Much like Ford and General Motors, there was a time a couple of years back where Brooks Brothers was largely resting on its laurels, selling tent-like suits at Manhattan prices. They wanted you to picture JFK confidently striding across Capitol Hill, when you generally pictured someone’s grandfather wearing an ill-fitting suit he purchased 20 years before. For the most part, unless you were entirely devoid of personality or enjoyment of clothes, I would never have recommended their suits. They were the equivalent of purchasing a Toyota Camry, which is the car you buy if you really don’t like cars all that much: reliable, generally refined but scoring a “0” in the personality department. However, Brooks has taken a step away from that dismal state of affairs with the hiring of their first Italian CEO, who has seen fit to bring in a slimmer, more updated and tailored look to the Brooks Brothers arsenal in recent years. Chief amongst these additions is the ‘Fitzgerald’ line of from their 1818 collection. The Fitzgerald sports narrower lapels, higher arm-holes, flat-front pants and a trim, more modern fit. Finally a suit that does bring back images of John F. Kennedy and is probably one of the most universally appropriate suits you could ever buy. The Fitzgerald is two-button (as nearly all Brooks Brothers suits tend to be) with a single vent and tailored in Italy (obviously with the CEO’s nationality playing some role). Furthermore, it is available in a wide variety of colours and patterns, including navy, grey, pinstripe and glen-plaid.
However, the biggest reason for buying the Fitzgerald right now is that Brooks Brothers is having their annual summer sale and so the price of the Fitzgeralds have been cut from $900 US to a far more reasonable $499 US. Check them out online at www.brooksbrothers.com or at your local Brooks Brothers location. For Canadians, we can look forward to Brooks’ coming invasion of the Great White North in the fall. As always, if you do buy a suit, be sure to take it to a tailor to get it properly fitted.