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Brands similar to Brooks Brothers' Price Range

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Long time lurker here, just recently got an account.
I am a college student, and I have been trying to upgrade my wardrobe for awhile now. I am at a point where I have been somewhat sucked into buying a lot of stuff from BB; not that BB is bad, but I would like to explore other brands around that price range. If you will stay with me for a minute, I would like to briefly list my current wardrobe and tell you my budget for each department. I have looked around at a lot of different threads but I would really like some personal feedback consolidated into one place. Any suggestion is welcomed.

Jackets/Suits
-My main navy blazer is a J. Press one, and I have a cheap Lauren RL one as backup.
-I have around half a dozen sports coats, ranging from forty bucks to a couple hundred bucks. The cheap ones I have around for parties cause I know they will be ruined eventually.
I think I am set for now on the jackets, as I am getting older, and getting into internships/interviews, I am looking for the first suit. It will probably be navy, and I think the budget would be $1000 or less. I am thinking about trying Indochino or TAT but maybe you guys have some suggestions for other RTW brands.

Chinos/Trousers
-I have a bunch of J. Crew and BB chinos in khaki and a variety of pastels for the college scene, what I would like are some trousers that I can add to my wardrobe. Budget around $100-150 a pair, obviously the cheaper the better. I'm thinking some charcoal ones and possibly some olive ones?

Shirts
-I have about a dozen OCBDs from RL, BB, Vineyard Vines (Which I stopped buying cause the quality is terrible).
-What I need is help in the dress shirts department; currently I have a BB white OCBD, a BB white spread collar/french cuff, a BB blue/white striped, contrast collar/french off, and a BB pink barrel cuff.
This is probably where I need the most help with; my budget is around $60-$100 per shirt and I would love some ones that aren't BB. Also I am interested in cutaway, club, link cuffs, or should I just stay with the traditional point collar/barrel cuffs?

Shoes
-Nowhere near the SF standard. A couple of pairs of boat shoes like every other college kid, a pair of Johnston and Murphy loafers (quality is bad I know but they're comfortable and I wear them without care), and a pair of Gucci horse bit loafers as a gift that need some stretching (probably will get a lot of shit for this too). Basically no dress shoes since I haven't needed them. I would like some quality new casual/semi-formal loafers, and possibly some dress shoes? Can only drop around $100-$200 per pair. Of course I would love some white bucks, some wingtips, etc, but I wouldn't wear them THAT often and I'm trying to get some essentials first.

There you have it, about half of the stuff I have is from BB and I would like to diversify my wardrobe. I would really like to start upgrading my wardrobe towards life after college. Thank you in advance for any input!
post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneralW View Post

Long time lurker here, just recently got an account.
I am a college student, and I have been trying to upgrade my wardrobe for awhile now. I am at a point where I have been somewhat sucked into buying a lot of stuff from BB; not that BB is bad, but I would like to explore other brands around that price range. If you will stay with me for a minute, I would like to briefly list my current wardrobe and tell you my budget for each department. I have looked around at a lot of different threads but I would really like some personal feedback consolidated into one place. Any suggestion is welcomed.
Jackets/Suits
-My main navy blazer is a J. Press one, and I have a cheap Lauren RL one as backup.
-I have around half a dozen sports coats, ranging from forty bucks to a couple hundred bucks. The cheap ones I have around for parties cause I know they will be ruined eventually.
I think I am set for now on the jackets, as I am getting older, and getting into internships/interviews, I am looking for the first suit. It will probably be navy, and I think the budget would be $1000 or less. I am thinking about trying Indochino or TAT but maybe you guys have some suggestions for other RTW brands.
Chinos/Trousers
-I have a bunch of J. Crew and BB chinos in khaki and a variety of pastels for the college scene, what I would like are some trousers that I can add to my wardrobe. Budget around $100-150 a pair, obviously the cheaper the better. I'm thinking some charcoal ones and possibly some olive ones?
Shirts
-I have about a dozen OCBDs from RL, BB, Vineyard Vines (Which I stopped buying cause the quality is terrible).
-What I need is help in the dress shirts department; currently I have a BB white OCBD, a BB white spread collar/french cuff, a BB blue/white striped, contrast collar/french off, and a BB pink barrel cuff.
This is probably where I need the most help with; my budget is around $60-$100 per shirt and I would love some ones that aren't BB. Also I am interested in cutaway, club, link cuffs, or should I just stay with the traditional point collar/barrel cuffs?
Shoes
-Nowhere near the SF standard. A couple of pairs of boat shoes like every other college kid, a pair of Johnston and Murphy loafers (quality is bad I know but they're comfortable and I wear them without care), and a pair of Gucci horse bit loafers as a gift that need some stretching (probably will get a lot of shit for this too). Basically no dress shoes since I haven't needed them. I would like some quality new casual/semi-formal loafers, and possibly some dress shoes? Can only drop around $100-$200 per pair. Of course I would love some white bucks, some wingtips, etc, but I wouldn't wear them THAT often and I'm trying to get some essentials first.
There you have it, about half of the stuff I have is from BB and I would like to diversify my wardrobe. I would really like to start upgrading my wardrobe towards life after college. Thank you in advance for any input!

Suits/SC's: Paul Stuart/Samuelsohn

Chinos/trousers: Howard Yount -- Epaulet

Shirts: Stick with bb, but move to extra slim (buy on deal) 

Shoes: Meermin (black cap toe, dark brown oxford brogue, medium brown suede monks, medium brown calf loafers) - over time

 

Go to Barneys or Niemans and try on offerings from major brands as seen on SF (Isaia, Zegna, etc). Learn what fits. Keep an eye on the BS classified forum here and snap up deals when they are present. Top brands can be had a huge discounts, new.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie22 View Post

Suits/SC's: Paul Stuart/Samuelsohn
Chinos/trousers: Howard Yount -- Epaulet
Shirts: Stick with bb, but move to extra slim (buy on deal) 
Shoes: Meermin (black cap toe, dark brown oxford brogue, medium brown suede monks, medium brown calf loafers) - over time

Go to Barneys or Niemans and try on offerings from major brands as seen on SF (Isaia, Zegna, etc). Learn what fits. Keep an eye on the BS classified forum here and snap up deals when they are present. Top brands can be had a huge discounts, new.

Thank you Frankie22. The shirts I have from BB are Slim fit, you think the Extra Slim fit is better for dress shirts? Can I stay with Slim for sports shirts? To be honest I am not a huge fan of shirts being too slim.
I will definitely take your advice and go to Barneys and try on different brands, I guess I just got comfortable with one brand and never bothered to look for more.
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneralW View Post

Thank you Frankie22. The shirts I have from BB are Slim fit, you think the Extra Slim fit is better for dress shirts? Can I stay with Slim for sports shirts? To be honest I am not a huge fan of shirts being too slim.
I will definitely take your advice and go to Barneys and try on different brands, I guess I just got comfortable with one brand and never bothered to look for more.

It depends on your body type. ESF shirts are not for everyone and it can be too "tight" for some people.

As for expanding to other brands, if there is a Barneys or a Nordstroms, go take a look around. For dress pants, I like Zanella. At outlets (e.g. Off Saks), you can get them for ~ $150. I like Zegna for more casual pants and knitwear, sweaters and can be found at reasonable prices also at outlets.
post #5 of 7

Unless you are dead set on an OTR or an online M2M. Go into a bespoke suit shop and see how much their M2M suits start at. It will be much better quality than Brooks brothers, and fit you much better.

 

If you want an online M2M i suggest Black Lapel. They are much better than indochino in quality, and customer service.

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneralW View Post


Thank you Frankie22. The shirts I have from BB are Slim fit, you think the Extra Slim fit is better for dress shirts? Can I stay with Slim for sports shirts? To be honest I am not a huge fan of shirts being too slim.
I will definitely take your advice and go to Barneys and try on different brands, I guess I just got comfortable with one brand and never bothered to look for more.

I think so, brooks extra slim is not as slim as most other brands extra slim if that makes sense. If the regular slim fit cut works for you, maybe stick with that model.

 

Knowledge is power in regard to snapping up deals on the BS/interwebz. Knowing what fits is key.

post #7 of 7
I like Frankie's recommendations!

I'm a bit older than you but also a young professional and for myself (slim, athletic cuts with strong drops), would go with these based on your price range:

Suit: RLBL Anthony. I know this is debated to death on the forum, but I have several of these and always find myself reaching for them, even for interviews. Their cut is just too awesome if you have a trim, athletic body to pass up. I recently picked up some Isaia and Caruso suits and still much prefer the RLBL. Definitely take a look at them in a store, their cut is very unique and you may fall in love with it although it may also polarize you to the other end of the spectrum.

Trousers: Howard Yount or Incotex/Mabitex (from Daffy's or the forums). These are simply better than any other pants I have tried, from quality to fit to finish.

Shirts: Agree with continuing with BB, their ESF fit isn't that slim. It's about 2 inches smaller throughout (chest/waist). I typically get these and dart them, and they still aren't too slim. The quality/price ratio is hard to beat if you're looking to spend under $100. Might be preference, but I've also tried the competitors near the same pricepoint (including Charles Tyrwhitt, Pink, TM Lewin, Harvie and Hudson) and prefer BB, mostly b/c I think the fabric/construction is more durable. I'll admit some of these other brands are much more fashion forward. Another option is getting PRL custom fit shirts on sale. I've found that the higher end Polo RL is superior to BB but you need to be careful b/c it seems PRL makes multiple different grades of shirts and they are all labeled the same. The only way I've found to differentiate them is that the higher quality, slimmer cut ones retail for $135 or $150 (but drop all the way to $60-70 during sales). The cheaper PRL shirts (that retail for ~ $70-80 are of questionable quality).

Shoes: This is done to death, but can't go wrong with Allen Edmonds strands in dark brown, which are ultra-versatile and suitable for pretty much any occasion but formal interviews and weddings. Also love C&J, slightly higher than your price range but can be had for $250 on deep sales and awesome quality. I don't have any experience with Meermin personally.
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