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Brooks Brothers Suiting Essentials - November 2013

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Let me start off by saying that I've been an "outside looking in" at SF for some time now.  I recently picked up two new Brooks Brothers Suiting Essentials suits and felt obligated to share my thoughts and opinions with everyone here, mostly because of the amount of incorrect and misguiding information I've read on SF threads and the internet about this particular suit...

 

First off, all of these suits are 100% Wool (the same fabric used on 1818) and all half canvased.  Many threads state that this suit is 97% Wool/3% Lycra and is fused.  Simply not true.

 

This suit can be purchased on two levels...

 

10 Day Suiting Essentials Program

 

Fabric - Comes in 5 choices - Solid Navy, Solid Charcoal, Navy Pinstripe, Charcoal Pinstripe and Black.

Cuts - Regent only.

Jacket Style - 2 button only.

Lapels - Standard bluffed edge lapel only.

Jacket Pockets - Standard double bessom flap only.

Vents - Single vent only.

Lining - No choice.  Navy lining with navy suits, grey lining with charcoal suits, black lining on black suit.

Pants - Choice between pleated or flat front trousers.

 

Suits are shipped to store from Long Island City, NY warehouse within 10 days.  Tailored in store and sent to Connecticut factory for alterations and sent back to store within 10 days.  Made in Thailand.

 

Price - 2 for $999

 

 

4-Week M-T-M Suiting Essentials Program

 

Fabric - Comes in roughly 30 fabric choices.

Cuts - Choice of any BB cut - Fitz, Madison, Regent or Milano.

Jacket Style - 2 button, 3 button or double breasted.

Lapels - Customized - choice of standard bluffed edge, 1/16 top stitch, 1/16 pick stitch or 5/16 top stitch.

Jacket Pockets - Choice of standard double bessom flap, patch pocket or patch & flap available. 

Vents - Choice of single, double or no vent.

Lining - Choice of roughly 10 materials (solids, stripes, BB logo or no lining option available.

Pants - Choice between pleated or flat front trousers.

 

Suits are custom made in Thailand and shipped to store within 4 weeks.  Tailored in store and sent to sent to Connecticut factory for alternations and sent back to store within 10 days.

 

Price - $648 Each

 

 

I wrote this post for 2 reasons:

 

1.  To explain BB Suiting Essentials correctly.

 

2. To inform people who believe that the 1818 line is far superior, that it is indeed not.  Besides the fact that the 1818 line is made in the USA (and I understand that may be very important to people) these two lines are the same.  I would love to buy an American made product over an import but I do not think DOUBLE the price is warranted for the same product because it was made in America.  It's still being sold by a store associate in my country and altered by a tailor in Connecticut.

 

For the record, I was able to purchase 2 Suiting Essentials suits (10 day program) for 30% off during a recent Corporate Membership Program Day promotion - $350 per suit.   I can't tell the difference between these and my 2 1818 suits I have at home (that I purchased before figuring out the details of this program).   I'd love to hear other peoples experiences on SF about the above.  Please post....

post #2 of 11
Thanks for posting. I think part of the issue may be that you have purchased these recently and there may have been some changes to the line over time. When they started out the Suiting Essentials line, it was essentially their old separates line except done in the Regent fit. I actually recently found the "Design Your Own" function on the Brooks Brothers website, which I think was the online version of the Suiting Essentials product offered in store and noticed that it said the jacket was half-canvassed.

I'm curious how you came to the conclusion that the fabrics are the same. They may well be; I've been trying to find out and even started a thread on this to no avail. Not everything that says 100% wool is equal. Perhaps they're equal to the fabric on the 1818 suits that retail sell for $999 but not to the more expensive ones. Hopefully some others can chime in on this point as well.

A couple small things that may be worth addressing / editing in your initial post:

1) I don't think the 4 week program should be called MTM. Made-to-measure generally means that they are taking a standard pattern for the jacket and trousers and modifying it for you. Here you get to choose the jacket and trouser size you want, which provides some added flexibility, but it's not like you're getting a fully customized garment.

2) I believe there are a couple of cotton suit fabrics to choose from, including one seersucker. These were $100 less the last time I checked.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the quick reply.  Great points...

 

The 4 Week Program is misleading with the name "Made to Measure" since they are indeed OTR sizes.  You are just customizing the options I mentioned, none  customized is in regards to sizing.

 

As far as fabrics, you are correct - out of the roughly 30 fabric choices, I believe there are 2-3 non wool options - seersucker and cotton poplin.  I also believe you are correct regarding the price of the suit with these materials being approx $100 cheaper.

 

Now let's talk about the fabrics.  The 1818 is available in WAY more choices in terms of fabric.  Some of the 1818 suits use fabrics not available via Suiting Essentials.  That said, all of the roughly 30 fabric choices for the Suiting Essential are the same exact materials used in the 1818 line.  I've confirmed this with multiple people in store and through corporate customer service.  These 1818 suits using the same material as the Suiting Essentials suits typically run between $999-$1198 per suit.  The fabrics used on other 1818 suits, that are not available through the Suiting Essentials programs are generally higher priced.

 

Anyone else have any feedback, thoughts, opinions...

post #4 of 11
Also hoping we get some others to chime in on this. It's an interesting topic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flairfair View Post

The 4 Week Program is misleading with the name "Made to Measure" since they are indeed OTR sizes.  You are just customizing the options I mentioned, none  customized is in regards to sizing.

Yeah, MTO or Made-to-Order is probably a better way to describe this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flairfair View Post

That said, all of the roughly 30 fabric choices for the Suiting Essential are the same exact materials used in the 1818 line.  I've confirmed this with multiple people in store and through corporate customer service.  These 1818 suits using the same material as the Suiting Essentials suits typically run between $999-$1198 per suit.  The fabrics used on other 1818 suits, that are not available through the Suiting Essentials programs are generally higher priced.

This is quite interesting. If you're getting the same fabric and half-canvas construction plus ability to customize certain features and get separates, it's hard to see the value-add of the 1818 line. Yes, made in USA means something and there may be some more quality control issues with the Suiting Essentials, but it's hard to see how it's worth paying an additional $350 per suit while losing the ability to customize just for this. I always felt the 1818 line was a bit overpriced for what it is.
post #5 of 11
Jolly good.

Then factory made MTM is better than RTW or the other option.
Edited by GBR - 11/22/13 at 1:07pm
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

oh, the 1818 comes with a free American Flag pin to put on your lapel.  That explains the price differential

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by flairfair View Post

oh, the 1818 comes with a free American Flag pin to put on your lapel.  That explains the price differential


Whoopee
post #8 of 11

sorry to revived an old thread, but i was offered a brooks brothers suiting essential in navy for 200. (NWT).  It's from 2013, so it's a blend of 97% wool w/ 3% lastol.  Given all the discussion, is this a good price for the suit?  I believed this is in a fitz cut and if so it should fit me like a glove (i own an 1818 fitz suit and the only changes I made OTR is shortening the sleeves and hemming the pants).  Just want to get some opinion give that it's not 100% wool;

 

Thanks.

post #9 of 11
I hate to bring back an old post however, I did want to clear up a few things so to have a better view of what SE with BB can offer.

1) The fabric/wool with SE is 100% wool and is super 130 count. It is NOT the same wool you get from the 1818 line. This is as of 2012-2016 However, there is a few suits that you can get from the SE program that are what they call "Brooks Cool" that are not 100% wool which are for summer. The Brooks Cool suit will be clearly marked as such.

2) The SE is half canvas not fused as some readers on here and other websites claim.

3) The way BB markets the SE is not MTM or even OTR.

4) The Wool for the 1818 are from different mills and are Not used in SE. Example: Saxson, Loro Piana, Reda, Vitale Barberis, and Drago Biella are all found in the 1818 OTR suits as well as MTM and NOT in the SE program. So no it is just not the American flag pin you get for the price.

Additionally, there seems to be a misunderstanding in regards to the Factory/Outlet suits and even shirts. The is a different between retail suits and Outlet. Outlets do have suits that are not 100% wool but for 300.00 USD a suit what can you expect? The 346 line is specifically for outlet stores. Gone are the days where the retail stores send last years merchandise to the outlets.

I own a few SE I wear everyday to court and a few OTR 1818 as well as a few MTM suits and shirts and can say I am happy with what I have and all of them have held up very good. The best thing to do is to talk with a SA about all the options and see what works best for you. Mostly all brands have different options as far as fit and fabrics therefore, knowning the right questions to ask and comparing Apples to Apples will help you get a better understanding of what you are buying.
post #10 of 11
This is interesting. Good information. I was at BB this afternoon comparing the difference in 1818 and SE. I asked the guy if SE was fused. He said it was. He said 1818 was half canvas. I own an 1818 suit and like it. I was considering buying another 1818 in Saxxon wool, and also buying a SE to see how I like them. I'll have to check again on the SE jacket being fused or half canvas.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by 22busy View Post

This is interesting. Good information. I was at BB this afternoon comparing the difference in 1818 and SE. I asked the guy if SE was fused. He said it was. He said 1818 was half canvas. I own an 1818 suit and like it. I was considering buying another 1818 in Saxxon wool, and also buying a SE to see how I like them. I'll have to check again on the SE jacket being fused or half canvas.


It is very unfortunate that you are NOT getting consistent information that ALL BB Associates should have/know. I know the guy that is the head of BB tailoring services and have been told by him that SE is not fused. The only differences between SE and the 1818 OTR and their MTM is SE is made in Thailand and the other two are made in thwir Southwick Factory here in the US. Additionally, the SE suits program do not have access to the aforementioned fabric mills and do not have the option to be made with a full canvas like the MTM Golden Fleece line.

Their OTR saxxon wool is always a nice option but the other mills have some nice fabric too.
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