Author Posts

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 […]

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 “Employee” Shirt and Jacket

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 Holiday 1985 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 […]

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 […]

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

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, […]

House Call Bag

From the 1988 Fall catalogue. In Khaki or Black! “Made from hardy cotton canvas, our House Call Bag is a modern-day resuscitation of that venerable classic, the doctor’s bag. We gave it a bracing dose of leather on the handles and latch, an inside zippered pocket, and a brass buckle, creating, we believe, a general […]

Traveler’s Shirt or Twill Shirt

The Fall/Holiday 1986 catalogues introduced the Egyptian Cotton Twill Shirt, which has a similar look to the Expedition Shirt with its angled chest pockets, but the pockets have a pleat in them and the shirt lacks epaulets. It came in Ivory, Khaki and Navy. The shirt was rebranded in Summer 1987 as the Egyptian Cotton […]

Cotton Canvas Shirt

This shirt was the immediate predecessor of the Expedition Shirt, having the same design minus the epaulets, and even using the same catalog copy. From the Winter 1984 catalogue: “Amedeo Modigliani never had this to paint on, or he might have endowed his subjects with much shorter necks and saved the extra canvas for his […]

On-The-Wrong-Track Jacket

The On-The-Wrong-Track Jacket (my name for it): This highly questionable athletic wear comes in bright primary colors that seem very wrong for BR to me. Compared to the classic Athletic Clothing they DID make–these seem like a corner of the 1980s best left unexplored. It was not listed in the catalogue.

Six-Gore Skirt

Spotted on eBay, this rare 1986 Cotton Twill and Leather Six-Gore Skirt. Six gore is a particular cut of skirt made up of triangular “gore” panels to form a A line. Sold in Pewter and Ivory in Fall 1986 and Dark Khaki and Pewter in Holiday 1986. From the catalogue: “Cut long and wide enough […]

The Bushman’s Raincoat

Introduced in the Fall 1985 “Notes from the Outback” catalog, the Bushman’s Raincoat is one of the more distinctive items BR produced. It’s about as dramatic and interesting as a raincoat gets and will make you look like you stepped right out of the 1982 Aussie film “Man From Snowy River”. It was offered in […]

Kikoi Cloth

The Kikoi Cloth was discovered when the Zieglers travelled to Kenya for their first safari in 1984. They made shirts and skirts out of the bright colorful fabric and the versatile wrap was featured in the Summer 1985 (and 86) catalogue: “These brightly striped cotton cloths are hand-loomed in Kenya, where they are worn sarong-style […]

French Army Ice Boots

More truly unusual True Surplus, Discovered By Banana Republic: Can you imagine finding these in a store at the mall and taking them home? From a recent eBay auction Vintage Circa WWII – 1950’s French Military Ice Boots ~ Banana Republic–JJ Chabrat / Bordeaux Up for sale is a pair of vintage French military cleated […]

Nairobi Business Shirt

From the Summer 1986 catalogue: “Cuffs would constrict, ties would torture, pinstripes seem priggish in summertime Nairobi, where offices more like ovens open onto sizzling streets and baking byways. Yet commerce must be conducted here, as in more temperate seasons, cooly and correctly–with the provision that one’s collar at all times remain open for business. […]

Leather and Linen Walking Boots

From the 1987 catalogue: “Victorian ladies, when out for a constitutional, were well-shod in sturdily constructed boots that firmly cradled the ankle and instep. Our own lace-up boots are as comfortable as high-top sneakers but much more supportive of the walking woman. we used full-grain cowhide with a trim of tough, water-repellent, military-grade linen (the […]

Carioca Shirt

Originally sold in both solids and stripes in 1984 the Carioca Shirt was mostly sold in multicolored stripes. From the catalogue: “A more festive, more stylish, more sensual people than the Cariocas of Rio you will find nowhere on earth. Brazilians seem to samba through life chanting, “No problem, no problem, no problem,” to the […]

Lido Shorts

Running from Spring 1987 to Spring 1988, the Lido shorts came in a wide variety of colors. From the catalogue: “How do you make a great pair of shorts even better? By lengthening and widening the leg ever so subtly, by making the pockets vanish into side seams, by streamlining the back pocket and eliminating […]

Buffed Calfskin Vest

From Holiday 1987: “As an essential, a leather vest comes somewhere close behind food and shelter. This one’s an all-around tactile delight. Outside is satin-smooth buffed calfskin; inside, a 100% cotton soft plaid flannel lining to keep strictly to yourself. Side-entry pockets are deep enough for the most contemplative of evening strolls. And if the […]

Linen Shirt

From the Spring 88 catalogue: “Linen, the product of the flax plant, has long been known as the softest, strongest, lightest, drapiest, coolest, most absorbent, quickest-drying fiber on earth. Unfortunately, in modern times, linen has been priced beyond reach. We were lucky to get a deal on some of the world’s finest linen (Belgian), which […]

Cardigan Sweater

Sold in Summer 1987 and Spring 1988 in Natural, Bronze, Faded Sage, Dark Olive and Mustard. From Summer 1987: “Cardigans need not be relegated to twin sets and teatime. Ours is multifaceted, practical–and surprisingly feisty. The strong stuff it’s made of–self-sufficient cotton of unquestionable fiber–is soft but substantial; when the debate heats up it stays […]

Men’s Ticking Shirt

The men’s Authentic Ticking Shirt debuted in Fall 1985 (AFTER the Women’s Ticking Shirt in Spring 1985)and continued through 1987. The popular, sturdy shirt came in Navy and Khaki Olive stripes. The stripes are three-part, two thin stripes on either side of a thick stripe, exactly like mattress ticking. From the catalogue: “Apart from opposing […]

Odyssey Shirt

The Odyssey Shirt is distinguished by the facing seams on the front and the pencil slot on its pocket. No epaulettes. From the Fall 1988 Catalogue: “Sturdy cotton canvas has been the sailmaker’s choice since at least the Homeric days. It’s also our choice for this classic shirt. We’ve sandwashed it (using the tiny grains […]

Coleroon Shirt

The rather remarkable catalogue copy for the Coleroon Shirt describes the defeat of the Sultan of Mysore and the British adoption of pajamas from India. This women’s shirt is commonly mistaken for a men’s shirt in auctions. From the 1987 Holiday Catalogue: ” The English were laced up like pork roasts when they were beaten […]

Expedition Shirts

The Cotton Canvas Expedition shirt was introduced early, in fall 1984, and was sold for most of the catalogue run until late 1987. It was preceded by the Cotton Canvas Shirt of the same design minus the epaulets and the catalog copy would be partially recycled for the first iteration of Expedition Shirt: “Amedeo Modigliani […]

Irish Linen Pullover

This sweater was introduced in 1984 and sold through 1985, and in that short time was produced in a number of colors; most commonly in natural tones, but also yellow, blue and lilac. Made in Hong Kong it is composed of cotton and linen. From the catalogue: “A sweater with a nearly silky feel, but […]

Fellwalking Sweater

This Hong Kong made sweater is easily identified by the distinctive shoulder seams that run to the neckline. From the Fall and Holiday 1987 catalogue: “A heathery pullover inspired by our rambles and scrambles in the fells (mountains) of England’s Lake District. We spun Shetland wool–beloved for its felicitous blend of warmth and lightness–in three […]

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 […]

Donegal Tweed Jacket

From the Holiday 1987 catalogue: “When not practicing their storyteller’s art, the imaginative Irish of County Donegal weave colorful yarns of a more tangible sort. Donegal tweeds are unpredictable: All misty hues, nubby textures, and hearty character, the color-flecked warp and weft of a true Donegal mirrors the changing moods of both isle and artisan. […]

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.

Mandalay Bandanas

Recently discovered by super fan Neal Moore and added to my collection, these uncatalogued bandanas initially reminded me of the Quiet Madras Shirt, also made in India, but the pattern actually matches the Mandalay Shirt better. These may in fact be remnants from the Mandalay Shirts, the pattern is quite similar. The blue Mandalay Shirt […]

Moss-Stitch Sweater

From the Holiday 1986 catalogue: “When the trees start losing leaves, we start thinking in terms of nep wool. Beautiful, hardy, substantial wool–the kind that agrees with a brilliant fall morning but will also stand up to a winter storm. “Neps” are tiny light-colored nubs obtained by brushing the coats of sheep; we combine them […]

American Tweed Sweater

I’m fairly certain the sweater below is a Burgundy American Tweed Sweater based o the collar and the age of the tag. From the Holiday 1984 catalogues: “Cornbread, gumbo, quilts, baseball, convertibles–America has always had more than. afew good ideas of its own. One is the American Tweed Sweater, made of homegrown wool in colors […]

90-Degree Shirt

These shirts were only offered in Fall 1988. From the catalogue: “We used all the right angles to create a boxed-plaid shirt of the coolest Indian cotton. The subdued plaids will please eyes eager for autumn’s rich, muted shades. The smooth, airy fabric will please skin seeking shelter from an early-autumn heat wave. Both fabric […]

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 […]

Giftboxes

Among the most creative concepts to come from Banana Republic, these extravagant limited edition gift boxes were introduced for Holiday 1986 and returned in 1987. Die-cut printed cardboard, they were shipped or sold flat with a cardboard backer, and each included a novelty newspaper/gift wrap. They came in 3 sizes, the Bi-Plane being the smallest […]

Australian Cowhide Outback Jacket

This is the earliest, rarest item I can think of seeing in a long time. The Australian Cowhide OUTBACK Jacket was seen in the Holiday 1983 Catalogue #16, and then in the Fall/Holiday 1984 catalogues. From the catalogue: “The Outback is a rugged land. The cold there is snappy, and it calls for a jacket […]

Officer’s Wool Jacket

The Royal Navy Officer’s Wool Jacket is a very interesting piece. A numbered, limited edition (900) item sold in Fall 1984 through Spring 1985, the jacket was made from Royal Navy surplus wool from around 1948. From the catalogue: “In grander days, British officers never obliged to suffer the ordinary — food, lodgings, brandy, cigars, […]

Marseilles Jersey

This shirt seems to have started as the Striped jersey in 1987 and then been rebranded in Spring 88 as the Marseilles Jersey , which is certainly more evocative. From the catalogue: “Wherever a French sailor goes, he’s the object of admiring glances from envious French mademoiselles. Is it devastating Gallic charm that causes feminine […]

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 […]

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!! This festive cover of the Banana Republic employee newsletter Communiqué features a celebrating Livingstone Zebra in 1986, how cool is that? Thanks for following Abandoned Republic this year. Keeping up the blog has been a VERY welcome distraction from the tedium and misery of 2020, and engaging with other BR Fanatics makes […]

Mediterranean Shorts

From the Spring 86 catalogue: “Our male customers had been longing for shorts like these; now they long no longer. Our Mediterranean Shorts are lightweight yet crisp-looking. Best of all, they’re made of incomparable Naturalist’s Cloth: cool, pre-washed, pigment-dyed in subtle natural colors. From Malaga to Malibu, the sanest way to go out in the […]

Jean Jacket

This jean jacket matches the Denim Skirt. From the 1986 catalogue: “To us, this perennial classic epitomizes American style. Ours is traditionally detailed but in all other respects a long way from basic jean jacket. We garment-washed the pigment-dyed denim to get rid of it’s stiffness, then lined it in soft Portuguese flannel. In the […]

Up Vest

“In this day and age, an outdoor vest that’s not full of feathers is down-right distinguished. We thought of calling ours the No-Down vest, but that sounded like a real estate deal. We’d rather dwell on the uplifting qualities of brushed cotton twill, the wool-knit collar and waistband, teh cabin-cozy flannel lining. Filled with thermal […]

Mystery Vest

Some vests that we spotted online were not featured in the catalogues as far as I know, but were made during the catalogue era, based on the tag.

Leather Bush Vest

Introduced in the Fall 1985 catalogue: “There comes a time when a bush vest calls for something harder than cotton. In search of a suitable material for harsher, colder climes, we went everywhere from the wind-whipped pampas of Argentina to the sandblasted Outback of Australia, scrutinizing calfskin and cowhide, pigskin and peccary, kidskin and kangaroo. […]

Leather Bush Pilot Vest

From 1984, this Leather Bush Pilot Vest preceded the Leather Bush Vest. From the catalogue: “Bush pilots are a special breed–they’ll do somersaults to thrill the passengers, free falls in canyons just for fun. They’re rough, tough, worldly-wise and think they’re indestructible. Like it’s fearless namesake, this vest has the look of having rounded the […]

1985 Travel Classics Flier

Presumably, this flier was sent to recent subscribers to the catalogue, because there is a message from Mel and Patrica Ziegler, which opens with “We hope you enjoyed your first catalogue…” The flier folds down to the size of a catalogue cover, in this case the 1985 Summer Wanderlust issue, and opens to poster size. […]

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 […]

Pure White Shirt

From the catalogue: “Our crisp white classic is as finely wrought as Phidian sculpture, graced with pleated pockets, five fanlike sleeve pleats, flat-felled seams, and French placket. A pristine canvas for the wearer’s character.” Pics courtesy Kimberlee English-Anderson

Two-Collar White Shirt

From the Spring and Summer 1986 Catalogue: “Our adventures in the surplus trade have yielded innumerable discoveries, one of them being the multi-collared uniform shirt. Thrifty and stylish, these shirts offered the wearer both collarless comfort and tasteful options: When one collar became soiled or frayed, off it went to the laundry (or the dustbin) […]

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 […]

Employee New Hire Kit

I found these images on Worthpoint, which archives old eBay auctions. Here’s one I really wish I had known about! A new-employee orientation package along with the original advertisement for the open positions at the new La Jolla, CA store.

Wanderlust T-Shirts

Featured only in the Summer 1985 catalogues and the updates these Wanderlust shirts are very rare now, the below example the only one I’ve seen. There were three designs celebrating great adventures: The Odyssey which has a Robert Louis Stevenson quote on the back: “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.” , […]

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 […]

Emerson Shirt

From the Summer 1987 and Spring 1988 catalogue: “”The sense of being well-dressed,” wrote the bard of Concord, “gives the feeling of inward tranquility which religion is powerless to bestow.” We humbly submit that Ralph Waldo (or Mrs. E) might have experienced just such a transcendent sensation in this shirt. Constructed with positively 19th-century amplitude […]

Advertisements

Early on, advertising in magazines like the New Yorker played an important part in getting the word out about the company, and attracting catalogue subscribers. Usually, the artwork used was repurposed black and white drawings from the catalogues, but sometimes the art was unique. Banana Republic print ads are collectible, there are a great number […]

Naturalist Skirt

A simple drawstring skirt, the Naturalist’s Skirt was sold in 1985. From the catalogue: “We dyed the raw cotton, dyed it again, then washed it and washed it again. Then we constructed a skirt as simple and unaffected as a bed of Busy Lizzie–just four gores, three pockets, and drawstring elastic waist.”

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 […]

Wool Naval Cape

The 1987 “Cape of Two Countries” was a grey wool replica of a blue wool surplus French Naval Cape sold in 1986. The blue wool cape was appropriately reviewed by vampire novelist Anne Rice. ” When I took it out of the box, I knew it was mine. Any self-respecting vampire would adore it. Throw […]

Knock-Off Coat of Bananas Sweater

I picked this sweater up on eBay in November 2020 and couldn’t have been more excited. I rashly jumped to a few major conclusions in my first take on it, wishfully thinking it was a very early item, pre-Gap, dating between 1981-1983. I’ve always wanted to find something from that era, and I thought I […]

Freelance Briefcase

An English made twill and leather briefcase that reminds us very much of the earlier classic Brady Bag or Correspondent’s Bag, the Freelance Briefcase came out in Fall/Holiday 1987. From the catalogue: “Though chronically out of work, freelancers nonetheless wish to appear employable, and there’s nothing like a briefcase for conveying the message. Still, a […]

Adirondack Shirt

Featured only in the Summer 1987 catalogue: “Plaid shirts traditionally go with crackling fires and low wind-chill factors, but we’ve broadened tradition to give them a summer home. This lightweight cotton one recalls the pleasures of camping in northern forests: pine-scented zephyrs, and owl’s call at dusk, the glassy sheen of a lake at dawn. […]

Oil Driller’s Shirt

From the Summer 1986 “Voices from Africa” catalogue: ” Life frequently gets warm for foreign technicians working the offshore oil fields of North Africa. Going about one’s business while the aircraft and carriers of super-powers and quasi-powers jostle for media coverage is enough to make any geologist break into a sweat on occasion. When you […]

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. The Sahara is made of cotton twill, slightly smoother and lighter than the Expedition cloth. […]

Snap-Brim Jungle Hat

This hat was featured Spring/Summer 1986 and also Spring 1988. It is similar to the Desert Hat, another bucket style hat which was more widely available. From the catalogue: “We won’t elaborate on all the things that can fall on your head in the tropics, aside from excessive sun–suffice to say a hat is vital. […]

Donegal Cardigan Vest

From the 1984 catalogue: “Different as they are (and are they!), the British, the Scots and the Irish do share a few things in common. Fog. Mist. Drizzle. Which they endure, indoors or out, with tweedy, leather buttoned vests that take the snap out of the cold wet atlantic winds. Our Donegal Cardigan Vest, of […]

Retro Ad Futurum Shirt

This is actually listed as a Banana Republic T-Shirt, one of several designs to bear that name. Offered only in Summer 1988, this shirt is found quite a bit now; further evidence how much BR had spread by 1988. From the catalogue: “No republic can take itself seriously without a coat of arms. Much less […]

Woven Jute Belt

From the catalogue: “Natural jute, plaited in a diagonal weave and trimmed with a leather tip that doubles back to close on an antique brass stud. The slight “give” in the weave makes for exceptional comfort.”

Mandalay Shirt

These colorful, lightweight shirts have a slight texture to them and are great summer shirts. Only offered in the Spring 1988 “Road to Mandalay” catalogue. Note the catalogue is using some spot photographs rather than illustrations. From catalogue: “We had these shirts woven in a village where hand looms are still used to make fine, […]