Lots of sportswear companies base their image on the classic all-American look (think Ralph Lauren and J. Crew), but only Brooks Brothers has the heritage to back up that blue-blooded claim. The firm's first store, then known as H. & D.H. Brooks & Co., was opened by Henry Sands Brooks in New York City 188 years ago. The retailer quickly became the place to go for off-the-rack suits, an early version of ready-to-wear. In 1850, when Brooks' sons took over the family business, they changed the name to Brooks Brothers, with the Golden Fleece as its trademark. By 1865 the brand had already firmly established its place in U.S. history: Abraham Lincoln wore a Brooks Brothers coat to his second Inauguration—and was wearing it again the night he was assassinated. Later, Charles Lindbergh celebrated his famous flight in a Brooks Brothers suit, and Clark Gable frequently placed custom orders. The brand was popular in academic institutions as well, and the polo coat became the uniform at places like Miss Porter's School. On Ivy League campuses, Brooks' preppy innovations like argyle, seersucker and madras—all brought to U.S. shores by the retailer—developed into the dress code. Even the silk foulard necktie, today a key part of business attire, was first imported from England by Brooks Brothers in 1890 and later updated in repp stripes. Continuing its tradition of innovation, the preppy retailer will introduce a capsule collection by menswear designer Thom Browne next year.