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Severe Brooks Brothers issues

mdp0430

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I'm having some issues with them...

First, their customer service is located in the Philippines. I called regarding a simple billing issue and they couldn't sort it out. I was told that if I call after 9am, I get a real US person. Seems reasonable; we'll see... (I had a nighmare customer service issue with Sears and their customer service people in the Philippines regarding a treadmill purchase so I'm still kind of leery).

Second, the stuff made in Thailand and China is total crap. For example, I bought 3 V-neck merinos in December that are all labeled Medium. However, every one of them fits differently. They vary in size up to 2 inches in the body and sleeve. Another example, a Saxxon overcoat I just bought that is made in China and is no warmer than wearing a cotton trench. I've also noticed the collars on some of my new slim fit shirts to be somewhat, for lack of a better description,TM Lewin-like (thinner and the material is rougher than in the past).

Just my recent experiences in the past couple of months. Hopefully they don't fuck up their pants. In the meantime, I need to find a new go-to brand. What are your issues?
 

bleachboy

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Oh goody, another Brooks Brothers bashing thread!
 

Mark Seitelman

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You get what you pay for.

I would say that Brooks has slipped from its perch as an upper-level store to a middle level store. Indications include the perpetual sales, "rewards program", corporate discount, and mass marketing through the internet and catalogues.

Most of the RTW is pretty low level. E.g., I wouldn't use the no-iron cotton shirts to wash my car. A tip-off is when the item is made abroad in either Asia or the Pacific rim, such as China, Vietnam, India, etc.

However, it does have some bright spots which include:

a) shoes;

b) oxford button downs (traditional fit, 100% cotton);

c) RTW suits and coats by Greenfield; and

d) MTM (shirts made in USA; suits made in USA by Greenfield).
 

SkinnyGoomba

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Not true, Hong Kong puts out some fantastic clothing and I'm impressed by a lot of what's made in China these days.

Brooks Golden Fleece is fantastic and at reasonable price levels. Their shirts are $175-$200 and suits are about $1600-$2300. That's not bad at all.
 

patrickBOOTH

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Originally Posted by SkinnyGoomba
Not true, Hong Kong puts out some fantastic clothing and I'm impressed by a lot of what's made in China these days.

Brooks Golden Fleece is fantastic and at reasonable price levels. Their shirts are $175-$200 and suits are about $1600-$2300. That's not bad at all.


When you can get something made to fit you here in America for the same prices, yes, those prices are pretty bad.
 

bleachboy

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Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
When you can get something made to fit you here in America for the same prices, yes, those prices are pretty bad.
Where are you getting American-made MTM for the price of a Brooks Brothers suit?
 

lee_44106

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Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
When you can get something made to fit you here in America for the same prices, yes, those prices are pretty bad.

spoken like a true New Yorker.


Not everybody can hop on the subway and go see Carl and have a batch of shirt made up.

Brooks Brothers, on the other hand, are in every major city.
 

mdp0430

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Originally Posted by Mark Seitelman
You get what you pay for.

To some extent, I agree. On the other hand, that Saxxon coat cost $1,000. I think that a coat should at least keep you warm for $1,000. Mind you, I only paid $550 after Christmas, same coat though...

I wish I could afford the Golden Fleece stuff. Unfortunately, I live in NJ, make under $100k and need to purchase a house. These factors limit me to the 1818 Fitzgerald line (when on sale), which I hope they don't mess up either.

I have no illusions of grandeur. I'm just looking for quality mid-level stuff, something I feel BB was doing very well in the past. I did manage to speak with a cust. svc. rep in the U.S., the difference is literally night and day than the rep I dealt with in the Philippines. Go figure.
 

Shirtmaven

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I don't think Brooks is working with Greenfield anymore.
why would they, when they dumped so much money into the southwick factory.
I could be wrong.

Brooks was never upper tier clothing. It was used to be well made good value. sturdy construction that lasted. not high end luxury.
the type of place that you bought the same item every few years and there was no difference in quality or fit.

Marks and spencer did serious damage.
the new ownership is doing their best, but by turning Brooks into a global brand, there have to be cost savings taken somewhere.

the quality is not the highest. and Brooks has also been reduced, like every major retailer and internet company to offer all sorts of confusing offers.

you never quite know what you are really supposed to pay.
also the mtm shirt out of Garland, NC it is overpriced. and just OK unless you get one of their discounts
 

Harold falcon

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Originally Posted by Mark Seitelman
You get what you pay for.

I would say that Brooks has slipped from its perch as an upper-level store to a middle level store. Indications include the perpetual sales, "rewards program", corporate discount, and mass marketing through the internet and catalogues.

Most of the RTW is pretty low level. E.g., I wouldn't use the no-iron cotton shirts to wash my car. A tip-off is when the item is made abroad in either Asia or the Pacific rim, such as China, Vietnam, India, etc.

However, it does have some bright spots which include:

a) shoes;

b) oxford button downs (traditional fit, 100% cotton);

c) RTW suits and coats by Greenfield; and

d) MTM (shirts made in USA; suits made in USA by Greenfield).


I agree completely. The OCBD (non-iron) are still a great buy and a great value. I would add that many of their ties are still made in the USA, and are of good quality.

I would not buy their made in Asia items. The must-iron shirts made in those countries are embarrassingly bad.
 

KObalto

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I just bought a made in Italy camel hair polo coat from their winter sale that I couldn't be happier with. A really classic item (and warm!).
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by SkinnyGoomba
Not true, Hong Kong puts out some fantastic clothing and I'm impressed by a lot of what's made in China these days.

That doesn't mean Brooks Brothers doesn't lower its quality control when it makes things in Asia.

Originally Posted by mdp0430
To some extent, I agree. On the other hand, that Saxxon coat cost $1,000. I think that a coat should at least keep you warm for $1,000. Mind you, I only paid $550 after Christmas, same coat though...

I don't think the price or quality of a coat necessarily has anything to do with how warm it wears.
 

mack11211

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Originally Posted by Shirtmaven
I don't think Brooks is working with Greenfield anymore. why would they, when they dumped so much money into the southwick factory. I could be wrong.
I asked the Southwick reps at the trade shows in Jan regarding this. Greenfield still does some of it, which is why shoreman still saw some BB on the racks during his recent Greenfield visit chronicled on the SF Frontpage. What the split is & how it works I do not know. but Greenfield is not entirely out of the BB picture, at least not yet. Re: Brooks history: Brooks in the 20th century was known for a maintaining a standard of quality, but not a standard of luxury. (For example, when I was querying the Southwick rep I was wearing a BB MTM job, which had an American cut with English details in a lovat green tweed. It was made in the 80s for someone of my size & still looks great, but does it have the make level of the best US/English/Italian bespoke? No.) During the M&S ownership,they had neither. Now, under the Del Vecchio (sp) ownership, the high end (BBBF) is somewhat luxurious, the low end is poor (but note there are no luxurious non-iron shirts -- you can't make a nice-feeling shirt with those textile treatments) while the middle range is mostly well styled and decently made, but more so than in the past caveat emptor.
 

ltontheqt

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I bought a couple merino Made in China V-necks that seem to fit the same, and fit similarly to a cotton China V-neck I bought a few seasons ago, so my experience differs from the OP's. At 46 bucks, or whatever it was during the post-Xmas sale, I don't expect the same quality, or nearly so, as the Drumohr piece I bought from Lance. They're OK, though. Plus, I own a few linen shirts from a few years back that are wearable enough. A lot of their stuff isn't great, but calling it crap is, IMO, an overstatement. Middle of the road, mediocre? Sure. Total crap? No.
 

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