The Weather

Shop Now: Subject Lines from Banana Republic Emails, Interpreted


“A brand new way to wear pants.”

Pants: you don’t have to wear them on just your legs anymore. You can wear them as scarves, or wear them as capes. You can wear them on your head. You can slip your arms into their legs and span them across your back, and then wear them as a bolero jacket. There are all sorts of ways to wear pants. What Banana Republic is saying here with this subject line is that it has discovered one specific and brand-new way. Shop Now.


“Pick your fit: the non-iron shirt.”

What Banana Republic is saying here is that most Banana Republic shirts are laced with iron, but not the non-iron shirt: the non-iron shirt is laced with lead. Lead is impressively toxic—there quite literally is no known quantity of lead that will not cause you harm! On the other hand, lead is known to drive people’s minds a little off the beaten path, which makes this the perfect party shirt. And you can pick your fit because lead is more malleable than iron. You want crazy nights? You’ll get ’em! Shop Now.


“It’s a True, True Summer.”

There are true summers and false summers. True summers are just summers. False summers are winters. Then there are true, true summers, which are doubly true. There are also false, false summers, which are just plain summers, because a false summer is a winter and a false winter is a summer. You can have true, false summers, which again are winters, and false, true summers, which also again are winters. Shop Now.


“The easiest way to look awesome.”

The easiest way to look awesome is to look like a Banana Republic model. If you then choose to also wear clothes, Banana Republic hopes those clothes are from Banana Republic. Shop Now.


“How to save your Monday morning.”

Banana Republic understands you. Yes, you. It knows you feel alone. It knows you feel, and/or are, shiftless. It knows you thought you were an intellectual, a “knowledge worker”, only to discover you are nothing but staff, barely distinguishable from your neighbor and conspicuously replaceable by hungry youth who were your interns only last summer and whose arms are toned and whose thighs are lithe. And it knows the true nature of your Monday morning. Yes, your Monday morning. Your Monday morning is so awful, it would incarnate itself if it could, just so that it could venture into your garage, close the doors, sit in the car, start the car, and then not go anywhere. You wake up in bed and you lie there, still, a lethargic haze surrounding your head like smog over cities you wish you could travel to and whose native tongues you will never speak, you lie there aware of little but the cooling of the spit on your pillow, a pool of it that riles you yet does not prompt you to move, and you think back to your days studying chemistry and wonder about the process of this cooling, the discrete, atomic mechanics of this process you once understood—something about electrons, or atoms shedding energy in the form of heat, like your life, shedding energy, in the form of heat… or maybe it’s hot only because your comforter is heavy for summer but you were too lazy to change it because slipping covers off and onto comforters is a damnable activity. Your life is a stasis which, while inherently static is, also, somehow, degenerating. Slowly. Shedding heat. And your friends, who all have lives, aims, and goals, and who have had failures but also successes while you—yes, you—lie in bed, naked not because it is sexy to be naked but because it was too hard to put on pajamas last night; and that hungry youth who you were so nice to last summer, she surely springs out of bed like a gazelle escaping a cheetah, or like a cheetah after a gazelle—either way the point is she’s spry, damnit, and she too is naked but she is naked because it is sexy to be so, her thighs curved as if drawn by a lonely male animator, and lovingly dappled by diamonds of sunlight. You—yes, you—you look down at yourself and what do you see? Pancake batter. Your thighs and your love handles, pressed by gravity into your sweat-dampened bed sheets, oozing across your cloistered bed like batter across a pan, and then your eyes travel to the other parts of you, parts that do not appear as ideally as they might appear if you were wearing Banana Republic undergarments. What Banana Republic is saying here with this subject line is that those undergarments are 40% off this Monday morning. Shop Now.


“Make a wish—it could come true!”

This offer ends tomorrow. That is the first line of the marketing email attached to this subject line. You might be so excited by the promise of the subject line that you will actually open the email, and if you do, that’s what you’ll see. What Banana Republic is telling you here is that after tomorrow, you cannot make a wish. Shop Now.



Daniel Brauer’s writing, mostly fiction, has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Keyhole Magazine, Wag’s Revue, and a few other places. It is forthcoming in Gigantic. He tweets, poorly, here: @danbrauer.