Vintage Banana Republic Wildlife Engraving T-Shirts

T-shirts don’t get a ton of play around these parts, as the only time they seem to get any wear are in very casual situations.  I’m a collar guy, as are most of my counterparts – especially in public.  For me, the t-shirt quartile measurement is a body of water, gym equipment, yardwork, and/or an afternoon on the couch.  Today, besides the updated Fraternity-style t-shirts, most t-shirts today are some sort of graphic, v-neck, ‘fashion forward’ design that isn’t my style.  At all.

There are some t-shirts that I miss dearly.  I don’t know what made me think of it, but near the top of the list are the old Banana Republic Wildlife Engraving t-shirts.  These were extremely popular in the late 80’s and 90’s when Banana Republic rated a ZERO on the metro-sexual scale.  They were actually a mall-based safari company, and made some GREAT stuff.  Side note: if you find any of the old labeled Banana Republic safari gear at Goodwill, it is 100% legit.  Totally worth it.  A catalog from 1984:

The old Banana Republic storefronts…at the mall:

Obviously you can’t find these t-shirts anymore, so this is a bit of a nostalgic post.  Here is the rundown from an old catalog:

Here’s some customer feedback for Banana Republic:  Why not do a line of your vintage safari wear for Fall?  I could see it being a huge hit: heavy duty khakis in an updated fit, a cool military-esque jacket, some Earthy bold plaid shirts with double pockets, some four button sweaters, and these t-shirts.  Boom.  Call it the Red Clay Soul Capsule.

Who remembers these?



  1. Brad
    05/13/2016 / 9:03 AM

    Love it.

  2. Nem Howard
    05/13/2016 / 9:26 AM

    Banana Republic of the 1980’s cannot be topped! I was in my teens then and remember those small catalogs with great illustrations and gear inside. Bought a Flying Tiger leather bomber jacket to take with me to college in fall of 1986 along with the elephant and giraffe t-shirts.

  3. Trip
    05/13/2016 / 10:30 AM

    Man, I miss these. And I don’t even wear t-shirts anymore.

  4. MRS
    05/13/2016 / 11:08 AM

    I worked in leadership at a BR store nine years ago, and we were closing out the last remaining of these. I snagged a few but they don’t fit and I ended up giving them away. Would love to see them return – talk about about a company with no direction. It’s not even worth walking through the men’s section anymore, though the wife can always find a few nice things. The men’s division needs a serious overhaul but I wouldn’t expect much. Shame.

  5. Thomas
    05/15/2016 / 12:37 AM

    Where do y’all find xl or xxl fit golf hats? Does anyone else have this problem?

  6. jp
    11/16/2017 / 7:36 PM

    duuuude!! I loved these shirts – i think i must have went over 15-20 pairs from 1985 – 1991, correct me if i’m wrong don’t they have a cigarette pocket in the front left side?

  7. Harlan W.
    07/14/2018 / 9:29 PM

    I remember one  t-shirt in 89-91 time frame I had. It had an iguana on the back.  Loved that shirt. Wish they would bring them back.  

  8. Joyce
    01/11/2019 / 6:28 PM

    YESSSS!  Banana Republic BRING THESE T-SHIRTS BACK!  They would sell hundreds of thousands of them!

  9. Kay kosanke
    07/08/2019 / 10:09 AM

    I wish they would come back again!!!  I would get them so. I sooo wish I had all my old ones   Saved away!

  10. PR
    10/26/2019 / 8:02 AM

    Hey! I miss BR as well. I still have my tee with the iguana on the back. I still wear it sometimes. The cotton is soooo soft.

  11. michael morris
    09/11/2020 / 9:20 PM

    where can i buy one catalog

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