Banana Republic Pima Undershirt Changed (For the Worse?)

Has Banana Republic ruined their popular Banana Republic 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 Modal Tee Compared To Pima Spandex Tee

Shahryar

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.

looking back, though, 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’ll definitely find some good options in that article (:

ultimately, if you find something from that article that you love, email me back and let me know!!

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.

You know, 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.

23 thoughts on “Banana Republic Pima Undershirt Changed (For the Worse?)”

  1. Continuing this long-running thread: I’ve found a workable replacement!

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charles-Wilson-Comfort-Stretch-T-Shirt/dp/B07RS4F59M/

    Just taken delivery of a few of these and they’re VERY like the old 4% elastane 96% Pima Banana Republic T shirt, of which I went through at least 20 and still wearable after five years or more.

    These are 5% spandex, so VERY similar in stretch and feel to BR’s much-missed classic. Note: they seem sized slightly larger – I was an L at BR but between an M and L in these.

    Good luck – perhaps we can all stop pining for pima!

    Reply
  2. Just stopping by to ask if anyone is yet to find a suitable replacement for the best t-shirts ever created or if I should keep crying myself to sleep every night. These were the best shirts ever. I’ve tried so many alternatives, (a few mentioned in this thread) but am yet to find a replacement. :(

    Reply
  3. Hey guys,

    I’ve never posted to a clothing forum before, but the old Pima Stretch 96/4 combo was my staple.

    It was an all-purpose shirt – could wear it out, to the gym, and under a dress shirt with max comfort and (imho) an understated, elegant style.

    And they were so durable – could last 75 to 100 washes before wearing out. The new shirts are horrible and come nowhere close.

    It took one touch to realize the difference. I tried a few on, hoping my first shirt was a random dud, but they were all generally inferior product.

    Tragedy. I will be following this thread closely, looking for a replacement.

    Reply
    • thanks shouvik!

      i poked around the banana republic website, and i can’t find any sign of the pima performance undershirt originally mentioned in this article.

      nor can i find any other tee or undershirt that has either a pima/spandex or pima modal blend.

      maybe they got so many complaints, they discontinued the pima modal blend.

      some folks over on reddit (link) discussed this as well, and came up with these recommendations:
      – Next Level 3600 tee
      – Next Level CVC/N6210 (stretchier)
      – Express super soft crew necks & v-necks
      Son of a Tailor [though these are more higher-end & higher priced custom t-shirts]

      good luck & please keep me posted on your search!

      Reply
      • Hello

        Thank you for your e-mail regarding the performance stretch tees you described. At this time, the item number you provided is no longer available, and we do not have any information regarding stock dates for current or future merchandise at this time. We apologize for any disappointment or inconvenience this may cause.

        As a fashion retailer, we continually strive to create new designs and, as a result, our collections are constantly changing. We frequently bring popular products back, so we will be sure to share with our merchandising team your desire to see this product in the future.

        If we may be of further assistance, please contact us at [email protected] or by calling 1-888-BR-STYLE (1-888-277-8953).

        Sincerely,

        Sha
        Customer Service Consultant

        ————— Original Message ———–
        Sent: 2/11/2019 2:23 PM
        To: [email protected]
        Subject: 54023

        I purchased a bunch of the Pima performance stretch tees 54023. The combo of pima cotton modal and Lycra spandex was perfect.

  4. Banana’s new tees are terrible. I loved the old Pima Stretch Tee & Now I’m looking for an alternative. Please let me know if anyone finds something similar. My tees were all extra tall/long. That is hard to find too.

    Banana also got rid of the Dawson Chinos. Best chinos ever made. It makes no sense to discontinue staple items. Levi’s didn’t discontinue the 501’s when they started offering different fits. Brands should never lose their base. I’m disgusted that they did this.

    Reply
    • heya scott — have you tried the cotton/spandex alfani stretch “tees” (undershirts) from macys?

      in the past, they were reasonably good undershirts for the price.

      or, are you actually looking for an outerwear t-shirt? what price point are you looking for?

      Reply
  5. Hey Tug,

    Great website and info! I know this is an old thread but I wanted to mention, the “original Pima T’ is back!

    The bad news is I live in Vancouver, BC (Canada) and they are totally out of stock of black large v necks in my province and even online here in Canada! Bananas!!! lol

    That said, I hope we get some in stock soon… love these Ts and in need of replacing my 3 original Pima V Necks asap.

    Here’s the (link)… Cheers.

    Reply
    • hey t — thanks for that info!

      in looking at some history, the original banana republic pima tee (undershirt) was a blend of pima cotton and spandex.

      the “original pima vee” from banana republic that you referred to is made from 100% pima cotton.

      so, i’m not sure this is the exact same banana republic tee that we’ve been talking about, but thanks for letting us know about it!

      Reply
  6. Tug,
    I am a HUGE fan of the Banana Republic 96% Pima 4% Spandex crew neck T-Shirt and when I last went to restock, I was shocked by the new “Performance” version they tried to roll out.

    One feel of the fabric and it was a no go for me.

    It was just so much thinner than the old blend and it seemed like the collar was one wash away from bacon neck.

    I don’t blame Banana Republic for trying to make money, I just need to find a solution that gets me a lifetime supply of the old version.

    I would gladly spend $1000 on T-shirts right now if they could bring back my old faithful.

    Thanks,
    Max

    Reply
    • I swear the change of that beloved t-shirt is the most infuriating thing.

      And you are spot-on with the bacon neck thing – after a few washes you might as well throw these in the trash. I cannot find an equal to the original Pima Stretch Crew anywhere.

      It was a unicorn but BR turned it into a steaming pile of garbage.

      Reply
    • Agree. I love the cotton/spandex. I just bought the last blue ones online. Tried the news one and hate it. Too heavy. Who cares if fabric is now more expensive, charge more or give options.

      I also wear them to work out and I love the light feel when working out. May have to check out the Macy’s option.

      Seems like others really like them as well. Hope BR reads these posts.

      Reply
  7. 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.

    Reply
    • I don’t know… maybe the V-necks are different but with the Crews, if you were to compare equal sizes the new ones feel like more of a loose fit. The neck especially, I might as well be wearing a v-neck.

      Reply
  8. 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.

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
    • 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 (:

      Reply

Leave a Comment


Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.