01
The Shirt

Brooks Brothers invented the button-down collar shirt. The style was later made famous in Europe by Mr Gianni Agnelli, who insisted on Brooks Brothers shirts, and often wore them with the collar buttons undone. This shirt is another Brooks Brothers innovation: in 1953 the label launched its first wash-and-wear dress shirt

02
The Blazer

Single-breasted, with two buttons engraved with the Brooks Brothers' emblem, a single rear vent and full lining, this wool blazer is timelessly stylish. The full-canvas construction, with hand-sewn finishing, ensures that the jacket will mould itself to the wearer's body over time and should not wrinkle.

03
The Tie

The tie is made in the US with silk woven in England, from a supplier used since 1908. The striped rep tie, originally associated with universities and regiments in the UK, was introduced to the US by Brooks Brothers in the 1920s, with the direction of the stripes reversed. It has since become synonymous with East Coast preppy style

04
The Company

Brooks Brothers is renowned for its timeless style and superior quality, and has made uniforms for senior US military officers since 1846. The firm supports many charities, and in 2007 launched its more fashion-forward range, Black Fleece, designed by Mr Thom Browne, which is also stocked on MR PORTER

Photography by Mr Matthew Donaldson | Words by Mr Peter Henderson
"Brooks Brothers can be described in many ways - it's a tradition, an institution, a philosophy of style and an attitude towards innovation that both respects the past and creates the future"
Mr Claudio del Vecchio, chairman and CEO, Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers has been a US style institution since 1818, when Mr Henry Sands Brooks established the venerable outfitters on the junction of Catherine Street and Cherry Street in New York City, not far from where the Brooklyn Bridge now stands. Today, the brand's Manhattan home is on Madison Avenue, but little has changed over the past 190 years by way of the superior quality and innovative spirit which initially made Brooks Brothers famous. The founder's guiding principle, "to make and deal only in merchandise of the finest quality, to sell it at a fair profit and to deal with people who seek and appreciate such merchandise", still rings true today.

American presidents from President Abraham Lincoln through to President Barack Obama, movie stars including Mr Cary Grant and Mr Clark Gable, and countless other men of style and substance have been dressed by Brooks Brothers, while the brand also lays claim to revolutionising men's style twice. The first revolution was in 1845 when Brooks Brothers introduced

BROOKS BROTHERS IN PICTURES


PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Pictured here at his second inauguration, the 16th president of the United States wears a coat by Brooks Brothers with an eagle and the inscription "One Country, One Destiny" on the lining
THE FIRST STORE
Brooks Brothers' first premises, on the junction of Cherry Street and Catherine Street, in New York City, is seen here in 1845. The brand has since inhabited a number of iconic New York addresses
THE GOLDEN FLEECE EMBLEM
Since 1850, the golden fleece has been the brand's emblem. The motif dates from the 15th century, when it was associated with a knightly order founded by the Duke of Burgundy
MR ANDY WARHOL
The iconic pop artist was a fan of Brooks Brothers, in particular the brand's striped rep ties, the quintessential part of the preppy uniform that Mr Warhol adopted semi-ironically
THE CRAFTSMANSHIP
A substantial degree of hand production takes place at Brooks Brothers' factories in the US. Here, the sleeve seam of a jacket is being perfected

ready-to-wear suits in America (which were popular with California gold rush prospectors, unable to wait for a tailor), pioneering the present day "off the rail" retail concept. The second revolution came in 1896, with the invention of the button-down collar shirt. The founder's grandson, Mr John E Brooks, had travelled to England and observed how polo players pinned their collars down to keep them from flapping during matches. Inspired by this, he developed Brooks Brothers' signature Polo shirt, which ushered in the end of the previous practice of men buying their shirts and collars separately. The loyalty of Brooks Brothers' customers is near legendary, with many becoming devoted for life at a young age. Brooks Brothers has dressed five generations of the Morgans, including JP himself, who was served by the same sales assistant from the time he got his first suit in the boys' department until old age. Indeed, it is not uncommon for the brand's staff to remain loyal for many years too: one craftsman in the Massachusetts tailoring workshop has been expertly hand-sewing the armholes of jackets for more than 30 years.

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