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Brooks Brothers - What to buy? What to avoid?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by sygyzy, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. sygyzy

    sygyzy Senior member

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    I will be visiting the Brooks Brothers outlet on Sunday. I have seen them mentioned here and there. I don't plan on purchasing a suit but I do need dress shirts and maybe some dress pants. Are there any particular lines or styles I should try to purchase. Similarly, anything I should stay away from? I'd like some shirts with french cuffs since I don't have any yet. Ties might be on the radar as well as one or two pairs of slacks. Anyway, I don't want to make a mistake and buy a shirt because it was a great deal them come back to find out I should have left it on the rack because it's poor quality, or something.

    Any help, tips, and tricks, would be greatly appreciated.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Aureus

    Aureus Senior member

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    So. Cal.
    Outlets mainly sell the 346 line. Personally I've got a few of their 346 shirts from the outlet at a 3/$100 sort of deal. Whatever the hand-made quality issue etc.. they're slim-fits and are slim enough that I like them. They've held up well over a year of heavy formal and casual wear. I rather like them. They're also machine washable (big faux pas here).
     
  3. Patrick06790

    Patrick06790 Senior member

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    NW Connecticut
    Most of the shirts are non-iron, which many people find unacceptable. Also the 346 line shirts have averaged sleeves, which works out well for me since I am an in-between size.

    I have quite a few of the non-iron point collar blue and white shirts. They are a standard go-to item for me. I do not find they have a problem with breathability, and I get hot easily.

    I would avoid the non-iron buttondowns. Those collars will never roll properly.

    Check any patterned non-iron shirts carefully for a sort of plasticky feel to them. If it's present don't buy. It won't go away with washing.

    On the other hand I've found some non-iron patterned and striped shirts at BB outlets that were indistinguishable from a standard fabric.

    The ties are usually the 346 line - nice enough, but nowhere near as substantial as the regular ones. Look carefully, though - "Makers" ties do sneak in from time to time.

    Slacks are nothing to write home about - good enough if there's a deal. I do have a couple of their "brushed twill" trousers that have worked out well.

    In short, a crap shoot, but worth investigating if you happen to be nearby.
     
  4. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Senior member

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    I would avoid the non-iron buttondowns. Those collars will never roll properly.

    ? I have several of these shirts, no problems with the collar.
     
  5. designprofessor

    designprofessor Senior member

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    I have a couple of their pocket sq's that get alot of use.
     
  6. cpac

    cpac Senior member

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    At a BB outlet I would generally avoid anything from the 346 line, which is sub-par in quality. If you happen to find anything from the Golden Fleece line, you may have found a fantastic deal.
     
  7. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Of the 346 line, I've heard good things about the socks and the ties, though I own neither. Personally, I'd stick to the remaindered main store merch, if possible. And stay far, far away from the 346 pajamas.
     
  8. billiebob

    billiebob Senior member

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    Regular BB outlets are fun for sport shopping. Occasionally you can score a Makers tie or an 1818 suit for very little. For wardrobe staples the 346 line is definitely a cut below the retail stores.

    The BB 25% off sales (which happen around 6 times a year) are the time to go to the retail stores.

    If you are buying a lot of stuff, it may make sense to open up the credit account during a 25% off sale. They bumped all my purchases to 33% off for that day.

    I've been buying the luxury shirts on ebay for $20-35, which retail for 118 this Fall. They usually have very minor flaws. The USA luxury shirts have nice fabric and a much better fit than either the regular or slim fits. The buttons are plastic, pretty much my only complaint. If you're on a budget and like Brooks stuff, ebay is great, because of the buyers who sell all the North Carolina outlet stuff. The Golden Fleece italian shirts are very expensive, but really nice when you can find them (in odd sizes) on ebay for 30 bucks!
     
  9. StockwellDay

    StockwellDay Senior member

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    The Golden Fleece italian shirts are very expensive, but really nice when you can find them (in odd sizes) on ebay for 30 bucks!

    Please advise on the "fit" for the Golden Fleece. Is it like a slim fit? Thanks!
     
  10. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    Regular BB outlets are fun for sport shopping. Occasionally you can score a Makers tie or an 1818 suit for very little. For wardrobe staples the 346 line is definitely a cut below the retail stores.

    The BB 25% off sales (which happen around 6 times a year) are the time to go to the retail stores.

    If you are buying a lot of stuff, it may make sense to open up the credit account during a 25% off sale. They bumped all my purchases to 33% off for that day.

    I've been buying the luxury shirts on ebay for $20-35, which retail for 118 this Fall. They usually have very minor flaws. The USA luxury shirts have nice fabric and a much better fit than either the regular or slim fits. The buttons are plastic, pretty much my only complaint. If you're on a budget and like Brooks stuff, ebay is great, because of the buyers who sell all the North Carolina outlet stuff. The Golden Fleece italian shirts are very expensive, but really nice when you can find them (in odd sizes) on ebay for 30 bucks!

    Are you saying that the luxury shirts fit you better than the regular or slim fits because you fall in between those two? Or something else?
     
  11. Digmenow

    Digmenow Senior member

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    Found this today for 4 bucks. It'll be $2 US on Saturday. No apparent damage.

    [​IMG]


    Absolutely too long in the sleeve for me and too much room in the neck.

    [​IMG]

    Do I buy it anyway and wash the car in it?
     
  12. rathebaindc

    rathebaindc Senior member

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    Funny, I am wearing a 346 non-iron shirt right now, and I like it better than mainline non-irons. It's made from a thinner cotton, which makes it more breathable, and it doesn't have an awful box pleat in the back, rather the back is unpleated, which is a big deal for me. I have absolutely no quality issues with 346 line dress shirts. 346 suits, belts, shoes, etc, I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

    I also find tons of mainline dress shirts and ties in the outlet stores every visit. Perhaps it depends on which outlets you frequent . I've see racks of Golden Fleece shirts and from time to time, Black fleece garments at outlets.
     
  13. tcnjbanker123

    tcnjbanker123 Senior member

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    Check out the ties, you can usually find ones which say "Makers" (not made for outlet), though I was in an outlet about a year ago wearing a Retail store tie and I held, felt, and examined the 346 version and honestly couldn't tell the difference.
     
  14. Klobber

    Klobber Senior member

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    San Francisco
    I like the BB outlets. Quality not as good as the mainstream stuff, but even $200 can go far in there. I was not impressed by the quality of the suits, but bought a Long Coat 100% wool for $199 - it was a steal and as good as anything out there in the MSRP price range of under $800.
     
  15. enolasfinest

    enolasfinest Active Member

    Messages:
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    Feb 10, 2011
    At a BB outlet I would generally avoid anything from the 346 line, which is sub-par in quality. If you happen to find anything from the Golden Fleece line, you may have found a fantastic deal.

    I second that. Stay away from anything that says "346"
     
  16. enolasfinest

    enolasfinest Active Member

    Messages:
    42
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Most of the shirts are non-iron, which many people find unacceptable. Also the 346 line shirts have averaged sleeves, which works out well for me since I am an in-between size.

    I have quite a few of the non-iron point collar blue and white shirts. They are a standard go-to item for me. I do not find they have a problem with breathability, and I get hot easily.

    I would avoid the non-iron buttondowns. Those collars will never roll properly.

    Check any patterned non-iron shirts carefully for a sort of plasticky feel to them. If it's present don't buy. It won't go away with washing.

    On the other hand I've found some non-iron patterned and striped shirts at BB outlets that were indistinguishable from a standard fabric.

    The ties are usually the 346 line - nice enough, but nowhere near as substantial as the regular ones. Look carefully, though - "Makers" ties do sneak in from time to time.

    Slacks are nothing to write home about - good enough if there's a deal. I do have a couple of their "brushed twill" trousers that have worked out well.

    In short, a crap shoot, but worth investigating if you happen to be nearby.


    The fact that many SF's consider machine washing and non-iron shirts taboo is plain stupid. These people need to get a life.
     
  17. Faded501s

    Faded501s Senior member

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    The fact that many SF's consider machine washing and non-iron shirts taboo is plain stupid. These people need to get a life.

    I haven't kept up with SF as much as I used to but do not recall any knowledgeable members knocking the practice of machine washing shirts. In fact, the most informative articles I've seen recommended the practice. The caveat seemed to be breaking buttons IIRC. I know many only hand-wash and it seems dry-cleaning is a total crap-shoot (and probably the worst thing for any garment).

    The avoidance of non-iron is pretty straightforward due to the synthetic fibers contained in the cloth which retain odors and are generally considered not as breathable/comfortable, as 100% cotton.

    As far as the OP goes, it is a tough question. The branding means little anymore IMHO. Obviously the 346 line is the lower line and must be scrutinized more thoroughly. In all lines some BB is made of the highest quality materials and some is not. Some of the made in China stuff is better constructed than some of the made in Italy. When looking at any garment (anywhere) it is advisable to look at the details. How is it "finished"? Loose threads or buttons? Is the stitching even? I guess if there is one thing I've learned here it is to pay attention. Once you start doing so the "subtle" differences become glaring.
     
  18. Acer

    Acer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Feb 28, 2011
    I was just in the brooks brothers outlet a couple of hours ago, and I didn't see anything that caught my eye.

    $60 for "346" silk ties -- my $15 tiebar ties feel better, actually.
    $225 for wool SCs (1818) -- might have considered one if they had my size

    one thing that has me interested, though, is the 346 suits, their "BrooksStretch" line or whatever. They've got them there 2 for $499. There are some nice looking suits, but theyre all fused of course. Still, $250 for a new OTR suit that looks nice isn't a bad deal IMO. And, the 346 suits will probably hold up better than a kohls / belk suit at the same price point. just sayin'
     
  19. boston_bred

    boston_bred Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Feb 23, 2011
    I'm sure it depends on what area of the country you live, but I find Brooks Brothers all the time at my thrift stores, in all sizes, and all different lines (main, Golden Fleece and 346). Also, I've never found anything in one of their outlets that was worth what they were asking pricewise (IMO).
     
  20. deveandepot1

    deveandepot1 Senior member

    Messages:
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    Dec 17, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    As far as the OP goes, it is a tough question. The branding means little anymore IMHO. Obviously the 346 line is the lower line and must be scrutinized more thoroughly. In all lines some BB is made of the highest quality materials and some is not. Some of the made in China stuff is better constructed than some of the made in Italy. When looking at any garment (anywhere) it is advisable to look at the details. How is it "finished"? Loose threads or buttons? Is the stitching even? I guess if there is one thing I've learned here it is to pay attention. Once you start doing so the "subtle" differences become glaring.

    Best advice in this thread.
     

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