Quality of Brooks Brothers and Jos A Bank Slimfit Shirts

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by StyGen, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. StyGen

    StyGen Member

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    Hi everyone, long time reader, first time poster, hoping you guys can provide me with some insight.

    I recently took some non-iron slimfit shirts from brooks brothers and Jos A Bank to my tailor and when he finished the job, he told me to not buy from these companies again because they were glued/fused.

    I'm not sure about Jos but I always thought Brooks were of pretty high quality so is it true that their shirts are glued? If they are that would be a shame since I own over a dozen of them.
     
  2. StyGen

    StyGen Member

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    Yeah I'm sure you're right. The only thing that's bothering me is that all I had him do was take in the sides and the sleeves, which makes me think that he was referring to the seams on the sides as well (not just the collar).

    Another thing about the non-iron shirts these companies make is that the fabric feels rough, I'm guessing it's whatever they spray into the fabric to keep it from wrinkling. I think I'm just going to get regular high-quality shirts and just have them tailored.
     
  3. johnny_flapjack

    johnny_flapjack Senior member

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    I'm in the middle of a hate-fest with the non-iron shirts from both makers as well. Even though I'm not a slim guy, my big neck makes the standard model shirts look like tents. Further, the arms sort of look like I'm wearing a the Bat Cape when I stand with my arms down due to all of the excess fabric. This has moved me into the slim fit shirts. I just got some new ones form both companies, and I'm really disappointed with them. One of the biggest issues for me is that they BOTH have not only gone away from putting two buttons on the cuff, but all eight of the shirst I recently purchased (3 brooks, 5 JAB) also no longer have the button above the cuff that holds the sleeve together where it splits (no idea what that button or part of the shirt is called). I'm in the same camp with you on moving away from these shirts. There's another thread in the Men's Clothing section started recently that discusses a couple of online sources for MTM dress shirts. They may cost more, but if they actually fit and are well constructed I may have to go that way - and the majority of the shirts I bought are going back.
     
  4. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  5. warlok1965

    warlok1965 Senior member

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    JF,

    What about moving the buttons yourself? It seems like that would be a small price to pay if the rest of the shirt fits and looks good. I got a couple of the slim fit BB oxfords during the recent sale and they are as good as I could hope for fitwise for an OTR shirt. The lack of an above-the-cuff button doesn't really bother me but that's just me.

    On the other hand I'm still waiting for a custom shirt I ordered from Jantzen in early November of last year. [​IMG]
     
  6. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

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    Gauntlet button Johnny. I don't have them on my BB shirts either.
     
  7. unpainted huffheinz

    unpainted huffheinz Senior member

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    Gauntlet button Johnny. I don't have them on my BB shirts either.

    That's probably because Brooks have never had gauntlet buttons on their standard 'polo' shirts (OCBD and pinpoint).
     
  8. johnny_flapjack

    johnny_flapjack Senior member

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    That's probably because Brooks have never had gauntlet buttons on their standard 'polo' shirts (OCBD and pinpoint).

    Odd. I just got rid of a couple of Brooks shirts that I'm sure had gauntlet buttons. I think they were Brooks 346 maybe, but then it doesn't make sense to me that they'd go to the extra expense of that additional feature on their cheaper line of clothing.
     
  9. StyGen

    StyGen Member

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    style gen
    Your tailor was referring to the collars and cuffs. I doubt the side seams were closed with a glue gun.

    Johnny Flapjack
    you sound like a candidate for custom shirts. Yes, online is chaeper, but it will be just as frustrating. have yourself measured.

    Carl


    Yes I think that's what he was referring to, wonder what he was doing opening up the collar/cuffs when all I asked him to do was slim down the waist and the area under the arms.

    From his tone, I'm hesitant to ask him to slim down more of these shirts (perhaps too much trouble?). The finished job was decent at best also (stitching appears hastened). Guess it's time to try another tailor.
     
  10. JoeWoah

    JoeWoah Senior member

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    The quality of the BB slim fit shirts are decent, not the best, but certainly far from the worst. I find that they only last about a year; wear, wash and dry takes it's toll on these shirts... beyond that, they get relegated to bar wear and under sweaters.
     
  11. mcmillin

    mcmillin Well-Known Member

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    First of all, I will admit...I am "one of them". I manage a JoS. A. Bank store...so take what I have to say with that in mind. Another admission: I have worked with my tailor for long enough and learned enough from her that I often tailor my own clothing. That being said, I will absolutely guarantee that the side seams of our Executive or Traveler shirts are not glued. They are all single-needle tailored and DO include a "tape" or seam-binding that prevents puckering after laundering. Another misconception is that our Traveler shirts are sprayed or dipped to be wrinkle-free. Our Traveler system is included in the thread used to weave the fabric before it is built into a shirt. The upside of this is that the treatment doesn't wash off or wear out. This also means that you get one of the only wrinkle-free shirts in the world that is 100% cotton, really wrinkle free (Source: Wall Street Journal and Consumer Reports), and is NOT dipped in formaldehyde.

    Another point: As a way to save money, most companies produce shirts with 2 sleeve lengths (32/33, 34/35). On those shirts you will find 2 buttons on the barrel cuff as the adjustment between the two lengths. If you use the button that leaves the cuff smaller, that is the smaller of the 2 measurements. It serves to force the shirt to ride up on your wrist slightly to act as a shorter length. (This is where the gauntlet button comes into play. When your shirt rides up, that gauntlet will tend to open. You might actually be wearing your shirt one size too long.) Since JoS. A. Bank takes the extra step to manufacture each exact sleeve length you'll notice there is only one button. If you prefer to have the cuff slightly tighter, but the sleeve length is fine, just ask the tailor (available in almost all of our stores...and should be available to do outside alterations, too) to move the button for you.

    One warning - if you have your Traveler shirts dry cleaned instead of laundered, make sure to use very light starch. The chemicals most dry cleaners use hasten the deterioration of the treatment and fabric. I always recommend just having them laundered, though...or save the $4/shirt and do it yourself at home.

    I hope I may have helped clear some things up - as an inside voice.

    [email protected]
     
  12. Shoe City Thinker

    Shoe City Thinker Senior member

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    mcmillin, welcome to StyleForum.

    I had concerns that the JAB wrinkle-free shirts had formaldehyde. That's good to know. I have a few as backup shirts in case I have to dress up at short notice and my regular (not wrinkle-free) shirts are at the cleaners.
     
  13. furo

    furo Senior member

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    I own about 8 of the BB slim fits (some 346 and some retail). The BB 346 have the 2 buttons on the barrel cuff and the retail ones only have one button.

    I'm perfectly happy with all of them but then again, I've only had them all for about 8 months or less, so I'm curious to know why they'd "fall apart" or be worn out in a year as the above poster mentioned.

    If so, why would they wear down any quicker than a non-wrinkle-free shirt? The chemical treatment?

    And here's another question: if we're comparing shirts like these, what is the price range of those shirts that "last longer than a year?" I typically get the BB slim fit shirts on sale for about $30 a piece (marked down from $80 retail).

    It doesn't make any sense to me to pay $300 for a RLPL shirt or something, especially since they aren't even cut slim and tailoring a shirt is a lot of unneeded expense imo, but that's just me.
     

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