Ryan McDermott




Washington, DC

“I found Brooks when I was in public high school in New Jersey around 1997. I wanted to be a novelist. I read that one of my favorite writers had outfitted himself in Brooks Brothers suits so I had to have one of my own. I knew that at 15 I couldn’t afford to purchase one from the actual store, so I saved up my money from odd jobs and found a nice dark grey Brooks sack suit at a retail outlet. A few months later I made a pilgrimage to the Brooks Brothers store in Philadelphia, and purchased a navy, red and gold repp tie and an oxford cloth button-down collar shirt. I was in heaven walking around that store. I wanted to live in it.

In college I found out about the navy sack blazer—a Brooks original and a staple on campuses in the 50s. I loved the fullness of the cut, the slope of the shoulders and the beautiful roll of the lapel over the top button.

These jackets became my holy grail. I searched thrift stores high and low for vintage Brooks and outfitted myself that way throughout college. I looked quite different than most of my colleagues wearing pajamas or gym clothes to class. And I was proud of that.

Now I’m 33 and a journalist living in Washington, D.C. I still wear Brooks almost every day. Every jacket I own now is of the sack variety that Brooks made famous. And it’s great to see that you can still walk into a Brooks store and find them. I could spend the rest of my life in a 3-patch pocket navy sack blazer and an OCBD with chinos and pennies. That’s traditional American style and it’s an elegant uniform.

Bury me in Brooks.”