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What happened to Brooks Brothers? - Page 4

post #46 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by comrade View Post

Looking from an even broader historical perspective, we SF types might
be equivalent to those " gentlemen" who continued to wear breeches
in the 1820s years after the trouser tsumani.

That's a cheerful thought.
post #47 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jshastings View Post

It's changed significantly from last year, though. They filmed their campaign on my school's campus (BB is pretty popular there) and it was stuff I can imagine people wearing... but this new stuff is pretty far removed from what "young people" (at least where I go to school) are looking for. IMO, they've missed the mark, unless they're hoping to market to a substantially different audience. 

I think BB has consistently missed the mark whenever they have gone too far outside of their traditional suit and blazer comfort zone. Much of the preppy / business casual stuff is OK, if a bit oversized, but try to find anyone under 40 wearing their golf and tennis sportswear. I'm too old for the Brooks Brothers U (or whatever they are calling it) line directed at the college crowd, but I just can't see it selling. Again, I am not the demographic, but it strikes me as so un-hip as to be laughable.
post #48 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeDT View Post

.... BB's former owner, Marks & Spencer "limey department store", was always rather traditional and untrendy, they had to change.

Oh change they did. In the early 1990s they sold clothes predominantly made in the UK of natural fibres. The profits were spectacular. The customers were a classic example of a set who bought as much as they could in one place. The old stuff went out in favour of imported badly cut polyester-rich crap. The customers trusted the brand for a while and then took their business elsewhere.
post #49 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenJB View Post

Oh change they did. In the early 1990s they sold clothes predominantly made in the UK of natural fibres. The profits were spectacular. The customers were a classic example of a set who bought as much as they could in one place. The old stuff went out in favour of imported badly cut polyester-rich crap. The customers trusted the brand for a while and then took their business elsewhere.

Right on! I have woolen socks from M&S that are about 30 years old.
went to the UK and later France, I' d buy their socks and other
basics. Exceptional quality.
post #50 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by pocketsquareguy View Post

At the SF BB store, I was informed that the try on shirts had been laundered so that you could find your ideal size.

Speaking of the SF store, are they selling non non-iron (i.e. regular cotton) shirts again? Last time I went there they only had non-iron dress shirt offerings on the shelves. I feel like trying on already laundered shirts would be useful for, say, the OCBDs but not really an issue when it comes to the non-iron stuff. Isn't that fabric already crazily pre-treated?
post #51 of 58
Long ago wasn't Brooks Brothers a more general mens wear shop? The place a man could buy virtually everything.

I get the impression from some of the posts that people think they used to be a work wear only place.
post #52 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jshastings View Post

It's changed significantly from last year, though. They filmed their campaign on my school's campus (BB is pretty popular there) and it was stuff I can imagine people wearing... but this new stuff is pretty far removed from what "young people" (at least where I go to school) are looking for. IMO, they've missed the mark, unless they're hoping to market to a substantially different audience. 

I think this is true. I feel like they should focus more on developing modernized versions of classics (Milano suits, pants, ESF sportshirts, etc.) rather than tossing out these gaudish sweatshirts/shirts too. Right now it feels like they have lost their identity to a certain extent, trying to appeal to the corporate world (with their traditional cut suits) all the way to the abercrombie crowd. It might just be me, but I feel like having those horrible sweatshirts degrades the brand.

Interestingly, most of my friends still think BB is an old man's store, so I'm not sure how effective their campaign has been. For trad preppy, most of my former college friends still turn to J Press rather than BB.
post #53 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sportin_life View Post


I think this is true. I feel like they should focus more on developing modernized versions of classics (Milano suits, pants, ESF sportshirts, etc.) rather than tossing out these gaudish sweatshirts/shirts too. Right now it feels like they have lost their identity to a certain extent, trying to appeal to the corporate world (with their traditional cut suits) all the way to the abercrombie crowd. It might just be me, but I feel like having those horrible sweatshirts degrades the brand.
Interestingly, most of my friends still think BB is an old man's store, so I'm not sure how effective their campaign has been. For trad preppy, most of my former college friends still turn to J Press rather than BB.

I agree. The abercrombie-style sweatshirts significantly devalues the brand for me. I realize that selling the sweatshirt should not necessarily diminish the quality of, say, their OCBD's, but nonetheless, I feel less inclined to shop there. Likewise, I suspect abercrombie makes some products that are of decent enough quality, but I cannot imagine myself ever buying something there. I realize that this seems fickle, but I would venture to guess that lots of people here on SF put stock in brand integrity. 

post #54 of 58
Thread Starter 
post #55 of 58
Is there any other brand people like to damn with nostalgia as Brooks? Either it's too old and stuffy -- no longer the preppy college tastemaker of yesteryear -- or it's compromising its gravitas to chase after college students.

There's a reason so many of Brooks' mid-century contemporaries are long gone. That it exists at all is a minor miracle in my mind. If it thinks it can get some younger customers with garish sweatshirts, so be it. That's no more vulgar than the logo'd ties it's been selling for years.
post #56 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jshastings View Post

On a thinly related note:

 

http://www.ivy-style.com/the-brooks-oxford-and-whats-wrong-with-90-of-american-men.html

Maybe it's just me, but I think this trend has retreated from its apex in the last year or two.  Madras, seersucker, linen, and (on the casual side) raw selvedge denim--all fabrics characteristic for their distinct texture and wrinkles--seem to be rising in popularity.  Oxford cotton seems to be on the verge of gaining similar appeal, perhaps in part thanks to websites like Style Forum.

 

On a similar note, I actually just gave up trying to buy some BB chinos because they were all non-iron and felt cheap and processed.  Granted, they also fit like crap and that was key to my decision as well.  If there's one thing that BB has failed to sufficiently modernize in their lineup, it's their chinos.  All of their fits are terrible.

 

It seems like they have a bunch of new, more modern takes in their fall lineup, but the color selection looks too seasonal for my taste.

post #57 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post

Is there any other brand people like to damn with nostalgia as Brooks?

Well, there's AAAC.
post #58 of 58
At least most of the people complaining about Andy's were there for the glory days.

But hey, now the Brooks-that-was can be all things to all people. Ironically egalitarian, that.
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