Review: Brooks Brothers Made-to-Measure
By Al Castiel
I’ve been on a bit of a dandy streak recently, and my latest obsession has been horizontal stripes, popularized by Gordon Gekko in 1987’s Wall Street. After looking at photos of Michael Douglas in the film, as well as photos of Alan Flusser, who designed Douglas’ wardrobe, I decided that I’d invoke some dandy investment banker chic and commission a couple of shirts for myself in the aforementioned style. With that, I decided to utilize Brooks Brothers’ made-to-measure service. Brooks Brothers prides themselves in their high-quality shirts, made domestically in North Carolina. As is customary for garments made to your size and style specifications, I was measured during an initial fitting, then waited approximately 4 to 6 weeks for the finished product.
For my first shirt, I selected a purple ground broadcloth fabric with a thin white stripe from their entry-level book ($180), in order to freely experiment with details at a reasonable price. I chose a white club collar with edge stitching (paired here with a collar pin for added dandiosity), a French front, two button mitered white cuffs, back pleats, and a monogram on the left waist of the shirt, a homage to the Duke of Windsor.
In order to give stripes on the arms and body of the shirt a continuous flow, I opted for vertical stripes on the shirt’s sleeves and horizontal stripes on the front, back, and yoke. I couldn’t have been happier with the result—the shirt fit great and looks elegant.
My second shirt was more of a challenge in terms of details, but still came out incredible nevertheless. I decided to go all out in terms of fabric quality, selecting Thomas Mason fabric from their “bespoke” book ($325). In true Gekko style, I decided to make the cuffs, sleeves, and collar with vertical stripes, again sticking with horizontal stripes for the body and yoke, as well as other similar details like on the previous shirt. This time, however, I went with a split yoke and a plain back (no pleats) for a cleaner, more streamlined look. The cuffs were two-button again, but with a rounded edge. In short, I couldn’t have been happier with my shirts, and was incredibly impressed in terms of fit and quality. While I have often thought of Brooks Brothers as a more traditional retailer, I could not have been more pleasantly surprised with their ability to accommodate my rather bold choices.
*the author received no compensation from Brooks Brothers of any kind for this review.