Brooks Brothers 346?
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I picked up two 346 shirts to try, and they do not see the light of day after I tried one for a day.
not the best quality...I have 2-3 shirts for beater wear...look for 1818 luxury line items as they have a few once in while...you may even get lucky with some Black/Golden Fleece...BB has their semi-annual sale going on right now. you may find some items that you need at discounted prices...
I live about 15 minutes from an outlet mall with a Brooks Brothers factory store. It's yielded some casual and dress shirts. Their casual madras shirts were nothing special (hardly anybody's are), while the 346 dress shirts (slim fit non-iron stretch, 96% cotton) seem fine for light use and are lightweight, which helps in our sweltering climate. Nordstrom's store-brand and Charles Tyrwhitt shirts seem a bit heavier.
I've picked up an 1818 unlined Fitzgerald linen jacket and, tonight, a 346 stretch wool (97% wool, 3% Lycra) gray suit for $192. It should be more than adequate for occasional social occasions and is probably at least as good as anything in the price range at Penney or Macy's. Think of the outlet as competition for Stafford, Ferrer, or Claiborne.
346 is a middle line of clothing that is about the same as Men's Warehouse. My estimation of Brooks Brothers lines of Clothing are as follows:
Country Club (the non-athletic garments)
1818 (like the high end of Jos A Banks)
346 (like Men's Warehouse)
Brook Ease (like Belk's)
Nothing as low as Sears or JC Penney
The important part of Brooks top lines is that they are Made in America. Every time you buy imported goods you send a job overseas. When the last job is sent overseas you will be unemployed. If the labels say, "Brooks Bothers" and "Made in China" then you have overspent and waisted your money.
Those ratings seem about right, though I feel better about Penney's better shirts than Macy's or the moribund Sears.
You have to search for US clothing. There's a little niche of US surfer stuff--some items at Katin and Toes on the Nose, all-US at the revived Birdwell for example. Katin was offering $50 trunks made by their own long-time seamstress. Balsa Bill's little surf shop in Satellite Beach has made-in-Florida board shorts.
At the outlet mall (all of 20 minutes away) I remain a happy user of Brooks, Banana Republic (cheap clearance pants), and J. Crew. In town, Dillards has occasional "extra 40% off permanently reduced" sales, with shirts close to Nordstrom quality for under $20, which means it's worth waiting for them. Nearly all from China.
I no longer need good suits, and have been picking up blazers and such at a remarkably good local thrift shop.
I went to the Brooks Brothers outlet tiday solely to see if they carried shoes...which they did not. Found that everything in the store was 346 line items. I bought some merino wool socks and two pairs of wool trousers "seemed" like a good price. I know what the better quality items/fabrics are but not trained yet in differentiating the full quality between lines or items. That is what I am trying to hone from info on the forum . Anyone have experience with the quality of the BB 346 line?
The outlets do sometimes carry shoes, but they aren't too good. Cheaply made junk from El Salvador that don't warrant the prices they charge. The retail store carries a range of AEs - like the Randolph and Fifth Ave which you can get for really good prices during some of their holiday sales. Regardless of any of that though, they will run way more expensive than the outlet shoes, but at least I think they are worth it. I wouldn't waste money on the outlet shoes - there are plenty of cheaper options out there. I will agree with the others that the customer service at the outlets is always really good. At the retail store, they are always snooty and don't treat customers too well. If you want a cheap shoe option, check out Barneys during some of their sales also. They are made in Italy and I have found the quality to be decent, above average.