Brooks Brothers' Natural Fit
By Karl Petschke, exclusive to torontopath.com
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It seems fitting that after a stressful morning of ironing out the creases in a new shirt – all of which seemed more than happy to reinstate their presence during my rush to the train – that I would find myself exploring Brooks Brothers'
location in the Royal Bank Plaza. Upon my arrival there, I found the expectations and presumptions I had unwittingly constructed for myself to be far from the truth. I knew Brooks Brothers was a clothing store almost two centuries old, one with a long tradition as a corner stone of men’s fashion in North America. Drawing from this, the assumptions I adopted were ones that I thought reasonable: I expected the atmosphere to be stern and firm, the lines of propriety and order drawn as explicitly as those that define a suit. However, I soon began to discover that, while Brooks Brothers has become an institution whose foundations remain tied to its past, it is not a company that is, like so many, burdened by the weight of its own history. Though it is influenced by the conventions of tradition, it is not constrained by them.
The result is a clothing store that can boast all the quality and sophistication of any high-class store, while avoiding their strict, sometimes stifling formality. It’s accessible, it’s fun. And why not? The weather has warmed up, bright colours and lively patterns have begun to resurface, and people’s outfits are no longer put together simply to keep them warm and dry. They’re here to look good, and to feel comfortable. And this idea is at the heart of every Brooks Brothers garment. This is evident both in the tone of their store, and the quality of their merchandise. Both appear elegant, but feel natural. And if none of the suits or shirts they have on hand is one that can help you find this balance of style and comfort, they’ll simply make one that does. The store’s “made to measure” service embodies their dedication to personal satisfaction, as everything from the collars to the fabrics to the buttons can be chosen specifically by the prospective wearer.
But it’s not just a men’s store; there`s more than just suits and shirts and ties. Since the incorporation of their Women’s Department in the mid-seventies, the company has also catered to a broad female audience, applying the same philosophy of style, comfort and craftsmanship. And this tradition of high-quality and accessibility is apparent in their clothing, as well as their customer service. One of the defining aspects of Brooks Brothers’ customers is their loyalty, not only to the brand, but to whatever enthusiastic and diligent member of the personnel it is that assists them in looking their best. It`s a trust built on real relationships, and service that is always effective and considerate. All this adds up to a clothing store that makes it easy and enjoyable to look great.
As I'm guided around the shop, I’m introduced to the business and its merchandise by a staff member named Keegan. “It’s amazing to try it on,” he says, “it feels like you belong in it,” and for a moment I can’t tell whether or not he’s still just talking about a raincoat. Because the same could be said for the organization’s entire identity, which, from the cut of its suits, to the advice of its staff, to the satisfaction of its patrons, is one that expresses a commitment to upholding the joy and vitality of style, rather than what Chairman and CEO Claudio Del Vecchio refers to as “the tyranny of fashion”. It’s an identity I keep in mind even as I find myself remembering my stressful morning. This time, rather than worrying about collars, creases and train schedules, I’m contemplating how much smoother it would have been had I been outfitted with one of Brooks Brothers’ non-iron shirts. I guess it’s time to bring a bit of fresh style and some much-needed comfort to my commute.
Last updated on 11/23/2011 11:29:55 AM