Brooks Brothers Clearance Center (with pics, 56k warning)

crazyquik

Super Member
The Brooks Brothers Clearance Center is where great clothes go to die. It is an odd miss-mash of factory seconds with undetectable flaws, dealer samples, end of season close-outs, retail store stock that went to the 'Factory Stores' and still didn't sell, odd sizes, overruns, and truely defective merchandise.




Begin by leaving 346 Madison Avenue.



Drive 575 miles south and you'll end up a world away at 15 East Front Street, Garland NC.



In the red-brick storefront, note the gentlemen mannequins wearing plus 4s.

Entering under the Brooks Bros script, you find a room of almost nothing but shirts in two long rows down the middle, with ties lining one wall. We'll start there. I have trouble finding any decent ties there. The room is probably 50feet long or so and I only found about 3 repp stripe ties. Most are geometrics or prints that didn't sell well. There were a few ancient madder ties, some seersucker, a box of knits, and some of the skinny University width ties left.


Does anyone know Hamilton Moses? Because I bought his blue OCBD for $5.90


Non-iron seem to be the most popular and they fetch a premium, $19.90. The shirt below is a blue mini-houndstooth.


Several years ago Brooks did a run of contrast club collars. There are several long racks of these shirts there in about every size. I didn't buy these two on the trip last weekend, I had them from a previous trip. There is also a third version with a more conservative blue stripe.


There are also a lot of shirts with random monograms on them. Many of the shirts you see on the clearance section of the website, like the red tartan dress shirts with white contrast collars, end up here. I also found a lot of red stripe contrast collar shirts.

Oxford cloth popovers, but only in small, medium, and large sizing.

What I couldn't find where striped OCBDs :( I found a few, but none in my size.

There were 4 pairs of men's opera pumps at $69 each. Some silk stockings at $2.

By the register wool scarves were $15-25. Several cardboard boxes of ribbon and tartan D-ring belts at $10-15 each.

This shirt, a detachable collar single cuff bib front Golden Fleece for white tie, which retails at $225, is about $15 I think, and they have boxes and boxes of them. Must not be very popular.



I had already picked one up on a previous trip but I got a matching vest for $20 this time. I have also seen Golden Fleece tailcoats for $300.

Speaking of Golden Fleece, below is the $79 Golden Fleece suit I bought. Plain navy 3 button high roll. Not very trad. Probably didn't sell because it is an incredibly boring navy, not the fabric you would expect at the Golden Fleece level.


There is a pass-thru that lets you walk into the room behind the red-brick storefront. This is the room of outerwear, mens suits, trousers, sweaters, boys clothes, and ladies. They had a lot of casual coats, canvas barn coats, wax jackets, cord coats, and sometimes duffle coats.

Don't get your hopes up though, most of the suits are orphaned suit jackets. The rest are mainly small sizes (36 and 37) or large sizes (50+). There were also over a dozen tan poplins. Last time I was there they had about 20 seersuckers. They currently have 4 decent winter tweeds, all in 40R I think.



This sweater was $14.90, as was the one below.





These chocolate 100% cotton trousers were $6.90, but originally I would hate to guess what they cost. The tag has been marked down several times from $59.99 which was already a markdown at the Factory Store.



While checking out I picked up a packet of two pairs of cuff links for $1. I'd never seen any like these.

And this is where the magic happens. The Garland Shirt Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Brooks Bros. If you order one of those space-age MTM digital tailoring shirts in Madison, it's made here.



According to the intarweb, Garland Shirt Company also makes shirts for https://www.workshopshirts.com/ I wonder if they would sell direct or make an AskAndy shirt?



Garland Shirt Company is the largest employer in town of about 800 people. I did find some pretty large turkey and chicken farms outside of town though. There is no real traffic light in town, but there is one intersection where cross traffic has a flashing red stoplight and thru traffic on Highway 701 has a flashing caution light. The per capita income is $13,500 and a quarter of the residents live below the poverty level. There is a Dollar General store but it is having a going-out-of-business sale.

For those of you who live far far away from Garland, you could buy from several ebay arbitrageurs who live in eastern NC such as armyhardhat. I suspect at least one of them would take special requests if you wanted something that wouldn't sell well on ebay (a tab collar shirt or pique waistcoat for wearing with white tie).
 
Last edited:

Financier

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I've been to the store in Garland. couple of great shirts at $10-15 each, if you can get over the fact that one wrist was larger than the other on one of the shirts.

Also got a $400 3/4 length overcoat for about $60.

Wonderful place.
 

I_Should_Be_Working

Senior Member
Perhaps what will save places like Garland will be MTM, other short turnaround time pieces, and specialty items. It is more difficult to do such work half a world away. BTW, the better level GF shirts were made in USA ($175 vs $148; iron vs non-iron), not from the malaysia source.
 

AlanC

Sartorial Sultan<br> Moderator, Trad Forum
I have some friends out on the NC coast. Maybe it's time I paid them a visit...
 

jamgood

Elite Member
No pics of the final clearance area behind the curtain at the back of the store? Railroad awnings?

Bring your own red Sharpie day is every other Tuesday. Store closes at 5PM.

Too bad about the Dollar General. That may be the last of the public restrooms in Garland.

About a year ago I did an eBay search of Brooks Brothers sellers within 50 miles of the Garland zip code. I think it indicated about 6, 3 selling significant amounts. Aside from armyhardhat in Fayetteville, there was a seller of mostly ties and shirts in, I believe, Duplin. Also, someone closer to Raleigh.

Golfing Yanks and other nefarious outlanders drive over from Pinehurst when visiting, probably 60 miles away. Their Gordon Gekkoish illgotten PCIs are usually above $13K.

The BB distribution center is about 30 miles north of Garland, but no outlet there. That's why stuff ends up in Garland. I've bought sweaters that had never seen a store shelf, excess inventory, had to wait for the lady to open the plastic bag to mark the label. Just outta the box on new arrival day. Dumb luck.

Ja go to nearbye White Lake? It's the Hilton Head of land-locked SE N.C. Very exclusive. Hafta know somebody. www.whitelakenc.com

Cray-zee,
Crayzee for feelin' soo lone-lee
Cray-zee,
Crayzee for feelin' soo oh blooe
I'm crayzee for lyin'
& crayzee for tryin'
&, well we won't get into that.......
 
Last edited:

Hobson

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I'm curious, how does the merchandise/pricing compare with a typical Brooks Bros. outlet? It seems as if this store has much deeper discounts. Also, do you see many "346" items from the outlets there?
 

crazyquik

Super Member
I'm curious, how does the merchandise/pricing compare with a typical Brooks Bros. outlet? It seems as if this store has much deeper discounts. Also, do you see many "346" items from the outlets there?

A lot of the merchandise started at the retail stores. It was then shipped to the 346 Outlets and retagged, and still sat on the shelves/racks there. Almost everything I bought had been retagged, so it was in a 346 Outlet and still no one would buy it. The last stop before write-off must be the Clearance Center.

Somewhere between the retail store and the Clearance Center, TJMaxx gets in on some of the ties. I'm not sure if that's before they are 'sent down' to the 346 Outlets or after. Between TJ's and 346 Factory Stores, that probably explains why there are few regimentals or repps at the Clearance Center. Lots of ties but few I wanted. There are also defective ties which were cut on the wrong bias or has nits, picks, runs, etc on them.
 
Last edited:

enecks

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Thanks so much for the report, crazyquik. I'll definitely be making a pilgrimage to Garland once I escape back to North Carolina. The trip will also more than likely involve enjoyment of sublimely prepared pork. Oh how I miss the barbecue.
 

rdhancock

New Member
Takes Me Back

It's good to see that the store hasn't changed much. When I was in school in Chapel Hill we used to run down there a fair amount and you just never know what you'll find. I'm a 50L so I usually come up empty, or hit the mother lode.
 

Ekphrastic

Senior Member
I just gave 'em a call, asking if they ship--they don't. You have to go there in person. I also sent a message to armyhardhat on eBay, asking if he still makes trips out there; it looks like he hasn't sold anything in half a year. We'll see what he says.

Of course, if anybody here is willing to make a trip down...
 

hockeyinsider

Elite Member
With mobile telephones advanced the way they are, someone nearby could take a list of what forum members want and then take a photo if they find something and e-mail the person instantly to see if they want it.
 
Your email address will not be publicly visible. We will only use it to contact you to confirm your post.

IMPORTANT: BEFORE POSTING PLEASE CHECK THE DATE OF THE LAST POST OF THIS THREAD. IF IT'S VERY OLD, PLEASE CONSIDER REGISTERING FIRST, AND STARTING A NEW THREAD ABOUT THIS TOPIC.