A Small Town With a Big Claim to Fame
The town of Garland, North Carolina, is known for two things: Brooks Brothers and great barbecue. Located about an hour southeast of Fayetteville by car, Garland is not only home to some of the finest eastern-style barbecue in the state (Southern Smoke, located across the street from the Brooks Brothers factory, is a favorite of factory associates and barbecue die-hards alike), it’s also the home to the Brooks Brothers Garland Shirt Factory.
Inside the facility — one of the few remaining sewing factories in the area in the wake of manufacturing globalization — more than 200 Brooks Brothers associates craft premium-quality shirts from the world’s finest materials. Among the products they make, one stands out as having a special measure of fame: the iconic Brooks Brothers Original Polo® Button-Down Oxford, crafted from American-grown Supima® cotton and expertly woven into twill in international production facilities of excellence. It has earned its place as a style icon and staple of American menswear for more than a century.
The shirt’s design dates back to the late 1800s, when John E. Brooks, one of the original Brooks Brothers, noticed when attending a polo match that the players secured the flaps of their collars with buttons as they played. Admiring the clever invention, he brought the concept back to Brooks Brothers, and over the ensuing century the design has been replicated countless times by retailers around the world.
Though it has undergone slight design tweaks throughout its lengthy lifespan, the shirt today is largely the same familiar wardrobe essential it’s been for generations of Brooks Brothers customers. The Garland Shirt Factory is eager to begin introducing women’s oxford shirts into its production soon, with the first-ever American-made women’s version of the shirt available for purchase in 2017.
“There’s a certain level of pride in being able to provide customers with exactly what they want in a shirt.”
Aside from the oxford program, regular-finish luxury Golden Fleece® shirting and the Made to Measure shirting programs are also based within the Garland Factory. A true testament to their mastery as tailors and shirt makers, associates enjoy the challenge of a custom-shirt-making opportunity. From creating bespoke shirts for their favorite professional athletes, prominent public figures and clients in need of adapted fits, there’s a certain level of pride in being able to provide customers with exactly what they want in a shirt, from the materials to the fit.
Furthermore, that sense of pride felt within the factory echoes far beyond the town limits. Associates are proud of the standard of quality upheld within the facility, proud of the rich heritage of the Brooks Brothers brand, and — arguably, most of all — proud to still be making iconic, world-renowned Brooks Brothers shirts in their tightly knit southern community.