Monday, February 21, 2011

So Abraham, you have a nice jacket but it isn't a Button Down.

So it goes, while enjoying a theater performance, when the President was fatally shot, he was wearing a Brooks Brothers coat. Hand stitched into the coat's lining was a design featuring an eagle and the inscription, "One Country, One Destiny". He was wearing the coat when he was assassinated
Now that's an American heritage company. Brooks Brothers dressed Abraham Lincoln and Brooks Brothers has dressed men since 1818. Andy Warhol wore BB and plenty of rich and famous people wore and wear...Brooks Brothers.

Brooks Brothers is America's oldest men's clothier. Opened in Manhattan, H. & D. H. Brooks & Co. was a family business, but is now owned privately by Retail Brand Alliance, a division of Luxottica. They also own RayBan.

And a lesson in Brooks Brothers history and what the hell is a Button Down!
Brooks Brothers shirt label, All cotton.

Look, both Brooks Brothers and RayBans!

In 1850, the three sons inherited the business and renamed the company Brooks Brothers.
The original Brooks Brothers guiding principle was, "To make and deal only in merchandise of the finest body, to sell it at a fair profit and to deal with people who seek and appreciate such merchandise."

So that's what funkomavintage tries to do also. I especially try to find quality vintage.
My motto is "Just because it's old, doesn't make it good." I've been known to sell polyester knits, but everyone needs a laugh once in a while.

I especially love the classics, the heritage and the well-made because it lasts. We can't live like there is no tomorrow, like there is a magic place to throw stuff away and have it disappear.

Brooks Brothers is still a great company, though the quality isn't what it used to be. Many new items are made in slave shops overseas. The quality of the new shirts is especially bothersome. A fascination with No Iron technology has rendered the cotton shirts plastic-like.
The charm of classic quality is often the wrinkles, the soft feel of a good fabric. Cotton, Linen, silk, leather and wool breathe and wrinkle. Those are always my favorites.

Oh, I'll choose other textiles....nylon, rayon, a quality polyester, a good acrylic. But it better be good!

Please notice that this Brooks Brothers shirt is Zephyr cotton, and must be ironed (or not) and that it Buttons down the front,yes.

See the collar. It buttons down.

This is what makes it a Button Down shirt. The Button Down Collar...fully explained directly below.

Brooks Brothers is a very traditional clothier, yet has introduced many clothing novelties. The grandson of Henry Sands Brooks (the founder), invented the button-down dress shirt collar after seeing the buttoned-down-stay put collars on English polo players.Before that, men usually had collarless shirts, and had to add a separate stiff collar. That is another day's history lesson... ;-)

A Button Down refers to the Button Down collar. I'm seeing this reference to Button Down on any damn thing with buttons. Ebayers who copy the ignorant repeat this again and again...and I now see it on etsy and elsewhere.

Repeat after me "A button down is about the collar that buttons down, brought to America by Brooks Brothers". It was first noticed on polo shirts worn by English polo players, and that is why it is The Original Polo Shirt. "Polo shirt" has devolved into those dreadful knit shirts that idiots like Tiger Woods wears, and men who can't dress themselves properly. And men who haven't bought anything new since the 80s, popped collars and all.

Firsts for Brooks Brothers are ready-made clothing in 1859 and the Button-Down Dress Shirt in 1896. Other Brooks Brothers firsts brought to America include:

** English Foulard Ties in the 1890s.
** The Sack Suit in 1895.
** The Pink Dress Shirt just before 1900.
** The Shetland Sweater introduced in 1904.
** The Polo Coat introduced about 1910.
** Madras from India in 1920.
** Argyles in the 1920s. Brooks Brothers was the first American retailer to make argyle socks for men.
** Light-weight Summer Suits in the early 1930s.
**Wash-and-Wear Shirts in 1953 with a blend of Dacron  polyester, and cotton that was invented by Ruth R. Benerito, which they called "Brooksweave"... and the Non-iron Cotton Dress Shirt introduced in 1999.

So there, that is the problem. Non-Iron. Wrinkles. They're real! Deal.

Here's a label with Est. 1818, The Original Polo Shirt, and all cotton. Still Made in usa, but of imported cotton. sigh. Ladies Brooks Brothers cotton shirt. Not a button down. OK. But it's a wonderful all cotton BB.It fits like a dream and washes nice and breathes.............

 Brooks Brothers website.