I still have vague recollections of quirky little stores with merch sourced from military surplus stores in dubious places (no, you can't have that), travel accessories you'd never need (corduroy canteen cover, anyone?), and a kid's sense of the open road, the romantic, the faraway, the possible...
Banana Republic grew up to be a mall chain selling repetitious office clothes, and I grew up to be, well, me. A nearby branch closed not too long ago, the one with the plaque commemorating Nathan Hale click here to learn more, and I wouldn't have given it a second thought - the plaque is still there, after all - except that I needed a white jacket for what promises to be a tropical heat wave. "Tropical" still makes me think Banana Republic. However, BR stores abroad are staffed by people who want to help you find things, but here in the home of mercantile capitalism, the staff is trained more in an earlier European tradition of wanting you to leave. Fast. Now.
And so my recent BR experiences have been electronic. Not that that's a bad thing, because BR has nothing but sales and markdowns and weird events. Like the 3-hour 30% off everything that happened yesterday. I'm so used to this kind of thing by now that I didn't even open the email, I had to run get my library card renewed before the doors closed. Now those people are helpful. I love the staff at my branch library. I have the shameful feeling that if I had come across any of these kids while they were in high school, "library" is a word that might not have come to mind, but there they are, knowledgeable, helpful, courteous, nose in book when the desk's not busy, and if anybody stops-and-frisks any of them on the way home from work he will have to answer to ME.
I wanted a very lightweight white cotton jacket, one that could be tossed over anything without looking overly cute.
This one. Lists for $130, after the promos du jour, it was $78.00, free shipping, no tax. It's 100% cotton, white piqué, plain white edging, fits like a dream. The lining is poly but it's striped, so I forgive it. The jacket is white-white, it's just the camera angle that's making the detail shots look ivory.
And after having faffed around looking at chambray and denim shirts, I'm keeping this one.
I joyfully note the absence of sleeve straps. Also 100% cotton, true-to-size fit, just fitted enough but not so much that it looks like it forgot where it came from. It's a lovely, deeper, bluer blue than is showing up on my screen. No stupid doodads, just a nice comfortable shirt.
Readying self and friend to go out into the
Brutal Market and Find Things...