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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why I No Longer Shop at Brooks Brothers

I was regular shopper at Brooks Brothers since December of 2000. It was a great place to buy clothes. There was a great mix of conservative clothes that could be mixed and matched to go from business to casual a guy could build a wardrobe with. Most importantly the clothes fit a regular working guy.

Then came the Fall of 2008.

Sizing went from an average build to small. An XXL jacket was sized so small it fit like a large. Pants went from regular rises with a waistband to a low rise so low you could barely get them on your thigh when you went into the fitting room. Shirts went from one regular size, to a variety of new sizes like  slim fit and extra extra slim fit.

Shopping at Brooks Brothers went from being fun to frustrating. As I tried to sift through the new confusing smaller sizes I became annoyed. I hated buying shirts I had to size up to get to fit. Jackets I couldn’t get to zip up, and pants I couldn’t even get on.

And as a result of this craptastic new sizing, Brooks Brothers went from getting over $1000 in sales from me to $0. There were two casual jackets, a winter coat and several pairs of Supima cotton jeans I didn’t buy because the sizing changed.

And with the new 2010 fall lineup my frustration with Brooks Brothers was turning to anger. The entire line up was filled with meterosexual trendy hipster dumbass bullshit. The same kind of crap that’s sold at The Gap, J.Crew, Ambercrombie & Fitch, and Desigual. The kind of clothes people wear when they’re trying to be cool but ain’t.

Seriously, Meterosexual trendy hipster clothes don’t make anyone look cool. Meterosexual trendy hipster clothes just look like someone tries too hard to be cool. They’re the kind of clothes an insecure person wears when they’re trying to get people’s attention with STUFF instead of their PERSONALITY.

And as a former “Nice guy” in recovery for seven years going on eight, I can tell you THAT SHIT IS A TURN OFF.

Want to know what’s cool? Having the ability to create my own style. Having the ability to mix and match pieces to create a look that fits ME, not some look some jackass saw in some shitty TV show and is trying a copy.

After tossing the fall 2010 Brooks Brothers catalog in the trash, I began to look at their competitors like Pendelton, Cutter & Buck, Bill’s Khakis, Ben Silver and Orvis who hadn’t shrank the sizing of their clothes. That field coat? I bought it from Orvis. Those jeans? I Bought them from Cutter & Buck and Pendelton. My twills? I bought them from Bill’s Khakis.

A man wants basic pieces he can mix and match to create his own style, not trendy shit that’ll be out of style in a season.

Meterosexual trendy hipster dumbass bullshit doesn’t belong at Brooks Brothers. Brooks Brothers is supposed to be a store where professionals  buy clothes that allow them to transition from the workplace to casual by changing a piece or two. A classic Brooks Brothers white shirt dresses up with slacks and a tie, and dresses down with jeans and Chelsea boots.

Seriously, What man wants to be seen in shit like this?  Or this? These shirts look like a tube of go-gurt. And this shirt looks like something a chick would wear.  And I'm still trying to figure out WTF is THIS? 

Real men don't wear shit like this.

Even with the small sizing, confusing fits, and craptastic design I was willing to give Brooks Brothers a chance.

Until this week.

The straw that broke the Camel’s back for me with Brooks Brothers was what they did with the Semi-Annual sale. Instead of pricing items individually, now the discounts only come if you buy multiples. You get 25% off two items and 40% off four or more shirts. So this basically means everything is FULL RETAIL PRICE unless you buy a bunch of stuff.

BULLSHIT.

So in order to buy the new smaller sized Meterosexual trendy hipster Bullshit clothes from Brooks Brothers I can only get the discount I only get when I buy two or more?

Yeah, that sounds like a business plan from a hipster dumbass. The kind of poser who wears a slim suit and a slim tie and watches Mad Men and THINKS HE'S COOL.

The kind of executive who THINKS They’re being SMART but they ain’t. The Kind of guy (Mickey Drexler) who ran the Gap into the ground in 2000. Remember The Gap? The place where you could find those mix-and-match pieces that could be dressed up or dressed down? The place people of all ages shopped back for workwear and playwear in the 1990’s?

They went down the hipster dumbass road in 2000. They started pumping out crap like low-rise pants and slim fit shirts instead of traditional stuff like Khakis, rugbys, jeans and Big Oxfords. The trendy stuff you could wear at a nightclub but couldn’t wear to work or school. The colors went crazy and nothing could be mixed or matched. Shopping became frustrating and by 2001, The Gap went from being the place people went to shop to being the place people avoided when they were going to shop.

And 11 years later They STILL haven’t recovered from their fashion faux pas.

And it looks like Brooks Brothers is headed down The Gap’s Road to Ruin.

I’m through shopping with Brooks Brothers. I’ll shop at their competitors where the pants have seats, crotches and a rise. Where shirts are loose and have room to MOVE. Where jackets have room to fit a sweater or a sportcoat under. Where a Discounted price is a Discounted price.

37 comments:

  1. Think Brooks Brothers and others are clueless on what to see and how to sell their threads in this economy caused on past societal greed.

    Many of us grew up knowing a suit from Brooks Brothers was creme de la creme. Guess that's not the case anymore even in the Big Apple home to many chichi/craptastic boutiques.

    Truly sorry to hear about your experience.

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  2. Think Brooks Brothers and others are clueless on what to see and how to sell their threads in this economy caused on past societal greed and apathy.

    As you noted in other posts, it's not just the fashion industry that has been effected and affected.

    Many of us grew up knowing a suit from Brooks Brothers was creme de la creme. Guess that's not the case anymore even in the Big Apple home to many chichi/craptastic boutiques.

    Truly sorry to hear about your experience.

    Liz Isaacs
    Lotus Writing & Communications
    SEE my URLs:
    http://itsmyurls.com/LizIsaacsLWC

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  3. So true. I just looked at the Brooks Brothers site to try to order a normal solid color knit shirt like some I have and all they sell is hidious candy colors or shirts that are half one shirt and half another. Who's buying this crap? Brooks Brothers and the others need to wake up. You may sell more of this because whoever is buying this crap will think it is out of style in a week and have to buy the latest and greatest, but what you are really doing is destroy your the goodwill in the brand. Keep down this path and it will catch up to you. You will lose your traditional customers.

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  4. FWIW, it sounds like I probably have the other kind of frame: quite tall, extra extra slim. I walk into a menswear retailer prepared to find that not only will nothing fit off the rack (not even suit jackets), but that they can't even order clothes slim & long enough to fit me.

    So while I definitely understand your frustration with Brooks Brothers changing their fits, I'm glad you do have other options in the market. There are people like me who are underserved and would welcome a better selection of clothing at the slimmer end of the spectrum.

    Hope you find the right fit in the end, even if it doesn't come from Brooks Brothers.

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  5. I wish they went back to trousers with the ORIGINAL FIT, not this misleading smaller than expected size nonsense.

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  6. It's Sept. 2012 and nothing has changed. I went into a BB store after trying on some slacks at Macy's. I am a 36" waist and the pleated Madison cut (fullest BB cut) 38" waist was still too small! I will try some of the other designers/retailers you mentioned.

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  7. Face it. You are fat. Don't blame BB.

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    Replies
    1. Man, I would really hate to be you. To type something like that, you must really be sour and hate your life. I promise you do.
      The guy could have a 36" waist, and be 6"5", 260 lbs. I have also seen guys who are 5'11" and 228 who play for my alma mater and have a total 6 pack. You have no idea what you are talking about. I bet 10:1 you are a twig who cannot do 25 pushups. Promise it.

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    2. To endorse his point, I went to Brooks and told them to direct me to a 46 reg. He laughed at me. I asked what was so funny and he said. "Sir you cannot wear a 36, more like a 40 or 42." I had on a baggy golf shirt. I laughed at him and said, "OK buddy, grab a 44 and we will see." I almost ripped the shoulders an lats out on purpose. Just because you are a string bean with a slide rule in your pocket doesn't mean we all do. He almost yelled, stop! You will rip that under the arms. BTW I am 6'1" and 185. (ripped.) My delts would have torn that coat under the arms and in hindsight I wish I would have done it. I will nxt time. I will put it on super fast and move my arms forward and tear the seams out of a 700.00 blazer. No prob. (a kid about 19 telling me what I wear---typical Brooks. I have worn a 46R since 1980)

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  8. So I guess all these men are wrong about the poorly sized Brooks Brothers product?

    Hipsters have hijacked this once stored brand and made it into a fashion disaster. Some of us would like a place where we can get pants with a regular rise and shirts with rooom in them to move around.

    Nothing beats classic style. In about a decade when that hipster crap is looking ridiculous, The man in the classic fit full cut tailored suit, shirt, and tie will always look polished while the chump in the low-rise slacks looks like he's a relic from another era.

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  9. I am also a long time buyer of Brooks suits. Had the same exact issues. Been twice now and left frustrated. However, today, I had two different sales associates tell me that Brooks is well aware of the fit problems and that they are returning to the traditional, classic fit - hopefully by this coming spring or summer. They get one more strike with me.

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  10. I was so pleased to stumble upon this post. I too have all but given up on Brooks Brothers of today. You are correct, their sizing is way off and way too small. A XXL is a large after washing it, and in my experience spending the kind of money I do that is insanity. Like so many others have said, this is NOT the store I knew growing up and I also can also take my money elsewhere.

    Btw, do NOT purchase their pricey alligator watch band for a Cartier tank I did and while these are so-called "Made in France" they do NOT fit a Cartier watch. Go figure.

    And also note, the $20.USD gold reward cards for spending big money on their BB Platinum card, of which I have plenty on a regular basis, are considered coupons and they give you a hassle if you order something and return it after using them. So I presume they think you rack up spending get rewards and when their cheap sizing doesn't work you are supposed to just toss the money you earned away? I don't think so.
    A fool and their money may be soon parted but that does NOT apply to me.

    The vast majority of brands have gone mass and social. Let them learn their mistake, water seeks its own level.

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  11. You wrote "And 11 years later They STILL haven’t recovered from their fashion faux pas.

    And it looks like Brooks Brothers is headed down The Gap’s Road to Ruin."

    Yes, look how many once great brands have pandered to idiots. There are so many once top luxury brands pushing and pandering to morons with no style and no money they are in my opinion washing each other out.

    It amazes me too how many have fallen into what I call the high end retail death trap of "social media" like some idiots sitting on Facebook or Twitter all day are going to be buying their products.

    For me what stood out like a dollar store sale, there was Neiman-Marcus and Target, but I was just floored to see Van Cleef and Arpels of all places doing segments highlighing so-called nobodies, media created "style bloggers" as models? to promote their items?! Who in the world thinks up this stuff? Are they serious?! It is utterly hilarious to me that they think THAT is going to sell their product.

    I digress, IMHO what these firms don't realise? Once you go downhill as a luxury brand you cannot climb back.

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  12. Brooks is not for fats anymore. Oh well. Fats can shop elsewhere.

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  13. Brooks may not be for fats, but it's a great place for Lames these days. Those are the only losers who shop there now. Guys trying WAY too hard to have swag instead of classic style.

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  14. I used to buy all my shirts, shoes, ties and suits from Brooks brothers. I am 65 years young. I am 6 feet tall. Weight 190 pounds and not FAT. I tried to buy two new suites couple years back. Made them alter the darn suits three times before they told me "oh, we've changed the cut." No wonder my privates parts hated this stupid new cut. They gave my money back in full I made such a fuss...

    Has Brooks Brothers brought back the full cut that I've worn for Decades... They will get one more chance from me when they do.

    Dallas Texas

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  15. If you go into a brooks brothers THEY will find what you need. But if you try to be a fashion cowboy and go it alone, you may find that the youth is getting older and the style they prefer is much more prevalent than the older classic style(which you will see is still thriving at BB if you ask for those fits). One persons opinion is not everyone's. But then again I buy my clothes at different retailers rather than just one.

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  16. You can't go wrong with classic style...Never goes out of style. All those slim fit shirts and low-rise pants will look DATED in five years or less. Some of it looks ridiculous right now.

    Brooks Brothers really needs to get back to Classic style. I know a lot of the salespeople in their flagship store and they're frustrated because they're having a hard time moving this Justin Bieber hipster crap. Most of it winds up on clearance. Many of their older established customers like myself are taking our business elsewhere like Bill's Khakis, Orvis, Charles Tyrwhitt and Joseph Turner. Shame because Liked Brooks Brothers and they had great products at one time.

    Hip N' Cool becomes Dated and played out. Classic Style can be worn by anyone anywhere.

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  17. I understand your frustration, but I'm not sure why you label slim fit as hipster. Or why it's so "un-classic" and guaranteed to go out of style in a month. (?) Before we found BB's x-tra slim fit line, my husband couldn't buy dress clothes that fit him. It was sad the way he was trying to look good, but always swimming in fabric. Shirts puffed out and pants always had too much fabric around the thighs. We love BB sizing, and we're not hipsters, in any sense of the word. (I've never even seen a hipster in any of the three stores in our area.) I'm not the biggest BB fan, for other reasons, but I think you need to chill on the assumption that extra-slim people are hipsters. And the anger. It's just a store, and almost every other men's store on the planet caters to a thicker body type.

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  18. Sorry, but slim fit just doesn't work on the rest of us guys. The problem with slim fit is that it looks HORRIBLE on anyone who isn't built like a 11-year-old boy. Yeah, you're buying clothes, but the rest of us men CAN'T buy Brooks Brothers clothes.

    plain and simple those short rise pants just SUCK A DONKEY DICK. Because there isn't enough room in the seat for a guy's junk to rest comfortably. And the shirts are always coming out of the damn things when you walk.


    And you can't raise your arms in those damn slim fit shirts. I have to buy shirts a neck size bigger just to get the chest to fit and that keeps the neck from looking right when I put on a tie.

    I call it hipster style because the only man wearing slim fit and low rise are these hipster dudes. Most of the rest of the world hates these damn clothes and we want them to get played out already. Classic style always looks good on almost any body and never goes out of style. In five years a slim fit suit will look as dated as a bell-bottom suit from the 1970s.

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  19. To answer another qestion about why I'm so angry about Brooks Brothers Before 2008 I could shop at Brooks Brothers. It was my main store. But after fall 2008 I stopped shopping there after almost a decade of doing business there. Instead of classic style men like myself were inundated with trendy crap like low-rise nut crunching pants, crazy designed shirts and stuff that just had no place in a workplace. When you got to work you want to dress in clothes that look polished and professional, not in stuff that looks like it belongs in a nightclub. There's nothing great about the post 2008 Brooks Brothers. If you shopped at the pre-08 Brooks you'd see classic style and how it helped a man make a powerful first impression on people.


    Maybe when one of your favorite retailers decides to change its fit you'll understand what men like myself are going through.

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  20. The truth is that Brooks has decided to cater to the rapidly expanding Asian market in order to stay relevant and in business.

    Brooks is hugely popular with my Chinese and Taiwanese friends; almost absurdly so, and has a brand cachet overseas that is completely lost here.

    The sizing has been updated to fix its most popular and targeted consumer, which is why so many of Brooks' fitments are now too slim and too short.

    You will also find very expensive products targeted towards Asian consumers. Also, if you look at their catalogs, at least 50% of the models are now Asian.

    Nothing against a company trying to stay in business. I wish they would offer a tall fitment for the extra slim fit stuff to appease American buyers.

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  21. I never have a problem with someone who is unhappy about a product and voicing his opinion, but you certainly are not very proffessionlal and far from a class act. The way in which you complained here on this sight is about as imature and child like as you can get. Grow up dude, because you have a lot of it to do

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  22. Dude you know this article is over three years old. I sent a similar letter to Brooks Brothers customer service in 2009.

    The issue of me being a class act has nothing to do with Brooks brothers low-rises or slim fits and wacky over-the-top designs that don't appeal to masculine men.

    And learn to spell when you make an ad-hominem attack. The word is spelled SITE when related to websites not sight. Professionalism and class have nothing to do with the argument I've made about Brooks Brothers clothes. It's clear to me you're the one who has to grow up when you get emotional over a three-year old blog as if it were today.

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  23. June 26, 2014 - Same impression for me today as others have posted. Went in with $280 in reward cards to th San Francisco Brooks Brothers Store and found one trouser and three pairs of sox. Most items were "slim" or "sweet". This store has become a joke. Where does the regular man go for conservative quality these days.??

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  24. I was in BB in La Jolla, CA yesterday and I experienced the same thing. Its like they make clothes for heroin addicts now. Who are these people who buy this garbage?

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  25. Sounds like you need to lose some weight man. At 5'10, 165 lbs and around 7% body fat, the extra slim 16" neck shirts fit perfectly.

    If you spent as much time in the Gym as you do complaining that stores aren't catering to you, you'd probably be able to wear the clothes!

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    Replies
    1. You do not have a 16" neck, unless you buy your shirts 16" & have 4 fingers space. (not at a weak 165)

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  26. What works for you doesn't work for everyone else. Short seats and slim fits don't sell well in a country where 75% of the people are large. BB really needs to change back to traditional fit, especially in the pants. In between the crazy sizing and the oddball designs I haven't had a reason to shop there in years.

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  27. I walk in their stores now asking " for the anorexic section" The sales reps look bewildered and haven't a clue. After 20 years and many thousands of dollars - I too have had to look elsewhere for normal fitting traditional fit shirts. BB is now playing in a very crowded twinkie marketplace. Hipsters / Art Fags are fads - like bell bottom jeans, neon, low rise jeans that show your underwear... However while BB drives away their core customers in favour of the trends - it will find a harder fight to regain lost sales/profit. The Gap is a perfect example of short term thinking. It is a shame that a company with such history has sunk this low. It also says that men of today are facing the same body issues faced by women for years - thin is apparently now vogue for guys. Legs that are as thin as chop sticks - this boys isn't attractive - it just looks like you should eat a sandwich. Whatever the corporate reason behind this shift - one thing is for sure - Brooks Brothers is on a new vision for men's fashion. Throngs of men like us are leaving the brand everyday. When they start closing some stores the "light may go off" but it will be too late. What a shame...

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    Replies
    1. Junk! I worked there in the late 1970's--good stuff. Oxfords now fused collars and cuffs. Sprayed with chemicals to prevent wrinkles!!! Wrinkles???!!! It is a cotton shirt!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (WITH PLASTIC---SWEAT IN SUMMER & FREEZE IN WINTER) No collar roll with sort collars, crap
      blazers with 6" too much lining slapped into the body and sleeves. Horrible. NEVER BROOKS AGAIN! Better goods all over elsewhere.

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  28. "Big Oxfords"... go back to the 90's you fucking retard....

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  29. Brooks Brothers is long gone and has been for some time. I have shop there since my prep school days in the early 80s. I have enjoyed the classic fits of the past as well as the new fritzgerald line. Classic fit for work and the Fritzgerald cut for going out to dinner or events with my wife. You can still get all the classic cuts... at a price. The made to measure option allows for ordering suits and shirts in the classic style. The issue is quality. Unless buying Golden Fleece suits ( which are made by an outside contractor) all clothes and suits use a cheap fussing method . Shirts are fused and covered with chemicals and their suits are only half canvassed. Brooks Brothers company has been sold many times and new ownership is trying to compete in the trendy market and meet their definition of a viable marketing strategy. After 7 years of suffering through poor quality, bad store tailoring, and a retail staff that has little clothing knowledge; I have left BB and began buying Canali and Hickey Freeman suits. Why did I wait so long? Because I was in denial that BB had finally gone the route of abacrombe , the gap, or Eddie Jacobs. The last bastion of The American style sack suit and superior quality is long gone ....especially in regards to quality.

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  30. Just want to chime in here - I was at BB yesterday and tried on pants. Even at two waste sizes above my usual, the pants were too tight. It's one thing to say that S-M-L-XL sizes vary, it's another to say that 36" isn't really 36" (my other pants are 36" and fit just fine, no stretching). I'm very disappointed, and will have to refrain from shopping BB online as I wouldn't know what I'm getting.

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  31. If Brooks Brothers stayed with their "Traditional" very aged customer base they'd be selling in the graveyard before too long. You can't stay in business with no customers. Smart move. Millenials have different tastes than Baby Boomers, are huge in numbers and in the middle of prime earning years, given that, who would you cater too?

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  32. Just had a fantastic experience at BB. My sales person offered every type of fit, from trim to comfortable, and I chose comfortable. The shirt I chose also fit my frame perfectly as opposed to any other brand I've tried in the past.

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  33. I just bought a "SLIM FIT" shirt--online, against my better judgment. I'd always noticed how Brooks Brother's is for fat bloated obese Americans, but I figured the "SLIM FIT" would remedy the puffiness. No, it is even for puffy than a Nordstrom regular fit shirt that my mom would buy me. BTW: I'm technically 10 pounds overweight by the BMI...and still this "SLIM FIT" shirt was a puff-ball. So, anybody wearing their regular fit must basically be obese.

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