Originally Posted by DocHolliday
Really, I think that in addition to Brooks' well-known troubles, it simply got left behind.
But the Brooks stuff I have from the golden age -- which was, admittedly, before my time -- doesn't offer that, either. It was good, honest clothing that you bought because it would last a good while. In that regard, I don't think modern Brooks is too far off the mark. Sure, it could be better, ought to be better, but at least it's still here.
I see what you're saying, but I think that for most of its history, Brooks aimed at a much higher standard than what you're describing...much more than "good, honest" clothing, although that certainly was a element of its very American worldview.
If you said, instead, that Brooks used to aim at the "best, honest" clothing...where the phrase meant never cutting corners, then that is the Brooks that I remember. It was the luxury of knowing that whatever you bought was essentially made without compromise, high quality accessible to all. Even if the products were not democratic, there was a democratic impulse to the sence of excellence.
I am romanticizing it a little bit, of course. But I do think that they stopped aiming at being the best around the early eighties when they were tossed into the global brand pile. Their quality might have been deteriorating even before then...but I think the sense of defeat became open when they were sold off to Allied Stores.