Men's Jackets

Fall '87

Portmanteau Jacket

Available in Fall and Holiday 1987, the Portmanteau Jacket is another fine example of waxed cotton outerwear sourced from England. It is lined with cotton flannel and interlined with a layer of thermal polyester fabric for extra warmth. As indicated in the catalogue copy, each jacket was accompanied with a tin of specially formulated wax […]

Possible Costume Relic from Hollywood?

Spotted on ebay: A Correspondent’s Jacket made from Expedition Cloth, featuring a Universal Studios barcode label inside the collar. I suspect this was owned by the costume department, then eventually culled from the collection like a discarded library book. Unlike a dogeared tome, however, the jacket appears to have little wear. This particular variation of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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, […]

Lightweight Field Jacket

From the Fall 1988 catalogue: “Our lightweight Field Jacket, made from hearty Expedition Cloth, offers the breeze-blocking qualities of a windcheater as well as the pinache of the classic field jacket. With plenty of pockets, adjustable drawstring waist, and wind-resistant zipper flap, it’s loose enough to layer over t-shirt, pullover, or sweaters(s). A most dynamic […]

Fully Lined Field Jacket

At first glance this looked to me like the Outback Bush Jacket, but of course the chest pockets are not angled and the closure uses buttons. The catalogue copy confirms that some details were borrowed from the Italian Field Jacket that inspired the Bush Jacket. This Fully Lined Field Jacket was only offered in Holiday […]

Short-Sleeved Bush Jacket

A Short-Sleeved Bush Jacket was offered in Summer 1988 only, although there were similar garments in the earlier days of BR. The pictures below, from an October 2020 ebay sale, seem to show a darker khaki tan than the catalogue art, but it’s definitely a Khaki Short-Sleeve Bush Jacket. The pictures below (ebay September 2020) […]

Outback Bush Jacket

Originally introduced in Fall 1984 as an Italian Canvas Bush Jacket, it was renamed The Outback Bush Jacket in the Fall 1985 “Notes from the Outback” catalogue. Its got so many marvelous details, like a throat latch, reinforced elbows, huge bellows pockets and a drawstring waist and of course, the angled chest pockets (possibly angled […]

Traveler’s Raincoat

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

Bench Leather Jacket

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

Snap Collar Bomber Jacket

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

Open Cockpit Aviator’s Jacket

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

Hooded Field Jacket?

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

Army Air Corps Jacket

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

Leather Flight Jacket

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

Goatskin Flight Jacket

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

On The Road Jacket

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

Waterproof Cotton Bush Jacket

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

Italian Waiter’s Jacket

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

Correspondent’s Jacket

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

The Authentic Field Jacket

Maria, a fan of my Facebook page posted this picture yesterday to show off her 1980s Banana Republic jacket. It wasn’t one I immediately recognized. It’s not the Bush jacket, or the Correspondent’s jacket, and certainly isn’t a Safari jacket. But it had a BIG LABEL, so we know it’s an older piece. Obviously, it’s […]