Happy 200th Anniversary Brooks Brothers

Today in 1818 Brooks Brothers opened its doors. Let that sink in for a bit. Two centuries ago. Had it never been founded, would the Ivy League Look have ever been created? Perhaps college men and Eastern Elites would have just dressed like Englishmen. The Ivy Style community is the company’s toughest critics, but I think on this day we should be grateful rather than grumbling.

Head over to this page on the Brooks website to see the range of content and collections in celebration of the brand’s 200th. — CC

21 Comments on "Happy 200th Anniversary Brooks Brothers"

  1. Bernard Faber | April 7, 2018 at 8:49 pm |

    Good remider of “our ” roots. However also release time of Chappaquidic and just waiting for Christian to lead the charge in dissecting the styling of the movie. Ready to sit back and chuckle at the responses.

  2. Roger Sack | April 7, 2018 at 8:55 pm |

    I am glad that I am old enough to have shopped at the “Old”
    Brooks Bothers beginning in the late 50s with a patch and flap
    pocket herringbone suit from the University Shop I wore as a
    Freshman at Cornell. Much ink and digital copy has been spent
    recounting and decrying the total decline of this (formerly)
    iconic retailer over recent decades. The best that can be said
    it that it has survived where many others have not.

  3. It really is amazing. BB is only 29 years younger than the United States. When the store was founded, James Monroe was president, and Mississippi had just been admitted to the Union as the 20th State. Seven of the eight Ivies had been established (Cornell wasn’t till 1865).

  4. Thanks, Mr. Brooks! We’re awful sorry about what your company has become but I bet you’d’ve never thought it would be open this long. Here’s a nice quote from the man himself, if only the Brooks of today abided by this creed:

    “To make and deal only in merchandise of the finest body, to sell it at a fair profit, and to deal with people who seek and appreciate such merchandise.”

  5. To my knowledge, the only thing BB did today to celebrate its 200th anniversary was have an 18.18%-off sale. I find it disappointing that the company didn’t do something a little more celebratory. After all, you only turn 200 once. Sorry, Pitti Uomo doesn’t count.

  6. They won. They’ve outlived most and will likely outlast them all.

    With the purchase of Southwick and continued stewardship of Garland, they make J. Press’ better goods. How funny.

    The many copycats will disappear.;
    The Golden Fleece will persevere.

  7. Grey Flannels | April 8, 2018 at 1:50 am |

    BB’s ties still knot/dimple perfectly.

  8. Grey Flannels,
    Brooks is the only place I buy ties, and…
    neckties are the only thing I buy from Brooks Brothers.

  9. Counting my Ratio shirts and Southwick tailoring, most of my wardrobe was manufactured by Brooks. For those who decry the decline, I say that old Brooks is still alive and well (can’t you still buy unlined oxfords and sack jackets there?), but has also expanded its customer base to target the non-iron crowd. To each his own, I guess.

  10. A Trad Confused | April 8, 2018 at 12:45 pm |

    Was completely underwhelmed by the product offering for the 200th anniversary.

  11. Trad Sleuth | April 8, 2018 at 1:25 pm |

    The most interesting fact:

    “the introduction of the reverse-stripe rep tie in 1902…”

  12. Sebastian | April 8, 2018 at 3:30 pm |

    I wish they had picked a different weekend. This weekend I’m either watching the Masters or too inibriated to go out shopping.

  13. Ironically,Brooks Brothers not recalls his trademark,the sack, in these celebrations:
    Look at the custom suit of the past….


  14. BB has fallen so far it’s almost incomprehensible but just this past week, I bought a seersucker long sleeve shirt and three linen long sleeve shirts for $199 shipped and no tax (I use Shoprunner and BB doesn’t cahrge sales tax in my state. Frankly, I was surprised to find these as there is so little left there that interests me. Glad I was able to get a bunch of the old ocbd shirts the past few years at similar pricing.

  15. Carmelo, you’re right but look at the two-button cuff on the tailor in the image on the right. Maybe it’s one of their tailors wearing an old sack suit.

  16. Carmelo:
    I don’t see any waist suppression at all in the jacket on the left.

  17. Giacomo Bruno | April 9, 2018 at 12:47 am |

    The shirt collar and the eyeglass frames of the tailor on the right look Italian to me.

  18. The story of Southwick is the story of Brooks style in the 20th-into-the-21st century. With the demise of Hertling, many if not most of the old “Ivy” manufacturers have bid farewell. Southwick, with the Douglas and the Cambridge models, is the last man standing.

    One might think of “Ivy” as a blip on a much larger screen–a fad of sorts that look root on college campuses for decades and slowly but steadily died. Before “Ivy”–including all the college shops trying to mimic J. Press (the original college shop?)–there was Brooks, complete with all the tokens, symbols, and bases of Americanized Anglophilia.

    CC’s opus on Ivy–beginning with the question, How much of it is Brooks and how of it is campus?–serves us well. The answer, alas, is that it was mostly if not entirely Brooks. And it still is. If Onward ever gives up on J. Press–well, Brooks will still be there. If the O’ Connell’s family decides to move beyond retail in Buffalo–well, Brooks will still be there. It’s a long, funny saga–Brooks will have the last word.

  19. “badges,” rather. Not “bases.” Might have added “totems.”

  20. EVAN EVERHART | April 9, 2018 at 10:29 am |

    @ CARMELO:

    I heartily, agree! I was also expecting them to release some suits in the sack cut, their traditional and iconic style upon which they literally built their house for nearly 2 centuries! I had even saved up money to buy one of their not inconsiderably priced current offerings if they did! Oh well. To add insult to injury, I again tried to order one of their golf collar shirts, and again was informed after my order processed, that the shirt is not available. Why have it on their site then? Why not have one of their typical and iconic styles in stock? And yes, I know that I can get one made to measure or what have you, but I want a Brooks Brothers off the rack one, like my old one that finally died. I guess for sentimental reasons. The same way that I love (hate what they’ve become!) Brooks Brothers! Brooks Brothers; Come BACK!

  21. Charlottesville | April 9, 2018 at 4:52 pm |

    At least they mention the classic Number 1 Sack Suit in the anniversary web page, but it looks like a navy blazer is the only 3/2 sack they currently offer. I join Evan in wishing they would offer at least a few suits and sport coats in this classic style. All the more reason to champion the recent moves at J. Press.

Comments are closed.