Nick Waterhouse And Brooks’ New Retro Category


Following hard upon the debut of Red Fleece is today’s Brooks mailer, which plugs a new, possibly temporary, product category called “Retro Style.”

The category consists of standard Brooks items, but it’s interesting to see which items Brooks chose to group together, as well as its invocation of the word “retro,” which will sound cool to guys with a certain sensibility while frightening off others.

The choice of celebrity endorser should please both the hip and the square, however, as musician Nick Waterhouse’s vibe is a harmonious blending of the two. Brooks headlined its feature “The Right Note,” but perhaps they should have used “The Right Chord.” — c C m

22 Comments on "Nick Waterhouse And Brooks’ New Retro Category"

  1. Interesting, He’s been featured in many style publications – I wonder how his vintage style will influence future collections… maybe we’ll see more new sack jackets etc…

    also get ready for more hipsters/musicians to adopt “Vintage Ivy”

    The trend is clearly moving towards Ivy/Trad, with less of a preppy vibe…

    Just my 2 cents

  2. Curmudgeon | May 20, 2013 at 8:26 am |

    Just as I’ve never heard of Russell Street, I’ve never heard of Nick Waterhouse.

  3. Dutch Uncle | May 20, 2013 at 8:31 am |

    Some of those items have nothing to do with Retro, nothing to do with style, and nothing to do with each other:,default,sc.html?lid=leftnav-menu

  4. Roy R. Platt | May 20, 2013 at 9:18 am |

    In the spirit of actual “retro” music such as Stan Freberg’s 1961 song that begins “Everybody wants to be an Art Director……”.

    The modern Union Pacific locomotives are not “retro”

    Pallets are not “retro”. Opposition from unions throughout the World delayed the wide use of pallets in freight handling for many years.

    Hopefully, whoever painted the pallets red, white, and blue before taking the picture also sanded the pallets. Sitting on a pallet is a good way to get a splinter someplace where it would be hard to get out without asking someone else to help you.

    (I am also a member of that sub-group who has no idea who “Nick Waterhouse” or “Russel Street” are but I am also confused as to why some people in the UK who are trying to exactly reproduce what they imagine American “Ivy” was like use the Internet, which did not exist at that time.)

  5. I don’t want to look like Buddy Holly.

  6. Oh my.
    It really can get worse.

  7. Because we all know that, back in the day, all the lads were wearing heavily tapered, high-and-wide shouldered jackets with darted fonts. Yes, very retro.


  8. Because we all know that, back in the day, all the lads were wearing heavily tapered, high-and-wide shouldered jackets with darted fronts. Yes, very retro.


  9. Sorry ‘ bout that. Some rants merit repetition.

    Christian, we plead with you:
    Save Brooks.
    You have the power.

  10. Jack Armstrong | May 20, 2013 at 10:38 am |

    The eyeglasses are too big for his face too. Makes him look like a nerd. Oh wait, that’s the idea right?

  11. Christian | May 20, 2013 at 10:44 am |


    I’m flattered you think so.

    However, I did meet with a pal from the Brooks marketing department and he told me he appreciated the recent Brooks questionaire we did, and said he passed it around among “several committees” he sits on at the company.

    I’ve long felt that the purists among us would be happy to let the company do whatever it wants, now that it’s a huge multinational corporation, if it would just produce one purist-focused collection. But even if they attempted to recreate pre-1987 merchandise, who knows if they could pull it off.

    They do have a relaunch of Own Make scheduled for this fall, which I’ve been told I’ll get more info on as we get closer, and it may be intended to be this very sort of purist collection.

  12. Curmudgeon:

    We should have known! Just the right man to save BB!!

  13. Right, Christian. Yes.

    “One purist focused collection.”

    A few jackets, a blazer, and a few suits every season.

    I promise: if they use their own factory in MA to do it, I’ll buy.

  14. A whole site full of Thurston Howell III’s harumphing a clothing line….god this IS comedy!

  15. More Charles Emerson Winchester, I’d say.

    “This fall, we gladly return to the vaults and blow the dust off the Golden Fleece archives, saluting the look for which Brooks is known. Here, for your consideration, is an authentic rendering of the famous No. 1 Sack, worn by presidents and businessmen since our earliest days at Madison and 44th. Made in Brooks’ New England shop of cloth woven in Scotland and England. Lined with Supima Oxford cloth shirtings and repp silk woven in Sudbury, England. A 10 oz. Shetland tweed, French navy lambswool hopsack, robust Harris Tweed Glen Check, and worsted flannels of gray, charcoal, navy, and various stripes. Three buttons, natural shoulders. Yours to choose.”

    This is my copy, not Brooks’. But a man can hope.

  16. Louis Chanceford | May 20, 2013 at 12:35 pm |

    its funny how anyone who wears glasses and holds a guitar, looks like Buddy Holly.
    he wore Cazal prototypes more or less.
    god bless second coming of the natural shoulder.

  17. Christian | May 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm |

    Cheers for the effort, SE. I’ve long thought of a “What would you do if you were in charge of Brooks?” post, but have admittedly been yellow as I felt it might be taken as too censorious. They were furious at a post from a year or so ago, but I’m glad they saw value in the questionaire, which I hoped they would.

    I can’t lose my golf practice facility!

  18. I just familiarized myself with BB’s site (been a few months since I paid attention to the presentation). The team there has a tough job. As it stands, it is clear they are trying to find themselves. Lord knows we know and appreciate what they used to be, but they sure are uncertain about what they should be today. I wish them luck!

  19. Christian,
    If my unreal copy (hopeful fiction) proves censorious, by all means delete. If it’s more trouble than it’s worth. For the sake of clarity: it doesn’t describe an actual product line. I mean, I wish it did. But it doesn’t.

    By the way–which post inspired the fury?

  20. Or maybe it’s best said post not be revisited.

  21. Joseph P. Kennedy | May 21, 2013 at 6:26 am |

    Just a hipster with a gimmick.

  22. “Just a hipster with a gimmick” – Well out, JPK. Maybe that can be the name of his next album (CD? MP3? Download? What ever…)

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