NOTE: The tic w/ windowpane sportcoat seen in this post is a bit of staple with Brooks Brothers, just depends on the fabric they use. Right now it’s available in Italian cotton.
In the past decade (yes, it really has been almost 10 years), men’s suiting companies have moved away from the boxy, enormous monstrosities of the 90’s, the eyesores of the ‘80s, and the Godzilla attack on style that was the ‘70s. But as is almost always the case with fashion, when the pendulum swings from one extreme back towards the middle, it often goes rocketing past where most would like it to stop. It then ends up back in another kind of crazy town.
The movement away from super loose, boxy suits, seems to have generated a momentum that has pushed some of the suit & sportcoat world well past timeless, and on into the territory of too-tight, too short, and too weird.
Sometimes it’s worth sticking with a classic. The Fitzgerald fit from Brooks Brothers is just that. Their suits, sportcoats, and blazers available in this fit are an excellent blend of both timeless character and contemporary style.
The Fitzgerald’s Style
The Fitzgerald jacket is slim fitting without reaching the skin-tight (*cough* “Milano” fit *cough*) danger zone. The 3” lapels fit squarely in the ideal range for most body types, and they also contribute to the jacket’s tailored silhouette. The high and slim armholes will be appreciated by most men, but they may be a deal-breaker for the Schwarzeneggers among Dappered’s readers. The matching trousers are a classic, tailored shape with a flat front.
3″ lapel. Room to move in the body & sleeves, but you’re not drowning.
One of the few drawbacks of the Fitzgerald jacket is that it’s only available with a center vent. Double side vents are often preferable to some, because they offer greater flexibility and range of movement. But not all consider side vents to be superior on their suit jackets, blazers, and sportcoats.
All of the Fitzgerald jackets in the main line are manufactured with a half canvas construction. The jackets in their very expensive Golden Fleece line are fully canvassed.
The Fitzgerald’s Sizing & Fit
Offered in suits, sport coats, and blazers, the Fitzgerald’s fit seems to be very consistent across most if not all of their jackets. That’s a tremendous bonus for those of us who find the Fitzgerald fit flattering. It’s not as tight & chopped as the Milano, nor is it as boxy as their traditional Madison fit. Equally important: Fitzgerald fit jackets come in half sizes (e.g. 37, 39, 41, etc.), and short and long lengths.
Center vent. Size shown: 39R on 5’9″/175lbs
Some might want to have the sides sculpted, but that’s the beauty of the Fitzgerald fit. It has some contour off the rack, but not so much that those with a wider torso would feel squeezed. The Fitzgerald sport coat pictured above is a half canvassed, 39R jacket, has had no extra tailoring done to it. None. The handsome, striking figure in the jacket has the following measurements:
- Height: 5’9”
- Weight: 175lbs.
- Shoulders: 18.5”
- Chest: 41”
- Waist: 34”
Equally impressive is the range of colors, patterns, and materials that are offered in the Fitzgerald fit. Fitzgerald jackets are offered in everything from a grey flannel suit to a Harris Tweed sport coat.
The Fitzgerald’s… Price (and how to get it for less)
Now, the drawback. The elephant in the room: the price tag.
Brooks Brothers jackets are darned expensive at full price. Especially so when compared to younger contenders such as SuitSupply. It isn’t as if Brooks Brothers can always justify their high prices by virtue of the jackets being Made in the USA; Brooks Brothers manufactures many of its jackets and suits in Asia. (The jacket pictured was made in China.)
But you can play the discount game with Brooks Brother. In addition to their regular 25% off seasonal sales, Brooks Brothers offers 15-30% corporate discounts, a 15% discount for using their branded store card or credit card, and a 15% multiple purchase discount on suits (and sport coats and blazers in-store only).
Most, if not all of these discounts can stack.
Time for some quick math: two Fitzgerald suits cost $1699 ($849.50/ea) with the 15% multiple purchase discount. Add in the 25% off seasonal price and you’re down to $1274.25 for two suits. Then, take off an additional 15% for the store card and you’re at $1083.11, or $541.56 per suit.
The Bottom Line
While far from cheap, the Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald fit is a timeless classic from an established American legend. The fit is spot on for men with a slender, average, or athletic build who prefer a traditional, tailored silhouette. The jackets come in even and odd sizes, and three lengths. You do have to be patient and play the game, but frequent sales can be combined with easy-to-access discounts to get Fitzgerald fit suits, sportcoats, & blazers down to a reasonable price. Wait for a sale, and aim for 30-50% off.
About the author: Chris (aka Bruschetta) is an America-born university researcher and teacher based in Glasgow, Scotland, as well as a moderator on Threads. His sense of style is inspired by a childhood dressed in Ivy league trad, and the fact that he is enormously well bred.