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Brands that mean mediocrity - Page 4

post #46 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post
I'd rather have Brooks around in some form than not at all, even if it can't scale the glorious heights of yesteryear.
+1, Although I've not been as excited by Brooks lately, I can still shop only there for my clothing and accessory needs if I had to do so. I want them to stick around for sure.
post #47 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post
And then there's ... this: Look at those ties, and how those ties are tied,
That's how voxsartoria ties his ties...
post #48 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkoak View Post
That's how voxsartoria ties his ties...

Ruh roh...

- B
post #49 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post
I'd rather have Brooks around in some form than not at all, even if it can't scale the glorious heights of yesteryear.

I guess that I agree with that. Some of the accessories and shoes are nice.

- B
post #50 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverrun View Post
Rubinacci.

You're joking, right? Rubinacci is absolutely one of the best on Earth, riverrun.
post #51 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by OxxfordSJLINY View Post
You're joking, right? Rubinacci is absolutely one of the best on Earth, riverrun.

True, if we exclude their watches.

- B
post #52 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post
And then there's ... this:




The DJ is not bad but I would agree that the rest are questionable at best.
post #53 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by OxxfordSJLINY View Post
You're joking, right? Rubinacci is absolutely one of the best on Earth, riverrun.

post #54 of 193
Brooks Brothers does make some truly mediocre gestures toward luxury living, but in general I don't think it's right to judge them as a luxury brand. The seersucker suits, the silk robes, the fun shirts, the dandy shoes, and the weird regatta sports coats are peripheral to their core business and aesthetic, which is much too "yankee" to be luxurious. "Yankee luxury" is an oxymoron.

Off-the-rack tailored clothing is not luxurious, as someone noted, and the Brooks stuff is especially dedicated to the workplace. Workwear, even professional workwear, is never luxurious. Luxury is about leisure.

Paul Stuart makes an attempt to sell OTR tailored clothing as luxury wear. They do up their suits in a way that few American men would ever do for work. That's the point. It generally fails because Americans do not regard the suit, no matter how luxe, as casual clothing. A solid if not overwhelming majority of professional American men would never ever wear another suit, if they can help it, should they retire to a life of fantastic luxury.

I don't get the comparison of the Newbury BB to the Gap, either. I guess they do look a little like the Gap with their rows and piles of polo shirts and non-iron dress shirts, but that is a pretty beautiful store with small, urban rooms and other details (that staircase, the wood paneling) that I've never seen in a Gap. Some of the outlet-mall 346 stores look much more like a Gap than the Newbury location.
post #55 of 193
What do you think of the Newbury St Brooks post-renovation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
Brooks Brothers does make some truly mediocre gestures toward luxury living, but in general I don't think it's right to judge them as a luxury brand. The seersucker suits, the silk robes, the fun shirts, the dandy shoes, and the weird regatta sports coats are peripheral to their core business and aesthetic, which is much too "yankee" to be luxurious. "Yankee luxury" is an oxymoron.

Off-the-rack tailored clothing is not luxurious, as someone noted, and the Brooks stuff is especially dedicated to the workplace. Workwear, even professional workwear, is never luxurious. Luxury is about leisure.

Paul Stuart makes an attempt to sell OTR tailored clothing as luxury wear. They do up their suits in a way that few American men would ever do for work. That's the point. It generally fails because Americans do not regard the suit, no matter how luxe, as casual clothing. A solid if not overwhelming majority of professional American men would never ever wear another suit, if they can help it, should they retire to a life of fantastic luxury.

I don't get the comparison of the Newbury BB to the Gap, either. I guess they do look a little like the Gap with their rows and piles of polo shirts and non-iron dress shirts, but that is a pretty beautiful store with small, urban rooms and other details (that staircase, the wood paneling) that I've never seen in a Gap. Some of the outlet-mall 346 stores look much more like a Gap than the Newbury location.
post #56 of 193
I think the PS webpix' styling makes the coats look worse than they are. Those coats are pinned even more than at polo.com. For true American mediocrity, I nominate: Haband and John Blair Get your head out of the clouds!
post #57 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
I wasn't aware we were talking about the websites! Silly me, I thought we were talking about the clothes, their quality, etc...
My point isn't that I don't like the site design, but that I don't like the clothes or how those clothes are presented and sold.
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
I guess that I agree with that. Some of the accessories and shoes are nice.
In a way, I'm arguing against my own point. Brooks, as Dewey notes, is not really trying to be a luxury retailer. If we define mediocre as offering good if not exceptional merchandise for a relatively affordable price, then yes, that's Brooks. But in this day and age, when there's an growing chasm between the dross most stores sell and increasingly high-dollar RTW, it's nice that there's still a place where a guy can go and buy himself a full-canvas suit, some welted shoes, a reasonably priced tie and a classic buttondown. And he'll take that stuff home knowing Brooks will stand behind it. There aren't many stores left in this country that we can say that about. Really, I think that in addition to Brooks' well-known troubles, it simply got left behind. There seems to be an arms race in RTW these days, with shirtings growing more and more "luxurious" and tailored clothing offering more and more pickstitching/handwork and shoes offering fancier and fancier waist treatments. This is all packaged and sold as luxury, and Brooks doesn't do that very well. 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.
post #58 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post
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.


- B
post #59 of 193
In my NorCal childhood, Patrick James was where you went for OK stuff that didn't cost a lot. Patrick James was very similar to Brooks in styling, at least it tried to be. But it was fairly open about not trying to compete on quality.

Brooks on the other hand had a reputation for top of the line stuff. This was in an era before the Italian handmade craze. At least, no one we knew shopped at Wilkes (though probably someone my father worked with must have). A trip to Brooks for something for me was an unusual event, at least until I got older. Mother just didn't think I was worth it. *sniff*

I remember reading an article about the Capitola Mall. One of the developers was describing the target client and store, and said something like "We're not looking to open a Brooks Brothers down here. That's not our customer, and we know it." That was the late '80s, so the afterglow of the reputation still held.
post #60 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
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.


- B

I think you're right about the deterioration. But I don't think Brooks could exist today offering what SF considers the "best" clothing. Much of what is now adored here strikes me as offering little practical advantage -- I don't care, for example, whether my RTW shirt was stitched by hand by a little old lady in the hills of Italy, and I'd rather have it be sturdy than luxurious. Were Brooks to bring in, say, G&G and Vass as its shoes, and subsequently doubled or tripled its prices, I imagine that experiment would fail in short order.

I would not mind judging Brooks' merch by the "best" standards of 1964, but the world of RTW is different now. Personally, I don't think all the changes have been for the better.
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