Fare Thee Well, Brooks Brothers Beverly Hills

First-time contributor EAE has composed this paean to Brooks Brothers’ Beverly Hills store, which closes Monday, August 27.

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Brooks Brothers’ location at the corner of 468 Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard

has been scheduled for closure, not due to paucity of clientele, 

but rather the internecine machinations of the trustees of the Anderson Family Trust, 

whose ancestor, Stanley Anderson, founded the Beverly Hills Hotel, 

and which also happens to hold the title to the Brothers Brooks store,

having acquired their property before Beverly Hills was founded as a city.

 

So Brooks Brothers has had the proverbial blue, white, and gold rug 

pulled out from beneath its loafer-clad feet, as the Anderson family 

decided it wanted $300 million (minimum asking price), taxable, instead of maintaining Brooks’ lease.

Brooks Brothers Beverly Hills first opened its doors on April 2, 2003, 

during the continuing foundering of its storied namesake 

under the regrettable ownership of Marks & Spencer.  

 

Alas poor Brooks Brothers Beverly Hills, I knew thee well!

Farewell to your lovely, luscious reps and checks and dowdy tweedy drapery! 

Adieu to your subtle fustiness and khaki bliss! 

No more the OCBD-clad to roam your echoing halls of effulgent marble. 

A touch more la dolce vita than English Leather, woolens, or limes,

always palatial, and rather more patrician than your soon-to-be-erstwhile peers upon the ol’ Rodeo, 

you were a bulwark of old highbrow class and elegance among your Italianate and French haute blasé fellows, 

who pander to the nouveau riche and tourists,

a monument to the transient and lowbrow that is Los Angeles.

44 Comments on "Fare Thee Well, Brooks Brothers Beverly Hills"

  1. Simplex Munditiis | August 26, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Reply

    EAE:
    “the transient and lowbrow that is Los Angeles”.
    That sums things up nicely.

  2. Evan Everhart | August 26, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Reply

    Well, there above lies my highly edited contribution!

    Quite exciting to be published!

  3. Chris Paternoster | August 26, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Reply

    CC,
    Too bad you took down the Bruce Boyer posting so soon.
    By the way, the only men I ever saw wearing ivy style in Beverly Hills were some customers in the Brooks Brothers store.

  4. That leaves Carroll and Co on Canon Drive as the only
    independent men’s shop that offers high-end conservative
    (non trad) clothing in the area. Years ago Carroll had a fair
    amount of Ivy merchandise. Worth a visit if only for the
    knowledgeable staff, reminiscent of retailers in the past.

  5. Evan Everhart | August 26, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Reply

    @ Roger Sack et al:

    Indeed, sadly; even the RL store in Beverly Hills is a shell of its former glory. A few tchachkies and overpriced carnation pink dinner suits and that’s about it. Hardly a suit, tie, shirt, or furnishing to be seen. Perhaps bare shelves are supposed to inpart a sense of minimalist chic in that great omnibus of dreckitude which is BH, but I certainly don’t feel positively impressed by their lack of selection.

    As for Carroll & Co., my grandfather used to buy a good amount of his wardrobe there, after he moved to California anyway. I still have a beautiful joined bar stripe in champagne and silver on navy, and his straw hat from there. Top notch stuff if a bit bold. Brussels Beverly Hills was another former purveyor of fine traditional clothing that my father patronized (I’ve still got some old Gant suits and shirts from them and a beat to hell slate blue pin-striped peak lapel sack by Lanvin of all things – chalk it up to the 60s), and of course Malibu Clothiers before the late ’90s hit and everything went Italian.

    When grandfather was on the East Coast, he patronized White’s and Ray Hammond of New Haven along with the usual laundry list of quality clothiers and his stockpile of English clothing.

  6. Evan Everhart | August 26, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Reply

    @Simplex Munditiis:

    Thank you for yr kind words regarding my prose-poetic turn of phrase!

    I wish that it were not so true.

  7. If you’re in the area, it’s well worth your while to stop before they close their doors. When I stopped by a couple weeks back, all footwear and accessories were 40% off. Picked up a pair of cordovan tassel loafers but passed on the Filson bag I had my eye on. Quite a steal.

  8. Evan Everhart | August 26, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Reply

    In reference to my above comment regarding my grandfather’s and father’s respective wardrobes, pergaps Christian might consider doing a piece on some of the lesser Ivy League clotgiers like White’s and Ray Hammond of Beverly Hills, or perhaps some of the West coast iterations and purveyors of the “look”. I thibk it would be highly edifying and informative as so much of what is available upon the subject is focused solely upon its homeland on the East Coast, or Occasionally Japan or “Merry” old Blighty, but never upon the style’s figurative farthest shore.

  9. Evan Everhart | August 26, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Reply

    Damnable cell phone typing. Apologies for the profusion of typos.

  10. Evan Everhart | August 26, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Reply

    *Correction: White’s or Ray Hammond of New Haven.

  11. For all of you who know the store…$300 Million Dollars..What can they be thinking?

  12. About 25 years ago, I bought the best tattersall shirt I have ever owned at Carroll & Co on Canon. A Bobby Jones, long sleeved, I still wear it with seriously frayed sleeves, the best with a navy blazer. I have been looking for the same for years.

    BB won’t be missed in Beverly Hills.

  13. Chris Paternoster | August 27, 2018 at 7:20 am | Reply

    Re:”BB won’t be missed in Beverly Hills.”

    Vern Trotter said it far better than I could have.

  14. I just bought 2 buttoned down summer shirts from this store,the salesman even sent me a thank you card.Well at least they had a refined sense of class.

  15. I lived in Los Angeles 20 years until recently. The only quality in the whole damn town can be found at bespoke makers Enzo Caruso for suits and Anto for shirts. Carroll and Co. Is the only quality retailer. The rest is euro trash catering to the Chinese thirst for labels above quality. Sad but brooks brothers committed suicide many decades ago so it won’t be missed in Beverly Hills.

  16. High Street rent in every major city is going to need a correction as more retailers continue to downsize expenses. Empty stores here in Chicago on Michigan Ave, the closing of Polo on 5th Avenue, etc says it all. The days of having “advertisement locations” that don’t render a profit are coming to an end. I heard that Hugo Boss generates more revenue from Nordstrom’s Half-Year sale WEEK, then they do off of all of their namesake store’s total ANNUAL income collectively. If that is true, how do you continue justifying the cost of 5th Ave, Michigan Ave, Rodeo rent, to your investors? You can’t.

  17. Brooks Brothers, Beverly Hills is not closing due to the rent factor on their behalf, it is due to the fact that the family trust which holds the property (along with a fairly large portion of the other mercantile properties in Beverly Hills) decided that they wanted to liquidate the property or increase the rent exponentially in a new lease agreement. I think that basically they wanted to increase their liquidity for whatever reason and decided to sell off their highly valuable property. I elaborated upon this point in my original un-edited version of my “piece”. I will post it up here later in it’s full form.

    E.A.E.

  18. Alas poor Brooks Brothers Beverly Hills! I knew thee well; a touch more (rather more than a bit much, actually) of “la dolce vita”, than english leather, woolens, or limes, always palacial and rather more patrician than yr soon to be erstwhile peers upon the old Rodeo, you were a bulwark (at one time) of old highbrow class and elegance amongst yr italianate and french haute blase’ fellows who pandered to the nouveaux riche and touristes of this great metropolis and monument to and of the transient and low brow that is Los Angeles.

    Farewell to yr lovely luscious reps and checks, and dowdy tweedy drapery, adieu to your subtle fustiness and khaki bliss! No more the OCBD clad to roam your echoing halls of effulgent marble; farewell Brooks Brothers Beverly Hills!

    Brooks Brothers’ flagship location at the corner of 468 Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, has been scheduled for closure, not, surprisingly due to paucity of clientele, but rather due to the internice machinations of the trustees of the Anderson Family Trust, whose ancestor; Stanley Anderson founded the Beverly Hills Hotel, and which also happens to hold the title to the Brothers Brooks’ Rodeo Drive flagship location amongst a myriad of other Beverly Hills property, having acquired their property before Beverly Hills had even officially been founded as a city.

    So Brooks Brothers has had the proverbial blue, white, and gold rug pulled out from beneath their loafer clad feet, as the Anderson family decided that they wanted another $300 million (minimum asking price), taxable, instead of maintaining the lease with Brooks.

    Brooks Brothers Beverly Hills Flagship store first opened its door on April 2, 2003, during the continuing foundering of its storied namesake under the regrettable ownership of M. & S. It is scheduled to close its doors for the final time on August 27, 2018, after a little over 15 years in the same location, as the vestige of a bastion of traditional American style.

    Fare thee well; you will be missed, and not so much for what you are, but for what you were and could have been.

    -E. A. E.

  19. I had titled the piece “A Paen for Brooks Brothers”

    My original unedited version of the piece is above.

  20. @Evan Everhart, cool contribution! Admittedly, even as an English major, I had to look up a fair amount of those words (not sure what that says, or doesn’t say, about my work ethic…) but I like the piece. It’s a nice, lighthearted way to break up the typical onslaught of nasty comments and I-know-more-than-you attitude that can make a reader weary while still maintaining some social commentary. Nice work here!

  21. I have learned my lesson. All the (all too easy) criticisms aside, it’s true that Brooks and PoloRL are keeping polo shirts, cable knit sweaters, OCBDs, and repp ties alive and well. Were we to rely (primarily) on Mercer & Sons retailers that carry R. Hanauer, the state of trad would be decline at a higher rate of speed. That yet another Brooks retail store is closing–not good news for those of us who use Southwick for MTM.

  22. EVAN EVERHART | August 27, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Reply

    @ Trevor:

    Thanks for the wonderful compliment on my piece!

    I love using obscure words, and am really pleased that you enjoyed them too!

    For me, the beauty of the English language (much like Yiddish), lies in the fact that even if you’re not exactly sure what a thing means, it makes perfect sense and still gives one a real sense of atmosphere when taken in, in context. Beyond that, high level English is basically Latin and Greek vocabulary thrown into pseudo-Germanic grammatic constructs, so that helps. Fun stuff.

    It’s not your work ethic, it’s the penurious level of academia in this day and age, and sadly, intellectual sedevacantism which is running rampant through society, and its being engineered at the level of the primary schools on up, thank post-modernistic philosophical relativism which removed concrete standards from academia and society at large, it amounts to societal nihilism on the philosophical level, as applied in daily life.

    In short, its not the students who are the problem, it is the teachers and the philosophies of the academic institutions themselves which are the problem, I repeatedly found that a high majority of my teachers and professors spent a majority of their time trying to limit my field of intellectual acquisition, and methodologies of thought (typically to something within their own Marxist and post-modern social paradigm), as well as trying to proselytize for their own pet ideologies, to propagandize instead of to teach how to learn. You don’t learn in college, you’re supposed to learn how to learn. I sadly don’t see that anymore, and the loss of that approach to academia I think is a very sad paradigm shift.

    Sorry, that was too heavy, but I do think relevant.

    Where did/are you currently studying, and special section of English which you find most fascinating?

    P.S. I developed my vocabulary from being incorrigibly indolent with regard to completing or bothering to turn in completed academic assignments….As a consequence, my teachers thought they’d punish me by having me write out whole sections of the BIG dictionary or the encyclopedia. Little did my teachers know or understand that I preferred that to their nattering on about what were to me, re-hashed or ultimately boring subjects.

  23. EVAN EVERHART | August 27, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Reply

    @ S.E.:

    I do truly feel that the West Coast, particularly Los Angeles, CA, is the veritable “Farthest Shore” with regards to the TNSIL, even, sadly, farther than either Merry Old Blighty, or even far Eastern Japan.

    I stand in a veritable waste-land of post-modernist anti-culture.

    I wish there were any Ivy League retailers anywhere near me. I’m compelled to shop “mail order” from J Press and O’Connell’s, with shirts from BB or the like, though I’ve still yet to take the plunge on either a Mercer or Michael Spencer Shirt. I like ratio, but hate their ordering forms.

  24. Be interesting to see who ponies up $300M for the location. I was surprised to see that BB was on Rodeo Dr. at all. I was under the impression it was all “You can’t afford me” boutiques.

  25. Erik syverson | August 27, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Reply

    The downfall of trad began with Martin Luther. The Protestants continue their tradition of abandoning tradition. Jews, Catholics and the Japanese are the last defenders of trad. I say this as america’s only Norwegian Catholic.

  26. EVAN EVERHART | August 27, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Reply

    @ Erick Syverson:

    Check out Christian Chensvold, the host of our fair blog….

    • Erik syverson | August 27, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Reply

      Your misspelling of my name calls into question your knowledge of the Norwegian people. But thank you for engaging in my comment. Is it not true that trad is found most often today at mass, synagogues or business lunches in Tokyo? I’m sorry! I’m on vacation in Brazil and I’m taking a sun break.

  27. EVAN EVERHART | August 27, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Reply

    @ NC Jack:

    I am also interested in what particular retail monstrosity will take the place of BB, Beverly Hills; purely academically, of course.

    I’m thinking Maybe another shop that only has 12 products laid out in rows on the gold veined black marble floors with price tags nearly as high as the per square foot price being asked for BB, Beverly Hills’ current location (in the realm of $13,500 per), or maybe some really “chic” black and gold (& green!), “jogger” pants, AKA men’s Harem pants to go along with the buyer’s swanky new man-bun, or man-bun prosthetic extension for the man-bun disabled (is that term not PC?), and the buyer can then go next door to purchase a carnation pink darted front shawl lapel dinner jacket from RL (women’s sizing) a’la Miami Vice, and a black and gold pyramid studded velour bondage bracelet at wherever Hedi Slimane is selling his “couture” these days, or maybe a new Burberry Man-Skort and side-zipped Dress-T-Shirt (not dress as in formal, but dress as in it is a dress), and don’t yah know, the placement of the zippers (double sided/side vented, or middle center up to the neck-line) can tell you all about the wearer’s affiliations in the Underground House club scene of LA. I am SO through with Beverly Hills now that Brooks is gone, it is SAD!

  28. EVAN EVERHART | August 27, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Reply

    @ Vern Trotter:

    Thumbs UP, and WAY UP on Carroll & Co. They’re a bit more updated American and even bordering upon Euro-ish, these days, but they still have some solid items amongst the rest, if too much pattern pizazz these days for me. The quality is Sound and Solid!

  29. EVAN EVERHART | August 27, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Reply

    @ Erik Syverson:

    Sorry for the misspelling of your name sir! I was typing quickly. I don’t claim to be an authority upon Norwegians at all, merely pointing out that Christian Chensvold, the editor and majority author of this blog is I believe of Danish or Norwegian extraction and is also, traditional, more or less.

    I did have an elderly friend years ago, a missionary named Leif who was Norwegian, and he dressed very trad, and also resembled an immensely tall Saint Nicholas, he was however, a Protestant Christian.

    • Erik Syverson | August 27, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Reply

      It’s all just silly fun as likely nobody cares, however, here is the primer on my first name. Norwegians spell it Erik. Latinos spell it Erick. Germans spell it Erich. French and Brits Eric. Chensvold is likely a Dane or more likely Danish version of German surname. Finally, just remember a Norwegian discovered America not an Italian sailing for Spain. When do we get Erikson day? Leif Erikson would wear southwick suits with Alden shoes and a mercer ocbd.

  30. EVAN EVERHART | August 27, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Reply

    @ Erik Syverson:

    That would be The Best! He could cleave his way to victory over the real Barbarian hordes (those who don’t wear OCBDs, Alden Shoes, & Southwick suits), using his Ulfbert sword, and guide the way even in the fog with his Sun-Stone. (I do know a bit about ancient Norse/pan-Germanic culture).

    With everything so darned politically correct in the United States you’d never have any holiday honoring a European alighting on these shores given any sort of celebration, sadly.

  31. EVAN EVERHART | August 27, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Reply

    @ Roger Bradley:

    I also agree that the customer service at BB, Beverly Hills was very good, even if they were not necessarily dressed in keeping with the style of BB’s of yester-year, sadly.

    They went the extra mile to help out and ensure a happy customer all the years that I visited (intermittently, granted).

    Also of note: even though BB, Beverly Hills is gone, their store front at the Jonathan Club, in Downtown Los Angeles is still active for the long haul according to the representatives with whom I’ve spoken! Thankfully!

  32. Grandpa “Tjensvold” came over from Stavanger, Norway, in the late ’20s and settled in San Francisco, where he did some kind of import/export and sang in the local Sons of Norway folk band. Died in the ’40s (botched operation), so never knew him, nor did my dad.

  33. EVAN EVERHART | August 28, 2018 at 9:45 am | Reply

    Christian,

    You are a Gentleman, Sir!

  34. Well I wouldn’t go that far…

  35. Charlottesville | August 28, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Reply

    Thanks, Mr. Everhart. I recall shopping at the BH BB a couple of times in the 90s. Even then, LA did not seem like a very Brooksie town, although it certainly had a few outposts of trad folk, particularly in Pasadena, or at least that was my impression as a visitor.

    On a tangentially related topic, my wife and I were in Washington, DC over the weekend and stopped by the Georgetown Brooks after lunch on Saturday. Among the suits and jackets I noticed a seersucker sport coat, available in either gray or blue, and was struck by the fact that, although marked Regent Fit, it was a 3/2 sack with a center vent. I mentioned it to the salesman, a very pleasant fellow named David Greer, and he was unaware that the coat existed. We could not find another undarted coat in the place, except for seersucker. I wonder if they will continue to introduce an occasional sack coat into the mix from time to time.

  36. EVAN EVERHART | August 28, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Reply

    @ Charlottesville:

    I am very pleased that you enjoyed the piece, Sir! I enjoyed writing it, especially as all of my previous literary endeavors have been more in the vein of the poetical as opposed to the journalistic, I am pleased with the result, and more pleased that others seem to be pleased, if you follow my meaning.

    Sadly, your assessment is quite correct, though even in Pasadena, such kindred spirits are steadily becoming fewer and farther between (attrition, subsidence, Trad Flight?).

    I have also noticed the occasional Madison fit in a sack cut, strangely, it seems to be done in a piecemeal fashion, or we over here on the old home-grounds (the US), are erroneously (?) receiving shipments originally intended for the Japanese stores – I have considered this possibility in great depth, upon some more dull evenings with a glass of sherry.

    I will miss the comfort and amenities of the Beverly Hills store, but not its location or environs, or its parking situation, for that matter.

    I look forward I suppose to becoming a more steady customer of, and visitor to the Brooks Brothers at the Jonathan Club, which of course is a wonderful place anyway.

    I have to ask; did you end up getting the seersucker? If so, in which of the 2 colors? I miss tan or golden-rod seersucker the most, it is my favorite.

    Beyond the above, I sincerely hope that your trip to DC was enjoyable for both you and your wife Sir!

  37. EVAN EVERHART | August 28, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Reply

    Chiefly, I am very grateful to Christian for giving me this wonderful opportunity to submit a piece to his wonderful blog, and for this community.

    I feel blessed.

    Thank you Christian!

  38. Charlottesville | August 29, 2018 at 10:17 am | Reply

    Evan — Thanks for your good wishes. The trip was very enjoyable. As for the seersucker sport coats at Brooks, I did not purchase either. I have seersucker suits in blue, gray and tan, and sport coats in blue, tan, green and even one in pink that I found at the Brooks in New Orleans a couple of decades ago. However, I saw a lovely tan seersucker at J. Press when I was in Washington, and I think it is on sale both in the stores and on line, if they have your size. It is sold as separates which means you can go for a suit or just a sport coat if you prefer. Alas, no goldenrod.

  39. EVAN EVERHART | August 29, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Reply

    @ Charlottesville:

    Thanks again, Sir, for yet another wonderfully thoughtful comment! I also saw the seersucker at J Press, sadly by the time that I did see it, they were sold out of my size (my typical luck as a cheap skate sale-waiter).

    I developed my affinity for golden-rod or even tan or yellow seersucker as a result of my first seersucker suit (given to me by dad when I turned 14), I’ve still got it, but it sadly does not fit that well anymore. It was a 3 piece model with white bemberg butterfly lining, of all things. To be fair, I probably wouldn’t wear it now even if it did still fit, as it is darted. I do have some wonderful memories walking around LA in that thing in the Summer.

    I greatly appreciate your keeping an eye out Sir!

    Is it cooling down by you yet? Our daily humidity has been equivalent to the actual temperature; 83 degrees/83% humidity. Sticky, to say the least.

    My blue-gray and white BB pin-cord suit is helping to stave off the near-tropical humidity.

    Have a Blessed Day!

  40. Charlottesville | August 30, 2018 at 9:30 am | Reply

    Thanks, Evan. And also with you. I am wearing pincord today too, with temps this week around 95 and humidity at 85%. But today is supposed to top out at a mere 90, and mid 80s are predicted for the weekend.

  41. Evan Everhart | August 31, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Reply

    I am wearing my new O’Connell’s British Khaki poplins today with navy blue linen OTC socks, burgundy cordovan full strap Aldens, a Bean basic braided leather belt, bright red PRL spread collar long sleeve polo shirt with MOP buttons on cuffs and placket/collar, and a vintage BB blazer with gold buttons and some simple white linen pocket linen; I feel vaguely like a walking American flag, though that’s a good thing in my book.

    It’s HUMID today, but not too bad heat-wise at 86-7. My mostly very breathable clothing is keeping the worst of the environmental discomfort at bay, though I will likely be perforce, changing into a suit for services this evening, as I am an usher and greeter with my congregation, and which also means that I will be up until about 11:00 PM this evening.

    Yowza on your temperatures Sir! I wish you all the Very Best for your Labor Day weekend Sir, and I pray that it is full of much enjoyment and happiness for you and your wife!

    May the Lord Bless you and keep you, Sir!

  42. Charlottesville | September 1, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Reply

    Thanks, Evan. Best to you as well.

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