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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Brooks Brothers New Oxford Shirts?

 

Hello Muffy, 

I have a question for your readers: Has anyone tried the new (yet allegedly old) Brooks Brothers OCBDs? The initial reviews appear promising, and if true, would indicate a step (albeit small) in the right direction for Brooks. 

Thanks.

 

29 comments:

  1. I have looked at these but I was uncertain regarding sizing. I still prefer knowing neck/sleeve measurements as opposed to S,M,L etc. They may be fine but I think I will wait and see what others have to say....

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  2. Yes, I tried them. They still sell some with traditional neck and sleeve measurements, as opposed to XS-XXL. If you want the closest to a traditional, roomy Brooks Brothers fit, get 'extra-relaxed traditional.' Soho, Regent, Madison are all a more tailored fit. As you observed, Brooks also sells in XS through XXL.

    Unfortunately, my experience was that quality has suffered. Brooks' original polo oxford cloth is not as robust or durable as many made-to-measure online sellers (Mercer & Sons, Michael Spencer, Proper Cloth for example). also, i had seams unravel at the placket and hem after less than a year, and that was from laundering at home & spending only 12 minutes in a dryer before damp-drying on a hanger & ironing myself. I will not purchase shirts from that company again unless or until I determine they have improved a lot.

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  3. I recently bought one of the new ones, too. It's actually a great shirt and just as good (so far) as my older Brooks Brothers oxfords. Same heft to the fabric, same fit and feel. It was worth the price to me.

    Some points to consider: I don't think they're Supima cotton like some of the older examples. Additionally, the new ones don't say what fit they are (Madison, Regent, etc.), but they're made in the traditional fit you might expect. Size-wise, as Andrew and Anonymous mentioned, the new ones don't come in neck/sleeve measurements, but a Medium fit me perfectly. (Normally I'm a 15.5 or 16 x 34/35.)

    I have heard through a rumor mill that neck/sleeve measured shirts might be offered again, possibly as MTO, like Mercer (though who knows if they'll be as good). Don't take my word for it though, I really don't know and am in no way truly in-the-loop with that.

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  4. The question is do they compare to the shirts made pre 90’s or those made after ?

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  5. I'm not giving Brooks Brothers a penny of my money. They moved on from me -- I've moved on from them.

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    1. Perhaps the news ownership is trying to make their way back to quality at a fair price? Just a thought.

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    2. I agree. They actually used to offer good value especially when there was a big sale. At their list price, you could go to O'connell's, J. Press, Mercer, etc. and get what you truly want....Until recently, I bought great OCBD shirts on ebay avg price 20 to 25....

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  6. Not they way they used to be!

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  7. I concur with Sartresky with a measure of wistful sorrow.

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  8. I just ordered two. They really had all the great old colors (brown stripe, yellow solid - the test will be to see if they’ve re-achieved the right pink). But until the MTO arrives (it is coming), not sure this is going to be a success. I’m a big Mercer fan, but sometimes it’s nice to realize you need a new shirt and not have to wait 12 weeks.

    A note: the monogram offerings are a disaster. Seem larger than normal and nothing on the pocket - only above the pocket, then elsewhere. A bit like those awful large Ralph Lauren polos for the Open ball boys.

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    1. For a shirt quite comparable in any ways to Mercer but into the FedEx system the day you order it, try O'Connell's unlined and unfused OCBDs. I am ruing my now 13 week wait on Mercer.

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  9. The fact that BB is now owned by the Simon Property Group after buying the company away from the man who destroyed it, i.e. the infamously arrogant CLAUDIO DEL VECCHIO and his mafia of equally unqualified family members and sycophantic managers means the company is now nothing more than a mall stalwart.

    As for the new OCBD, it is a well known fact that these oxford cloth shirts are still what could be considered "dress' shirts because men have and still do wear them with blazers and ties as well as business suits before 6:30 at night. No men's semi-formal or dress shirts should ever be labeled with the designation S, M, L, XL, XXL under any circumstances! They should ALWAYS have a proper neck and sleeve size.

    I've been, or should I say I was a BB customer from my early teens in the mid-1960s even through that time when Claudio Del Vecchio took it to the edge of extinction. If I need a new OCBD, I'll be buying them from MERCER and SONS.

    Bye, Bye Brooks Brothers, "we hardly know ye."

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    1. Frederick J JohnsonOctober 15, 2021 at 10:26 AM

      Why take a chance.. get thee to J Press.

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    2. And Proper Cloth. My family made clothing for both BB and Polo. You want a real shirt or suit made to fit you? Proper Cloth gets it done.

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  10. Nope...will stick with J Press

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  11. The sizing tells me all I need to know

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  12. Considering the fact that it doesn't even take a day for Mercer to make an OCBD,the 12-13 week wait makes no sense to me.

    Old Bostonian

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  13. I second the recommendation re O'Connell's unlined/unfused OCBD's....my favorite shirts...

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  14. Recently purchased one of the "new" OCBD Regent fit shirts from BB and I am totally pleased with the shirt; it feels and looks right and has a nice fit. I have been a BB customer off and on since the early 70's and can not say anything negative about the products I have bought from them this summer and fall; hopefully BB is back on track...

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    1. I have to agree; my BB purchases this spring and summer, at very good prices, have left me equally pleased. I'm a medium in their sport shirts (Milano fit), which equates with a 16 neck, and a 34 sleeve (at around 155 lbs.), and about 5' 10" (on a bad day). So, slight of build in North American parlance, and 60 years old. Reather enjoy the brand, of late.

      Your intrepid reader fron north of the 49th,

      Banacek

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  15. Wow. I just ordered some shirts from Mercer (and always love talking with David) and am getting mine in 10 weeks. That said, I have enough of these them that the wait has never really bothered me. And they really do fit me better than any of the alternatives!

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  16. Dear Brooks Brothers;

    Here's a Hint - Dress shirts always come in exact neck/sleeve sizes only - NOBODY offers a Dress Shirt in your vague S, M, L, XL sizing - that's just for casual, sports wear. It's obvious you still have no idea what you are doing.

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  17. Dear Brooks Brothers:

    Thank you for realizing that gentlemen wear white broadcloth dress shirts with plain collars and that OCBDs are casual, sports wear and should come in S,M,L, XL sizing.

    Jonathan Mitchell

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  18. Does anyone know if this shirt has an unlined collar?
    Thanks.

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  19. These sport shirts purport to have all the qualities of the former dress shirt, albeit in alpha sizing, and only one fit, Madison. They now call Madison “traditional” which is akin to the Coca Cola fiasco of the 90s. Traditional means “traditional” not some new version on which you slap the older name. A young clerk in a store recently pointed to a sign to prove to me that Madison is “traditional.”

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    1. I thought of the Classic Coke matter also. The new BB shirt strikes me as akin to "Gosh, folks, we didn't mean for anybody to think we weren't gonna make your favorite soft drink anymore! Here it is again, after a nice little beauty sleep, just the same as it always was, other than now being made with powdered ink and goat wee-wee!"

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  20. I don't know anything about the shirt in the link, but I can tell you that Brooks' "new", made-in-the-USA (blue label) OCBDs come in regular, non-alpha neck & sleeve sizes, and are exactly like I remember from high school and college in the 1980s. They retail for $140, which puts them right in the range of Mercer (which I also own & love), but can periodically be found on sale for less.

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  21. BB sizing has become very confusing, meanwhile for $5 less Proper Cloth will make an OCBD to your exact specifications. What’s not to like?

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