This Banana Republic Suede Trucker Is the Best $500 You’ll Spend All Spring

This Banana Republic Suede Trucker Is the Best 0 You’ll Spend All Spring


If the last time you were inside a Banana Republic store was closer to the first Avatar movie than the sequel, it might be time to hoof it to the local mall. (The Way of the Water: also streaming now!) Banana Republic, the all-American outfitter founded in the late ’70s, is in the midst of a historic menswear glow-up, a triumphant return to the rugged staples the brand once specialized in.

I realize that Banana Republic probably fell off your radar over the last few years, when it started hawking the slim, milquetoast office gear that defined much of the 2010s. These days, though, BR is doubling down on what made it such a behemoth in the first place: subtle, heritage-inspired clothing crafted from fabrics so premium “designer-adjacent” doesn’t quite do ‘em justice. Sure, the product flats leave a lot to be desired, but that’s where your buds at GQ Recommends come in. Because trawling the brand’s website earlier this week, my open mind and discerning eye spotted an absolute doozy of a suede jacket, one I’d first clocked in 2022 but had forgotten about since.

Back then, I nearly mistook BR’s suede trucker for the work of a different designer—y’know, the one whose $10,000 jackets show up on red carpets more frequently than the E! News team. It scans so luxe it bamboozled us, the so-called experts, a mortifying moment for our team…and a huge compliment to BR. But now that I’ve taken a closer gander, I think we were a little too hard on ourselves. The just-right cropped fit, the throwback details, the dusty neutral tones: this jacket would trick any trigger-happy paparazzo—or eagle-eyed online shopper—into thinking its wearer was famous. And at $500, it’s just about the best bang-for-your-buck option the genre has to offer.

New leather jackets can feel restricting and stiff, but BR’s is buttery and pliable. In person, the goat suede is just as luscious as it looks, which means the break-in period is blessedly non-existent. Lighter-weight suede jackets can also skew flimsy, but this one feels satisfyingly substantial; I’m confident I’ll be wearing it long enough for it to accrue some really good patina.

Mmmm, butter.

Photo Courtesy of Gerald Ortiz

Part of that confidence, of course, stems from the jacket’s Goldilocks fit: true to size, and cropped to sit riiiiight at the hips. But the most crucial factor here is the fabric. Leather and suede are the same material, just processed differently. But leather jackets are the sort of intimidating garment that come with an invisible ‘Must be this cool to wear’ sign. Suede jackets, on the other hand, are a lot more approachable. Suede is soft, supple, and designed to drape elegantly, and its nappy texture feels like a not-too-distant relative of brushed fleece—while still exuding an unmistakable movie-star wattage guys like Ryan Reynolds and Michael B. Jordan tap into regularly.

If you’re looking for a similar option, the next step up is at least twice the price. You could wait until BR’s next wave, but, man, the water’s great right now.



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