The story of our Fun Shirt

If fortune favors the bold, then the wearing of the Fun Shirt pays out handsomely. To say that these colorful shirts make a statement—with their patchwork-like disharmony—would be entirely accurate. However, their very existence owes to more than a calculated rebellion perpetrated by preppy extremists. The origin of the Fun Shirt was accidental—a twist of fate that broke the rules of fashion and brought about a style icon.

Flash back to the 1970s, to the precise moment when the “fun” began. That’s when Ash Wall, Brooks Brothers Vice President (and fifth-generation descendent of founder Henry Sands Brooks) turned a trip to our dress shirt factory into another chapter in our story of innovation.

It was here that Ash noticed a pile of shirts, all unique, and all made from no fewer than 10 different colors of striped fabric. “Those are some fun shirts,” he supposedly said, and the name stuck. Archie Summers, the factory manager, told him that the shirts were made from scraps by new employees just learning to sew. Ash could not be deterred from changing into one of those fun shirts right then and there.

This early prototype became a favorite around Brooks offices, and the style was made available to the public shortly thereafter. Flash forward to present day, when the Fun Shirt is offered in several fabrics—from classic oxford cloth to non-iron—and different colors and patterns on each panel.

In celebration of our 200th anniversary, we’re offering you the chance to design your own Fun Shirt, made of Supima® cotton oxford in our North Carolina factory. So go ahead—get loud (and be proud).