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"To Fall Apart Like a Robert Hall suit"

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by FlyingMonkey, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    This was apparently once a common phrase in the USA, as a result of the poor reputation of the Robert Hall brand, one of the first really mass-produced clothing brands in the country. However I recently came across a Robert Hall suit and it didn't seem too bad at all. Clearly not top quality, but certainly not as bad as some contemporary mass-produced suits, with nice fabric and reasonable construction. And if it's survived over 40 years already, it's certainly stood the test of time.

    So, was the company unfairly tarnished just for being too popular and successful? Are there any of their products worth picking up in thrift stores etc.? Or will they all just 'fall apart like a Robert Hall suit"?

    And what other brands today suffer from a similar (undeserved) reputation?
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  2. Bartolo

    Bartolo Well-Known Member

    Jun 29, 2009
    Boston Area
    $31.95 for a wool flannel suit. "Alterations are included."
  3. Gdot

    Gdot Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
  4. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Thanks. Bonds falls into the same category.
  5. Digmenow

    Digmenow Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2011
    The Land of Pleasant Living
  6. JLibourel

    JLibourel Well-Known Member

    Aug 7, 2004
    Robert Hall! This brings back some memories of the days of my youth. I remember some of their singing commercials about "Back to Robert Hall." However, I never patronized one of their establishments.
  7. comrade

    comrade Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2005
    Menlo Park, CA

    You showed admirable restraint. In the late 50s early 60s a Brooks Bros suit, from the University
    Shop, could be purchased for +/- $50. Admittedly, one had to by very Ivy. Robert Hall was anything but.
  8. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2004
    New York City
    I actually shopped at Robert Hall!

    I am 56 years old, and my father used to take my brother and me to the store at Kings Highway near McDonald Avenue in Brooklyn. Robert Hall had another, bigger store in downtown Brooklyn on Llivingston Street.

    It was a no-frills store in one big room with rack upon rack of clothing for men and boys. I would liken the atmosphere to Syms. (Poor Syms is the next entry in the clothing retail cemetery. "The paths of glory lead but to the grave.")

    An interesting point is that my father, a CPA in the prime of his professional life, did not buy his clothes there. He needed a higher level of quality, such as Number 6 tailoring. He went to a clothier in what is now the heart of Chinatown.

    It was considered good but not great clothing. At least good enough for a youth.

    At that time all tailored clothing was made in the USA. I believe that Robert Hall sold private label. At that time "designers" were unknown. Men bought "brands".
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  9. Sam212

    Sam212 New Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    I thought Bonds was fairly good. Well, at least ok for a 21 year old college student. I remember a three piece navy wool suit that I bought for $40, which looked pretty good and held up reasonably well. In fact I used to wear the suit pants as dress slacks with a sweater. It certainly had a much better impression than Robert Hall. Of course, now I pay as much as $100 for a dress shirt and over $1,000 for a suit, but then inflation plus business success enabled me to buy w/o looking a tthe price tag.

    One advantage in those days (the mid and late 60s) was that at least you could be specific summer and specific fall-winter suits. Now it's almost always year-round suits.

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