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Brooks Bro's quality - Page 3

post #31 of 52
If they took it in, they can always let it back out...
post #32 of 52
I appreciated your feedback Alex. Although now I am bummed out, thinking I just spent $500 on a blazer I don't like too much after reading your comments. Ha ha ha. Oh well. Maybe I'll throw it on ebay.
Not necessary. Easily fixable - except the collar which is a bit 'o work. I can't really tell by looking at you with a jacket on, but you may need MTM if your shoulders are each much different than the other. Looking at the slight twist to the shirt collar, it may be a bit more you than the jacket. Given my profession, I consider that a wonderful thing.
post #33 of 52
Thread Starter 
Well, the trouble is that I have larger shoulders than normal for my size, and a much thinner chest (I'm lean). A 38R fits me in the chest area, but not in the sleeves or shoulders (shoulders way too tight, stretching the back if I roll my shoulders forward, and sleeves too short). A 40R fits my sleeves and shoulders great, but the chest is sometimes loose. Ugh. I think that's what you were commenting on. However, the blazer fits me much better than the photo shows, which was taken as I was stumbling backward after setting the timer on my camera. And yeah, I am considering going bespoke or MTM on suits and shirts in the future. I hate how hard it is to find a shirt or jacket that fits "just right." I don't mind paying for clothes (or really anything) if it is going to be comfortable and sturdy and an overall good investment.
post #34 of 52
I don't mind paying for clothes (or really anything) if it is going to be comfortable and sturdy and an overall good investment.
I got that from reading a month's worth of your posts. Stop throwing away your money and find yourself some makers. There's Anto in L.A. and Bassetti in Seattle for shirts, and quite a few decent tailors out your way as well.
post #35 of 52
It looks fine. I'll say this -- it has been my experience that the only times you will have a PERFECT fit (i.e. one that would not draw any comments from the eagle eyes of a Kabbazz) are those that are both (1) MTM or bespoke, and (2) have a lot of handwork.
post #36 of 52
If you end up having second thoughts about those Greenfields, make sure you post on the board before returning them -- I might be interested.
post #37 of 52
Thread Starter 
I don't think I will. They are fabulous suits. I've gotta put em on and post some pics.
post #38 of 52
The blazer looks fine. I think the jacket is just sitting improperly on your shoulders. Try setting the jacket properly against your shoulders and neck; I doubt any "flaws" are the fault of BB's tailoring. They should go away once you have it on right. The waist looks fine. I don't know if there's any sort of tradition with regards to blazer buttons lining up vertically, but I do know that my two-button suit buttons sure don't.
post #39 of 52
I have been a Brooks customer for almost 30 years. I started in the defunct "Brooksgate" Department. I am still a good customer although not as steady a customer as I was in the past. The store and its offerings have declined along with the general standards in the menswear industry. Did Brooks either lead the decline, accelerate the decline, or react and follow the others? I believe that it followed the trends in society and was a follower and not a leader in the decline. This decline was not overnight and proceeded over the course of decades. However, Brooks abdicated its positon as a leader in menswear due to poor management and lack of direction. E.g., 1. Brooks discontinued its custom department. This decision is now regarded as a mistake as indicated in its recent book. Although custom accounted for a very small percentage of the business, it set the standard and tone for the store's RTW. 2. Brooks discontinued being a maker of most of its own clothing. It used to make its top of the line suits and other tailored clothing. (It's RTW suit was known as the best of the best.) It made its own dress shirts. It made its own ties. In fact, 346 Madison Ave. originally had some manufacturing and tailoring operations on the upper floors. At about the time that Brooks discontinued its custom department (very late 1970's or very early 1980's), it started to sell-off and discontinue its manufacturing plants. The various owners took the viewpoint that it was more profitable to buy from outside vendors than manufacture it own goods. At this time Brooks makes only its ties (in Long Island City, NY) and some shirts (RTW and MTM) in Georgia. Essentially, Brooks buys the same goods that other stores buy. The store's ads used to proclaim that the advertised item was "ours alone." No more. 3. In the midst of the casual cancer of the last 15 or so years, Brooks did not know what direction to take. Should it follow the Gap and Banana Republic? Or should it stick to being a traditional clothier like Paul Stuart? One season lime green dress shirts would be offered, and the next season they would be sold at the outlet. It did not have a clear outlook. 4. Brooks was losing money. Marks & Spencer lost money when it sold it. It was not considered a trophy property when it was put-up for sale. The traditional and formal menswear industry was in a crisis as to whether men would buy suits in the future. 5. The old, traditional customers were dying off. I'm talking about the guys who would buy madras sportscoats and fun shirts. This merchandise was abandoned because the customers weren't buying. The management had to find new customers and new merchandise, Therefore, we had the syndrome of peach, plaid dress shirts one year, and white dress shirts the next year. This lack of direction and abandonment of the traditional clothes caused many of the remaining, hardcore, old-style customers to leave Brooks for more upscale stores, such as Bergdorf and Paul Stuart. 6. Over the last 20 years Brooks set forth on a course of expansion of branches and mail order. It's very hard to maintain the same quality standards in a very big chain. Some of the branches are very poor and should be shut. E.g., the new Fifth Avenue store, which is about 1/2 mile from 346 Madison, is a terrible store. The seasoned sales veterans are all at 346 while the kids (many joking around and speaking Spanish to one another) are working the sales floor at Fifth. Ironically, the Fifth Avenue store is successful due to the tourist trade. Brooks started as a small retailer with few stores, and as a small retailer it could keep a better handle on the quality and service. There are some good points about Brooks which I'll discuss in another post. Meanwhile, work calls . . .
post #40 of 52
Brum, quite a good post. Thank you. Ranks up there with Pollack's posts on Brooks that appeared on Ask Andy.
post #41 of 52
O.K., now a few of the good points about Brooks: 1. The new owners are trying to improve the store. They are clothes loving Italians. 2. The new owners are looking to bring back some of the classics. They commissioned a history celebrating the past. They have brought back some products which were banished, such as ancient madder ties. It's a slow process, but the captain on the bridge has a clear objective. 3. As an all-around traditional clothier, it is the best and broadest for all price ranges. The college grad and the head of AIG Insurance all shop at Brooks although at different price levels and in different departments. 4. It's MTM program instituted its own collection of cloths from leading mills, and Brooks decreased its prices when it decided to buy the cloths direct from the mills. It passed the savings to the customer. Quality hasn't been compromised in the Greenfield program, and Greenfield tells me that it is better and that the new owners are striving for quality rather than price cuts. Therefore, MTM is within reach of more consumers. (The down side is that some of the heavy, English cloths have been banished.) 5. Overall, the store's goods are good value especially due to its many sales promotions. You cannot beat its prices. E.g., its Peal English shoes. It's MTM is a good value. Now, back to work to earn some money to buy the clothes.
post #42 of 52
Along those lines of BB trying to bring back the classics, I have been pleasantly suprised at the number of archive shirting designs that they have brought back for the MTM shirt department. Every season they seem to dust off about 5 pattered shirts that they used to sell, generally in the 20s-40s time era and make them available through MTM. I even saw some in the catalog recently.
post #43 of 52
Along those lines of BB trying to bring back the classics, I have been pleasantly suprised at the number of archive shirting designs that they have brought back for the MTM shirt department.  
Phil (or anyone else), What's your experience with quality on Brooks' MTM shirts? What's the pricing? Because of recent substantial price increases for Individualized Shirts (up $100 more per shirt in the past 18 months-now cost $250 at Bergdorf), I'll soon be in the market for a new MTM shirt source. Thanks.
post #44 of 52
I started using BB MTM at 346 Madison about 9 months ago. The only reason I did was because I just became so frustrated with Turnbull that I couldnt take it anymore. I am really particular about how my shirts fit, and I was wary when I went over to BB. I couldnt have been happier though. I work with a guy named Tom Davis, who in addition to being extremely knowledgable about shirts, is one of the most interesting guys I know. As far as pricing goes, I have never cared much for overly expensive fabrics, in shirts, or in suits. The fit is the most important thing to me, much more so than if my shirt is some kind of crazy expensive egyptian cotton. Therefore, I tend to stick the lower price points anyway. The supima cotton shirts, MTM, are I think about $95.00. The vintage shirts I was referring to are $162.50, and most end on end and broadcloth shirts are somewhere between $125-$200. Delivery time has never been longer than 4 weeks, and UNLIKE Turnbull, they arrive in the style and pattern I ordered.
post #45 of 52
Thanks for the response and information, Phil.
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