Brooks Brothers is, no doubt, the most iconic brand in modern American menswear. Since 1818, the company has basically been calling the shots in the world of men’s clothing, and the modern-day suit as we know it is largely their creation. Little surprise that they’ve dressed everyone from Lincoln to Obama to Don Draper. (Brooks Brothers does the suiting for “Mad Men.”)
Last month, Brooks Brothers arrived to Calgary’s Eaton Centre. To ensure that you enter the store with an appropriate sense of awe, here’s a primer on five of Brooks Brothers’ greatest contributions to men’s fashion.
1. The Suit
Brooks Brothers’ Madison Two-Button 1818 suit is the quintessential suit; it’s changed very, very little for nearly 200 years, and this is a good thing.
2. The Summer Suit
Seersucker, that (usually) striped cotton generally seen on Southern gentlemen at county fairs, or stylish guys at summer weddings, was invented by Brooks Brothers in the 1930s.
3. The Contrast Collar
The contrast collar is one of Brooks Brothers’ most iconic styles. Immortalized by Gordon Gekko, the collar can now be seen on bankers and bros everywhere.
4. The Foulard
You may call it a neckerchief, but Brooks Brothers calls it a foulard: The company introduced the tough-to-pull-off accessory to the North American market in the late 1800s as casual alternative to the tie.
5. Wash and Wear
In 1999, Brooks Brothers changed the game with the introduction of innovative wash-and-wear shirts. Because even the most traditional sharp-dresser hates ironing.
Image courtesy of Mr. Noded.