Brooks Brothers announced this week that they are introducing a Limited "Mad Men" Edition suit designed by Janie Bryant, the Emmy Award-winning costume director connected to AMC's hit drama. The "Mad Men" suit is inspired by the suits worn on the show by characters Don Draper and Roger Sterling (left), but with a slightly more updated look (and price tag -- the suits will retail for $998).
The Fayetteville Observer wrote a nice article on Tuesday about the suit's launch which connects Brooks Brothers and "Mad Men" back to a tiny town in eastern North Carolina where a Brooks Brothers shirt factory is located. (I happen to know a little bit about this town -- Garland, N.C. population 808 -- and the Garland Shirt Factory which makes those Brooks Brothers shirts. I grew up there, and my grandmother worked as a seamstress in that factory in the 1960s and early 1970s).
The Fayetteville article gives some nice background on the factory, and indicates that the actors on "Mad Men" wear shirts which are made there. They also reported that the factory makes custom shirts for famous people such as David Letterman, Will Smith, and Paul Newman, and that shirts for Barack Obama's presidential inauguration events were also made in Garland.
The Observer also interviewed and quoted some folks in town (including the plant manager) who had never heard of "Mad Men" or had never watched the show, but I can report that plenty of other people in Garland have heard of the show and do watch (and I'm related to many of them).
If you'd like to own some of those Brooks Brothers clothes without the hefty price tag, there's a Brooks Brothers Outlet Store just a few blocks from the factory, across from The Piggly Wiggly (our fashion writer Samantha Smith has written about the great deals available at the popular outlet store). The Garland Shirt Factory workers may not be wearing Brooks Brothers suits to work, but I'd wager that Garland has maybe the highest concentration of Brooks Brothers-wearing population in the country, thanks to this little store.
Unfortunately, you can't get one of the Limited Edition "Mad Men" suits (at right) in the Garland Outlet. Those suits (only 250 will be sold and they are all made in a factory in Massachusetts) are available starting October 19 through November 8 and sold only online or in a select number of retail stores.