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 Post subject: Brooks vintage 346 timeline
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:39 pm 
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Not sure where to put this or if it even deserves its own thread, but let's do this here.

Does anyone know the history of the old Brooks 346 stuff. When it started and ended. When 346 transitioned to the discount arm of Brooks? Any help would be appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Brooks vintage 346 timeline
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:25 pm 
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I've often wondered about the same questions you have, RMP.

I have a Fall 1970 BB catalog which includes five pages of the '346' line, so it must have been launched prior to that year (the catalog does not imply that it's a new line).

I'll see if I can scan the pages and post here soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Brooks vintage 346 timeline
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:32 pm 
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That would be fantastic. Reason I ask is that I picked up a vintage 346 hopsack triple patch pocket blazer. Fully canvassed and incredibly well made. Probably from the early 80s. But I was wondering about the overall 346 timeline. So now we at least know it existed as far back as 1970.

Sorry for the poor picture quality:
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Brooks vintage 346 timeline
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:42 pm 
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I have a Newspapers.com subscription and just ran a quick search. The earliest mention I could find (non-exhaustive search) is a BB ad in the August 13, 1960 Pittsburgh Press. Among the items listed is "Our '346' suits, $90-105"

So now we know the 346 line dates at least as far back as 1960.

Nice score on the blazer, by the way.


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 Post subject: Re: Brooks vintage 346 timeline
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:35 pm 
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You can't take the reporter out of the man...


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 Post subject: Re: Brooks vintage 346 timeline
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:59 pm 
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This is via an FNB user in a post a few years ago. So it's not definitive, but I'll throw it in there anyway.

" I don't believe that any 346 is older than 1950... as far as I am aware the 346 line started in 1950 to replace the 'Sixth Floor Shop' line that had catered to undergrads during the 1940s. 346 was the name of a line of Brooks toiletries before then."


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 Post subject: Re: Brooks vintage 346 timeline
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:25 am 
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This is a good idea for a thread, Derm. I've often wondered the same thing. I have a similar vintage 346 blazer that I absolutely love. It's my go-to for warm weather wear. I'll echo gamma's comments and say nice find. I'm sure you'll get lots of use out of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Brooks vintage 346 timeline
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:38 pm 
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RMP, is there a union tag inside one of the jacket pockets? It would be a clue to when it was made.


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 Post subject: Re: Brooks vintage 346 timeline
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:29 pm 
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Yeah the union tag is the one right after the 62-76 label. I assume early 80s. Definitely pre-M&S, so before 88. That's why I'm trying to figure out the last year of the original 346 line. I wonder if it stretched into 90s M&S before it was turned into the outlet label.


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 Post subject: Re: Brooks vintage 346 timeline
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:06 am 
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Wow, 346 as a budget line dates back a lot further than I thought it would.

I had always sort of just guessed it had started in the late 70s early 80s -- as a way to appeal to the slowly increasing stratification.

Kinda' cool to see BB was working w/ customers of different budgets for quite some time.


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 Post subject: Re: Brooks vintage 346 timeline
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:37 am 
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John wrote:
Wow, 346 as a budget line dates back a lot further than I thought it would.

I had always sort of just guessed it had started in the late 70s early 80s -- as a way to appeal to the slowly increasing stratification.

Kinda' cool to see BB was working w/ customers of different budgets for quite some time.
Well, the 346 line from the 50s-80s(?) wasn't a budget line. It was their middle-of-the-road line. Not as high quality as their Makers stuff, but not the lowest quality in the store and always produced by someone like Southwick (there were countless other similar manufacturers as well I'm sure). The 80s blazer I have is fully canvassed and incredibly well constructed. At some point 346 was transitioned to what it is now, which is produced exclusively for their outlets. It think that coincides with the M&S era.


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 Post subject: Re: Brooks vintage 346 timeline
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:56 pm 
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Five of the 32 pages in the Fall 1970 Brooks Brothers catalog are devoted to the '346' line.

What RMP says about the quality of the old '346' line rings true. The '346' Scottish wool sports jacket is priced at $100, just $30 less than the comparable 'Own Make' Scottish wool version.

The 'University Shop' line is more modestly priced. It has two Scottish wool sports jackets listed for $80.

The CPI Inflation Calculator indicates that $130 = $794.44 in today's dollars. $100 = $611.11. $80 = $488.89

I've scanned and uploaded the '346' line pages from this catalog. I didn't scan the missing page in the sequence, which is devoted to Boys clothing.

Pg. 24: http://users.wowway.com/~jsamoray2562/1970_24.jpg
Pg. 25: http://users.wowway.com/~jsamoray2562/1970_25.jpg
Pg. 26: http://users.wowway.com/~jsamoray2562/1970_26.jpg
Pg. 28: http://users.wowway.com/~jsamoray2562/1970_28.jpg
Pg. 29: http://users.wowway.com/~jsamoray2562/1970_29.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Brooks vintage 346 timeline
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:42 pm 
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This is really cool. Thanks, Gamma!


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 Post subject: Re: Brooks vintage 346 timeline
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:05 pm 
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I had a similar hopsack to yours, RPM. Ugly buttons but the quality was there.

I think the M&S-era version of the low-end was "Brooks Basics," but I'm not sure about that. I have a tie or two, and I've seen some sport shirts.

And "346" is no longer the outlet label, as of this season.


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 Post subject: Re: Brooks vintage 346 timeline
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:33 pm 
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Youthful Repp-robate wrote:
I had a similar hopsack to yours, RPM. Ugly buttons but the quality was there.

I think the M&S-era version of the low-end was "Brooks Basics," but I'm not sure about that. I have a tie or two, and I've seen some sport shirts.

And "346" is no longer the outlet label, as of this season.
I'm glad to hear this. Let's gather all the outlet 346 and burn it so there is no mistaking. The buttons on mine are getting switched out for sure. They have the "346" buttons, but I have a blazer with the golden fleece buttons that doesn't fit me so I'm going to switch them over.


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