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Old Brooks Brothers

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by CrimsonSox, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    Has anyone ever seen this type of cufflink? The only other example I've come across is in a photo of the Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg, featured in Flusser's Dressing the Man (below).

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    The picture reminds me that one of my favorite neckties is a shepherd's check wedding tie.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  2. HonoraNobilis

    HonoraNobilis New Member

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    O tempora, o mores! Thinking of the glories of university shops of yore is rather depressing. Although given the prevalence on my own campus of sweatpants, hoodies, skinny jeans, I can't say I'm surprised.
     
  3. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    Not quite correct, young man. Brooksgate was launched in 1976, not long before the beginning of the
    "Death Spiral" that has resulted in the present Brooks brothers. By the mid 70s I had abandoned BB for
    Chipp- mainly because Chipp RTW fit me better than the cut offered by the BB 346 shop.

    http://sartoriallyinclined.blogspot.com/2009/11/diffusion-lines-of-past-brooksgate-by.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  4. ChetB

    ChetB Senior member

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    Great thread. When I was big into thrift shopping, I assembled a wardrobe of 1960s–70s Brooks Brothers suits and sport coats (which I no longer have due to weight loss). I still have a 1940s or 50s Brooks Brothers tuxedo hanging in the closet that I'll try to post pictures of soon.
     
  5. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    Thanks ChetB -- I'd love to see the tailoring of Brooks Brothers from that era.
     
  6. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    The Kennedy influence on Brooks: the two button suit, 1962.

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    White linen coat from Brooks, 1954, in Vogue:

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  7. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    On the gentleman to our left, the Brooks Brothers natural shouldered overcoat. Vogue, 1934 describes him as "impeccably turned out by Brooks."

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    There was a time when Brooks was a fashion leader for women, who would buy shirts from the men's department. Here is a model in a Brooks Brothers white linen tuxedo shirt, 1950:

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    Brooks used to make all of its own suits, at least in 1934:

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  8. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    Brooks Brothers summer suiting from Vogue, 1955:

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    Shoe porn avant la lettre. Peal cap-toes ($52), by Brooks Brothers, 1954:

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    Not Brooks, but couldn't resist including this striking image from 1954 in Vogue. The look that would challenge Brooks Brothers -- custom-made by Dunhill tailors ($225) in Hunt & Winterbotham worsted flannel. Just when you whippersnappers in RLBL thought you were doing everything for the first time:

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    The Brooks Brothers shirt for women, Vogue, 1949:

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    What will the children wear? Brooks Brothers in Vogue 1935 suggests a double-breasted overcoat in "navy-blue chinchilla, with a warm plaid wool lining."

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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  9. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    What should I get for Christmas? Brooks Brothers has these suggestions from 1915 (click to enlarge). Opera pumps are only $6. Note that the velvet smoking jacket with silk lapels is called a "house coat." Because you'd never wear something so informal in public:

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    Why go to Huntsman when you can go to Brooks? 1925:
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    Brooks, 1905:
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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  10. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    just added this to my collection....


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    2 people like this.
  11. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    A Brooks Brothers summer, Vogue, 1938. The gentleman is dressed head to toe in Brooks, including the straw boater. The original photo layout is tilted to the side:

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    Brooks silk and cotton jacket, Vogue 1964. The front quarters seem unusually open, and the buttoning point relatively high, for the maker:

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    F. Scott Fitzgerald was a customer of Brooks Brothers. Look at that beautiful, natural, rounded shoulder. The lapels are so softly rolled. In this picture of Scott, from 1921, he's only 25 years old:

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    "You must go to Brooks' and get some really nice suits." -- This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  12. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    Suits aren't made the same way anymore. Look at what an actor playing Fitzgerald is wearing in a recent Woody Allen film. His lapels are flat, and the shoulder meets the sleeve at a sharper angle with a machine-made shoulder pad:

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    Fitzgerald's Brooks Brothers suits from the 1920s have much more natural, rounded shoulder, with softly rolled lapels. I feel like dancing when wearing such a beautiful suit:

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    I'd be happy to wear that suit, shirt, and tie today:

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    The jacket's breast pocket is exceptionally well-made. The pattern is matched, and the fabric? Get me a bolt of that right away:

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    A 3-roll-2, at 15:

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    At Princeton:

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    Not many people's passport photos look so good:

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    A lifetime of style:

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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
    3 people like this.
  13. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    There was a profile of Brooks Brothers in the May 7, 1938 issue of the New Yorker: "When Lindbergh landed in Paris after his transatlantic flight, an attaché at the American Embassy lent him a Brooks suit, which the aviator wore until his return to this country."

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    When Hollywood was Brooks:

    Quote: What is the difference between a tie and a scarf? Brooks Brothers clarifies in "The Practical Lexicographer," The New Yorker, March 2, 1946:

    Quote:
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  14. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    Brooks Brothers sucks now. Even compared to 10 years ago. It sucks bigtime.


    Moreover it seems they've adopted the JCPenney model - they probably sell 90% of their stuff on sale. It would be irrational to pay full price for their tailored clothing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  15. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    Well, I'm focusing this thread on photos, articles, and clothes from pre-1980s Brooks Brothers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
  16. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    Yeah, I realize that. But seeing this good, old stuff instantly makes me think of how inferior the new, bad stuff is.
     
  17. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    The first step to finding something that is lost is to realize that it's missing. If the clothes of the past are gone, we can only have the desire to recover and revive them if we remember how beautiful they were.

    A funny store about the Boston Brooks Brothers in the New Yorker, July 14, 1951:

    Quote: 1954, Newbury Street:

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    A model wearing a Brooks Brothers silk robe the same year, 1954:

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    Women have been shopping at the men's and boy's departments of Brooks for some time. The polo coat, 1910:

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    Speaking of overcoats, here's F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1924:

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    F. Scott Fitzgerald's grand-daughter confirmed in a 1996 article for the New York Times that the author wore Brooks Brothers:

    "At Princeton, Scott outfitted himself at Brooks Brothers. He was impeccably, aristocratically Ivy League. When he answered the call to the colors in 1917, he stopped again at Brooks Brothers to fill out his footlocker. In most of the early photographs I have seen, he is wearing a dark, finely tailored, three-piece suit."

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    Fitzgerald 1936 -- white bucks, button-down, and no break in the trousers. Of course, today there would be a savage howl from the jungle about the lack of shirt cuff showing.

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    The author with three piece suit and boots. With a natural shoulder, you can raise your arms more easily, without crumpling the shoulder padding:

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    Fitzgerald, 1920. When the trousers are appropriately high, you can't see the tie scarf or dress shirt between the waistband and the vest waistcoat (to use the diction of the era, for a moment):

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    The rounded shoulder and the true three button suit, 1920s:

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    Fitzgerald in 1907, at 11 years old. Once children dressed like adults and acted like adults. Now adults dress like children and act like children.

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    As a teenager, at 16:

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    23 years old. The polka dot tie:

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    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  18. Boil In Bag

    Boil In Bag New Member

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    Love the thread! Keep up the good work.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    Did you know that Brooks once sold evening clothes in vicuna? 1938:

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  20. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    What to do with those leftovers? Fitzgerald suggests in The Crack-Up:

    Quote: Happy Thanksgiving gentlemen.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013

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