- Apr 10, 2011
- Reaction score
Mitchells does well and they're just a smaller scale version of Brooks.The thing is that the USA mostly has a lot of very good stores, but the clothing will be from Italy, France, etc. There used to be all sorts of in-house tailoring and high quality ready-to-wear made in the USA, but that's mostly gone and so has the production.
Like Sam H pointed out, Brooks Brothers was excellent for the basics. But much of its cachet was that it both stocked high quality clothing and that it was the preferred venue of Society for shopping. That started to ebb towards the 1960s as retailers copied the styles to make sales, and has been declining ever since. The 1980s brought back a type of traditional 'Ivy' style among yuppie types, but even that was becoming shared with the kind of outdoorsy, bright coloured, hiking/skiing/sporty kind of clothes that eventually morphed into modern athleisure. Witness the rise and fall in interest for brands like Patagonia, Salomon, etc., whose clothes used to be manufactured to a much better standard. The 1980/90s sportswear was a way of saying: "I have the time and interest to be outdoors," when most aspirational types were stuck in cubicle offices and only took trips on weekends. Now the people who jump on that sportswear bandwagon are about 20 years late.
The appeal of Brooks Brothers is about 70 years too late. Expansion and offering 'diffusion' lines like Red Fleece was an attempt to stay profitable, but it failed because they simply aren't 'it' anymore. If anyone wants that nostalgic style these days they are more likely to stop by Ralph Lauren or a thrift store first. Other retailers that stock European luxury goods have been doing well - sounds like a hint to me.