Been a bit since BR threw a 50% off just about everything Friends and Family deal our way. Maybe they were waiting for their spring line to land? And land it has. Chinos. Joggers. Jeans, sneakers, and tees. Outerwear. Shoes. Core temp everything. EVERYTHING. And it’s all half off. No code needed here. Discount happens in your cart.
Off we go with picks. You’ll find some old favorites, as well as plenty of new “oh okay, that absolutely looks worth a shot” items. Note that cardmembers get an additional 10% off at checkout with the code BRCARD10.
Core Temp Chinos – $49 ($98)
More than a bit of a legend. Guys… it’s probably time to put on real pants again. But that doesn’t mean you should settle for uncomfortable or super expensive pants. The Core Temp chino from Banana Republic is the best of both comfort, easy good looks, and relative affordability. Yes the Lululemon Warpstreme Commission Pant and ABC chino are just a bit “better” in regards to fit, feel, fabric, and performance… but the Core Temp is lightweight, flexible, breathable, smooth, and suuuper comfortable… all for less than half the price of the Lululemons when on sale (more details comparing the two can be found here). Seven colors to pick from, although some have a better size selection than others at post time.
Really, really good. Size shown above is a 33×30 on 5’10″/190. So what’s the difference between these “luxe” traveler jeans and the traveler jeans they had been making forever? They do wear the same and look pretty similar, but the fabric has been changed from cotton/poly/stretch blend, to something different: 44% cotton, 42% Tencel, 13% polyester, 1% elastane. Still super stretchy, but these are even softer. Yet they still look like jeans. To me, they’re an improvement over the original. Especially because along with the slim fits, they’re now making…
Been like, what, 10 years in the waiting from them to do this?
Getting close to that time when we stash away the super heavy/super warm wool sweaters. This cotton shawl collar number with that sweet honeycomb (HA GET IT) texture should jump right into the void quite nicely. For the cooler days of spring all through the summer nights and on into early autumn. Also available in black.
The fall/winter version of this did super well in the big Henley-palooza we just ran. These look a bit more springified? If such a word exists? Which it does not? Could it for the purposes of this henley?
Dead simple. Which is terrific. Can be worn super dressed down (as shown above) OR dressed up with a suit and tie. And with everything in between. Big fan of the dead-simple Mac style raincoat. And this one, in green, could be a great way to mix in some contrast if you wear blue/navy a lot. From their motion tech line, which is designed to move with you. Which is perfect for outerwear, because anyone who has ever put on a stiff/bulky coat will tell you, fighting against a jacket/coat while you’re wearing it is for the birds.
BR’s take on the clean white sneaker. Much more subtle branding than compared to a Stan Smith, thanks to tonal embossing.
And now the pants those white Nicklas sneakers are shown with. These are BR’s shot at bike commuting pants. Those stripes on the INSIDE of the trouser legs are reflective for high vis at night (cycling, hoverboard, jetpack, etc). I think they’re going after the Lululemon warpstreme line here. Only, y’know, not $128 like the warpstremes are at Lulu. 48% cotton, 48% nylon, 4% spandex here, and they’re claiming stretch, wrinkle resistance, quick dry, etc. The works.
A couple more options in the super simple Nicklas silhouette.
Heads up J. Crew, BR is coming for your t-shirt crown. Uses American grown Supima cotton. Garment Dyed for that vintage look without being, y’know, a ratty old vintage t-shirt. Pocket at the chest keeps things from looking too “undershirty.” Six different colors to pick from.
Because sometimes you just need an affordable dress shirt in a crisp white or sharp pale blue.
Sometimes you just want a super simple, incredibly versatile blucher (not oxford) shoe that you can wear with just about everything.
Organic Soft Wash Henley T-Shirt – $17.25 – $18.25 ($34.50 – $36.50)
100% organic cotton that’s gone through an enzyme wash for extra softness. Hard not to love short sleeve henleys. More interesting than a basic tee, but still super versatile.
Chore coats have been everywhere for a couple years now, and there are no signs of them letting up. In their defense, they are super versatile, and somehow totally classic but minimalistic in a modern way all at the same time. 74% cotton, 26% recycled nylon on these.
Organic Traveler Jogger – $49.25 ($98.50)
For #teamjogger. 98% cotton/2% elastane Italian fabric, just like their traveler 5-pocket pant. Five colors to pick from.
A bit of fun after the long dark winter that was. Could be this year’s shark shirt? The saturated, dark teal, is a fun without being neon bright base.
And now something more subtle for those that don’t want to wear a teal floral pattern shirt.
Traveler Pant in Slim, Athletic Tapered, or Skinny – $49.25 ($98.50)
Often excluded from regular, run of the mill, 40% off promos. But not here. 4.7/5 stars after 2200+ reviews. They’re a jean style chino made with some sort of high-recovery Italian stretch cotton. So, comfort of your favorite pair of jeans, only in chino like colors & finish. Lots of colors to pick from. Full review here. Also available in a traditional chino-style with the welt pockets at the side and rear.
Because it’s never a bad time for a lightweight but strong, merino v-neck sweater. That “responsible” moniker actually has some meaning behind it. 100% extra fine merino wool here.
Annnnnd the obligatory half-zip option.
Large Zip-Top Tote Bag in Camo or Brown – $29.75 ($59.50)
Because after a year of the grocery store being the most exciting place you’ve ventured out to, you start to reconsider the status of your reusable shopping bag situation. That, and beaches should be good this year, right? Open air and all that? These would make a terrific bag for that too.
Hinto Suede Oxford – $79 ($158)
Basic suede lace ups. And if past is prologue, then BR’s shoes (and the suede shoes especially) should deliver for the reasonable price. Wear them now with jeans for a bit of contrast. Wear them with all kinds of light in shade and weight chinos or suit trousers in the warmer weather ahead.
More elevated basics from BR. All cotton, a bit of texture, and that old-school sweats style triangle at the collar, without the bulk or weight of french terry.
BR’s vegan suede is legitimately some of the nicest stuff out there. Head here for a full review, albeit in an old color scheme that’s no longer available. Just black this year.
Washable? Excellent. Maybe a bridge between tech pants and more natural fabrics, being that these don’t need to be sent to the dry cleaner. Super smart looking, but if the reviews are to be believed, that taper is the real deal. So if you’ve been doing calf raises, you might best steer clear.
BR makes a terrific trench every year. And this year appears to be no different. Poly/Nylon/Cotton fabric blend.
Weather/climate depending, it might just be creeping up on polo season in your neck of the woods. These BR Luxe touch polos are a real favorite. They’re all cotton, yet somehow manage to be almost glass smooth, stretchy, and soft. (As if there’s some silk in there.) They’re so smooth they’re almost cool to the touch. Plenty of colors and patterns to pick from, and available in both slim and regular fits. There does seem to be a catch for some though. Many have reported shrinkage problems with these. Especially when it comes to the length. I don’t have this issue, and I can’t tell you why. I wash on warm or cold and dry on medium or cool. Do they shrink up a little in the wash? Maybe. But not to the extremes that I’ve heard. If you’re 6′ or over, maybe order a tall instead of a regular? Precise polo shown above is a large slim fit in one of their basic solids, on 5’10” / 195.
Italian Leather Belt – $29.75 ($59.50)
Gets mentioned a lot for good reason. Think of it as a nicer, slightly dressier version of the (also mentioned a lot) GAP basic belts. Available in cognac, burgundy, black, and the brown shown above.
Button down collar dress shirts, made from their “tech stretch” blend of 57% cotton, 40% COOLMAX (why is it in all caps??) polyester, 3% spandex.
4.5/5 stars after almost 200 reviews. Inexpensive brogue bluchers. Are they gonna be the nicest shoes you ever buy? Probably not. Are they gonna look pretty darn good and can you wear the heck out of them without being overly worried about messing them up? You bet. Available in three different colors.
No bulky kangaroo pocket up front = a plus. All over “links” stitch = another plus. Could convince even the most ardent anti-hoodie people.
Extraordinarily well reviewed. BR’s stand alone wool dress pant. 99% wool and 1% elastane. Great for the
office great for anywhere! They look good with sneakers! (See above.)
Denim Trucker Jacket – $49.25 ($98.50)
A denim trucker in shades that don’t immediately scream “denim trucker”?? (Channels Guinness beer commercial from 15 years ago) Brilliant!
You could do a LOT worse at this price point. A lot worse. Conservative shape. Simple cap toe. Ortholite insole is pretty comfy out of the box. Fit seems true. Maybe a half size small if you don’t wear thin dress socks with them. Are they gonna last you your whole life? Nah. Will they look good with a navy suit for an interview? You bet.
Backordered until… wait for it… early April. But if there was such a thing as a spring/summer hoodie, this would be it. Interesting blend here: 38% flax (linen), 30% super fine merino wool, 19% cashmere, 13% recycled wool. So, expect a bit of texture thanks to the linen, but still some softness thanks to the cashmere.
Solid Silk Pocket Square – $14.75 ($29.50)
Either of these would look terrific in the pocket of a medium gray suit. Big fan of pocket squares with a little bit of contrast at their edge.
***We interrupt this sale post to bring you an in-person review of some of the new BR Standard Athleisure Line***
Editor’s Note: Since it’s launch, the new BR Standard athleisure line has been almost totally excluded from codes and promos. So to see it getting the full fifty percent off is more than a bit of a surprise. The below review/roundup post was supposed to run on its own, but will now be shoehorned into the Friends and Family code because, surprise, the BR Standard line is up for the F&F 50% off. Yes, the BR Standard Review Round Up will still run on its own next week… because… not everyone will find it here/scroll this far down.
SIZING NOTE: Our man Jason wrote the following BR Standard round up. He is 5’7″/175.
The most egregious Hill City clone of the bunch, this REALLY seems like a 1:1 identical shirt to the Train Tee formerly offered by Hill City. And while the Hill City t-shirt was $38, they’ve priced the BR Standard option at an eye-watering $50 (which up until now, hasn’t been up for codes and promos). A comfortable shirt, for sure, with great moisture wicking properties, an athletic cut, and ample stretch and natural movement – but not twice as nice as the MK-1 shirts from Under Armour. Still, if you’re looking for a logo-less, fitted but not shrink-wrapped workout shirt, this fits the bill. If it IS identical to the Hill City version, it should retain shape wash after wash, keep you dry, and wear with all-day comfort. But, so does the MK-1. And therein lies the issue with the value, here. One big advantage if you have an eye toward sustainability: the shirt uses an 80% polyester, 6% spandex, 14% modal fabric blend, with 72% polyester coming from recycled plastic bottles. Size shown is a large on 5’7″/175.
Keep moving, technologically! And boy, do these move. Perhaps the stretchiest item in the group. If your body can handle it, you can do a full split in these. I can’t, but not at fault of the shorts. 100% polyester fabric, like just about everything else in the catalog. These are breezy but not weak, water repellant, and have a zippered pocket in the rear, a zippered pocket at the hip for phone/keys/etc. and 2 open hip pockets for additional storage. The zippered hip pocket is clever – it’s offset from the hip bone, so the zipper itself doesn’t create any discomfort or hotspots the way some zippered hand pockets do on pants or shorts. Smart.
There is no liner, so know that before you buy. The waistband is another smart feature – the drawstrings are tightly contained within the elastic, so as to prevent disappearance into the abyss. We’ve all been there. Only one knock against this item, which keeps it from being best in show – clown pant crotch. The cut in the groin is a bit odd, and causes billowing in this area. It’s not a deal breaker, but depending on your physique it could look a bit off. Size shown is a large on 5’7″/175.
Motion Tech Jacket – $64.50 ($129)
This jacket is the most obvious window into BR’s intentions for the BR Standard brand. More fitness-origin brands are designing and producing non-athletic gear season after season to milk the teat of the athleisure cash cow, and instead of being a true fitness brand (which the train tee and tech short could be part of), BR Standard also offers non-sporting gear in athletic fabrics. The Lululemon effect.
The jacket itself is exactly fine. Nothing noteworthy, while nothing overly offensive either. The 100% polyester fabric, as with the entire launch collection, is stretchy and swishy. I wouldn’t recommend wearing this, and the joggers if you’re trying to sneak up on someone. The fit is true, with a nice athletic cut and room in the shoulders and chest. But, I do wish BR had opted for raglan sleeves, or at least drop the seam a few inches. There’s a crisp shoulder line where the sleeve meets the torso, with a bit of a loft to it. This may soften over time, but out of the package it’s sharp. Your mileage may vary, and you may even love this look! Otherwise, the rest of the jacket works well. Elastic cuffs produce that sporting vibe and keep wind out, while an elastic cinch around the waist can do the same. While the shoulder is a minor quibble, there is one major mark against the jacket for this reviewer. The flap pocket on the upper left chest seems as if it was tacked on after the design phase, as if the production team said, “WE NEED MORE POCKETS!” It feels random and out of place, and the whole jacket would look substantially better without it. It’s an unnecessary detail, and at this price range and in this segment, details make or break a brand’s success. Size shown is a medium on 5’7″/175.
Motion Tech Blazer – $114.50 ($229)
This one is just silly. Yes, this is a blazer built in technical 100% polyester fabric to promote motion, but it’s weirdly cut and it’s just not working. I would not recommend any of you dear readers spend your hard-earned money on this. The cut is straight through the torso with nearly no taper. And that motion? It comes with the classic swish-swish of old school tech fabrics. That’s fine for the joggers, shorts and maybe even the tech jacket, but not for something that’s supposed to look and act like a sportcoat. If other brands can manage to build basic athleisure pieces for the gym and lounging with no swish-swish, a blazer should follow (wait for it) suit. The hidden zip pocket in the sleeve is bizarre. Product photos show this as a stash spot for wireless earbuds, but what’s wrong with regular pockets? I’m not sure who, in the real world, needs a blazer like this. Except, maybe this guy. Size shown is a medium on 5’7″/175.
The final dose of technological motion. The best, was saved for last. I didn’t want to close on a sour note with the dreadful blazer, so we close with the surprisingly above average tech jogger. Again, 100% polyester with noticeable swish-swish, but the stretch is bountiful and beautiful; comfortable for deep squats, lunges, or box jumps. A real go-hard pant for the gym, while properly fulfilling in the athleisure aesthetic, too. Especially when paired with the tech jacket. Lots of zippered pockets to keep your phone, earbuds, wallet, or other necessities for your workout or on-the-go secure, and zippers at the ankles too for added ventilation. Sill pricey at $89 (when there AREN’T sales), but that seems to be the going rate for a hybrid athletic/athleisure pant. Given the dual functionality of the pants, these are the best bang-for-buck of the batch and my top pick. Size shown is a medium on 5’7″/175.
The Banana Republic 50% off Friends and Family event is set to expire on Monday, 3/15. Don’t forget that cardmembers get an additional 10% off at checkout with the code BRCARD10.