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Hello forum members,

In high school in Los Angeles I patronized Phelps Terkel (and, later, Phelps Wilger), both trad bastions. In the early '70s I "discovered" Turnbull & Asser on Jermyn Street in London, with its fine shirts and suitings in the English idiom. Now, I wish to return to trad. The Beverly Hills BB store sends out enormous quantities of marketing material, but the "1818" suits do not appear to be the trad that is cherished on this forum. Two button models, one too few, have a center vent, but correct three button models have side vents. To me, when a side vented man bends over, it appears to be an a... coming out of a drawer. Just wrong. Am I missing something about these BB suits? If not BB, where? Much thanks for a very informative web site!
 

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No, I don't think you're missing something, you're quite right. Brooks is a mishmash. They're caught between serving a mass market that has very broad perspectives of traditional clothing – and doing it from every airport and shopping mall in the world – while at the same time serving, or at least paying respect to, the old guard like yourself that holds more rigorous views of traditional clothing.

As a result, their product offering can seem a bit schizophrenic; you'll get certain incongruities like you refer to in your post; individual articles seem close but "not quite right."

You also get serious limitations in selection; I can go to my local Brooks and find 30 suits in my size, but by the time I narrow them down to the style I like, I'm down to a choice between 2 or 3, generally in plain navy or something equally unexciting. In 1980 I could find the same 30 suits, but 2/3 of them were in the 3-button/sack style and I had the choice between wonderful fabrics / patterns – stripes, plaids, nailheads, sharkskins, etc. in a whole range of different colors.

You should search the archives for the numerous threads that deal with the members' favorite sources for suits and sport coats in the traditional sack style. In my view, J. Press comes closest to the ideal. Also check out O'Connell's, an independent men's store in Buffalo that hews to the line.

tjs

P.S. Welcome to the forum.
 

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No, I don't think you're missing something, you're quite right. Brooks is a mishmash. They're caught between serving a mass market that has very broad perspectives of traditional clothing - and doing it from every airport and shopping mall in the world - while at the same time serving, or at least paying respect to, the old guard like yourself that holds more rigorous views of traditional clothing.

As a result, their product offering can seem a bit schizophrenic; you'll get certain incongruities like you refer to in your post; individual articles seem close but "not quite right."
With Brooks being a 'leader' in mens clothing it would seem, at least to me, that they are in a position to set a course, not follow. There are BB stores of some form darned near everywhere and every time I go in there seem to be people in them buying, seemingly because its Brooks.

I can understand having a subsection of trendy items, but not modifying the whole selection to fit trends that have already begun to fade.
 

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www.jpressonline.com- you probably already know all about it if you've spent even a little time on this forum, but from my experiences ordering in person and online I cannot recommend them highly enough.

As for BB- My opinion about them is slightly better than followers of the "purer faith" on this site. As for myself, I feel there is nothing wrong with, say, a two-button darted Southwick jacket that features natural shoulders and a center vent. I think that at some point the 3b sack went from being shorthand for "trad" to being a sine qua non. In truth, I suspect, 2b and darted jackets were a little more prevalent at Harvard and Yale, on Wall St. and at white shoe law firms in the 50's and 60's than a lot of people here would like to admit.

But I digress... The point is that even though BB's 3B sack offerings are admittedly meager these days, most of the other things they sell (particularly their ties and ocbd's) are trad through and through.
 

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I think I'm starting to get a good grasp of American trad now, just as well, so I'll know what to avoid....:icon_smile_wink:

But seriously.

Three button, centre vent is the American trad jacket then. Does that apply equally to blazers, sports coats and tweeds?


James
 

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I think I'm starting to get a good grasp of American trad now, just as well, so I'll know what to avoid....:icon_smile_wink:

But seriously.

Three button, centre vent is the American trad jacket then. Does that apply equally to blazers, sports coats and tweeds?

James
Yes, that is the case. However, some are less doctrinaire about this. On this forum you see a fairly narrow definition of what is being called American "trad," which I would not confuse with the more all-encompassing "traditional," a more forgiving term. If you are interested, the best book I know on the subject is Alan Flusser's Dressing the Man.

tjs
 

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Yes, that is the case. However, some are less doctrinaire about this. On this forum you see a fairly narrow definition of what is being called American "trad," which I would not confuse with the more all-encompassing "traditional," a more forgiving term. If you are interested, the best book I know on the subject is Alan Flusser's Dressing the Man.

tjs
I'm of the opinion that Clothes and the Man is a better resource for the traditionalist (including a great picture spread of outfit ideas in the back). Of course, one could get both books and be well off.
 
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