Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Brooks Brothers Extra Slim Fit - Made in USA

If you're looking for a no frills oxford cotton button down (OCBD) shirt with a great fit at a bargain price, look no further than Brooks Brothers. They basically invented the button down shirt, so it makes sense buying your shirt from them, they know what they're doing (despite all of the commotion of trad/preppy blogs about the fused collars). Especially after they've begun offering some of the classic colourways in trimmer options. You shouldn't be discouraged by the use of  "extra slim fit", as they aren't that slim, honestly. But compared to the trad or regular options, which some purists probably prefer, I'm sure, it will indeed feel extra slim fit. To me they're just a comfortably tailored shirt with sufficient room to work in. And it's great that they're offering sizes based on the length of your arms and the circumference of your neck, and not S, M, L, XL, as we're mostly used to en Europe nowadays.

The product is great, don't get me wrong. But it could of course be better, but keep in mind it's an off the rack garment. You don't get mother of pearl buttons and some of the other great details that you often see on some OCBD's from other brands, and you're quite limited in terms of colours, prints and patterns, however you get the essential colours. But the price is just insane. 3 for $225. And that price has actually gone up, they used to be cheaper. For me this is the go-to shirt without comparison. There are better products out there definitely, however the price and the iconic status of the Brooks Brothers brand is just the deciding factor, but mostly the price. I sometimes think about, how many shirts they could be selling, if they decided to go into their archives and used some fabrics of the past. I mean, I would love an BB OCBD in Chambray or winter weight flannel. They offer these options, but they aren't made in the USA, which is a deciding factor for me. I want them to be made in the US and I want that great single needle tailoring, that only they can make. Again, other companies can of course make shirts using single needle tailoring, however I think that the way Brooks Brothers does it, is so typical and great.

I've only been dealing with the made in the USA options. I don't know anything about the imported shirts.

Fit: Great. Could be better.
Details: Great. Could be better.
Colourways: Sufficient. Room for improvement.
Historical correctness: Who cares? 
Fabric: Fine. Room for improvement.
Distribution: Please bring them to Europe.
Price: Perfect.

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