Brooks Brothers Gets Mil-Spec for Spring ’11

One interesting thing from the Brooks Brothers spring 2011 preview were these 100% Berry compliant desert boots from Thom Browne’s Black Fleece collection. The mil-spec boots are basically the same as the originals from military supplier Altama, save Thom Browne’s signature red, white and blue trim. Amazing to see military style end up at Brooks Brothers, of all places. Though, these boots will go perfectly with your new Brooks digicam custom suit. So I suppose it’s not that crazy. Don’t worry the preppy retailer hasn’t totally gone rogue for spring 2011, there was also plenty on display for the blue blazer set. More of that here soon.

Comments on “Brooks Brothers Gets Mil-Spec for Spring ’11

    NG on September 16, 2010 4:24 PM:

    Seeing a lot of vets wearing their boots around would make me feel a bit like a poseur wearing these.

    Phil on September 16, 2010 4:55 PM:

    Amen NG!

    flocker on September 16, 2010 5:16 PM:

    Whoa, no thanks. Unlike a Rolex MilSub or a tan shirt with epaulets, wearing these current issue boots around town will give A LOT of people the wrong idea about who you are and why you are wearing them.

    After a lady on the street stops to thank you for your service, you can say “no ma’am these are just from a Thom Brown collaboration for Brooks Brother’s Spring 2011 line…see, check out the lining.”

    Michael Williams on September 16, 2010 5:22 PM:

    Flocker — that was classic.

    I can see where this is headed. Let me just say that I thought this was sort of funny / ironic, which is why I posted it. Plus, I like to get a rise out of you people.

    On the other hand, today I’m wearing a denim chore coat and work boots — I think five people stopped me and asked if I could tell them how to find a farm supply store, and in Manhattan no less. I think if you wear these no one will think you are an ex-military. I would wear boots like this and with a digicam suit.

    Larry on September 16, 2010 5:52 PM:

    I’m far too overweight and unshaven to be confused with our service men and women… cool boots!

    kpr on September 16, 2010 6:15 PM:

    Well said @Flocker

    There are thousands of men and women who would probably do anything to wake up every day and put on a pair of tennis shoes rather than these things. And Thom Brown turns them into a fashion piece?

    Being asked where to find the nearest farm supply store and being asked about your recent duty in Afghanistan are two very different things.

    Staircase Witch on September 16, 2010 6:16 PM:

    Came to the comments wondering if anyone else had the same reaction I had…leaving feeling a bit better about people in general…thanks.

    Michael Williams on September 16, 2010 6:18 PM:

    Just playing devil’s advocate, there is a lot of tactical gear out there in the civilian world and no one blinks an eye when people wear it. Its not like this has military insignia on it — where is Tinseth when you need him? — something few people seem to care about that.

    Roan on September 16, 2010 6:19 PM:

    c=======B GEAR

    cayuse on September 16, 2010 6:22 PM:

    Rumor is that BB will be making the new Air Force dress uniform, this might be a glimpse of their future line. Stay tuned….

    Michael Williams on September 16, 2010 6:24 PM:

    Brooks already makes officers uniforms for the US Navy… I have seen them in the factory.

    kpr on September 16, 2010 6:30 PM:

    These boots are one giant military insignia. These boots say “I was in Afghanistan” or “I lost some of my best friends in Iraq.” These boots say “I served our country” or “I wish I could be home right now.”

    That’s the problem with these boots versus other “tactical” pieces. These boots don’t say “I’m walking to my Madison Avenue office.” But as the saying goes…to each their own.

    Zach on September 16, 2010 6:34 PM:

    As long as I can still get my basics(OCBD’s,ties,Jackets,etc.) at my local Brooks Brothers Retail, I don’t mind them trying new things like these fine looking boots. I must add that I wouldn’t wear them, but that’s why the good lord molded the Mr. Williams’ of the world. Cheers.

    jeremy on September 16, 2010 6:37 PM:

    These are pretty sick and a great idea.

    Michael Bastian used military boots in his fall 09 show. They looked great.

    Regarding the usual haters, there have been PLENTY of military inspired, knockoff, and even authentic pieces that people wear daily. (peacoats, camo, etc.)

    You’d be surprised at how no one really cares what you’re wearing. So why worry. Wear what you like.

    K.A. Adams on September 16, 2010 6:37 PM:

    Uhhh, Trust me the people buying those boots wont be mistaken for operators

    And when did adding a little striped lining to something become ‘design’ or a ‘collaboration’

    I can’t stand TB’s clothes and all the talk about how ‘subversive’ it is is just retarded

    Oliver on September 16, 2010 6:48 PM:

    Stating that anyone wearing the boots is saying “I lost some of my best friends in Iraq,” is a pretty hyperbolic statement if you ask me. Probably used for effect, but still…

    Then again, you never know how people who see someone wearing these will interpret them.

    I like the boots on their own, as boots, but the social and political implications of wearing them are a road that I’m not willing to go down.

    Jeff on September 16, 2010 7:07 PM:

    $115 for the standard issues… can’t wait to see how many hundreds of dollars that red, white, and blue strip *on the inside* is worth!

    oh, you silly designers…

    (this sort of thing seems really out of place for brooks brothers)

    kpr on September 16, 2010 7:07 PM:

    @Oliver: Statement most definitely used for effect.

    We’ll see how these pan out for BB. For now, I’ll leave these to the few friends I have who wear them out of necessity rather than choice.

    Tintin on September 16, 2010 7:31 PM:

    Sorry, MW. I was outside doing a rain dance.

    You really have to wonder what’s going on at Brooks. Is it as simple as poor judgement? Or, has Brooks learned with TBrowne that there’s no such thing as bad press? But it’s vulgar. And what’s worse, Brooks has turned its back on the authentic nature of its own apparel and has latched onto something it has zero connection with. Now if Brooks replaced the nylon inserts with an olive drab madras…

    your old pal jim on September 16, 2010 7:31 PM:

    a number of people doing service in iraq and afghanistan are being sent the dehner boot company version of these desert boots by their families and friends because the current military issue boots aren’t cutting the mustard for them. dehner’s been making boots four times longer than altama and i think that if i were to “pose”, i’d throw my money at them first.

    check them out here:

    Michael Williams on September 16, 2010 7:37 PM:

    I just saw someone in an M65 and I asked them about their time in Iraq…. Turns out the M65 was made by Nike Sportswear and they are a creative brand consultant…oops.

    Mario on September 16, 2010 7:46 PM:

    Honestly. I’d have to agree with Jeremy. No one really cares what you wear and most people won’t even look twice. So if you like em. Go for it. I just think that wearing something that is part of a uniform of service is fruitless.

    JLSLC on September 16, 2010 8:00 PM:

    You probably should have asked M65 dude about his time in Vietnam. . .

    Noah on September 16, 2010 8:10 PM:

    Not a fan of these at all. They look exactly like these danners…

    …Except even uglier and less useful.

    JLSLC on September 16, 2010 8:16 PM:

    Unless M65 dude was wearing Nike’s take on “Digtal Camo”, in which case, my bad, and good work.

    wampwamp on September 16, 2010 8:16 PM:

    Oh geez, now don’t you feel like a big dummy now huh Michael?

    Read on September 16, 2010 8:17 PM:

    Wonder how many of these will be spotted around Quanitico…

    Loopy on September 16, 2010 8:21 PM:

    Can we all now agree that Thom Browne kind of sucks?

    Ed on September 16, 2010 8:30 PM:

    Combat boots with Panama soles haven’t been issued in almost a decade. Current issue for the army and the USMC are rough-out leather. Granted, you might see them being worn as a private purchase.

    Jason on September 16, 2010 8:32 PM:

    kpr is correct here, “There are thousands of men and women who would probably do anything to wake up every day and put on a pair of tennis shoes rather than these things.” Except that I would choose something other than tennis shoes.

    When I see people wear uniform items as civie gear I think they are poor and can’t afford to wear anything that hasn’t been issued to them.

    Wear these with any suit, even a digicam suit and you will be thought of as a pretentious a-hole.

    Michael Williams on September 16, 2010 8:38 PM:

    I think it is obvious that I am a pretentious asshole.

    Brendan on September 16, 2010 9:01 PM:

    Amen to being a pretentious asshole, MWilliams. The spirit that moves you to do what you want should always be stronger than the whinnying nags in the crowd.

    This is what moves fashion forward. Caring while simultaneously not giving a fuck.

    jbjones on September 16, 2010 9:04 PM:

    dang, i actually saw a pair of these at the local goodwill just yesterday. i suppose i should have leaped on them (like a hand grenade) but i bought a pendleton elbow-patch shirt instead.

    oh well, i’ll live.

    parkfast on September 16, 2010 9:18 PM:

    one word…..LAME!

    don on September 16, 2010 9:23 PM:

    boots could be designed differently to un compensate the look a little more, like adding fake dirt and rubbish wears to them, but then it would be converse by john va… shame. just a crying shame. they will prob release them on 9/11/11 right next to the mosk.

    Jpkm on September 16, 2010 9:23 PM:

    @Brendan, if you or Michael truly didn’t give a fuck, this blog wouldn’t exist and you wouldn’t be commenting on these military boots turned fashion piece.

    Just sayin…

    don on September 16, 2010 9:25 PM:

    Anyone who takes my post seriously can see I’m joking btw as I feature mila-packs on my blog.


    Maxwell on September 16, 2010 10:17 PM:

    Its just all about context really. I can’t see these boots with any brooks brothers attire looking right. I used to wear my desert boots with jeans, grey crew sweatshirt, and down vest when I was in ROTC in college just to my normal classes or whatever. It was a pretty good outfit- very genuine. I am one for people being interested in military gear whether they were in it or not- It has such an appeal. But I will also say if I was never in the military- I would never wear the stuff (me personally)- unless- a family member or friend that was in gave me the stuff. Then i would actually have a connection to it. I can also understand someone wearing military gear in a ‘support our troops’ type of way. And I’m rambling. Bottom line, military gear should be worn for utility purposes no matter what- these Brooks Altimas don’t seem to be doing that.

    P on September 16, 2010 10:23 PM:

    Wow. I might have to switch my allegiance from Woolrich WM to BB next year!

    Also, has anyone noticed that Odin online doesn’t have any EG or WWM for Fall 2010?

    Jake S on September 16, 2010 10:30 PM:

    @don “Mosk.” LOL
    @Michael Williams You’re a champ

    @Everyone People thank me for serving my country every day when I walk around NYC with my black Alice pack. When I tell them it’s a $20 bag from the army navy store on 39th they just stand back and salute!

    Ted on September 16, 2010 10:36 PM:

    Not available In a size 14.

    DaveC on September 16, 2010 10:37 PM:

    What happened to ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’?? How is wearing a pair of military styled boots any different than an M65, a pea coat, cargo pants or even tucking your tie into your shirt. My father and grandfather are veterans and wearing my Dad’s old and tattered M65 and using my grandfather’s flight helmet bag is simply a form of imitation. And it’s a cliche for a reason… ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’. I’m not posing as a vet, I am honoring their service and appreciating the aesthetic of the uniform they wore and the bags they carried. But based on the comments above, I am vulgar and a poseur and borderline unpatriotic. Come on gentlemen (liberal use), it’s as if you enjoy getting your panties all twisted. If you are going to soap box Thom Browne, take a trip to Goodwill with all your camo, military watches, cantines, snorkel parkas, aviators, bomber jackets… the list goes on. By the way Michael, where in the hell is that Tractor Supply in Tribeca?

    Elias on September 16, 2010 11:25 PM:

    I was wondering where Tom Browne was going to go next. I was hoping he was going to have pants that were 6 inches too long and sleeves so long that you couldn’t see ones hand.

    Rich on September 17, 2010 12:11 AM:

    I’ll just get some cheap work boots 2 sizes too small and people will think I’m posing as a Thom Brown fan and as being military.

    And, just typing the “h” in Thom makes me feel like a pretentious a hole.

    brad on September 17, 2010 2:36 AM:

    One of goofiest product posts I have seen to date on ACL – great that it caused so much discourse.. but those who choose to purchase these are definitely a few fries short of a happy meal. Real, present day soldiers were essentially identical boots in present tense combat situations..

    Kenneth on September 17, 2010 5:37 AM:

    Can you say “Soldier of Fortune”? No thanks to these.

    Andrew on September 17, 2010 7:48 AM:

    Honestly if you are thinking about getting these, why not go with:
    Probably a quarter of the cost, and the money goes to people who actually HAVE sacrificed everything…you can even put your own red, white and blue fabric on the inside and call them “custom”. The money goes to returning vets….aka people who don’t dick around on fashion blogs like us all day.

    Grant Gorton on September 17, 2010 9:04 AM:

    A close friend of mine gave me an older pair of these that he actual wore in Iraq. I haven’t worn them yet, but I probably will this weekend while helping him dig a French Drain in his backyard.

    Tintin on September 17, 2010 9:25 AM:

    It’s not that we can’t wear military surplus or military inspired. I have no problem with that as long as you keep insignia, badges and awards off. The problem here is Brooks Brothers and Browne. Who in Brooks Bros thought this was a good idea? And who the hell is gonna buy these?

    Customer- AWESOME boots!

    Associate- I’m glad you like them, sir.

    C- So, what do I wear them with?

    A- You’re not concerned about the price?

    C- Shit, no. I gotta job.

    A- Well, I think they’d pair nicely with our Brooks- Levis jeans.

    C- Cool. Should I blouse them?

    A- Are you Airborne?

    C- What?

    A Never mind. Sure, you can blouse them.

    C- Will I look stupid if I blouse ’em with a suit.

    A- No, you’ll look very Sec’y of Defense-ish.

    C- Sick.

    C- All you need now is your own Blackhawk.

    A- What’s that?

    Greg D. on September 17, 2010 9:35 AM:

    There is nothing more spineless than a man trying or even implying to garner the admiration and respect that only comes from actually serving in our fine military.

    If you uptown hipsters want to wear your overpriced “work wear” to come off as a skilled laborer, that’s fine. Women will know by your hands.

    Andrew on September 17, 2010 9:58 AM:

    Greg D…..”women will know by your hands”…best line so far.

    K.A. Adams on September 17, 2010 10:24 AM:

    So funny Tintin – But I think you’ve got it all wrong.

    When you see them the wearer’s uniform will be the boots, very short and tight cut off jeans, a tight wife beater tank and some weirdo asymmetrical haircut

    And they’ll just be coming back from getting a facial

    Zach on September 17, 2010 10:43 AM:

    This comment board is hilarious. What interests me is how up in arms(no pun intended) readers get when military inspired gear gets featured on this blog. You people act like Michael is holding these boots in one hand and a knife in the other threating to carve an upside American Flag in your forehead if you don’t drop your bills for them. He posted it because the fact that Brooks would put this out is interesting. Michael isn’t a tastemaker, he’s a guy with a computer that digs American goods, and entertains us with his view on the topic. Give it a rest.

    Greg D. on September 17, 2010 11:25 AM:

    @ Zach –
    So we’re not supposed to comment on items posted? I thought that was the point of this marketing scheme…

    Don’t fool yourself – aside from his “American List” half the stuff posted here is made in China.

    Michael Williams on September 17, 2010 11:43 AM:

    My goal is to have ACL be 100% made in china by 2011. As you can see, I am only half way there. I’ve sold a majority share of the site to the Chinese government. The ACL signature orange is changing to communist red with the change over. I think you guys are going to love the new site. —MW

    Greg D. on September 17, 2010 12:09 PM:

    Sorry Michael – I’m on my period.

    Michael Williams on September 17, 2010 12:10 PM:

    Let me buy you a glass of cranberry juice.

    Jake S on September 17, 2010 2:40 PM:

    Are those dicks?
    You’re not Dr. Dre!

    And since when is wearing army surplus a “garnering the admiration and respect?”

    Zach on September 17, 2010 2:45 PM:

    I’m all for comments, I just feel like I’m reading a YouTube comment section.

    Dr. Dre on September 17, 2010 3:25 PM:

    Who is to decide who Dr. Dre is and who isnt! Who appointed you the umpire of rap? Dr. Dre isnt a real doctor anyways, so whats the dif???


    Jonathan Higgins on September 17, 2010 3:36 PM:

    Did anyone care when punks wore jumper boots? Same deal here right? The outrage is simply the taste level of putting a premium price on military issue gear and/or the incongruity of BB and military-inspired design.

    As far as the boots themselves go, they are awesome lightweight, hot weather boots that have served me well as a contractor in the middle east, even with a suit. No one thinks I’m posing as an enlisted man. While they are mil spec, they are not made exclusively for the army. The army just has always been good judges of quality gear.

    Tintin on September 17, 2010 3:55 PM:

    Jump Boots (Corcorans) were / are crap field boots. “Jumper? I don’t even know her.”

    The funny thing about the army is that US Army issue is mostly crap. There was a huge civilian market in Fayettville for gear to replace issue. No one went thru Phase I of the SF Q course with an issue compass. You bought a Silva out of your own pocket ($25 if I remember). German Para boots were thought much better than US. Herman Survivor boots were worn in the field ’cause they warm ($100 in 1980 if I remember) . Korean tailors made beautiful wet wet weather gear outta army issue waterproof bags. LRRPS were shit canned for Ramen. Heat tabs were replaced with Swiss propane stoves. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda.

    Jason on September 17, 2010 4:11 PM:

    I just don’t understand why designers will take something that is already out there, like these boots, or camouflaged pants/shorts, throw a label on the item and then super charge for them…?

    Maybe it’s my sense of ownership. I earned my boots and uniform, you paid a cubic-butt ton for your fashion/trend.

    SRG on September 17, 2010 4:39 PM:

    These Boots Were Made for Marching… not Walking.

    Jeremy on September 17, 2010 7:10 PM:

    I cracked up reading many of these posts from you people.

    I’m not sure why some of you stand on your soapbox & try to take a moral higher ground, but here is my interpretation of these boots-

    Here in America, & much of the rest of the world, clothes that were designed to be functional or perform a specific purpose have quite frequently wound up being used by civilians.

    E.G.-Khaki trousers, aviator sunglasses, flight jackets, cargo pants, webbed belts, pea coats, the navy blazer, pith helmets,…….I’m sure the list must be endless.

    I think it often turns out that what was so incredibly well designed for the military amply suits the needs of the public. Many people are practical.

    Tom-notTHOM on September 17, 2010 9:19 PM:

    Brooks Brothers has missed the mark. It is not about limited editions or mass market boots. It is simply that these boots do not belong at Brooks Brothers. “Thom” and his limo-loon pals who run the show think it is great (just imagine them wearing them unlaced with tight jeans tucked-in). Brooks Brothers is losing identity with this poseur and endangering itself. This is nonsense on stilts.

    ramirez on September 17, 2010 11:07 PM:

    i thought the whole point of this thom brown (is that the way you spell it?) military boot thing is to slip in the gay military fetish angle to the name brand/style obsessed as an inside joke.

    cause i think its pretty funny.

    gays are funny

    TMH on September 18, 2010 12:10 AM:

    @jeremy , well put!

    Alex on September 18, 2010 3:28 AM:

    This is about where the workwear-type stuff “jumps the shark”, if that phrase is even used now. I suppose I should think about if these particular boots even count as ‘workwear’. Military boots are fine and all, but leave the ‘fashion’ angle out of it… I’m getting a little tired of seeing normal, functional, affordable stuff turn into this fashionable trendy shit.

    Argue all you want. Putting a premium price on this type of thing is frankly making me lose interest. I hope Carhartt doesn’t show up on ACL anytime soon… and Mike, being a smart ass in the comments doesn’t encourage me to bother participating much, I can tell you that.

    Dennis Cahlo on September 18, 2010 12:00 PM:

    Michael, I do believe you’ve found your first addition to the Top Five ACL Comment Clusterfucks Part Two.

    ABC on September 18, 2010 9:42 PM:

    Altama is a supplier to the military…they are not standard issue. Big difference…if you served, you’ll know what I mean…

    Scott on September 21, 2010 9:41 AM:

    I also was taken by the boots at the SS11 Preview @ B.B. B.F. What you all can’t see or don’t know is that the context of the season was military inspired pieces from BB past, present and future. I can’t wait until you all see the poncho, etc. HA ha, Some may fall over from blog posting bliss.
    Just Wait… Stay Tunned

Comments are closed.