Women's Clothes

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 […]

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.


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 […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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); […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Gandhi Dress

From the Summer 1987 Catalogue, the Gandhi Dress is made of the same fabric as the Kasuri Shirt although the catalogue copy does not describe the fabric. “At the turn of the century, Mahatma Gandhi entreated his supporters to resist the Raj by devoting daily time to spinning and weaving–as he himself did. The populace […]

Inside-Out Shirt

From Fall 1988 catalogue: “We have to admit we’ve always admired the old-fashioned orderliness of a fine pinstripe shirt. To make one that pleased us, we wove precise stripes into soft cotton as thick as Irish linen–then turned the fabric inside out to soften and blur the lines. The result is a loose-fitting shirt with […]

Naturalist Dress

From the Fall 1985-Spring 1986 Catalogue, the companion to the Naturalist Shirt and Naturalist Skirt. “A woman may be outstanding in her field, but she can’t stand out there forever; sooner or later, she must come inside and dress for the occasion. For her, we’ve designed the Naturalist’s Dress: elegant as physics, yet down-to-earth as […]

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.

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

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.”

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 […]

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.”

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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”.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Coleroon/Darwin 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. The Coleroon was made in Hong Kong in Brown, Teal, Red and Papaya. From the 1987 Holiday Catalogue: […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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) […]

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 […]

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.”

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 […]

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.”

Side-Snap Suede Skirt

From the Fall 1985 catalogue: “A skirt rather like the women of today–smart, sophisticated, ready for absolutely anything, tough, and soft at the same time. The velvety pigskin suede gives and conforms to the body, doesn’t easily wrinkle, doesn’t show dirt, can’t tear or snag–in short, boldly withstands the travails of time, the dramas of […]

Ikat Shirt and Skirt

This shirt confused us for a few reasons. First, it wasn’t found in the catalog because that page had accidentally not been scanned into the archive (we make no guarantees!!). An astute fan pointed it out (Thanks, Gary!). Secondly, the buttons are on the traditionally “male” right side (we are easily confused by this tradition…). […]

Wool and Mouton Jacket

The Women’s Limited Edition Wool & Mouton Jacket. From the catalogue: “While designing our leather Amelia Earhart jacket (see page 39) we made the prototype out of some surplus military-grade wool we’d bought in Sweden. We liked the sample so much that we rounded up more of the wool–a superlatively dense fabric that had been […]

Painter’s Shirt

From the Summer 1987 catalogue only: “A no-fuss pullover of soft, lightweight cotton, our Painter’s Shirt is cool and roomy enough to let your imagination and brushstroke range freely. Cut like something your grandfather might have worn in the 20’s, with a box pleat and long tail in the back, it’s equally inspiring worn belted […]

Essential Bag

A long running item, the Essential Bag was originally Leather and Linen from Italy, issued throughout 1985. Beginning in Fall 1986 it was changed to all leather from Brazil. In Fall 1988 the bag was issued in black leather. “Exactly the right size for essentials–everything you don’t want to leave in your hotel room.” Leather […]

Trekking Vest

From the catalogue: “We designed this striking sweater to prove that outer-wear fit for rigorous walks need not look pedestrian. We got the idea while hiking New Zealand’s Milford track, as famous for it’s bone-chilling downpours as for its breathtaking panoramas. Aussies and Kiwis chose wool for weathering cold and damp, so our vest is […]

Twice-Buckled Belt

First seen in 1983 as the British Regiment Belt, this nifty two-buckle adjustable twill belt was re-introduced as the Twice Buckled Belt with an updated design–the new belt was not adjustable length–and jute material. From Spring and Summer 1986, a cool belt with a very BR vibe to it. From the catalogue: “Truly a belt […]

Giraffe Bolo Tie

From reader Gary Pinkerton we have a rare look at the Summer 1985 (Africa issue) Giraffe Bolo Tie. A bronze giraffe on a suede lace string with copper beads, this was issued in a plastic bag with a printed card inside. Amazingly, Gary kept the whole thing, which we are very grateful to see. From […]

Women’s Bush Jacket

The Women’s Bush Jacket was was originally sold as the Tropical Bush Jacket in Summer 1985 (in Ivory only), renamed the Women’s Bush Jacket in Spring 1986 in Ivory and then sold Fall 1987 in Khaki only. It seems the first versions were lightweight cotton twill and the 1987 version is mediumweight pre-washed cotton. Otherwise […]

Women’s Safari Suit Jacket

While a safari suit jacket and pants combo was available for men throughout the safari era, a proper Safari Suit for women was available at limited times: only Summer 1986 in Ivory and Spring/Summer 87 in Pewter. The cut and style of the Safari Jacket seems to be identical to the Women’s Bush Jacket except […]

Contour Belt

Summer 1986, Fall/Holiday 1987, Spring 1988. From the catalogue: “Pliant calfskin, heat-shrunk to create surface texture, and burnished with a hand iron. It’s tapered in back for comfort and–need we add?–to make the least of one’s waist.”

Victorian Boots

Fall and Holiday 1987. From the catalogue: “Walking boots that travel smartly with a skirt are the legacy of the Victorians, who charted awesome mileage on foot while carrying on conversations worthy of Jane Austin. Ours, as trim a pair as ever roved, are made in Italy of soft, pebble-grained calfskin with leather lining and […]

Cabled Vest

Sold only in Holiday 1986 and 1987. From the catalogue: “The fisherfolk of the British Isles have a rich tradition of distinctive knitting patterns, many of them derived from their daily lives. Look closely at our Cabled Vest, and you’ll see fishing ropes twisting and trellising up to the moss stitch of the shawl collar. […]

Houndstooth Dress

Sold in Khaki and Black in Fall and Holiday 1987 with some striking exaggerated artwork. From the catalogue: “Easygoing yet elegant, this is a dress to be lived in, worked in, traveled in. The luxuriously soft flannel is consoling company during late-night layovers or bracing breakfast meetings. The top is pure shirt, the skirt long, […]

Gabardine Skirt

From the catalogue: “When we first discovered this drapy, silky fabric in a British trenchcoat, we knew it had other lives to live–offering, as it does, the combined virtues of wool and cotton. And so we reincarnated it in a slim, smooth walking skirt, as elegant or as laissez-faire as the accessories (and the attitude) […]

Bush Jumpsuit

From the catalogue: “Like jeans, jumpsuits originated with folks who had places to go and no time to worry about delicate fabrics and shirttails popping out. Aviators, for instance: Amelia Earhart wore the first one ever seen on a woman. This abbreviated version encourages sturdy, bare-legged striding, agile scrambling, and cool brushes with silken air. […]

Hooded Bush Vest

The Hooded Bush Vest was a real workhorse for Banana Republic. The design was first introduced in 1982, pre-Gap purchase and ran until 1988 and then beyond into the post-Safari era. Today they are ubiquitous and plentiful as they were big sellers for men and women at $39. Image from the Holiday 1982 catalogue. There […]

The Leather Walking Skirt

The Leather Walking Skirt was offered in the Fall and Winter catalogs in both 1986 and 1987. From the catalogue: “Unpacking in a strange hotel room, what could be more inspiriting than to find some cherished bit of luxurt among the knits and khakis? Our leather Walking Skirt, made of New Zealand lambskin, turns storm-tossed […]

Lamu Dress

The Lamu Dress was featured three times and offered different colors and patterns each time. Still, the first photographic evidence I’ve seen is in a different color and pattern, but is definitely a Lamu Dress. From the catalogue: “East Africa’s Lamu Island enchanted us with its wonderful islamic architecture and lack of cars, but posed […]

Santa Fe Belt

From the Holiday 1987 catalogue: “It was the railroad, not the town, that inspired the name of this handsome bridle-leather belt. The nickle-plated studs on each side reminded us of so many passenger cars puffing through the desert. But the subtly dramatic design might also have been born in the New Mexico high country. A […]

Safari Dress

A Safari Dress was a staple of the women’s wardrobe for a long time. As you can see in the catalog gallery at the bottom of the page they switched from the fine Egyptian Cotton of the Safari Jackets to a slightly heavier “Naturalist’s cloth” later in the run. The photos on this page are […]

Denim Skirt

From the catalogue: “A skirt to satisfy even women who normally shun skirts: slim, spare, absolutely fuss-less.Traditional jean styling–including a coin pocket–and deep 13-inch slits before and behind for making great strides. In tandem with our Denim Jacket, and outfit to range from Wyoming to Weisbaden.” Photos from an Etsy sale

Equestrienne Shirt

Whenever this shirt shows up online it’s listed as a Men’s shirt, probably on the assumption it’s some sort of cowboy shirt. I was confused for the longest time until I realized it just women’s Equestrienne Shirt. The misconception is probably also attributable to the wide torso on the shirt, which is meant to be […]

Mombasa Suit

I love the marketing for this wonderful suit. It’s all classic Banana Republic, with a great spread of artwork with background art that inspires the imagination and catalog copy that manages to namedrop both Isak “Out of Africa” Dinesen and St. Tropez. It really makes you want to be this person. From the catalogue: “Mombasa,” […]

Weekend Dress

Available from Spring 1985 through Spring 1986, this dress came in Natural and Black and was as versatile as advertised. From the catalogue: “Put it in your purse when you go to work on Friday. On your weekend getaway wear it over pants like a big t-shirt; belted at the waist; belted at the hips; […]

Duster Coat

One of the reasons I enjoy this hobby is spotting an item that doesn’t quite match the artwork. Case in point, the Duster Coat. Made of cotton Expedition Cloth in ivory and olive, it has a classic BR look that the catalogue artwork doesn’t really convey. The 1988 catalogue art generally lacks the character of […]