Women’s Shirts

Featured Items: Women's Shirts

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 […]

Ventilated Henley Shirt

This shirt is not listed in the catalogue as far as I can tell. It’s a 100% cotton ventilated shirt with a Yukon style Henley collar. Pictures from Etsy Update: A Blue version with an attached price tag was discovered. Item number 1619 is not in the catalogues as far as I can tell.

Fog City Turtleneck

From the Holiday 1987 catalogue: “Our fair-weather cotton turtleneck can metamorphose almost as fast as the summer weather shifts in our famous hometown. Suggested for resourceful residents, and would-be visitors alike, the convertible turtle buttons up snug against July’s changeable westerlies and wily summer fogs, and unbuttons to admit warm breezes when summer finally comes […]

Mudcloth Jersey

From Spring 1988, the Mudcloth Jersey is a take off on the Mudcloth Scarf from Holiday 1986: “In Mali we discovered the African mudcloth called bokolanfini. Indigenous to the Bambara people, it’s the result of a painstaking process supervised entirely by women. Mud paste is aged, then painted on handwoven fabric to outline a design […]

In Surplus We Trust: The First Banana Republic T-Shirt

From the very beginning, Banana Republic was a stroke of branding genius. The Stars and Bananas crest, as designed by Patricia Gwilliam Ziegler, was the symbol that sold the concept perfectly. Bananas arrayed like laurel leaves, a martial star at the center, and slightly funky hand lettering all contributed to the tongue-in-cheek nature of the […]

Checkered Shirt

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 […]

Ventilated T-Shirt

Sold in the Summer 1984 Catalogue, this Ventilated T-Shirt is a very rare find in this condition, it’s one of the earliest pieces in my collection. Ventilated T-Shirt with a different item # were sold in later Summer catalogs, but because of the presence of the Diamond Tag this shirt is very likely the 1984 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.”

Shoulder Button Shirt and Essential Skirt

Sold separately in purple, black and natural, this cotton knit set was offered in the Fall 1988 Catalogue. Pictures from Depop

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Darwin Shirt

This shirt is so similar to the Coleroon Shirt its hard to distinguish them, but the example below is made in Singapore instead of Hong Kong, which is consistent with the Spring 1988 date.

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 […]

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: […]

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 […]

Lisle Knit Turtleneck

This is a rare find! An early turtleneck with a very large BR tag. From the 1983 catalogue: “When we offer a classic, we go out of our way to make sure it’s the best of its kind on the market. With cotton turtlenecks, for instance, we don’t chintz on the fabric quality (we use […]

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) […]

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.

1 Comment

  • Cynthia Clement on July 26, 2012

    I love this site. I hope you will add a place for trading items from the old catalogs, and perhaps certain favorites might be put into production again? Keep up the good work!

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