Banana Republic Pima Undershirt Changed (For the Worse?)

October 29, 2016 | By | 6 Replies More

Has Banana Republic ruined their popular Pima Cotton Tee?

Hey Tug,

Has anyone reached out to you regarding Banana Republic changing their perfect Pima premium undershirt to a horrible performance undershirt?

Check out the reviews to see how everyone is complaining about them (link)

Now looking for a replacement which had the same higher v neck, thicker material, and looser (on the tummy) fit.

Any thoughts?

Here’s a pic:



Banana Republic Pima Cotton Tee

heya shahryar,

good to hear from you buddy and thanks for your question!

i had not heard that the banana republic pima cotton tees had gotten worse, so thanks for sharing that news with me.

in looking back, i see the blends banana republic used to use was a pima cotton / lycra (or spandex) blend of 96/4 or 95/5.

now the blend is pima cotton & modal.

i could see how that could make for a lighter t-shirt, but personally it sounds like a blend i would like.

of course, it may be of shitty quality, so that’s not good at all — but the blend itself is pretty solid in my book, so i wouldn’t blame it on the blend.

as a t-shirt, the weight should be heavier, but there are lots of guys that like lighter-weight tees, so maybe banana republic is trying to get ahead of this transition, but isn’t delivering a quality product.

unfortunately, it sounds like they’ve disappointed a lot of prior customers with the change to a lighter blend.

the photos on your twitter didn’t seem to help much.

i couldn’t discern why the new banana republic v-neck pima cotton / modal tee shirt was worse than your old one from your photo.

if you’re looking for alternate v-neck t-shirts, you should check out this article:

you’re bound to find some good options in that article (:

if you find something from that article that you love, be sure to email me back and let me know which one it was!!

Tighter Fit, Deeper V-Neck

Shahryar got back to me with some additional thoughts:

Wow, what a detailed, thoughtful response.

I wish I took better pictures of the old Pima undershirts alongside the new ones.

I could live with the lighter fabric if I needed to.

In fact, BR a decade or so ago had another great undershirt which had Lycra for a stretchy effect AND a neck that didn’t get bunched up.

It was rolled up – I think the correct term is ribbed? I’m not sure.

The shirt was very light. It didn’t last long but I loved how it sat underneath other shirts.

But it was the combination of the larger/deeper v-neck and tighter fit on the tummy that made the new “Pima performance tee” a deal killer.

I took the new undershirts back.

I’ll definitely check out the alternatives you linked to and let you know what works out for me.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond. I’m definitely sharing your site and FB page.

On your end, I think a post addressing the new BR undershirts with what you said to me could definitely get some reads because there’s a lot of people out there shaken up by BR’s move as you saw in the comments.

Looking forward to talking to you again. Thanks for the site.

You’re doing God’s work with it for us men.

Banana Republic Pima Cotton / Modal Tee

Have you tried it? Were you a fan of the Pima / Spandex version?

Tell me about in the comments section below.


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Category: Ask Tug

About the Author ()

Tug is the world's undershirt expert. He is also one of the most knowledgeable individuals on sweat management solutions, men's shapewear, grooming, and new fabric technologies. Got a question? Visit Tug's contact page and hit him up.

Comments (6)

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  1. Peter


    The new version is terrible. It probably makes a fine undershirt, but its a terrible tee shirt.

    Tissue thin, much more stretchy, and it feels like they went for a tighter fit all around from the previous shirt.

    If you have washboard abs, this is your shirt.

    If you have any body fat at all, this will make you look like an overstuffed sausage.

  2. Patrick Rocheleau


    Well, Tugs as you know, it’s all about cost and profit. Spandex/elastane is really expensive as fabrics components go.

    I’m not surprised that it would be replace with a low cost fiber like modal. I’ve noticed that most modal component shirts don’t stay white very long.

    I know that optical brighteners are used to treat most polyester fabrics to make them appear whiter but that stuff does wash off after a while. Anyway so goes the apparel Industry.

    New isn’t always better.

    • Tug says:

      heya patrick! nice to see you here again (:

      yeah, modal (viscose or rayon) is a tricky yarn. blended correctly, it can make an incredibly comfortable shirt (fabric).

      but, the most notable issue with modal is how it will pill (or fibrillate). not that it wears out faster, but it looks like it’s wearing out because of the pilling.

      now, i’ve had some viscose-based underwear that have very low pilling, after years of use. conversely, i’ve received some viscose-based undershirts that pill upon first wear.

      i know there are different variations of viscose/rayon, with some being low-pill, but as a consumer, we’ll never know what quality of viscose a product is made from while purchasing it.

      you could infer that modal (lenzing’s viscose product) is a better quality, but i’ve seen some stuff labeled as modal that pills fairly quickly.

      on the coloring, i haven’t yet noticed issues with color-fade on viscose/rayon tees/undershirts yet, but i’ll definitely keep my eye out for that.

      thanks again for sharing your valuable insight! see you here again soon!

  3. Dan Fuller says:

    Tug, I posted about this in May :)

    Just giving you a hard time – keep up the great work with the site! (I agree with this reader’s comments about you doing the lord’s work!)

    • Tug says:

      heya dan! good to hear back from you buddy!

      ah, well my friend — may i return the favor of giving a hard time?

      the banana republic performance stretch tee you were referring to was a blend of 57% pima cotton, 38% modal, 5% spandex.

      the new (or current) banana republic performance stretch tee is now 60% pima cotton, 40% modal (:

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