KDavid Umlauf

Starting Member
Hello Trad folks! So, for my research, I'm interested in hearing if anyone remembers the list price of the trad Brooks Brothers oxford cloth shirt.

You know, the one, the big baggy pink one featured in the Preppy Handbook from 1982.
 
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Danny

Super Member
Equivalent of about $77 today, interesting. Can definitely have a nice OCBD for that, but not a USA made one. You could up until a few years ago during the BB half yearly sales though.
 

KDavid Umlauf

Starting Member
They are indeed.

Mr. Gould you bring up an interesting discussion. The list prices on these shirts if about 140 buck, but they are regularly on sale for about 92 and then on the "special" sales available for about 70 and maybe less.

This is true of a lot of brands these days. I wonder if it makes sense to ask the group for their various opinions on the matter of pricing.

Thanks

David Umlauf
 

KDavid Umlauf

Starting Member
My sense is that there's an attempt by many manufacturers to enhance brand image through pricing, yet practice price discrimination through a sort of "Dutch auction"

There's a small group of people who will pay retail, some who will buy on sale, on clearance and then the clearance where they'll knock "an additional 20% off lowest listed price" So lets say that you paid 69 for yours, another might have paid 79 a 3rd paid 92 and then yet another actually paid full retail.
I'd bet that the price to BB for getting the garment onto the shelves in the warehouse, fully laden with storage and handling costs may be 11 or 12 bucks. Regardless of the selling price, they make money and lots of it.
 

Charles Dana

Honors Member
There's a small group of people who will pay retail, some who will buy on sale, on clearance and then the clearance where they'll knock "an additional 20% off lowest listed price" So lets say that you paid 69 for yours, another might have paid 79 a 3rd paid 92 and then yet another actually paid full retail.
I'd bet that the price to BB for getting the garment onto the shelves in the warehouse, fully laden with storage and handling costs may be 11 or 12 bucks. Regardless of the selling price, they make money and lots of it.
Yes, I’d say you are correct. The customers who pay full price and those who pay the first-round-of-discounts price more than subsidize those who buy the same merchandise at deep discounts.

And all along, merchants charge what the market will bear.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
My sense is that there's an attempt by many manufacturers to enhance brand image through pricing, yet practice price discrimination through a sort of "Dutch auction"

There's a small group of people who will pay retail, some who will buy on sale, on clearance and then the clearance where they'll knock "an additional 20% off lowest listed price" So lets say that you paid 69 for yours, another might have paid 79 a 3rd paid 92 and then yet another actually paid full retail.
I'd bet that the price to BB for getting the garment onto the shelves in the warehouse, fully laden with storage and handling costs may be 11 or 12 bucks. Regardless of the selling price, they make money and lots of it.
Yes, I’d say you are correct. The customers who pay full price and those who pay the first-round-of-discounts price more than subsidize those who buy the same merchandise at deep discounts.

And all along, merchants charge what the market will bear.
I agree with all this. The challenge, for the company, becomes repeating this process without the bulk of its customers getting so wise to the game that they know how to play it. Once that happens, you end up sliding to the J.Crew model of sales almost every week as - and I've been told this by a friend in the industry - J.Crew's sales dry up when not on sale.

BB used to have (basically) two sale a year - January and June post-Father's day. Other than that, if you wanted something at BB, you paid full price. Also, those sales were a take-what's-left effort, so often times, you couldn't find the item you wanted.

When BB was set up that way, I often did pay full price as I didn't want to wait for a sale on the chance that I could find the item I wanted. Additionally, I always tried to get to the two annual sale early to find some good value. Now, in today's BB, I never, ever pay full price as I know some sale is alway coming shortly. I also know that if I'm not in a hurry, I should wait for the "better" sale, which means more like 40% off than 20%.

One thing to note, BB's full price in the older days was fairer than BB's over-priced full price today. I never - and I mean this - felt ripped off paying full price at BB in the '80s and '90s, but today, I'd feel like I'm paying an intentionally inflated price that is meant to be bought only when put on sale.

Hence, BB, IMO, has now lost the game and is going to be stuck in the J.Crew model.
 

KDavid Umlauf

Starting Member
Sad, and perhaps that's why they had a bankruptcy. I shudder to think that a realty company, regardless of how successful they might be can run an operation such as BB.

Are there any people in the group here who ARE in gentlemen's fashion sales who might comment on this? I'd really love to hear your ideas.
 

Eligius

New Member
And in support of my last post, this in email from BB today:
View attachment 51436
I would like to poll this distinguished group. The last BB suit I bought was 17 years ago. It still fits but I no longer find the pleated pants and long jacket (I am 6’ so always on the fence) to my liking. I don’t wear suits often, don’t really need a new one at the moment (have a great navy Press Southwick) but thinking of eventual replacement cost for a charcoal staple...would you say $250 for an 1818 suit in its current construction is great value? (with 50% off and my rewards) True to what has been stated earlier, I paid full price, $650 for my Brooks Ease in 2003, and was completely happy. Now I would never sniff anything less than 50% off from BB.
 
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John M

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Hmm... I don't see 100% cotton trousers in there but just a poly/cotton poplin. What would a pair of casual trousers run back in the 80s?
 

peterc

Super Member
I just bought 3 with pocket oxford cloth shirts. I like the lighter fabric and minimally lined collar - NOT as a substitute for the previous heavier cloth ones, but rather as a supplement.

So, now I have these 3 new thinner cloth ones and 5 of the earlier heavy cloth ones. I like both equally and for different reasons. The 5 are traditional cut; the 3 Madison. I like the traditional cut better.

I wish I could find a way to date the partially lined USA made charcoal herringbone BB suit I found in a local thrift shop a few years ago. 44R. The trousers were super baggy, so I narrowed them a bit. Man, I like that suit. Fantastic vibe.
 

Eligius

New Member
I would be inclined to say yes, assuming of course the suit fits you well. My last 1818 suit purchase was probably 10 yrs ago though.
Thank you! It turns out I am a novice at using rewards, did not realize you cannot use them all at once, so it would only be $100 off the sale price (so about $400, or $450 if I went for the flannel).

I went into the B&M store here this weekend to check them out. I was surprised at the changes since the last suit I bought at BB. I looked at the Madison since I know this is the only fit whose pants I like. The jacket was OK, but the material seemed thin, and it just seemed like a much cheaper product than I expected based on prior recollection. In addition, the lapels were narrowed, and the shoulders were also somewhat more padded and squared than the Southwick made Press suit I bought a few years ago (this BB was also Southwick made). What was more surprising is that the material in my Brooks Ease from 2003 - their lowest line at the time I believe - seemed much nicer than the current 1818 model.

I suppose it's still a good value, but I decided to let it slide as their Black Friday 50% off deal ended last night. But this morning, I see 50% off is still going on for Cyber Monday, so I have time to reconsider!
 
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