New York City and Rhinebeck, NY
“I can relate to Brooks Brothers and its sense of authenticity and sincerity. I try to live an authentic, sincere life, too, and really put that in everything I do.”
Tracey Ryan’s sense of style is meaningful. Everything he wears, he truly loves, from the knit sweater he acquired from an old woman in New Zealand; to the shoes gifted to him by his father 22 years ago; to the perfect Brooks Brothers pants that make him feel comfortable and quietly confident.
On his evolving sense of style:
“I can relate to Brooks Brothers and its sense of authenticity and sincerity. Whether it’s the books you’re reading, the food you’re eating, the music you’re listening to—that’s your thing; it’s your take on life. It’s that feeling that you get from wearing something classic and comfortable and super cool. And I’ve been dressing the same way for as long as I can remember.”
On being loud and dressing quietly:
“From the time I was a kid, all the pieces [I wore] were pieces I loved. My style was crisp, clean. I didn’t like loud things because I was a big, loud kid, so I liked my clothes to be kind of subtle, casual, and conservative. I didn’t have a lot of things but everything I’ve had, to this day, I’ve loved and I keep for a very long time. I’ve never been the type of person to buy things that are trendy or of that moment; they’ve always been timeless no matter what I’m doing.”
On the symbolism of boxer shorts:
“My first Brooks Brothers item was a pair of boxers. At the time, I was wearing another hip, cool brand. I remember my dad saying, ‘The original clothier—Brooks Brothers; they dress presidents. They’ve been doing it for a long time. They know how to do it and they do it well.’ And Brooks Brothers has been with me ever since. From my shirts, to my pants, to my clothes, a large part of my wardrobe is Brooks Brothers.”
On fatherly wisdom:
“My dad used to say, ‘Speak with a sense of purpose, act with a sense of purpose, whether you’re right or wrong. And own it.’ Now, my clothes are more fitted than his would ever be, but my spirit comes from my dad in every sense. The way you own it [and] never be in a position where you have to ask someone whether this looks good or not. If you have to ask, it doesn’t.”
On his first memory of dressing up:
“When I was 11 years old, I was getting dressed for my cousin’s birthday party, and I remember my dad helped me prepare. He was very serious and very present. He showed me how to polish my shoes: how to put just enough polish on the cloth, to wet it, to polish counter clockwise, and to make sure I didn’t stop until I got that sheen. My pants were the first pants I had with buttons, and I remember buttoning up my pants and my crisp, white shirt. And when I put on my jacket for the first time, it was a bespoke jacket from someone in my family. I remember buttoning up the buttons and folding them back, then tying my tie in the right way. It was one of the most joyful memories I’ve had as a kid.”
Woolgathering: The Golden Fleece Becomes a Trademark—In 1850, the company adopts its now-iconic logo, which has served as a symbol of fine wool and integrity since French duke Phillip the Good chose it to represent his knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece. The emblem was subsequently used by wool merchants throughout Europe; H.S. Brooks wanted an association with English tailoring.