Brooks BrothersEstablished 1818
Founded in 1818 by Henry Sands Brooks, Brooks Brothers is the oldest men’s clothier in the United States. In its early history, Brooks Brothers was most widely known for introducing the ready-to-wear suit. In the mid-nineteenth century, Brooks Brothers outfitted President Abraham Lincoln and considered him a loyal customer. In total, Brooks Brothers has outfitted 39 of the 44 American Presidents.
Brooks Brother’s signature piece is the iconic button down shirt, which was in fact a sports shirt. The name ‘button down’ refers to the collar: shirts button up, collars button down. Originally called polo shirts, the name derived from late 19th century English polo players as they wore long sleeve oxford cloth shirts while playing. To prevent their collars from flapping while galloping on the field, players would use buttons to affix their collars to their shirts. Brooks Brothers adopted this in 1896 and began selling these shirts in the family stores. This is why Brooks Brothers labels still say ‘The Original Polo Shirt’.
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