Saturday, April 2, 2011

The vintage Brooks Brothers sport shirt

Way back in the olden days, when giants roamed the Earth and you could hear great rock and roll music that jumped out of a single speaker in the dashboard, Brooks Brothers made sport shirts.

They still do, but the "large" has sleeves that go to my knuckles and I can't button up a "medium." (For reference, I'm 5'9", 170 or so, and wear a 16.5 x 33 shirt.)

Old BB sport shirts, however, all seem to fit me extremely well. I think it's just dumb luck, frankly.

Here are two vintage specimens that arrived yesterday. I'd be interested to know the exact vintage — that one label is very minimal.

Now I can't button these all the way up, but I'm not going to wear a tie with these anyway, so who cares?


heavy tweed jacket said...

1987. This is as close to "exact vintage" as I can figure.

Top shirt appears in the Fall 1987 catalog (p. 12) with the description: "Made exclusively for us, these new cotton gingham shirts feature a Tattersall pattern on grounds of green, wine or navy. (130G) $46.00" The same shirts are also in the 1987 Christmas catalog.

The second may also be from the Fall 1987 catalog. The catalog photo isn't so hot, but looks pretty close. The catalog reads: "From our workrooms, these cotton gingham sport shirts in handsome checks. Red-navy, navy-grey, teal-navy or tan-wine. (101G) $44.00"

More to the point, the two shirts have different tags. The first shirt was probably made by a vendor for Brooks Brothers (hence the "made exclusively for us" language). Catalogs bear this out, with this tag being used only for sport shirts with the "exclusively for us" bit. The second one bears the "Makers" label, so was made in Brooks Brothers factory. Sometime after about 1986, the Makers' label was lengthened to hold more descriptions of care and "Made in USA." The second shirt has the newer lengthened tag. Oddly, Brooks continued to use the first type of smaller tag for sport shirts certainly through the late 1980s (as catalogs show). Sorry for such a long comment. Cheers. HTJ

Patrick said...

HTJ knows all. Thank you.