About the Author: Adam Terry is a thirtysomething salesman in the HVAC and hydronics industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, raw denim, and working on his
dad bod father figure.
Sales of giftcards were up, wait for it, 43% this past holiday season. So chances aren’t half bad that you received a piece of that fantastic plastic, and now it’s burning a hole in your pocket. Or sitting somewhere in a drawer, waiting to be forgotten. In this series titled How to Spend It, we search and sift through some popular, gift-card producing retailers, curating a handful of items at various price points to show you what’s available. Specific sales and available sizes can vary greatly, so check the website or your local store often for the best deals.
Brand Note: Years ago, the bulk of my work wardrobe was from Banana Republic. They really nailed that upper rung of “mall brand” business casual style with decent suits, trim fitting dress shirts, silky wool slacks, and some of the best fitting chinos around. As a fledgling adult, their constant 30-40% off coupons helped me dress well on a budget, too. As my career shifted to a more modern and casual polo and khaki style, I personally abandoned Gap’s upper echelon for J.Crew.
Via their Instagram. BR’s Late 2021 brand reboot really leans into their stylistic history.
Meaning: Accessible Luxury Explorer-Person. Or something like that.
But they do plenty of contemporary basics too.
So it’s been a long time since I’ve honestly shopped at Banana (editor’s note: how dare you) and let me tell you what, their style has really evolved! Their 2022 New Arrivals section is chock full of warm khaki, brown, and green Earth tones. Their shirts and pants are cut in more relaxed fits, echoing menswear’s general preference over the past few years. I’m really digging their sweaters, knit blazers, and fantastic looking outerwear.
PRICING NOTE: BR has really cooled off on sales and promos since Black Friday/Cyber Monday. So prices at present will look to long-term customers as a little inflated. Paying full price at Banana Republic? For real? Well, with inflation and supply chains, maybe the answer, for now, is: Yes.
For the sake of the experiment, we’ll move forward with the MSRP (I know, don’t faint). But I’d wait for one of those 40% off codes to maximize the value of my gift cards.
- Luxe Touch Performance Long-Sleeve T-Shirt – $50
- Authentic SUPIMA Cotton Crew Neck Plain Pocket T-Shirt – $40
- Washable 100% Merino Wool Beanie – $50
- Ultra No-Show Socks 2-Pack with Coolmax – $20
- Organic Cotton Soft Wash Long-Sleeve Henley T-Shirt – $40 ($50)
- Organic Cotton Pique Polo – $45
- Striped “Freddy” Cotton/Poly Boot Socks – $16 ($20)
- Authentic SUPIMA Cotton Crew Neck Stripe Pocket T-Shirt – $40
- Organic Cotton Soft Wash Short-Sleeve Henley T-Shirt – $37
Elevated basics fill the sub-$50 tier, including some fantastic Supima cotton and Luxe Touch tees. Lots of accessories also fall into this price tier and you might just be surprised at how comfortable their Coolmax socks can be. If it’s still cold in your neck of the woods, Banana’s washable merino wool hats and scarves are a worthy purchase.
- Luxe-Touch Performance Polo – $55
- Untucked Standard-Fit Flannel Shirt – $60 ($89.50)
- Slim Fit Tech-Stretch Cotton Short-Sleeve Shirt – $80
- Tapered Fit Stretch Traveler Pants – $99
- Untucked Organic Cotton Oxford Shirt – $70
- Italian merino Crew-Neck Sweater – $99
- Linen/Cotton Resort Shirt – $70
- Sutter Wayfarer-Style Sunglasses in “Dark Havana” – $78
- Crocodile-Embossed Leather Dress Belt – $80
- Heritage Expedition Linen/Cotton Shirt – $90
- Straight Fit Rapid Movement Stretch Chinos – $98
- Denim Trucker Jacket – $99
This price tier includes a lot of the core Banana Republic pieces like their Luxe Touch polos, Oxford shirts, and Rapid Movement chinos. If you’d like to branch out a bit and experiment with some new styles, try a linen blend resort shirt!
- Tapered Fit WATERSHED Mill Valley Denim Stretch Jeans – $95 ($120)
- Corduroy Trucker Jacket – $150
- Nicklas Leather Sneakers – $150
- Tanner Leather Chelsea Boots – $178
- Water-Resistant Field Jacket – $170
- Haywood Leather Moc-Toe Boots – $198
- Brendt Suede Crepe-Sole Chukka Boots – $180
- Fuzzy Stripe Recycled Wool/Alpaca/Nylon Sweater – $105 ($150)
- Merino Submariner Sweater – $150
- Hinto Italian Leather “Oxford” Derbies – $158
- Tapered Italian Wool Perfect Dress Pants – $160
- Cashmere Sweater Hoodie – $170
- Heritage Organic Cotton Cargo Pants – $109
If you’re in the market for some new pants – either chinos or denim – you should check out the latest options from Team Banana. Their denim comes in various fits and washes (I prefer a versatile darker wash). Speaking of branching out and trying something new, military-inspired cargo pants are back on the menu in tapered fits. To pull those off without looking like you got lost in 2005, lean into a military or safari/explorer-inspired aesthetic.
- Fuzzy Alpaca/Nylon Cardigan Sweater – $140 ($200)
- Utility Shawl-Collar Recycled Wool/Nylon Cardigan Sweater – $140 ($200)
- Italian Melton Wool/Nylon Peacoat with Shearling Collar – $450
- Italian Marzotto Wool Stretch Suit Jacket $495 + Suit Pants $169 = $664
- Italian Emmetex Wool Stretch Herringbone Blazer – $398
- Heritage 100% Goat Suede Trucker Jacket – $498
- Heritage Rider Suede Moto Boot – $200
- Puffer 80/20 Recycled Down-Filled Snorkel Parka – $400
- Italian Vitale Barberis Canonico Flannel 120s Wool Blazer – $400 (Fantastic fabric, casual cut.)
If you were lucky enough to receive a few gift cards, or you’re looking to invest a bit more into something nicer that will last for many years, you’ll do well to pick up one of these suits, outerwear jackets, or sweet moto boots.