STORE WARS: Banana Republic vs. Brooks Brothers
Starting March 17th and running through April 7th, Dappered.com is hosting a bracket based tournament with the purpose of eventually crowning the all around Affordable Men’s Style Retail Champ for 2014. For a full introduction see this post. The bracket on the right will be updated as the tournament progresses. Click on it for the full size. Make a case for your preferred competitor in the comments section, but don’t forget to vote at the bottom of each match up. On with today’s showdown:
Strengths: 2012’s champ and a semi finalist last year (they lost to J. Crew Factory). You can’t please everyone, but Banana Republic comes pretty darn close. They’ve got that Goldilocks thing going on. Not too trendy, not too stuffy. Almost everyone can walk into a Banana Republic and find something they’d like to have in their closet. Other strengths: Their tailored fit cotton blazers. Their trench coats and (while not that thick) wool coats in the fall. The fabrics and blends that they use like the new linen/silk v-neck sweaters. The luxe touch polos. They’ve started to offer even slimmer fits like their “tailored-slim” line. The perfect, not too thick, not paper thin line of pima cotton dress socks. Their sales associates seem to walk the line between fashionable (pencil skirts!) and down to earth. They’re incredibly accessible, they offer free shipping at $50 from their website, and returns are free if you drop the item off in store.
Weaknesses: When’s the last time they ran a code that didn’t have a billion exclusions? Blazers, one of their strongest offerings, are almost always excluded from promos. Suits are oddly expensive and jackets (same with the blazers) can be stiff and fused. Plus, they’re often fully lined in polyester. Functional sleeve buttons on many of their blazers can be deal breakers for many due to tailoring issues. Sometimes their slim fits don’t fit so slim. Perpetual sales have conditioned most if not all of us to ignore their retail prices. They seem to have increased the presence of their Elephant Logo on many of their polos.
Strengths: You’ve got to think everyone else in this tournament owes Brooks Brothers a debt of gratitude for helping start this whole menswear thing… back in 1818. Iconic Made in the USA half canvassed suits. Many swear by their slim or extra slim dress shirts. Their in-house shoes, as well as those manufactured for Brooks Brothers by Allen Edmonds, are solid – great quality and aren’t exempt from sales. Some accessories, while up there in price, can be drool-worthy.
Weaknesses: Prices can be flat-out out of reach ($85 for… shorts?), and that certainly goes for suiting. Lots of fits for both shirts & suits, but it seems like even their closer cuts run big (especially on the shirts). Attempts to get younger, such as their Red Fleece line, can fall a little flat… especially when price comes into play ($400 for a loud, trim fit cotton sportcoat? Who’s got that $ who’d be up for wearing it?). Shipping rates can be downright ridiculous.
Your votes determine who goes on to the next round. Cast your ballot below. Voting closes at midnight ET.
Store Wars: Banana Republic vs. Brooks Brothers
- Banana Republic (67%, 1,821 Votes)
- Brooks Brothers (33%, 886 Votes)
Total Voters: 2,706