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Brooks Brothers - Made to Measure - Page 2

post #16 of 23
Rich: welcome to the Forum; it's great that you're asking about this service. I'm certain that I will one day take part in your MTM program.  I just ordered my first BB suit and the experience was great.  These were already a step up for me and now I've got the bug.  Got great service at your Troy, Michigan store (Kyle).   I agree that the price point has to keep in mind the step-up customer; if you price it like Brioni I wouldn't look at it.  If it's solid value (under 1,000 to start) then it's in play for a much larger segment of the public. I can't comment on fabric selection but would point out that it seems that typical BB customers affiliate more with the British than the Italians, for whatever that's worth.
post #17 of 23
I agree with Son of Brummell that the tailors and fitters are key. Greenfield (& the Brooklyn factory) is an asset agreed. You don't want some kid or someone with little experience measuring you. The salesmen shouldn't call it custom (which it isn't as Brooks did away with their custom program in the 70's as detailed on the front page of the NYT then). I wouldn't offer MTM at every store if you can help it. I just don't think there are enough salesman who know what they are doing. Perhaps confine MTM to the major stores (if this isn't already the case). I want someone with experience, like the Brooks salesmen of old. I'd actually like to see salesmen steer people away from the sillier things like ticket pockets and no vents and whatnot, but you can't have everything and must bow to progress, etc. I think that Italian cloths and digital tailoring are an anthema to the Brooks ethos, what George Frazier called the "Brethren". Digital tailoring is a gimmick -- it's just silly and undignified. I'd take Greenfield or a comparable fitter to a machine anyday. If the new CEO is serious about returning Brooks to the days of old, he'll also ditch these silly and effette Italian cloths and get, in addition to lighter weight British fabrics of 10-12 oz, some heavy British woolens -- also some good tweeds -- like those that the Cloth Club at the Londonlounge.net offered through North Highland Tweed Company in Scotland. I was impressed with their estate tweeds, esp. I have a lot more to say about Brooks but you can read about it and what others think on the askandyaboutclothes.com board. There are several threads about Brooks. Good luck. Horace. PS. If possible, would you put in a word to the RTW department? I'd like to see every suit return to 3 piece.
post #18 of 23
Passing the BB in downtown Atlanta a couple of weeks ago, I saw a suit in the window that looked very nice - soft shoulders, 2 button, side vents, ticket pocket. I asked about it and found it is from the 1818 line - at $798 it looked like a nice work suit. Unfortunately, as with all the BB RTW these days, it has the dreaded reverse pleats. I called my salesman at the Lenox store yesterday to understand more about the options on these suits from the Selects program - unfortunately it's reverse pleats or plain front only - still a nice suit for the money, but would love to see Brooks RTW return to forward pleats throughout the line or at the least offer it as an option in the Selects program. For me, reverse pleats are symbolic of the negative changes at the store - I only became a customer in the early 90s while in college, and even then the veteran salesmen still talked about pleats and darted jackets with some skepticism.
post #19 of 23
an associate of mine said he used the digital BB machine for a mtm and it was such a disaster he did not even buy the suit...... on the other hand st. laurie merchant/tailor in ny uses a similar machine but i have no expereince. im personally waiting fo rthe next greenfiled event
post #20 of 23
For me, reverse pleats are symbolic of the negative changes at the store - I only became a customer in the early 90s while in college, and even then the veteran salesmen still talked about pleats and darted jackets with some skepticism.
I think the last time I shopped at Brooks, save these past two visits for their USA-made buttondowns (which have become really great again), was when they still had forward-pleated trousers. I don't like reverse pleats & won't wear them.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
To all, Great feedback. . .please keep it coming. Let me try to respond to some of the posts to date: 1. English fabrics - there is a place for both English and Italian fabrics but you are correct that many of our customers prefer English fabrics. We are continually adding more. One major change that we have made to our ready made Golden Fleece Collection is that they are all now made with English fabrics exclusively. 2. As for weights of fabrics, we are looking at adding more of a selection in average 12 ounce fabrications. 3. Button selection for shirts. . .good idea. We have added lining and button options for our Golden Fleece MTM Collection and button options, including mother of pearl and logo buttons is worth looking into for dress shirts. 4. Digital Tailoring - in brief terms, it is a white light technology that is used to create a 3D representation of your body. Off of that scan, we take 42 measurements that allow us to make a pattern specifically for you in either tailored clothing or dress shirts. As for the comment about a "fit consultation". . .we do that but maybe not as formally as we could. You have given me an idea that I will work on. . . 5. What is MTM? There are several debates over the term "Custom" and since there is no official definition, many use the term to their advantage. With 187 years of experience, we offer you the following definitions. "Custom" is the process of making a specific garment for a specific person using a modified or created pattern based on fit and style preferences and needs. "Bespoke" and "MTM" are both considered "Custom". "Bespoke" is an artform where a pattern is created by hand (blue pencil design), and the garment is made by hand through a process of fittings and alterations to the garment that is being created for the person. "MTM" is the process of custom making a pattern and garment for a person by electronically creating a new pattern off of an existing pattern. . .we take a series of different measurements and use them to create the new pattern. An MTM garment can be made by hand, machine, or a combination of both. . .and the options and limitations are due less to the method in which the garment is measured but more to the way in which it is made. Since our Golden Fleece MTM is made by hand, we can do almost anything, including armhole modifications. There is also other terms like a "Modifed Make" or "Two Cut Make" that are sometimes confused with MTM. These terms define programs that allow for limited modifications such as sleeve length and waist size, but don't allow for changes to things like the balance of the coat. 6. Additional Alterations - again, in Golden Fleece - MTM, we can do quite a bit. Perhaps we need to do more to advertise this fact. And yes, much of how a suit turns out is due to the tailor and how they interpret their measurements and your preferences. 7. Thank you for the compliment regarding Ty Kennedy. . .yes, he is great. His father used to work for Brooks Brothers so we have generations of experience with us. 8. Jay Walter is a wonderful part of our organization. . .I will share your comments with him. David was a loss to us, but we do have several fine tailors that I think you will be quite please with. Alfredo in Madison Avenue is one of my personal favorites. 9. I have had the priviledge of traveling with Mr. Greenfield cross country and he is indeed an ambassador for our brand. He has also been a wonderful teacher and mentor. 10. I will pass along your comments on Kyle in Troy. We have a great team there and the store is one of our new models. . .a real return to the way clothing stores should look. I hope I haven't missed anything. A couple of you have left me direct messages which I will be returning personally. And of course, I look forward to more of your comments. Rich Honiball Brooks Brothers / Special Order Department
post #22 of 23
Nice to know that someone on the inside cares about this stuff. I've never really been a regular Brooks customer-- I look forward to having reason to change that.
post #23 of 23
I just took the time to read through this thread, and I'm glad I did. I'm very impressed that Rich took the time to stop by and listen to the gripe session. I'm not a candidate for Brooks MTM at this point as my wife would shoot me if I suggested spending that much on a suit, but I have great fondness for Brooks and their clothing. (I've really been looking at those Peal monks lately.) I was first introduced to Brooks by reading Bruce Boyer's Elegance in college (we didn't have a lot of BB's in Eastern Kentucky). I promptly began ordering the traditional oxford button down, and the majority of my dress shirts have been Brooks Bros. since that time. Boyer placed in my sartorially impressionable mind an idea of Brooks as the beau ideal of American clothing. In many ways I continue to see Brooks as the default position by which other things are measured. I'm thrilled to see Brooks make a solid return to its roots. I think all of us have to recognize the reality of a BBs that operates throughout the country and must cater to modern tastes to some degree. The new Brooks can never be the Brooks of 50-75 years ago, but that doesn't mean it can't be a very good Brooks. Some things, like a USA made Supima button-down, should never, ever change. I think there is also great value to merchants using SF and Ask Andy for market research. I think that Chuck of Carlo Franco has shown the value of it. Clearly Rider has benefitted from it. I recognize they are smaller and more nimble operations, but I truly believe that a place like Brooks can learn from the knowledge on these boards. I think if other merchants would do the same, everyone would benefit. Thanks for stopping by, Rich.
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