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Brooks Brothers quality

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Poloboy, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. Poloboy

    Poloboy Well-Known Member

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    I am amazed at the amount of people who think that Brooks Brothers quality is high...

    The merchandise they sell today is no where close to the quality of 30 years ago.

    When Southwick bought them, there quality became crap...

    People old enough to remember the old Southwick suits, also see a remarkable drop in quality.

    Who else agrees?

    All thoughts are welcome.
     


  2. gnatty8

    gnatty8 Senior member

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    Quality varies a good bit depending on the item and who is subcontracted to make it. Most Black Fleece is very good quality. Mainline is hit or miss and buyer beware.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012


  3. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    Firstly, what merchandise do you know that is at the same level that it was 30 years ago? There aren't many, and the ones that are are prohibitively expensive.

    When compared to similarly priced goods (not suits) (read: BR, Jcrew, some prl, etc) I find the quality to be just fine.

    If you want to talk suits, that could be, but I don't buy BB suits really, so I don't know.
     


  4. VinnyMac

    VinnyMac Senior member

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    IMO, if we're talking about suits, then I disagree completely. Again, IMO, the quality is far from on par with the price.
     


  5. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    I find the quality reasonable for the asking price. Pretty far from "crap", IMO, and at least on par with comparably priced products.

    I'd like to know where one might expect to find quality comparable to those fondly-remembered suits of 30 years ago (a frame of reference I lack) at today's BB prices.

    If BB is "crap" then surely there must be several examples of far better quality for similar money.
     


  6. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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    Golden Fleece suits are quite nice. As are their made in USA luxury shirts. And their ties cannot be beat for the price point.
     


  7. anginaprinzmetal

    anginaprinzmetal Senior member

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    I agree that Golden Fleece suits are nice, yet quite expensive and, at least in my neck of the woods, the selection is usually poor. Other than that I have to say that their quality is crap. And with regards to suits not too far from JAB or the like.

    Shirts, sweaters, etc. it depends.

    But overall I agree with the OP, BB quality is overall poor and has been going downhill for quite a while.

    just my $ 0.02
     


  8. atoms

    atoms Senior member

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    It's all relative. I only own a couple of Brooks Brothers items. But the quality difference between their merino v-neck sweaters and j.crew factory is immediately obvious. I can't afford a $$$ sweater, so I appreciate the quality differences with what I can afford.

    I don't have anything to say about their other clothing.
     


  9. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    Brooks decine probably began in 1988 when it was purchased by Marks and Spencer.
    I know their merchanside for over 40 years. It was never fashion forward even within
    the Ivy Traditional context. That would have been Paul Stuart, Chipp I (now Winston
    Tailors) and others. Nevertheless, Brooks qualty was legendary. I had been buying their
    oxford cloth pajamas for years. When the older pairs I had bought still looked good and
    newer ones were falling apart, I knew something was amiss.
     


  10. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    This must be the umpteenth threak lamenting the decline of Brooks Brothers.


    Marks & Sparks went through it's own troubles and had to change, so did Brooks. If they stayed as they were, mainly doing traditional suits, ties and blazers, they'd probably gone out of business long ago. That's what happened to Dunn & Co in the UK, which was similar to Brooks AFAIK.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012


  11. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    well unless you have a time machine, you either have to deal with the reduced quality or pay several times more for higher quality stuff.

    such is life.
     


  12. Onlyoneoklahoma

    Onlyoneoklahoma Active Member

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    I am happy with the quality. I don't buy at full price typically, so maybe that is why. It is certainly better than what I can find in any department store in Oklahoma City.
     


  13. BeSpiffington

    BeSpiffington Senior member

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    First let me say that I'm new to this forum. So please be gentle. Lol. I'm 56 years old and have had a lot of different suits over the years. From MTM Hickey-Freemans and double-breasted Armani's, oh the eighties, to Canali's and the best Saville Row could offer. Given that most people buy their suits from retailers, which are corporate entities answerable to the vaugeries of the market, and not tailors with whom they have a personal relationship, it stands to reason that the overall quality of mens suits today would not be the same as it was in the latter parts of the 20th century. As to the overall quality of Brooks Brooks Golden Fleece suits specifically I find it to be above average. I'm fortunate in that I can walk into a BB 43R without needing a lot of alterations.I recently purchased a navy blue BB Golden Fleece two-button suit. Other then getting nicer buttons and functional cuffs I find BB suits to be pretty good with acceptable construction. People's tastes change as do fashion trends. I also like the Cavendish wool from England. The fact that the suit is constructed in America is important to me. One difference between me and many other men is that I don't have to wear a suit everyday. I like to wear suits. Looking good helps me feel good. It's just my personal style. The pricing at BB is relative. Thoughtful and discerning shopping is critical. Funny thing is I've never met a guy who spent thousands on a Kiton or Brioni to be real happy. Weird! If your not already a happy man expensive suits definitely won't do the trick. Here's a pic of the afore mentioned suit unfinished. I hope to post one of [​IMG]me in it after alterations.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013


  14. smittycl

    smittycl Senior member

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    I'm always amazed at why so many people disparage Brooks Brothers. It seems to be the uniform here in DC. They have many different quality levels and I find the 1818's to be almost perfect. Great fit, nice fabric and good tailors on hand in their main store here in Washington. There are enough fabric choices so you don't have to look like an FBI agent if you don't want to. I avoid the Golden Fleece as you can find many other nice suits at that price (Samuelsohn comes to mind). The Half-canvassed 1818's are made in both the USA and Italy, lots of options.

    The 346 and Suiting Essentials seem to be very low quality and are best avoided. I believe the 346 is made only for their outlets and are not carried in the main stores. Brooks' shirts and ties and also a good deal if you time their sales and never pay retail price.
     


  15. zHugh

    zHugh Member

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    I purchased a BB Black Fleece tie on their recent 70% off clearance sale and while I would not have paid the full $125 retail it is a very nice tie. The fabric is high quality and substantial as is the stitching/workmanship. As a side note I personally would not pay $125 for any tie so I am not saying that this tie is not worth that if you are so inclined and able to spend that kind of money on ties.
     


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