89826

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
231
United States
California
Santa Monica
I have reached mine with Brooks Brothers. I have been a customer since the mid 1970's. Sure, I have bemoaned the loss of what once was. But there were enough things to keep my interest: Golden Fleece sized socks made in England (the only unchanged item from the early days now), Alden shell shoes, the return of Edward Green shoes, Golden Fleece undershirts made in Germany, and the occasional shirt made in the US.

In the early days, I bought almost everything from the store. Now, there are only the socks (hah!) I would consider buying. Everything else is gone. Regretfully, I have moved on.

My primary replacements are: Mercer and Italian shirts, Bills Khakis, Oxxford and Attolini suits, and the same shoes from other sellers.
 
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TKI67

Super Member
1,218
United States
Texas
Austin
I have reached mine with Brooks Brothers. I have been a customer since the mid 1970's. Sure, I have bemoaned the loss of what once was. But there were enough things to keep my interest: Golden Fleece sized socks made in England (perhaps the only unchanged item from the early days now), Alden shell shoes, the return of Edward Green shoes, and the occasional shirt made in the US.

In the early days, I bought almost everything in the store. Now, there are only the socks (hah!) I would consider buying. Regretfully, I have moved on.
This has been a common complaint on the Trad forum, but you have stated the case clearly and succinctly. In the 1970s, as in house counsel to a large and traditional bank, I was dressed entirely by Brooks Brothers save rings, watches, studs, cufflinks, and wallets. I know there are folk here who still like their suits and OCBDs. I find the suiting selections in their stores very limited and all cursed with high armholes and fitted jackets. I never bought one. Their OCBDs have no pockets, a deal breaker for me, and are not as nice IMO as Gitman for O’Connell’s. Since their bricks and mortar in Austin closed and their outlet store in San Marcos is just what it sounds like, I have just embraced shopping on the web or by phone. Thankfully places like O’Connell’s, Eljo’s, Hunter and Coggins, Bahles, and Cable Car Clothiers offer some lovely wares, often providing very good value and always providing wonderful service. As stores like Brooks Brothers, Joseph A. Bank, and Abercrombie & Fitch have now firmly and completely established, buying and perpetuating a name and a logo is not enough. Those brands earned trust, and the new owners breached it. I wonder how the new owners’ business acumen is working out. Brooks Brothers has dismissed a cadre of clients that were high dollar, loyal buyers in favor of pursuing a demographic I really cannot describe. Joseph A. Bank offers decent looking very affordable clothing and dresses a lot of the 35 and over businessmen, at least here. Abercrombie & Fitch targeted the most ephemeral market, high school. Vineyard Vines has all but buried them. Frankly I’m impressed you stayed with Brooks Brothers as long as you did. The socks, even though nostalgic, are no better to me than Byfords or Pantherellas and don’t wear as well.
 

89826

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
231
United States
California
Santa Monica
TK, you're right, mine has been a common complaint. I considered myself one of the supporters of the Italian owners at the beginning. They seemed to be trying to do good things while adjusting the store to current tastes. But recently they really have lost the plot. The discontinuation of Alden shoes is a certain, unmistakable sign in my book.

This website has introduced me to O'Connells, and that is very positive.
 

xcubbies

Super Member
1,650
United States
Maine
Portland
TK, you're right, mine has been a common complaint. I considered myself one of the supporters of the Italian owners at the beginning. They seemed to be trying to do good things while adjusting the store to current tastes. But recently they really have lost the plot. The discontinuation of Alden shoes is a certain, unmistakable sign in my book.

This website has introduced me to O'Connells, and that is very positive.
Check out The Andover Shop ( https://www.theandovershop.com/) as well. Their website is not particularly informative, but their two stores hold treasures and they regularly have big sales in January and early Fall. Now under new ownership, but the new proprietors have pledged to maintain the same standards. Call the Andover store if you need clarifications; they're very helpful.
 

89826

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
231
United States
California
Santa Monica
Check out The Andover Shop ( https://www.theandovershop.com/) as well. Their website is not particularly informative, but their two stores hold treasures and they regularly have big sales in January and early Fall. Now under new ownership, but the new proprietors have pledged to maintain the same standards. Call the Andover store if you need clarifications; they're very helpful.
Thanks for the reply. I used to live in Cambridge ...
 

Titus_A

Super Member
1,041
United States
TN
Nashville
Actually, the socks don't hold a candle to Pantherella. The elastic goes in far less time, even when you hang dry them and wash them on cold, and anything with a pattern sheds fuzz terribly.

The must-iron shirts are still a good option, especially at the semi-annual sale, and they frequently have nice bow ties. I look through the women's offerings for my wife. The suit selection has become abysmal, because I won't buy the slim fits, to which most offerings are limited. Even the jacket bottom on the Madison has started to creep towards the wrist.
 

TKI67

Super Member
1,218
United States
Texas
Austin
Actually, the socks don't hold a candle to Pantherella. The elastic goes in far less time, even when you hang dry them and wash them on cold, and anything with a pattern sheds fuzz terribly.

The must-iron shirts are still a good option, especially at the semi-annual sale, and they frequently have nice bow ties. I look through the women's offerings for my wife. The suit selection has become abysmal, because I won't buy the slim fits, to which most offerings are limited. Even the jacket bottom on the Madison has started to creep towards the wrist.
Thirty plus years ago they offered a nice ribbed garter length sock in addition to the fuzzy Golden Fleece ones. They were my standard business wear socks. I know there are folk on this forum who don’t like Pantherellas, but to me a new pair of their merino socks are about as good as it gets. I like the feel so much I’ve thought of posting a rhapsody on new socks on the Life’s Minor Luxuries thread! I may just do that!
 

FLMike

Connoisseur
5,796
United States
FL
West Coast
In the past few months, I have gotten from BB a great pair of Alden/BB unlined LHS, a really nice herringbone tweed 3/2 sack, and, just this week, four must-iron button-down dress shirts (comb. of OCBD and PPBD)....all at very attractive sale prices. BB has continued to be a fantastic option for my personal wardrobe needs. I’m sorry that others continually feel the need to grouse on this forum about their displeasure with the company. No one is making you shop there, fellas.
 

Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
11,342
On the banks of the Willamette
United States
Oregon
Oak Grove
My major gripe with BB is that they closed the Portland store. Really irritating! However, things come up on sale online that attract me so I'm not cutting the umbilical totally. However, with MW's Abboud MTM, I can still get pretty much what I want in town and if I can't get it here, Hemrajani visits regularly.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
30,070
Harmony, FL
United States
Florida
Harmony
"Beat me, hit me, talk to me dirty if you must," but I will soon take delivery of two more pair of BB's Clarke's Advantage summer weight Chinos and I still buy their OCBD's with the left chest pocket. Brooks Brothers is just like so many other retailers...they have evolved, as necessary, to stay in business! :angry:
 
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