drpeter

Super Member
In my magic kingdom, I would start a quality traditional men’s shirt line called “Garland” cut the NC workers in for a share of the action, provide a decent wage, and feature the stories and faces of the people who make and deliver the products front and center in the marketing.

$150-175 price range, all made in USA. Stories of the workers, and the benefits to their family and community, I provide for no additional charge.

But that is just magical George Bailey thinking......that America is dead.

Cheers,

BSR
I would by those shirts in a North Carolina minute, in all the basic colors, stripes and tattersalls.
 

blue suede shoes

Super Member
In my magic kingdom, I would start a quality traditional men’s shirt line called “Garland” cut the NC workers in for a share of the action, provide a decent wage, and feature the stories and faces of the people who make and deliver the products front and center in the marketing.

$150-175 price range, all made in USA. Stories of the workers, and the benefits to their family and community, I provide for no additional charge.

But that is just magical George Bailey thinking......that America is dead.

Cheers,

BSR
That America is not dead because that is basically the business plan of Mercer & Co. ; high quality American made shirts marketed in that exact same price range. Only Mercer goes one step further and allows the customer to adjust the measurements to get a custom fit. So it should be doable with some leeway, as long as the factory is not in a high cost of living area. It might even be doable with the factory in a high cost of living area as the Individualized Shirts factory is in the NYC metro area.
 

August West

Senior Member
I've been a Brooks customer since I was a boy. When I entered the workforce in the early 90's, it's where I purchased literally all of my office attire, and a good chunk of my weekend wear as well. I never had to give clothes any thought; just went to Brooks and my sales associate took care of me. I wasn't a very savy consumer, and at that point in my life didn't even contemplate when the next sale might be. I bought clothes when I needed clothes.

For me personally, Brooks "decline" was a gradual one, but if I had to point to any one specific thing it would be the non iron shirt. I'm guessing that was some time around 2000. At that point in my life, I still didnt spend much time thinking about clothes, but I did know I didn't like those shirts as much as my old ones. I'm not even sure if I knew they were non iron; they just didn't feel right to me.

I really wasn't motivated enough to do anything about it though for probably another 10 years but in that span of time I realized that I did have to start thinking about clothes. An increasing amount of what Brooks offered just didnt look or feel right to me.

I started to educate myself using forums like AA, and through that process came to learn that I more or less dressed "trad" without even knowing it. I found Mercer and O'Connell's through this forum.
O'Connell's in particular has been a godsend. The rise on most BB trousers had devolved to ball crushing levels. I was a very happy man after trying on my first pair of pants from O'Connell's.

Short rise pants, and the overall "slim fit" movement in my view have largely contributed to the popular opinion that being "dressed up" makes you uncomfortable. Of course clothes that are too tight aren't going to be comfortable. Brooks succumbed to the trends, and suffered for it as a result in my view. They tried to be all things to all people,and that's a strategy that seldom if ever is successful.
I know that many on this forum have had a similar personal journey with Brooks leading to disillusionment (albeit at different points in time).
 
Last edited:

Gempro2

Starting Member
I've been a Brooks customer since I was a boy. When I entered the workforce in the early 90's, it's where I purchased literally all of my office attire, and a good chunk of my weekend wear as well. I never had to give clothes any thought; just went to Brooks and my sales associate took care of me. I wasn't a very savy consumer, and at that point in my life didn't even contemplate when the next sale might be. I bought clothes when I needed clothes.

For me personally, Brooks "decline" was a gradual one, but if I had to point to any one specific thing it would be the non iron shirt. I'm guessing that was some time around 2000. At that point in my life, I still didnt spend much time thinking about clothes, but I did know I didn't like those shirts as much as my old ones. I'm not even sure if I knew they were non iron; they just didn't feel right to me.

I really wasn't motivated enough to do anything about it though for probably another 10 years but in that span of time I realized that I did have to start thinking about clothes. An increasing amount of what Brooks offered just didnt look or feel right to me.

I started to educate myself using forums like AA, and through that process came to learn that I more or less dressed "trad" without even knowing it. I found Mercer and O'Connell's through this forum.
O'Connell's in particular has been a godsend. The rise on most BB trousers had devolved to ball crushing levels. I was a very happy man after trying on my first pair of pants from O'Connell's.

Short rise pants, and the overall "slim fit" movement in my view have largely contributed to the popular opinion that being "dressed up" makes you uncomfortable. Of course clothes that are too tight aren't going to be comfortable. Brooks succumbed to the trends, and suffered for it as a result in my view. They tried to be all things to all people,and that's a strategy that seldom if ever is successful.
I know that many on this forum have had a similar personal journey with Brooks leading to disillusionment (albeit at different points in time).
Aw,

Very well put, I agree.
 

fishertw

Elite Member
I've been a Brooks customer since I was a boy. When I entered the workforce in the early 90's, it's where I purchased literally all of my office attire, and a good chunk of my weekend wear as well. I never had to give clothes any thought; just went to Brooks and my sales associate took care of me. I wasn't a very savy consumer, and at that point in my life didn't even contemplate when the next sale might be. I bought clothes when I needed clothes.

For me personally, Brooks "decline" was a gradual one, but if I had to point to any one specific thing it would be the non iron shirt. I'm guessing that was some time around 2000. At that point in my life, I still didnt spend much time thinking about clothes, but I did know I didn't like those shirts as much as my old ones. I'm not even sure if I knew they were non iron; they just didn't feel right to me.

I really wasn't motivated enough to do anything about it though for probably another 10 years but in that span of time I realized that I did have to start thinking about clothes. An increasing amount of what Brooks offered just didnt look or feel right to me.

I started to educate myself using forums like AA, and through that process came to learn that I more or less dressed "trad" without even knowing it. I found Mercer and O'Connell's through this forum.
O'Connell's in particular has been a godsend. The rise on most BB trousers had devolved to ball crushing levels. I was a very happy man after trying on my first pair of pants from O'Connell's.

Short rise pants, and the overall "slim fit" movement in my view have largely contributed to the popular opinion that being "dressed up" makes you uncomfortable. Of course clothes that are too tight aren't going to be comfortable. Brooks succumbed to the trends, and suffered for it as a result in my view. They tried to be all things to all people,and that's a strategy that seldom if ever is successful.
I know that many on this forum have had a similar personal journey with Brooks leading to disillusionment (albeit at different points in time).
I wonder how much of the decline in styling etc. tracks back to Thom Brown?
 

Steve Smith

Super Member
Update on the Garland Shirt Factory: the women's wear company from NYC is no longer in the picture. Apparently there are still interested buyers and BB is shopping the plant. The longer this is delayed the more the factory's management team moves on to other jobs.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
I wonder how much of the decline in styling etc. tracks back to Thom Brown?
Good question. I think those two events are more correlated than cause-and-effect. TB started at BB around '06 as an effort to bring a youthful vibe to BB and to transform the company into something more like Polo (think about Polo's Black Label at that time). Whereas, the move away form classic BB style had been going on for well over a decade by then.

As much as I wish BB hadn't changed, to be fair, it didn't really have a choice as its market was shrinking so rapidly in the '90s and '00s that it either had to shrink with it - which is effectively what Press did (and was only able to do so owing to a deep-pocketed Japanese owner and a much smaller business to begin with) - or morph into something else (which is what it tried in many ways, with one such way being the TB effort).

BB might have been an unsolvable puzzle
 

rl1856

Senior Member
IMO the decline curve steepened when BrooksEase was phased out. I believe this was concurrent with or just after TBrowne's arrival. BrooksEase represented the last time one could purchase a high quality OTR true #1 sack at BB. From there, clothing patterns became trimmer, non iron slowly took over everthing, and quality declined. They have done everying they could to consciously move away from their heritage, at a time when heritage is important to consumers. They are a brand name only, that sells commodity goods. What is unique about BB anymore ? It is frustrating because proper marketing and a commitment to re-embracing their history could be a viable path foward. BB was known for their suits and I understand that suit sales have almost disappeared. However, BB also pioneered upscale leisure ware for men. OCBD, Sheltand Sweaters, chinos, cords etc were all BB innovations. And what is selling right now....?
 

AldenPyle

Honors Member
New owners of Brooks Brothers signal their intentions.
https://wwd.com/business-news/retai...es-more-sportswear-e-comm-and-fun-1234664703/
This might or might not be behind a paywall.

Basically, sounds like they are going for a more upscale version of J.Crew. Could be worse, I suppose. The new "creative director" is Michael Bastian who I recall was a designer who put out a very expensive and supposedly high quality version of J. Crew. Says the right things about the OCBD but probably dubiously committed to the sack suit.
 

Mike Petrik

Honors Member
New owners of Brooks Brothers signal their intentions.
https://wwd.com/business-news/retai...es-more-sportswear-e-comm-and-fun-1234664703/
This might or might not be behind a paywall.

Basically, sounds like they are going for a more upscale version of J.Crew. Could be worse, I suppose. The new "creative director" is Michael Bastian who I recall was a designer who put out a very expensive and supposedly high quality version of J. Crew. Says the right things about the OCBD but probably dubiously committed to the sack suit.
The linked article allows for comments. I see no downside in adding encouraging commentary re the sack suit and other trad items.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
Thank you for posting the link.

From the article:

"His [Michael Bastian] reappearance as the new creative director of Brooks Brothers feels like another harbinger that dressing up is coming back with full force."

Who edits these articles? One, this has it backwards as BB with Michael Bastian is not going to bring back dressing up as it doesn't have the influence or power to impact the culture that way. Heck, if BB did, dressing up would never have gone away.

But, two, the really stupid thing about the above quote is how the rest of the article goes on to discuss how Bastian is going to do the exact opposite by emphasizing athleisure (what an awful word) and things like "graphic infusion -" yeah, that's some harbinger of a return to sack suits and rep ties.

And a bit more on the "graphic infusion:" "one sweater will feature a polar bear floating on a patch of ice (“A subtle reminder of global warming,” WWD writes);" oh good, whatever your politics, it will be another company preaching to us. Later we learn about how Bastian is going to emphasize the cable-knit hoodie.

Look, maybe this is the only way for the brand to survive. It's the new owners' company and money on the line, so they make the call, but what the heck was GQ thinking by saying these, to be honest, mainstream and very casual-dress ideas, are in any way "a harbinger that dressing up is coming back with full force?" That's poor editing and sloppy writing .
 
Last edited:

DCR

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
This is all gross. I've been loading up on anything I can find online at the 50% discount, before there's nothing worth buying there. Pro tip if you have a sales rep that you like working with, just phone the order in with them and the shipping is free regardless of the amount (they of course benefit as well).

Hopefully the Andover Shop, J.Press and O'Connells are able to benefit from BB's fading to irrelevance.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
This is all gross. I've been loading up on anything I can find online at the 50% discount, before there's nothing worth buying there. Pro tip if you have a sales rep that you like working with, just phone the order in with them and the shipping is free regardless of the amount (they of course benefit as well).

Hopefully the Andover Shop, J.Press and O'Connells are able to benefit from BB's fading to irrelevance.
I've been thinking along the same lines as this, "Hopefully the Andover Shop, J.Press and O'Connells are able to benefit from BB's fading to irrelevance."

In NYC, pre-Covid anyway, there were all sorts of old-business niche shops where you could get your vacuum-tube radio fixed (or buy a restored one), ditto mechanical clocks and watches, buy old books (the Strand), get your toaster from 1940 repaired, etc. A lot of shrinking businesses consolidate into a few firms that do reasonably well.

Let's hope Press - which has really made an effort to be a viable trad/Ivy clothing store in 2020 - and the others you mention (and others we didn't note) do benefit from BBs demise and change. It could happen with the surviving trad/Ivy stores becoming a viable niche for years to come.
 
Last edited:

DCR

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
So as I was talking with the MTM sales associate at Brooks Brother's Newbury St location last week (great fellow by the name of Chris btw) regarding the future of Mi-USA at the company, he mentioned that the MTM goods will be produced for Brooks by Hickey Freeman at their "Temple" and he thought there may be some RTW lines produced there as well. Here's hoping.

I was unfamiliar with "the Temple" so in case you are all as well..

Our Heritage – Hickey Freeman
 
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.

Deals/Steals

Trad Store Exchange