The Rep Tie—a traditional style icon redefined

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There was a time when neckwear in America was a drab affair. Solid shades dominated. Bold colors and patterns were relegated to British dandies. And then everything changed.

The modern necktie came into being about a century ago. Its origins stem from the UK’s regimental stripe ties of the early 1900s. The stripes were angled from left to right, or from “heart to sword,” in a nod to their fighting roots. As social clubs and boarding schools adopted the trend, the look was increasingly fashionable among civilians.

We gave it a Brooks Brothers twist, inverting the direction of the stripes to go from right to left. This act of fashion rebellion gave birth to a new American style icon. With its roguish charm, the rep stripe is a design detail that is as bold and distinguished as its origin. The rep tie has been a favorite of everyone from U.S. presidents to pop-art stars. Now its fan base is as varied as the accessory itself, extending beyond the military to the Ivy League elite.

LOST IN TRANSLATION: WHY CALL IT “REP”?

You might be surprised to learn that the rep tie was not named after its stripes. We named it after the tightly ribbed silk used to make it, which the French call rep fabric. According to our in-house historian, Kelly Stuart, an extra “p” was added by mistake (“repp”) and evolved to become a distinct mark of the tie. But in a nod to historical accuracy, we again proudly spell it “rep.”