Photo by Salt Water New England

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Two Preppy Articles


A reader kindly sent two articles which together could be seen as paradoxical.

The first is: "Brooks Brothers leaving Garland" <https://www.clintonnc.com/news/48698/brooks-brothers-leaving-garland>:
After many years of producing high-quality dress shirts in Sampson County [,North Carolina], Brooks Brothers is leaving Garland and 146 people without jobs.... [The factory is] one of three Brooks Brothers factories in the United States. The others are located in New York and Massachusetts.
The second article combines clip art with whatever the idiom equivalent is to mull the return of classic clothes.




15 comments:

  1. The latter article seems to define practically anything as “preppy style.” Jeans, bowling shirts and Calvin Klein?

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    1. Agree. Bowling shirts..Really? I suppose the only thing "Preppy" about Calvin Klein was Carolyn Bessette but she was kind of a category all of her own. I will confess to wearing jeans although the plainer the better.

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  2. BB closing its NC shirt factory is old news. The history of BB's shirts has been one of a steady decline in quality and fit for many decades. The difference between BB and Mercer shirts? No one wears BB anymore.

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    1. I have it on quiet authority that some former Brooks Bros. clients have secretly gone over to Jos.A.Bank….

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  3. Brooks had their chance!

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  4. https://www.ft.com/content/a7068e80-9521-11ea-abcd-371e24b679ed?fbclid=IwAR0HKPAWRh0Qo51gmtdZX7OjS75R5vcKjxLIHg4deJcIGFVPh6cvkaaqUVE

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  5. I believe the Garland factory made shirts for several additional purveyors as well, and did good work. I'm wondering how this will affect them.

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  6. I still buy shirts from the garland factory on ebay. The white buttondowns in particular seem to last forever. I think if Brooks brothers cut their offerings in half. and emphasized their most classic and simple items, they could survive and maybe thrive. I also used to buy Norman Hilton at their factory in Linden NJ

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  7. If Brooks Brothers wants to survive it should got back to chemical free shirts and khakis. I have stopped buying their shirts and khakis years ago as they transitioned over to chemical sprayed fabrics. A few wrinkles are much more preferable than cancer.

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  8. BB says goodbye to USA. See this article at

    http://www.ivy-style.com/silence-of-the-lambs-brooks-to-close-all-three-us-factories-by-july.html

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  9. BB had a major share of a specific market segment. Its clientele did not want fashion and change. It wanted sack suits and jackets, billowy shirts, timeless tassel loafers and oxfords, and ties that were gorgeous but not flashy, chiefly repp stripes and foulards. One new color of Shetlands each fall was enough of a concession to fashion. This clientele was immensely loyal. Back when I worked in a large bank I had quite a few colleagues who were always 100% BB. We dd not talk about clothing, but little details telegraphed the fact: the leather covered belt buckle, the small gold ring at the top of the sock, no label on the breast pocket of the jacket, the chased heel on the tassel loafer. Those people spent a good amount on their clothing and had great relationships with their salespersons. I know because my sales woman told me so. That was the seventies. Fast forward to my last venture into a BB, probably about five years ago. In addition to their being both pricey and slightly snarky, they really did not have a single item I would buy. The suits were too fitted. The shirts were overly treated, cut oddly, and mainly a little too fashion forward. A true no iron cotton OCBD shirt in the traditional cut was not to be had. The Alden for Brooks and Peal shoes had been replaced, mainly with Italian shoes. The real BB could have lengthened its run by sticking to its old ways and clients, but they rejected both. They became sadly irrelevant to me. Me, and my generation, are still buying clothing. Thankfully people like O'Connell's, Eljo's, Hunter and Coggins, and a few others have not given up on us!

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  10. Ethan:
    "I still buy shirts from the garland factory on ebay"

    Assume you mean that you buy BB shirts that were made at Garland, second-hand on ebay, and not, as glorious as it would be, factory-direct?

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  11. If Brooks stops making clothing in the United States, I stop buying from them. I'm 25 years old, and belong to the generation they are trying to appeal to.

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  12. A serious question...how many of us would buy Ben Silver odd jackets if instead of side vents they had a single hook vent?

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  13. Tim Irving: Not likely when one is able to have the single vent 3/2 button stance and classic American tailoring in a J. Press jacket.

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