For a lot of men, Brooks Brothers is their go-to store for nicer clothing; it’s classic, dependable, and generally uncomplicated. Unfortunately, their women’s section has never had a similar effect, mostly because many of their past collections have been stuffy and dated, probably better suited for a middle-aged WASP.
However, the Brooks Brothers fall collection has taken a decidedly younger approach for both men and women. The catalog demonstrates that even Brooks Brothers understands the increasing efforts among young people to look like the artsy kids, and hence has incorporated some indie style into their traditionally preppy look. The effect: cool academic, a bit sexy librarian, and very contemporary.Overall it’s a subtly undone look, a fusion of polished and casual which is more natural than the hipster caricature aggressively marketed by stores like Urban Outfitters. To sum it up: Brooks Brothers’ effort is a bit amusing, but we still want to buy the clothes.
I know, really discreet, they just had to stick the word “organic” above the model’s head. But pairing stereotypically preppy patterns such as gingham and argyle together lends itself to a quirky look.
“I may be wearing a $600 suede jacket, but I’m leaning against this beat-up old car.”
My favorite look of the collection. This sleeveless Sixties-style shift dress is worthy of a Truffaut heroine.
Neon yellow + rugby stripes = the perfect pairing of two distinct styles.
This looks suspiciously like the Williamsburg waterfront. The pants and the shoes match too much for my taste, but I like the general idea.
Nautical stripes, free of yacht club connotations.
So there we have it: even the pantheon of prep embraces the universality of indie culture. Nevertheless, there are some great pieces, and you can always say they were a rare thrift store find.