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Brooks Brothers' BK and the Contempt of the Corner Office Execs . . .

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    Brooks Brothers' BK and the Contempt of the Corner Office Execs . . .

    Well, here's an interesting take on the Brooks Brothers bankruptcy. I liked what the author said about how many CEOs and other corner office executives dress today:


    What a billionaire CEO is telling you when he shows up to a shareholder meeting in a hooded sweatshirt or athleisure wear that costs more than most people's mortgage is that your sense of dignity means nothing to him: he is above you no matter how both of you are dressed. It is the ultimate put-down.
    https://theweek.com/articles/924830/...rooks-brothers



    WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

    #2
    That's mainly a West Coast thing, especially tech. There's still plenty of business execs wearing suits on the East Coast and in the Mid West. I think Suit Supply and on-line MTM are a bigger factor in cutting into BB's sales, at least on the tailored clothing side of things. I think BB needs to follow J Press' lead, scale back, and focus on their core aesthetic.

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      #3
      Enjoyed the article - I think this in particular is an underappreciated part of the BB story (and likely underappreciated by BB themselves): "Many people have the wrong idea about the company founded in 1818 as H. and D.H. Brooks. So far from being elitist or "preppy," Brooks Brothers was remarkably egalitarian precisely because it had been worn so long by so many without significantly changing."

      I hope they can be reconstituted along the lines of J. Press/O'Connells with a somewhat larger retail footprint (though not anything close to the current # stores), though I definitely share the author's concern that brand dilution is the most likely path.
      “There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, 'Do trousers matter?'"
      "The mood will pass, sir.”

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        #4
        Originally posted by Sideswipe View Post
        Enjoyed the article - I think this in particular is an underappreciated part of the BB story (and likely underappreciated by BB themselves): "Many people have the wrong idea about the company founded in 1818 as H. and D.H. Brooks. So far from being elitist or "preppy," Brooks Brothers was remarkably egalitarian precisely because it had been worn so long by so many without significantly changing."
        My father was one of the first black stock brokers on Wall Street, and wore Brooks Brothers shirts and suits for decades at work, in part for this reason. And the guys at the store (mainly the one at One Liberty Plaza but maybe also 346 Madison) treated him well.

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          #5
          Originally posted by tankerjohn View Post
          That's mainly a West Coast thing, especially tech. There's still plenty of business execs wearing suits on the East Coast and in the Mid West. I think Suit Supply and on-line MTM are a bigger factor in cutting into BB's sales, at least on the tailored clothing side of things. I think BB needs to follow J Press' lead, scale back, and focus on their core aesthetic.
          I'm an attorney, and don't see professional attire dying in my profession any time soon. What I most commonly see is the Dappered aesthetic among younger attorneys, with the more traditional look (perhaps sans tie) being maintained among older attorneys.

          I will say that I'm in IP, and I *do* take into account the tech culture when meeting with startups. I dress down a lot when doing so.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by SPOOKYB
            In most cases, bankruptcy is the end of the company. Few manage to restore the financial balance. Unfortunately, I also had to liquidate my business.
            Did the former CEO of BB just join the forum 😳

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by mebejoseph View Post
              Well, here's an interesting take on the Brooks Brothers bankruptcy. I liked what the author said about how many CEOs and other corner office executives dress today:




              https://theweek.com/articles/924830/...rooks-brothers


              I don't get it--how is a hoodie that costs more than your mortgage more of a put down than a suit that does? And who even notices outside of enthusiasts?

              Comment


                #8
                Part of the point is that Brooks Brothers suits didn’t cost more than a mortgage. I think another part is that, to some, wearing a suit was a sign of respect that hoodies don’t convey.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by DrewCPA View Post
                  Part of the point is that Brooks Brothers suits didn’t cost more than a mortgage. I think another part is that, to some, wearing a suit was a sign of respect that hoodies don’t convey.
                  Yeah, I guess my point is that the CEO who's wearing a hoodie that costs more than a mortgage probably wouldn't be wearing Brooks Brothers, either. They'd be in something flashier (the "Armani suit" cliche). And I guess the hoodie is only a sign of disrespect in an environment where everyone else is required to suit up. My wife works in tech, and it seems like most of the people are in pajamas, so the hoodie and jeans might look pretty formal .

                  What we lost when we ditched the suit was the ability to easily dress appropriately. As I see it, you can be dressed well, or you can be dressed appropriately for the situation (or both or neither). In the suit days it was easy to be dressed appropriately--suit, shirt, tie, leather shoes, done. Not everyone did it well, but at least they knew the expectation, and you could always know you were dressed appropriately for the situation. Casual dress codes don't necessarily lead to people being better dressed, but they do add constant uncertainty about whether someone is dressed appropriately.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by facelessghost View Post

                    I don't get it--how is a hoodie that costs more than your mortgage more of a put down than a suit that does? And who even notices outside of enthusiasts?
                    A CEO dressing appropriately for a shareholder meeting shows the shareholders that he or she has respect for them and the occasion. The shareholders are the owners. They entrusted their money with the person and company.

                    Maybe contempt and disrespect is not the message it conveys to you, if a CEO dresses in a $1,500 hoodie to address a group of investors, but that's the message it conveys to me. Am I more interested in results? Yes, of course.
                    WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yeah, sorry dude. I've been through a business failure myself. It can be depressing to say the least. More like devastating. Sometimes even makes you post odd replies on fashion forums.

                      Try to keep a long run perspective. I lost everything--house, car, family. But BK gives you a second chance. No shame. Take care of yourself.


                      Originally posted by SPOOKYB
                      In most cases, bankruptcy is the end of the company. Few manage to restore the financial balance. Unfortunately, I also had to liquidate my business. This decision was hard to make. The first thing my lawyers had to do was notify all creditors of our decision. We were lucky that none of them were against it. I think this is because they saw the position of my company. When this issue was settled, we began to prepare the necessary documents for the company liquidation. And now, after a while, my company was removed from the register of companies. It was hard to accept this fact. Perhaps in time, I'll be able to create a new company. But this time I'll try to avoid bankruptcy.
                      Last edited by DocDave; May 26, 2021, 12:39 AM.
                      WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

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