In this week's Thursday Styles, Critical Shopper Jon Caramanica takes on the newest incarnation of Brooks Brothers on Broadway near Union Square. He frames his observations around the question of the popped collar and what exactly it means, an age-old controversy among wearers of polo shirts that is unlikely to be settled with one more newspaper article. This device is presented as a message from a "Bro" in a sartorial quandary. As usual, he entirely ignores the women's half of the store, which, in this case, may be appropriate, since the retailer has yet to define a stronger image for that part of its business.
Caramanica is divided, once again by the store which collects the most casual of Brooks Brothers lines in a college-themed outlet. He appreciates care taken in creating the store's ambiance, but notes that as much as he likes some of the offerings, not all of the merchandise has been developed enough to match its setting.
...plenty of Brooks Brothers styles make Gant Rugger look like Givenchy. Pastel sweaters with ribbed V-necks ($79.50) had a faint sheen (though the cashmere ones were fine). At the sight of the muted plaid scarves ($98), my shopping companion said, “This is the scarf you buy if you want to look like one of those ‘Nutcracker’ toys.”
Ultimately, he concludes that, "Unifying Brooks Brothers’ many collections proves to be not as seamless or meaningful a strategy as it sounds."
Critical Shopper: Welcome to Brooks Brothers, a k a Fraternity Row By Jon Caramanica (NYTimes)
Brooks Brothers Flatiron Shop 901 Broadway at 20th Street, Flatiron District