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Old Brooks Brothers - Page 4

post #46 of 56
Thread Starter 

Brooks Brothers shirts in a catalog from the 1910s.  Besides cotton, they sold shirts in silk, silk-linen, and silk-wool.  Unlike today, the formal shirt was made of linen.


The famous button-down appears on the lower right of the page, but in white cheviot cotton. Cheviot is listed as a distinct cloth from oxford in Baker's Dictionary of Men's Wear (1908) and the more recent Fairchild Book's Dictionary of Textiles (2013).



Many shirts were worn with stiff, detachable collars.  Brooks had a selection of 33 (!) collars. They were narrow spread or wing in design, following the fashion of the 1910s:



The collar measurements:



Brooks carried made-to-measure shirts, with the choice of attached or detachable collars. Linen shirts were much more common than today. Brooks even had boxer shorts made in linen or silk.



While some people equate cotton cheviot and oxford cloth, they are listed as being distinct in the made-to-measure shirt page above.


This page, from outside of the catalog, describes the differences between negligee, dress, work, and outing shirts:


post #47 of 56
Thread Starter 

It seems that in the 1910s Brooks Brothers' suits were somewhat more shaped than in the early 1960s.  Contrast the 1910s:



Early 1960s:




Vox's great site has a surprising picture from 1967, when the Mod revolution influenced Brooks in this photoshoot:

Edited by CrimsonSox - 12/8/13 at 5:24am
post #48 of 56
Thread Starter 

Brooks Brothers shoes, 1910s.  Since the catalog was published before the Russian Revolution, one of the options was for "tan Russian leather" (the kind that's no longer available, save for dwindling stocks at Cleverley and New & Lingwood).  Note the absence of loafers, which were only offered after World War I:



Brooks boots.  The model on the upper left has an especially sleek last.   No round blobs here.



Brooks Brothers tweed double-breasted overcoats with fur collars:



For the truly decadent, double-breasted fur coats with wool lining for extra warmth.  Sleeves and shoulders lined in silk:



Brooks Brothers' daytime formalwear -- cutaways, morning coats, and frock coats -- were made of black or oxford grey vicuna in the 1910s.  Just in case cashmere wasn't soft enough:


post #49 of 56
This link is to a blog by Heavy Tweed Jacket who collected a large number of Brooks Brothers/J. Press/etc. ads relating to the names of various stripes used in shirts.

HTJ Archives: Shirts of Every Stripe
I recently had the privilege of access to a collection of original copies of the The New Yorker, and was pleasantly surprised by the advertising during post war period of the late 1940s-1960s. American industry was not only healthy and vibrant, but also possessed the ability to advertise with grace and humor. It was indeed a different era, one not without its own Cold War challenges, but certainly also one of ambition and confidence. Legendary clothiers and shops such as Brooks Brothers, J. Press, Chipp, F.R. Tripler & Co., Abercrombie & Fitch, Paul Stuart, Alden, L.L. Bean, The Talbots, Trimingham's, The Bermuda Shop, The Tog Shop and others all advertised regularly in The New Yorker. Thumbing through the pages of The New Yorker during this period, I have been constantly amazed by how timelessly "American" and "classic" the style is that has been historically associated with the names of these clothiers.

Click on pictures to enlarge.
Item D in the second picture...the gold plated safety pin is just too cool.

I happened across it while searching for more info about this deadstock, oxford stripe BB shirt that I found, apparently 70s or 80s vintage. Imma wear this sucka this week!

post #50 of 56
Thread Starter 

Since it's been so cold in Boston, it's time to warm up, Brooks Brothers 1910s style.  Shetland, cheviot, covert, and Harris tweed overcoats:



The double-breasted English ulster and the longer Scottish ulster.  The body is lined in wool for extra warmth with the sleeves lined in silk:



Fur gloves and hats:



Was the coat on the reader's right the first polo coat?  It came with 12 buttons in the front, but the number of buttons may have gone down over time, the way it did for the navy blazer. From the Brooks sporting department:



Brooks had a whole department on the second floor devoted to "motor clothing." Motorists would wear specialized clothes to protect themselves from the frigid wind when riding in open-top cars with no heating.




Edited by CrimsonSox - 12/16/13 at 10:50am
post #51 of 56

Interesting double breasted (undarted?) with roll lapels.


post #52 of 56
Thread Starter 

Brooks Brothers gloves, 1936, from Horace Sleep's (the firm mentioned in the Vogue 1927 London shopping guide).



In 1986, Brooks had dinner jackets made of dacron/wool.  In 1936, dinner jackets were made of vicuna, and suits in English flannels, cheviots, shetlands, saxonies, and Harris Tweeds.




post #53 of 56

amazing thread!!




Originally Posted by CrimsonSox View Post

At Princeton:


is it a sweater underneath?

post #54 of 56
Thread Starter 

A cherished blog, Heavy Tweed Jacket, that I've followed for years has just closed: (Derek has the announcement here:  I've always appreciated and enjoyed the vintage Brooks Brothers and LL Bean catalogs he posted, as well as the oxford cloth button-down shirt reviews.  Here's to hoping for our friend to return soon.

post #55 of 56
Sad to see HTJ go. The man produced one of the few consistently excellent blogs in the menswear space.
post #56 of 56


You can post the exact issue of Vogue from these pictures are from?





Originally Posted by CrimsonSox View Post

A Brooks Brothers wool navy blazer, 1954. 



A Brooks Brothers summer, 1954.  The suit is made of linen and (gulp) Dacron.  Though the fabric is unconventional (and it's odd that he's fastening the bottom button), the jacket has a lovely lapel roll.  Who said the Ivy League suit couldn't look trim?


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