Editor’s Note: Jack Lee is a frequent contributor on the Facebook Group.
I recently wrote an article reviewing the new Brooks Brothers oxford shirts, giving them an overall good rating because I liked the colors and thought the price was a good value.
I’ve changed my mind. After a routine wash, I took my pink stripe shirt out of the dryer and saw that the collar had frayed and the seam had split. I don’t baby my shirts nor do I abuse them. This shirt had been washed fewer than ten times, always on cold, then dried for as short a time as possible. This is the way I’ve treated every shirt I’ve owned, including $20 shirts from Target.
I spent $90 on this shirt. These oxfords were promised to be a return to old school Brooks, with a hefty roll and substantial weight. Something you could rely on for years. So why are they falling apart faster than the Target oxford I bought in high school? It’s possible that this one shirt was a fluke and I was the unlucky person to buy it. But when I posted about my woes in the Ivy Style Facebook group, several other people mentioned that their new Brooks shirts weren’t holding up to scrutiny either. Bastian is still relatively new and these shirts were one of the first products he was directly responsible for. The optimist in me says that these are the growing pains from trying something new, that the designers and manufacturers will learn from the issues, and that the next batch of shirts will be an improvement. In a year or two they might have worked out all the kinks and created the perfect shirt, but they still have a way to go.
The pessimist in me says that this is the best we’re going to get. Cheap imitations of classic products that look good, but ultimately have no substance. And I mean that literally. If your clothes fall apart after two months then they weren’t worth buying in the first place. It seems like Brooks is trying to appeal to their hardcore fanbase by “recreating” classic products and also attract newer customers who might be interested in the lower price point. This isn’t an impossible route to take, but they still have some work to do. Brooks is still top notch when it comes to customer service. I emailed them right away and in less than 24 hours they responded and offered to replace the shirt. I guess I’ll be hang drying the new one, but I shouldn’t have to do that to get years of use out of a shirt.
- Jack Lee