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Does anyone still have a soft spot for Brooks Brothers? With all the changes and "new" directions it has taken over the past decade or so are there still items you purchase? This would include the traditional stores and the outlets.

I know there have been a few threads in the past discussing a lot of disappointment with the brand, but I thought it would be helpful to see if the brand still has a following here on AskAndy.
 

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I left them a long time ago. They changed, and my tastes also changed. The main thing I used to buy from them were their English shoes, but the prices got out of control and full-price Crockett & Jones shoes purchased on my London trips were cheaper than the shoes they made from BB on sale.

The last thing I purchased from them was a pair of chinos, which I quite like, but now they make them with stretch. I will not buy anything with stretch.
 

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I'm pretty lucky. Their new OCBDs fit me almost perfectly, even though they're lettered, so if I can pick them up on clearance, I will. I have heard here and there that the new ownership is trying to resurrect the Made in USA parts of the business. If that happens, I'll be glad to give them another chance.
 
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I get their shirts every now and again, though I admit I've long been a "sale only" shopper (since they started becoming JosABanks, like four shirts for $99 and so forth.)

They have sales often enough that there's just no reason to ever buy something now.

Occasionally they have one-off things which are pretty nice, like, say, a camel hair sweater (but again, wait for the sale.)

DH
 

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For decades I had total loyalty. I dressed from Brooks, down to u-trou and umbrella. My only non-Brooks wear were watches, rings, and studs. I had a wide array of colors, stripes, solids, plaids, cheviots, tweeds, flannels, and so on. i was horrified by their changes in the mid-1980s but stayed loyal as long as I could. For some time I have patronized Press, O'Connell's, Mercer, Eliza B/Leather Man, Alden, Quoddy, Andover Shop, Eljo's, Chipp, Hunter and Coggin, Texas Jeans, Lucchese, and Ben Silver, In recent years I have dialed back Press, perceiving change afoot. I plan to add Jack Donnelly. I fear relationships such as I once had with Brooks depended on two things, the goods and the person who took care of you. They don't make 'em like Carol Dohra any more. I still miss her. For Brooks to return and succeed, they will need to recruit and train good people.
 

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I still buy odds and ends there if I can look them over at a store. I have to buy online then to get some of the discounts, though. They seem to pretty much have given up on french-cuff shirts. Not sure where I'll buy those, now...
 

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I buy Brooks Brothers OCBD shirts (made in Malaysia) and the occasional BB poplin khaki slacks or cotton corduroys -- but strictly from thrift shops, and usually in mint or NOS condition. For around $7-$10, these items are very good value, and I get a lot of use out of them. The Malaysian-made OCBDs are just as good as the US-made ones in terms of cut, style and quality. I have no idea if BB still make them in that country.
 

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I'm still a fan. I personally don't think the challenges BB has faced in the market have as much to do with quality at they do with shifting clothing trends. But for business wear I continue to think they're still the standard others are measured against, at least in the States. I also happen to like their formalwear.
 

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From a style and history point of view, I definitely have a soft spot for Brooks Brothers. Most of my ties are vintage Brooks Brothers purchased from pre-owned sites and forums. This said, I haven’t purchased anything new from the brand since they closed their store in my area. Because I’m a smaller guy, their Red Fleece line used to fit me very well. These days, I buy custom shirts specifically styled after vintage Brooks Brothers staples.
 

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I left them a long time ago. They changed, and my tastes also changed. The main thing I used to buy from them were their English shoes, but the prices got out of control and full-price Crockett & Jones shoes purchased on my London trips were cheaper than the shoes they made from BB on sale.

The last thing I purchased from them was a pair of chinos, which I quite like, but now they make them with stretch. I will not buy anything with stretch.
I'm still a fan. I personally don't think the challenges BB has faced in the market have as much to do with quality at they do with shifting clothing trends. But for business wear I continue to think they're still the standard others are measured against, at least in the States. I also happen to like their formalwear.
Issues with BB (I started buying from them over 45 years ago): 1) stopped carrying higher quality garments, 2) subset of #1 - providers like Crockett & Jones, Alden, Canadian trouser plants, GB tie makers, dropped, 3) in house historic manufacturing plants gone in favor of less expensive, 4) traditional fabrics gone in favor of 'no iron', 5) BB has lost its way on what "style" it wishes to follow, striving for all things for everyone and not hitting well. Sweaters are low quality relative to past, with 'tech' stretch knit, tie silk lower quality, casual trousers lower quality, shoes expensive for less quality. During recent years when they were sold, then went under in bankruptcy, I checked periodically. At this point, I see no reason to return, have opted for buying at top men's shops and paying more ... for high quality garments. Admittedly, top men's shops have mostly folded to carrying designer names which is sad. Shoes are a good example. From wearing Nettleton's, Frank Brothers, some Johnson and Murphy I had to move to Church's, eventually Custom Grade ... until Prada took over and the store here closed. This led to Gravati and Alden, thankfully still with 4 pairs of Church's. The shops I'm looking at are O'Connell's (just bought a top quality Shetland sweater, knit in one piece), Ben Silver, George Bass. If anyone has any good recommendations for purveyors of quality clothes, please yell back. BB is long in my review mirror, sadly seeing the likely diminishing numbers of shirts in my closet.
 

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I buy only items on sale. Their Regent fit works very well for me. I agree that their house style has become diluted but I don’t really see that they have moved away from anything - they have just added too much. I ignore the latter and stick with their “boring” stuff.
The only thing I have stopped getting from them are their boxers. Those have certainly changed over the decades and are no longer worth it.
 

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They got rid of the Golden Fleece Line; OCBDs are no longer exact sleeve length; shoes have declined in quality as no longer carry Alden made or Brit sourced shoes and overall quality has declined. Sad but the current BBs has lost me.
 

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Issues with BB (I started buying from them over 45 years ago): 1) stopped carrying higher quality garments, 2) subset of #1 - providers like Crockett & Jones, Alden, Canadian trouser plants, GB tie makers, dropped, 3) in house historic manufacturing plants gone in favor of less expensive, 4) traditional fabrics gone in favor of 'no iron', 5) BB has lost its way on what "style" it wishes to follow, striving for all things for everyone and not hitting well. Sweaters are low quality relative to past, with 'tech' stretch knit, tie silk lower quality, casual trousers lower quality, shoes expensive for less quality. During recent years when they were sold, then went under in bankruptcy, I checked periodically. At this point, I see no reason to return, have opted for buying at top men's shops and paying more ... for high quality garments. Admittedly, top men's shops have mostly folded to carrying designer names which is sad. Shoes are a good example. From wearing Nettleton's, Frank Brothers, some Johnson and Murphy I had to move to Church's, eventually Custom Grade ... until Prada took over and the store here closed. This led to Gravati and Alden, thankfully still with 4 pairs of Church's. The shops I'm looking at are O'Connell's (just bought a top quality Shetland sweater, knit in one piece), Ben Silver, George Bass. If anyone has any good recommendations for purveyors of quality clothes, please yell back. BB is long in my review mirror, sadly seeing the likely diminishing numbers of shirts in my closet.
My post #6 listed my sources. Thanks for putting George Bass on my radar!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
For decades I had total loyalty. I dressed from Brooks, down to u-trou and umbrella. My only non-Brooks wear were watches, rings, and studs. I had a wide array of colors, stripes, solids, plaids, cheviots, tweeds, flannels, and so on. i was horrified by their changes in the mid-1980s but stayed loyal as long as I could. For some time I have patronized Press, O'Connell's, Mercer, Eliza B/Leather Man, Alden, Quoddy, Andover Shop, Eljo's, Chipp, Hunter and Coggin, Texas Jeans, Lucchese, and Ben Silver, In recent years I have dialed back Press, perceiving change afoot. I plan to add Jack Donnelly. I fear relationships such as I once had with Brooks depended on two things, the goods and the person who took care of you. They don't make 'em like Carol Dohra any more. I still miss her. For Brooks to return and succeed, they will need to recruit and train good people.
Yes, I feel the same way. Over the years I have had to find other sources and brands to fill the items that Brooks Brothers slowly changed and/or altered in quality, form or style.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
They got rid of the Golden Fleece Line; OCBDs are no longer exact sleeve length; shoes have declined in quality as no longer carry Alden made or Brit sourced shoes and overall quality has declined. Sad but the current BBs has lost me.
Very true :( The OCBDs are hit or miss. But if you have some good thrift stores like drpeter mentioned you can sometimes find new/mint old stock.
 

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I still pick up a few things on sales. I appreciate that I know exactly what fits at BB in shirts and sport coats based on Regent fit. Makes it easy to pick up a few things online. I am slowly going back to meetings where I need business dress so I honestly have little need for much. I’ve been spending more time breaking in a couple new Carmina shells than putting on an OCBD. I suppose my shoe collection will be ready for a return to offices.
 

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I have tried to find plain white dress shirts somewhere else, but I am more disappointed with the other sources than I am with BB. I know I'm in the minority here, but I prefer non-iron, so I'm back at BB for the next batch. My size has changed around the middle and I'm switching from Madison to Regent. What's the best sale price anyone has seen on their basic dress shirts recently? Right now they're $118 each + 30% off on three, $82.60 a shirt. I need 3, should I hold out or go for it?
 

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I have tried to find plain white dress shirts somewhere else, but I am more disappointed with the other sources than I am with BB. I know I'm in the minority here, but I prefer non-iron, so I'm back at BB for the next batch. My size has changed around the middle and I'm switching from Madison to Regent. What's the best sale price anyone has seen on their basic dress shirts recently? Right now they're $118 each + 30% off on three, $82.60 a shirt. I need 3, should I hold out or go for it?
I think that's about as good as it gets, unfortunately. Others will know better, but back in the day there was a discount you could get being subscribed to AAAC (maybe linked to number of posts, but you have > 1k so that wouldn't be an issue). I think that was ~ 15% but not sure if it could be additive to other promotions.
 

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Does anyone still have a soft spot for Brooks Brothers? With all the changes and "new" directions it has taken over the past decade or so are there still items you purchase? This would include the traditional stores and the outlets.

I know there have been a few threads in the past discussing a lot of disappointment with the brand, but I thought it would be helpful to see if the brand still has a following here on AskAndy.
In DC it's hard to find knowledgeable sales assistance. There's none downtown and a little better up in Friendship heights. I miss the old stuff - Larry, Susan, Leah... they were institutions. That said, I recently got a terry cloth polo and a tie from Brooks. They still make plenty of nice stuff, but your on your own when it comes to help.
 
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