Red Fleece

Today Brooks Brothers sent out an email unveiling Red Fleece, the new name for what was formerly called the University collection. Brooks now has golden, black and red fleeces similar to blue, black and purple labels.

Now before you purists and fogeys cry foul, recall that Brooks has produced special collections catering to young men for at least 100 years, and Red Fleece is just the 2013 iteration of a longstanding merchandising strategy.

Still, the farther we move along the passage of time, the farther we get from the origins. Red Fleece includes plenty of eyebrow raisers, such as ’70s-looking swim trunks, legible t-shirts suggesting membership in a fictitious yacht club, a track jacket that could easily blend in with the wares of a hundred brands at an apparel trade show, and the weirdly random Mexican Blanket Hoodie.

The collection has plenty of nods to tradition, however, and a few weeks ago I actually picked up this popover, an item of clothing that I’ve always had an allergic reaction to:


If Brooks can conquer a sartorial pet peeve, they must be doing something right. — CC