Platonic Shirt

This shirt is an exciting find, as it’s quite rare due to a limited run in only two early catalogues; Originally introduced in the Summer 1984 catalogue and discontinued after the Fall 1984 catalogue, the artwork for the Platonic shirt was changed in the Fall catalogue with a more accurate illustration by Ellery Knight. The copy for the shirt is entirely in the form of a review by Author Francis Fitzgerald: “This may be what Plato had in mind when he thought Shirt. It’s a classic. But it’s not just the form, it’s the content I like; 100% cotton chambray means really comfortable–it felt like an old friend the first time I put it on. It’s a writer’s shirt–good for thought since you don’t have to think about it. And a painter’s shirt, since oils or wall paint or watercolors wouldn’t bother it at all, in fact would look well on it. You can wash it in cold or hot water, bleach it, wring it, wrangle it, or take it in swimming. Critics beware: you can’t deconstruct it. This shirt is all soul.”

The fabric is incredibly light and has the varied look and texture of chambray. It came in white, blue chambray and olive chambray. The open collar and lack of reinforcement on the button placket fold over are interesting touches. (Thanks to Kimberlee English Anderson for her helpful input in identifying this shirt!)

The original Ellery Knight illustration.

Pictures from my collection.

The tag on this one has a factory error. Several lines of red embroidery were skipped.

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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