25 February 2013

Brooks Brothers: Don't Bogart the Red Fleece

Red Fleece Fall 2013 - Twenty Somethings (age or waist)

Scissor to fly proximity


Colorado Springs

Mercer & Sons, 2010

Go Army (far left)

Jay Kos, 2008

Red Fleece sounds like a $6 Algerian Cabernet I picked up at Costco but it's actually  Brooks Brothers new line for the younger customer. The one I'm too old to write for.  Most of it speaks to the, Leave-it-to-Beaver cuffed jean, Red Wing, Jethro-Bodine gingham dude that inhabits New York City right now. I suspect we'll be seeing red sheep monogrammed watch caps any season. 

This is a line, unlike "Own Make," that is all about tweak. And I understand young men not wanting to dress like their fathers. Rather, they want to dress like their grandfathers, smoke Marlboro Lights, hand out engraved, "Fuck Off" business cards and call themselves photographers while pictures on their Tumblers were shot by some dead guy 40 years ago. But...

There's a segment of the 2013 Fall/Winter line that takes me back to high school in Colorado where there was a Wonder Bread infatuation with the mountains, John Denver shirts (Fuck Yeah John Denver Tumbler)  and Vasque rock climbing boots --  Mine were 85% Valrhona dark chocolate with bright red laces.

Throw on a Eddie Bauer down vest or better, an REI parka shell and you were ready for a drive through Garden of the Gods at lunch in a Camaro with a nickel bag and a six of Schlitz Tall Boys while a Craig 8-Track cranked out Pink Floyd's, The Dark Side of the Moon.

A couple years ago, I was invited to view the Ralph Lauren rig rooms at 650 Madison. One had the REI / Colorado aesthetic complete with waffle stompers, down vests, parka shells, crampons -- There was even an old SVEA stove. You gotta love their attention to detail.

In all honesty, I looked at Waffle Stomper Red Fleece with a great deal of nostalgia and didn't ask where it was made or where the goods were from.  I marveled at the needlecords and how something, not only of a time, but of a place like Colorado,  had been brought back... to a show room in Brooks Brothers. Sadly, Red Fleece is not for a 38" waist and 30" inseam but that's okay.  Crank up Pink Floyd, roll up the car windows and it's 1975 again -- When no seemed to bogart or roll up their jeans.


Anonymous said...

Tintin, Ours was a POS Fiat and we alternated the Allman's Live at the Fillmore with Dark Side. And Rolling Rock, pony bottles.
Douglas Philadelphia

tintin said...

A set of rocks. The ranger bev of choice at the Phoenixville Canal Street Station They just don't taste the same since they were bought.

Smitty said...

Seems the Red Fleece sport coat is returning to a proper fit in comparison to Black Fleece.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. They are not as good as they were, probably better than they will be though.
D in P

Andrew Touchstone said...

A "nickel bag"...5 bucks would get about 3 seeds and a few flakes in today's economy. You are correct..Rock is no longer worth drinking.
For us Bryn Mawr hoodlums on the Main Line in late 70's it was heavy wool "P" coats from Ardmore Army navy or I.Goldberg ...engineer boots from Sears...Stones or Ramones on the cassette deck of my 72 Cougar XR7

Anonymous said...

I can understand Coloradans dressing like Coloradans, but New Yorkers dressing that way simply escapes me. I get the youthful longing to be elsewhere, but you'd think, instead, they'd embrace their own locality, skulking around town in their grandfathers' tweedy collar-up overcoats and fedoras, smoking Luckies while hiding a flask. That's just my take on it, maybe a naive one at that.


tintin said...

Red Fleece has a trim cut that's appealing to the low rise look that's so prevalent and, kind of feminine, if you ask me -- which no one has, so there you go.

D in P-
Well said.

Andy- You always were highly evolved.

DB- Rock climbing boots do look a little silly on Madison Ave in August. Couple yrs ago, I met a guy at a NYC party who was head to toe; Filson, buffalo plaid, hiking boots and a back pack. The back pack was perfectly shaped, like it came out of a boy scout handbook, and he showed me had put balloons in it to make it look full.

Anonymous said...

Is there any sort of date for the release?

tintin said...


"There's a segment of the 2013 Fall/Winter line that takes me back to high school in Colorado..."

Sorry I didn't make that more clear.

Smitty said...

Tintin, I believe BB is getting on the Rugby train with Red Fleece, but that train has left the station. RL's been there, done that and moved on. Do you think this line will be successful?