Friday, April 19, 2013

Upon closer inspection: 'Great Gatsby' collection by Brooks Brothers

The collection is clearly inspired by what could be called the Gilded Age of menswear — a time when a blazer with odd sacks was the go-to choice for the gentleman out and about on his daily constitutional.

Overall, the collection is a sartorial delight. That isn’t to say there aren’t a few areas where Brooks Brothers could have made improvements.

Patch pockets on the jackets would have been fitting given the late spring and summer timeliness of the collection. Most noticeable though is the absence of a three-row-two lapel on most jackets — a detail that would not only have been in keeping with Brooks Brothers’ heritage, but also the period in which “Great Gatsby” is set. It must, however, be noted that one blazer — solid navy with piping — is unique from the others in that it has the aforementioned three-row-two lapel and patch pockets.

PHOTOS courtesy of Brooks Brothers.

One additional thing that may be a bigger issue for some are the shoulders on the jackets, which appear to be a bit too sharp and padded, especially for linen jackets or whimsical blazers that by design are casual in nature.

The real question on the minds of many gentlemen is how to wear the collection.

Obviously, care has to be taken to avoid coming off as too eccentric and costume-like, unless of course you are peacocking about in the lanes around Pitti Uomo.

All three of the “Great Gatsby”-inspired blazers (see here, here and here) would look good in any number of summer social settings — think cocktail receptions, Independence Day celebrations and even casual weddings to say nothing of yachting or country clubs.

When worn with matching pants the linen jackets (see here, here and here) make a fine suit that is always appropriate for sweltering mid-summer. Separating a jacket and pairing it with chinos, denim or go-to-hell pants makes for a contemporary look that remains rooted in the classics.

One more thing: Have your tailor remove the belt loops on the pants and replace with either four buttons for braces (suspenders) or side-tab adjusters made of the post-hemming remnants.

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