Clothing the Sale

When designers at Brooks Brothers started to plan the company’s fall line of clothing, they looked to some interesting sources for ideas. These sources weren’t outside of their industry. They weren’t overly technological in nature. They weren’t even that forward-thinking. Instead, Brooks looked to the past. And the resulting clothing designs change very little from the original designs, even when they were developed in 1904.

The company is not alone. Clothing companies such as Spiegel, J. Crew, and Coach are returning to their classic designs. Is this because we’re becoming more conservative in our dress? A fear of taking risks? A backlash against business casual? A widespread sign that classic designs are cool again? An increased need for authenticity?

Registration is required to access New York Times articles on the Web.