Brooks Brothers

Neighborhood: East 50s
Type of Place: Women's Clothing

Description:
A woman who says a shirt and tie is never a thoughtful enough gift for a man has never shopped at Brooks Brothers. Their finest selections make it possible for her. The slightest variation in style or color can turn a button up into an emblem of personality or a thematic symbol of a particular chapter in his life.

Over 100 selections are laid out on the main tableau of ties. What charmed me most were not the silk sorbets or satin plaids awaiting spring, but the woven cashmere blends ($125) which came in only black and navy. One would envision it donned humbly by a patriarchal figure. Nearby were the tables of various dress shirts. They had their usual traditional fits ($79.50 each/3 for $199) and luxury fits ($135 each/2 for $199) in solids, plaids and pinstripes. Each style matched with a tie that altogether told its own story. The traditional white shirt with blue pinstripes and the paisley powder blue silk tie matched too perfectly for a young man who wished to impress his superiors ($95). Such an outfit held dual purposes as it could be worn that evening to impress a lady in passing. Another tie featured this season was satin with a pattern of hollow circles that may remind someone of cheerios or champagne bubbles suspended in the air ($125). The tie’s dark backdrop and simple design was appropriately matched with a white English collared shirt. It could be worn to impress a lady he comes home to every night.

A black shawl collar cardigan ($228) hung on its tallest and most centered mannequin. The piece is meant only for a sailor, a denizen of a country club, a frequent of the Cote d’Azure – or other characters portrayed in the store’s catalogs or window displays. But I realistically saw everyday men sport the pale tan argyle sweater vest ($198) folded neatly in a hidden shelf or the faded blue half-zipped collared sweater ($108). The colors underplay both the rich texture and the seemingly tailored fit. Men look distinguished without looking like he put, heaven forbid, real effort into his clothing.

But a gift for a birthday boy who would turn 24 in 48 hours was the objective. Someone that age is a few decades from the patriarchal woven ties. He certainly isn’t a country clubber or a commoner of African safaris, so nothing on the dreamy displays would do. The paisley powder blue tie would collect dust. However, I almost accidentally by-passed an oxford white sport shirt ($79.50). The blue structured window pane pattern told the world he was responsible and the accented yellow revealed a hint of youth. It would tell his new department he was not yet management but no longer the intern – and thankfully hasn’t been so in two years.
  - Tanya Benedicto; April 13, 2008


Brooks Brothers
666 Fifth Avenue (53rd St)
New York, NY 10103
(212) 261-9440
http://www.brooksbrothers.com
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