as many tongues. Among the most prized commoditities was unbleached American calico from around the Cape, sold by the bolt and admiringly dubbed “Merikani” in Swahili. The nomadic Masai especially loved Merikani, […]