Banana Republic founder Mel Ziegler once described the company as "what Levi's was to denim," Banana Republic is to khaki. San Francisco-based Banana Republic has been a subsidiary of The Gap since 1983. The clothing at Banana Republic historically had a classic safari feel, with a bit of military-inspired looks thrown in for good measure. Its clothing today is more casually elegant and suitable for young professionals at work as well as for cruise wear. The comfort is still there and the crisp clothing travels well. The company's success has spawned an industry of imitators, but there are ways to spot fake Banana Republic clothing.
Study the latest Banana Republic styles at the company's stores, factory outlets or on the website. Third party distributors do not sell Banana Republic clothing.
Check for the Banana Republic logo on its clothing labels that also show the size. The whole logo name should appear in crisp capital letters.
Look for a "joker tag" that's sewn into the clothing. This tag contains the product style code as well as the season and the year of manufacture. Find it sewn into the left-hand inseam on tops, at the hem on skirts and dresses, and near the zipper in slacks.
Investigate for quality stitching and overall workmanship. Look for the fine details that are expected of name brand clothing. Make sure all buttons and zippers are not loose and work properly.
Banana Republic's factory stores sell similar clothing to the retail stories, but also carry more casual styles. Pricing is cheaper because there is not as much detailing or fabrication as at the retail stores.
The only way to be sure to purchase real Banana Republic clothing is to shop from the company.