How brooks brothers came to look like banana republic

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  1. My First Suit Was a Thousand-Dollar Mistake
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Men do not like to take off their pants. In a store.

Or, rather, they always balk at trying on pants, for nothing makes an ever-widening girth more manifest than a waistband that will not button. A recent article in Esquire reports that many trousers are significantly more ample than the marked waist size. If this is all too overwhelming, relax. You can order Bills Khakis online billskhakis.

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While T. Until the turn of the twentieth century, the shirt had been worn exclusively as an undergarment. Made from European fabrics, the shirts resemble classic oxfords and broadcloths, in stripes, solids, and checks, except for a touch of contrast stitching, a button in an unexpected color, or a patch of accenting in another fabric. They can be very funky if you choose. One client, for instance, always stipulates that in place of a breast pocket there be a thin fabric sheath to hold a single pen.

Have you ever seen the way some guys try on a shirt? They test it by flailing their arms around, as if they need an outfit to fly in. Squired around lower Manhattan by M. At Odin Lafayette Street , a hip but amiable boutique whose labels range from trendy Engineered Garments to too-trendy-for-M. If I need it, I get it.

You might saunter into this shop with the intention of buying one thing but find yourself distracted by all the other things, especially after the complimentary glass of barrel-aged bourbon. In fashion and sports, men follow rules.

My First Suit Was a Thousand-Dollar Mistake

What are the conventions? We met at Saks Fifth Avenue, at 50th Street , a vender not above catering to the legal profession but also able to accommodate natty doctors as well as the occasional artist. He was in need of some very unassertive ties. He gave a big sigh of relief as his purchase was being packaged. The next day, A. Recommended Stories. Letter from Rwanda After the Genocide When a people murders up to a million fellow-countrymen, what does it mean to survive? Sign in. Get the best of The New Yorker in your in-box every day.

Privacy Policy. Browne's collection at Brooks Brothers will go over with customers. Browne's fans won't see his name on the label, which features the Brooks Brothers fleece logo in black rather than gold.


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Though not as extreme as his own label, which will continue to sell at other stores, the clothes have a decidedly close-to-the-body fit. Men's sizes go up to only a chest jacket. All the pants in the collection, however, come with unfinished bottoms that can be hemmed the way the customer wants and don't have to be as short as Mr. Browne wears them. Browne, a gray-flannel style that he was test-driving looked like a snugger version of a Brooks Brothers suit. He says Black Fleece is aimed at an "attractive plus, young professional who needs to dress up but wants a little bit more of a style to conservative clothing.

Another big question is how women, who make up a third of Brooks Brothers shoppers, will react to Mr. Browne's first women's line, with sizes running from an equivalent of 0 to the standard Other items in the collection, which consists of pieces made in Italy and at Brooks Brothers factories in the U. Browne prefers with the collar buttons undone. Starting in September, it will initially sell the Black Fleece collection in only 30 of its Brooks Brothers stores around the world, though its New York flagship will devote a full floor to it and other stores will display it prominently.

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The collection will also be available on the Brooks Brothers Web site. Brooks Brothers plans displays of Black Fleece items on tables with jackets opened so customers can study the handwork that went into the garments. While Mr. Browne's aesthetic is far from mainstream, his line is starting to appeal to more than just the fashion-forward crowd.

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Jay Bell, senior buyer, men's designer collections at Barneys, says he was surprised by how enthusiastically some bankers have responded after trying on Thom Browne suits and finding them not as snug as they might have guessed. At first, Barneys offered the collection only in its flagship store on New York's Madison Avenue, but it now carries it at stores in other cities.

The retailer increased its orders of Mr. Ward Kelvin, a year-old designer of tableware and jewelry in New York, bought his first Thom Browne suit at Bergdorf Goodman three years ago and has been a fan ever since. He says he doesn't wear the "whole-hog Thom Browne thing," choosing a "modified version" of the designer's high-water pants, for example. Though Mr. Kelvin says the line takes some "confidence and wherewithal" to wear, he adds it's not as extreme as Mr. Browne presents it. Browne, who will make appearances at several Brooks Brothers stores, including one near his hometown of Allentown, Pa.

But he says that once men put on the jackets, they'll discover that they can move their arms despite the snugger fit. Write to Ray A. Smith at ray. All Rights Reserved. Dow Jones, a News Corp company. News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

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