Brooks Bro's quality

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by linux_pro, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    My experience with Brooks is limited to their stores in Beverly Hills and South Coast Plaza (aside from their outlet in Cabazon). I have spent only an insignificant amount of money with Brooks. I'll be the first to concede that I am not as sartorially sophisticated as some of the real mavens in this and the Andy fora. My thoughts:

    I find their quality/price ratio much inferior to Nordstroms, as a general matter, if one is going to pay full retail. I find Nordstroms offerings closely equivalent and generally better value (which usually isn't saying too much when speaking of full retail at Nordstroms.

    Intensely dislike the fact that most of the shirts (certainly the more popularly priced ones) have double-length sleeves (e.g., 17.5 x 35/36 instead of simply 17.5 x 35, which is my proper size). When Macy's went to that system, I was not surprised, but I would have expected better of the honored name of Brooks.

    I think a lot depends on the salesperson you get. Some seem pretty decent and conscientious, others are not men I would care to deal with. For example, I was solemnly and emphatically informed by one salesman that their Peale shoes are, in fact, made by the venerable Peale company at their factory in England. On another occasion, I tried on a very ill-fitting jacket--the lapels were billowing off my chest like sails in a high wind--and the salesman assured me their tailors could rectify it. He should have been working for Men's Wearhouse.

    However, in the future I shall probably be buying very little if any decent-class RTW menswear anywhere if I continue to be as pleased by W.W. Chan as I have been after receiving my first order from them.
     


  2. android

    android Member

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    I don't think this is the case. I'd gladly spend a "couple of bucks" to have my shirts laundered if I could find a single laundry in Austin that wouldn't destroy them.

    What "No Iron" actually means is that I can touch up a shirt in about 10 minutes instead of 25 if I use the full Kabbaz method on a "Full Iron" shirt.
     


  3. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    For perspective, I have purchased a couple made to measure suits at BroBro every year for forty years. I'll bet there are not many other people on this forum who can state thay they stopped buying BBC's RTW shirts when they added chest pockets. I did.

    They lost most of what remained of my business in the 1970's when they chose sales growth over good tailoring.

    Difficult though it is to believe, they got even worse during the 80's.

    That twenty year period cost them an entire generation of men who may now think of them as conservative or traditional but no longer defining American menswear. Ralph Lauren arguably took most of that mantle.

    Lately, I've seen some evidence of better neckties. Way too little, far too late.

    Will
     


  4. linux_pro

    linux_pro Senior member

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    Do you prefer a conservative style? And if so, where do you go now that you have stopped shopping at BB? Have you found a suitable replacement for conservative business attire?
     


  5. JohnMS

    JohnMS Senior member

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    Will,

    Thanks for your input. It would be really interesting to thumb through some older BB catalogs before the change. Anyone have any scanned copies of catalogs from the 60s or 70s?

    Interested to note that in what they call their 'luxury' line of shirts, I have a couple of different patterns that have no chest pocket. Perhaps they're finally referring to their older roots?
     


  6. demeis

    demeis Senior member

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    Its sad that the mall stores are so bad, i used to work at and oulet and we had great customer service, its what our managers pushed more than anything. In fact they started to send them to the mall stores i think in lee mass or somewhere in mass to help build up there customer service again. I've been a fan of their stuff since i started working there but these last two shirts kind of put me off along with finding better brands thatnks to styleforum.
     


  7. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    Ken -- not only that, but they were taught to "fear" wrinkles, apparently. To lapse into embarassing snobbery: they are the sort who put plastic on their furniture.
     


  8. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    Shirts, sweaters, trousers, many suits, most of the haberdashery, boxers, socks, formal wear, even some of the ties, I fear.

    I would still buy: some shoes, ties, maybe a Greenfield suit if I needed one. That's about it.

    There are several discussions that will answer all your questions on AA.
     


  9. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    Sir,

    I agree with you completely about Nordstrom's over Brooks and the horror of the dual-sized sleeve.

    Yrs,

    H.
     


  10. crs

    crs Member

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    I tried the Brooks non-irons. They don't last very long. The collars, cuffs and the part where the buttons and button holes are fray quickly, exposing a white lining. Also, they look and feel artificial.

    In general, though, I still like Brooks Brothers. Like it, don't love it. But I've been learning a lot about other options lately from the people on this site and Ask Andy and might give Mercer or Gitman Bros. a try next time I need shirts.
     


  11. auto90403

    auto90403 Senior member

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    Maybe BB's no-iron shirts not as nasty as I fear, but I've always avoided them.

    Every year for the past 20, I've ordered a half dozen MTM dress shirts from BB with a bit slimmer cut than their RTW that I wore in school and college. If you buy them on sale, they're a great value.

    I think BB's quality is finally perking up. Their clothes seem a dressier. There's less of that ugly business-casual-meets- preppy-bad-taste that characterized their look for far too long.

    The Italians are doing a good job. But they still have a ways to go.
     


  12. linux_pro

    linux_pro Senior member

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    Well, I have bought 4 Martin Greenfield (Golden Fleece) suits in the last few weeks on sale for $500 each, and a pretty nice blazer for $500. I like them all. I picked up a couple no-iron shirts which are nice for the price. For $70, I could care less if they die in the next year or two. That's pocket change. They look pretty nice and fit well, so I'm not complaining.

    I am going to order a Jantzen shirt to see how it works out, and if I like those, I'll probably end up going with those in the future.

    The suits I picked up however are first-rate compared to the others I've owned (Canali, Zegna, Borelli, etc). I'll take some pics and post on here for others to judge.
     


  13. JohnMS

    JohnMS Senior member

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    I purchased the following shirt from a friend over the weekend to try out (would not have paid $108). http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatPr...._Id=203 It's interesting the talk about the generous cut of the BB shirts. I've never tried custom shirts, but have always been bothered with how generously cut BB and other maker's shirts are, but didn't realize how much until I tried the BB shirt. No front pocket, wonderful collar, which seems to be between a spread and cutaway, french placket, double button cuffs, and fits much slimmer than regular BB shirts. I'm finally starting to catch a glimpse of what everyone is talking about with slimmer-fitting shirts. I feel 25 lbs lighter today (or at least look 25 lbs lighter).
     


  14. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    I hope you were serious in wanting comments.

    I don't know if BB did the tailoring, but either the right blazer sleeve is too short or the left is too long. In any case, they aren't the same - which they should be.
    The right side of the blazer collar gaps more than 1/2" off your neck.
    The suit is a bit tight in the waist - notice the fabric pulling on the right side below the buttoned button and the lower button not lining up vertically under the upper button.

    These are ALL things which would have been corrected by a competant alterations department in a good store prior to your leaving with the jacket. I agree with the other posters. BB quality did its decline many, many years ago. And to a level so far down that there was virtually nowhere to go but up. Now, the new owners say they are correcting that. Is it true ... or is it just another hand-stitched sleeve?
     


  15. linux_pro

    linux_pro Senior member

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    The sleeves are off because I was moving when the pic was taken.

    I have to take the blame for the waist. I asked them to take it in. Dammit. I didn't know it looked bad. I just don't like to look fat, or thick in the middle. I run 4 miles a day and I want it to show. I was wearing the blazer yesterday and didn't notice the buttons being off, I'll have to check that when I get home.

    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.
     


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