1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

Brooks Brothers....Made In USA?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by PeteyPete, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. PeteyPete

    PeteyPete Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    I was in my local Brooks Brother's store earlier today picking up a few iron free shirts and happened to wander into the suit area and found some decent looking stuff. Now i'm usually a Hickey Freeman sack suit kinda guy, but i'm always willing to give other companies a shot if the quality is up to snuff.

    I've heard the Italian made BB is made by Isaia, and their US made line is tailored by Martin Greenfield. Is it worth the trip to NYC's Madison store for the Isaia made suit which isn't for sale in my local BB Retailer. How is the quality of the Greenfield made suit? How does it compare to HF's Collection line?

    I've heard that BB has had some issues in the past w/ their suits since Marks & Spencers took them over, but have made a rebound...Can anyone confirm this? I just asked the salesperson about the quality of their premier line and he mentioned that their Golden Fleece line are all Loro Piana Super 120's, and all sewn, not fused.

    Can anyone give me any insight into how the newest US made offerings by BB contends w/ the HF Collection line in terms of quality, material durability, and overall cut. They have a 20% off deal going on Black Friday, is it work dropping $800 for one of their "highest quality" suits (normally goin for $1059)?
     
  2. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

    Messages:
    9,452
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    This fall I bought one of their Golden Fleece, made in Italy suits, $1500. I absolutely think they are worth it. It is 3-piece, great lapel roll, I love the shoulder, lots of handwork, curtained waistband on the trousers, and I was very satisfied with their alterations aside from taking in the waist of the trousers and losing the "V" at the back on the waistline. I was a little upset about that. Otherwise, a very positive experience. Nice fabric, great construction. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. PeteyPete

    PeteyPete Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Very nice digs.

    I assume that was made by Isaia for BB...they did a great job w/ that suit.

    Did you happen to see or try on the USA made suits? I'm wondering if there is any significant difference between the US and Italian made suits if they are both made of Loro Piana super 120's.
     
  4. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

    Messages:
    9,452
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    No, I didn't try on the U.S. ones. Most BB suits are single vent and I generally only like double vents, which some of the Italian ones have.
     
  5. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior member

    Messages:
    812
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Location:
    New York City
    I give the Brooks/Greenfield the suit the edge over Hickey Freeman collection because:

    1. More hand tailoring in Greenfield, i.e., handmade buttonholes; lapel buttonhole keeper; handsewn collar, underarms, and shoulder; sleeves do not have buttons for shortening/lenghtening or sewing buttonholes; and handsewn trouser waistband with a skirt waistband; and

    2. Full canvas front; and

    3. Better priced in that Brooks regularly runs some sort of promotion or sale.

    My personal favorite is the Greenfield, and I have been privileged to know Martin and his sons.

    The Hickey suit is very good, and you won't go wrong with Hickey. A veteran salesman at Oxxford who used to work at Bergdorf as well as other venues says that Hickey fits 95% of the customers. Other veterans say that Hickey is the best value in top class suitings.

    The fit is solely a personal issue. Another issue is which store has the better tailoring staff. An excellent tailor can "make" a suit look great (as well as you looking great).
     
  6. johnw86

    johnw86 Senior member

    Messages:
    462
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio
    That's a classic suit. Glad to hear that top-of-the-line BB compares favorably with Hickey. Today I'm wearing my new BB (from E-bay) and I have two Hickey-Freeman suits on the way. [​IMG]
     
  7. Alexis

    Alexis Senior member

    Messages:
    170
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    What's the lining look like on that BB? Isaia MTM has a great selection of colorful linings and I wondered if this carried over into BB.

    BTW, nice suit.
     
  8. PeteyPete

    PeteyPete Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Thanx for all the responses guys.

    Does anyone else have any opinions on US made BB's relative to their Italian made line?
     
  9. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

    Messages:
    13,141
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I don't believe Isaia makes the BB Italian made suits. Someone had posted the maker before, but it wasn't Isaia (at least not anymore) Isaia made their suits until about 10 years ago AFAIK. People have mentioned that they are made by Cantarelli.
     
  10. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

    Messages:
    9,452
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Nothing colorful, it's just all brown, 100% cupro, hand-sewn [​IMG]
     
  11. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

    Messages:
    2,686
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Isaia no longer makes the Golden Fleece. It apparently is Cantarelli. I actually haven't seen the Italians in Boston since mid-June. But apparently they are plentiful in New York (and I hope Ebay at some point).

    Incidentally, I was in BB today and was checking out the new Greenfields. It appears that the price has gone up by about 15% (from 1098 to 1298 for the lowest range of fabrics). But the buttonholes seemed clearly done by hand to me, and there is probably some increased handwork in other parts of the suit as well, which justifies this increase. It works to our benefit actually because BB always marks the GF down to $698 during the semi-annual sales, whatever the original price.
     
  12. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior member

    Messages:
    812
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Location:
    New York City
    To zipj83:

    The lining is machine sewn made to look like handsewn. It is similar to machine pic stitching on the lapel which is made to look like hand sewn lapel edges.

    Hand sewn linings have more irregular stitching.

    Many of the Italian suits employ this device. Generally, the English and American don't. They either have hand-stitches or no stitching at these points.

    Does this detract from the garment? No. Indeed, it is a nice touch.

    Is there any greater good served by a hand-sewn lining? Probably not. I have bespoke suits with and without the hand-sewn lining. I believe that it's an aesthetic issue solely.

    To Alexis:

    At Brooks MTM I believe that you can order a specific lining rather than a complimentary or standard coat lining. My salesman showed me one of his customer's coats which had two Nicole Miller silk scarves as coat linings. I have seen some use Hermes scarves. As you can imagine, a couple of Hermes scarves can add considerably to the cost.
     
  13. novalis

    novalis Senior member

    Messages:
    131
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    When is the Brooks semi-annual sale? Hopefully not too far off.
     
  14. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

    Messages:
    9,452
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Yup, my Flussers do not have any pick stitching on the lining
     
  15. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior member

    Messages:
    812
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Location:
    New York City
    On the pick-stitching on the lining, my first bespoke suit and sportscoat from a London tailor had this type of hand stitching. Then, my remaining orders did not.

    I suspect that the shop had a different tailor sew my subsequent orders and that tailor did not employ pick-stitching. I understand that an individual tailor would sew my coat from beginning to end.

    The deletion of the stitching leads me to believe that this tailor did not deem it essential to either the fit or longevity of the suit. In other words, the stitching was a nice touch, but it served no useful purpose.
     
  16. Horace

    Horace Senior member

    Messages:
    1,447
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Brummel:

    much thanks for your post. interesting. what other areas of the coat would you deem hand-stiching to be purely aesthetic?

    (and I suppose it might matter whether the fabric was heavy or not).
     
  17. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior member

    Messages:
    812
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Location:
    New York City
    Dear Horace:

    I believe that hand stitching is mostly aesthetic on the edge of the collar, lapels, and pockets. It serves no real purpose. I believe that you do not need stitching at all, and that those edges can be either machine stitched or bluff stitched.

    It can be argued that these areas need hand stitching in order to be more flexible in that hand stitching is more flexible at areas which are rounded or curved (e.g., the collar and lapels). In comparison, the straight seams of the trousers can be machine stitched, and the bespoke boys from Savile Row and Napoli all machine stitch the long seams of the slacks and the coat.

    However, this little detail of pick-stitching makes a suit look better than RTW. It is a signal that this is a handmade suit and that the wearer is a man of importance. It might serve little function, but its aesthetic/sociological/psychological purpose is sound.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by