Basic Incompetence, General Rudeness, etc.

For the record, I’ve been a Brooks Brothers customer since I was four years old. Now that I’m four plus much-more-than-four, I find the sameness (and billowing proportions) of Brooks Brothers’ clothing comforting…and comfortable. Sure, they’ve branched out into various styles and colors and whatnot — including pastels and slim-cut shirts — but I walk past that trendy crap and head for the wall where they keep the good stuff: their original box cut, attached collar, button point, barrel cuff polo shirt known to the uninitiated as the “button-down dress shirt.”

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It’s not a dress shirt, of course (the attached, button-down collar and barrel cuffs were “sporting” innovations for the rough-and-tumble demands of the cavalry officers’ game), but it’s appropriate for today’s business casual office. I’ve even seen some men wear them with suits. Brooks has sullied the design with the addition of a breast pocket, and cheapened it by reducing the placket from eight buttons to seven, but that’s the world we live in.

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