Friday, September 4, 2009

Since 1818, Brooks Brothers has been clothing us

Whether you are a regular customer of Brooks Brothers or have never stepped foot in a Brooks store, you have to appreciate that they are America's oldest clothing retailer. Especially in these economic times, now called the Great Recession, they endure. They have clothed men, women and kids through most of our nation's history. If you ever have occasion to glance through a copy of their history book in a store, the part they have played in men's clothing is simply amazing. The book covers their (and our) history as a nation and includes photos taken at the Brooks store near Ground Zero at the World Trade Center in New York City soon after the towers fell. The images are chilling and will forever stay in your mind. They convey the unspeakable loss and destruction of life and property, but told by what had been simple and unremarkable displays of clothing. Their history is America's history and yet when I traveled to France their store windows on Rue St. Honore in Paris were an exact copy of the ones found in every store in the U.S.. I imagine that these windows in the Tampa store are duplicated in the windows of the store in Paris right now. That amazed me. (And it was comforting, too.)

Say or think what you may about Brooks Brothers style or cost, but I have a blue blazer, a bit tired now, with over 40,000 air miles on it and countless thousands of ground miles, and I could wear it tomorrow with gray slacks, a white Brooks shirt and bow tie, and pass for formally attired. The blazers alone are reason enough to shop at the store. Plus, you will always find terrific, knowledgeable and friendly professionals who genuinely want to help you. You'll get every cent from your investment. And shop a lot less often because the clothes last forever and always look good. (And no, I don't know whose bust is in the window on the pedestal. Is it Shakespeare??)


  1. I kinda figured you for a Brooks Bros. kind of guy, Frank! You know, sleek and elegant. Durable. Last forever. ;-)

    They do have nice clothing. I've had a couple of their items but think I bought them at a thrift shop!

    The bust is of George W. Brooks! I think. Maybe. Who was George W. Brooks?

  2. @ Jacob: Brooks? Or did you mean Bush? Could be a long-lost Bush ancester. Maybe. By the time a Brooks piece ends up in a thrift shop you would look like a Newport cottage kind of "landed-gentry." Thread bare and loaded with oodles of dough. That's how I picture you lounging by the pool. Thurston Howell III.
    As to the Sunshine Skyway, my lovely passsenger, of only 35+ years together, was a bit unnerved as the camera kept clicking away as we "motored" up and over the span. That's earned trust!!! (With just a few blogs now you must have tons of new leisure hours!! :) )