As someone who recalls Banana Republic’s glory days with particular affection, I was intrigued by the following note, which I received recently from a reader named Aubrey: “My days shopping at Banana Republic ended a few years ago, but I had some time to kill, and stopped into their store earlier today. Lots of great pieces. Would be interested to get your take.” My initial take is that it would take a lot to revive Banana—the brand has felt so same for so long, and when a lot of customers jumped ship, it was because the quality just wasn’t there either—but with new creative directors anything is possible, and they have one of those. The website looked promising, but that doesn’t always mean much, so off I went to the Soho outpost to kick the tires.
And here is what I discovered: progress. Nice pieces here and there that I would totally wear. The best of them by far—a near-perfect leather A-line midi skirt—isn’t on the site for some perplexing reason, but it should be. This very 1970s YSL military blouse, which I liked the looks of online, was just as nice in real life.
If I worked in an office, I would be all over this boucle skirt with the zipper detail, because it is professional-looking but also just a tiny bit badass. Also, it’s not as short as it looks: on a person of non-model height such as myself (I’m 5’6”) it hits at the knee.
I thought this jacket was pretty fun, and very much the type of item one could throw on and know looked good and not have to worry about. And it’s boucle—which I know, again with the boucle—but it’s such a fun, luxe fabric for everyday items.
And this wool trench in the grey is straight out of the Lauren Hutton playbook.