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 in the early 1950s. As the Empire crumbled, the pants piled up (never worn) in a London warehouse, which is where we found them. This is not only an authentic collector’s item, it’s the best pair of trousers you’l find at any price. We live in them. The only remaining sizes will for men from 32-inch to 37-inch waists. All others: sorry, you’re too late.”

From the 1985 Catalogue: “An inspiration form the British Empire’s masterful tailors, these drill trousers were designed as an extremely comfortable pair of pants that would allow maximum freedom of movement. We’ve matched the original drill cloth (100% cotton, of course) and recut the pattern into a more contemporary fit. Dashing on men and quite flattering to women.”

1980 Catalog Number 4.
This 1980 catalog features the original 1950s British surplus, sold here as Five Pocket Safari Pants.
Authentic Surplus Drill Trousers only available in limited sizes.
The summer 1985 catalog shows both the British Army Drill Trousers and the Gurkha Shorts.
These Drill Trousers have a large Banana Tag in them. See the Tag and Logo Guide.

About The Author

Robyn Adams
Robyn's fascination with Banana Republic began in 1984 when her Alaskan adventurer father began buying the clothing and giving her the catalogs. She loved the clothes and as an artist she was drawn to the illustrations. She went on to study illustration at art college in BR's hometown of San Francisco and worked for years as a background artist for animation. She is now based in Oakland, CA as a graphic designer and illustrator with Secret Fan Base . She's been collecting and archiving at Abandoned Republic since 2011.

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