The Original Polo Shirt

The polo shirt is a wardrobe staple of every mans wardrobe, any self-respecting young fashion conscious man will own at least one polo shirt, it is the smart T-shirt with a collar & placket, every major designer label has copied the simple design and put their own spin on it, even the cops wear polo shirts now because they think they are cool I don’t think so,

Jean Rene Lacoste playing in a starched shirt

Jean Rene Lacoste playing in a starched shirt

The original Polo Shirt was a long-sleeved starched shirt, that was worn by tennis players also polo players, but it was not practical, so a little dapper french guy called Jean Rene Lacoste who hated wearing the starched shirts, he decide to design a more practical shirt, with short sleeves in a light cotton with a long back known as a tennis tail so the shirt would stay in the trousers once tucked in, also a small placket with just three buttons, and a very soft collar, Lacoste used a pique cotton due to its weave it made it very breathable for sports wear.It soon gained popularity, it was recognizable by its motif which was a crocodile. it got its name because Lacoste had a big nose which looked like a crocodiles nose, the other story was he loved crocodile leather luggage, “I will leave it with you to make your mind up” also his shirt was the first to show a logo.

I have uploaded 3 images which are linked to websites where you can get the original pieces, if you would like a Fred Perry or Ralph Lauren and the daddy of all polo shirts Lacoste simply click on the image and your through to the web site.

Jean Rene Lacoste in his first polo shirt

Jean Rene Lacoste in his first polo shirt

LACOSTE LIVE marled polo shirt
Orange cotton marled polo shirt from Lacoste Live.

In 1926 Lacoste wore his new tennis shirt for the first time, soon polo players started wearing the shirt while playing polo dew it being less restrictive .In the 1950s the shirt hit the US, Lacoste started to do the shirts in different colours, it became a hit at the university’s,  also film stars embraced the look, the polo shirt was the dress down shirt of the rich.
Terraces Menswear - Fred Perry

Fredd Perry the man

Fred Perry the man

Fred Perry Polo Shirt Port
Fred Perry Polo Shirt- Short sleeve design- Laurel Wreath branding to chest- Tape trim tipping to cuffs- Branding to buttons

In 1952 Fred Perry another tennis player decide to put his spin on the tennis shirt, he chose the same cotton Perry made the design even better, he stitched his logo on other brands stuck their’s on, it became famous in the 70s  due to skinheads & rude boys even mods claiming the brand as a part of their look, the Fred Perry label become associated with street wear.

Ralph Lauren wearing his big pony polo shirt

Ralph Lauren wearing his big pony polo shirt

POLO RALPH LAUREN ‘Big Pony’ polo shirt
Blue cotton ‘Big Pony’ polo shirt from Polo Ralph Lauren.

When the 1970s arrived Ralph Lauren was trying to break into the fashion industry, he chose a Polo Player logo so his polo shirts became an instant hit, which made his brand very unique, which became a big part of the preppy look, straight through to the 1980s.

Polo shirts from other fashion labels

Polo shirts from other fashion labels

Polo shirts have been made by every major fashion brand ,the fits the range from slim fit,custom fit,classic fit but certain brands like Farah only use slim fit, but brands like Ralph Lauren do from slim fit to classic fit, polo shirts come in many materials, but the best I like of all is a mesh weave it holds a better fit after every wash, if you’re a savvy shopper you can get 100% cotton polo from places like Marks & Spencer at a good prices, remember if it says Hugo Boss or Amarnie your paying for the name not the quality just remember this wisdom. 

I hope this blog has been help full to you, & if you have any questions etc please just contact me & thank you for reading.         



Bob Redfern

12 thoughts on “The Original Polo Shirt

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  9. Pingback: The Polo Shirt – Everything you need to know about Men's fashion!

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