The polo shirt has been one of the best selling garments in history and we thought we would give you a trip into the past to see how this short-sleeved, casual garment is a true wardrobe staple and why it works perfectly to any uniform.
Polo-shirts and its name are quite recent in their creation compared to other items in your wardrobe. Their story takes us back to the 19th Century in India when the British soldiers decided to watch a polo match. As the sport grew in popularity and the British Military became avid fans and players of the sport they found that the traditional Polo attire of the time was not up to the job and they decided to add buttons to the collars to stop them flapping all over the place while they were playing.
As the 19th Century drew to a close, a gentleman called John E Brooks (grandson of the founder of the Brooks Brothers company based in America) came over to Britain on a European buying trip. While he was there he decided to watch a polo match and noticed the button-down collars the players were wearing.
John was so impressed he took the idea back home to America and Brooks Brothers proceed to apply button-down collars to dress shirts.
This shirt was then introduced in 1896 and became the iconic Button-Down formal shirt. In turn, changing the face of menswear. The shirt is said to be the most imitated item in the whole of the fashion industry and Brooks Brothers still call their shirts the original polo-shirt.
The next evolution of this famous shirt took place on the Tennis court. A gentleman by the name of Rene Lacoste found his tennis attire was rather uncomfortable, it was made more for fashion and looks rather than sporty function. He proceeded to redesign the clothing to make it easier to move in and perform so, in turn, took inspiration from the Polo players.
Lacoste developed a new use for the polo-shirt ad also, in turn, created a new fabric. He designed a short-sleeved white, loose-knit pique cotton shirt with an unstarched, flat collar with a buttoned placket and a shirt-tail longer in the back than in the front.
The aspects that were changed from the original tennis polo-shirt garment to the new design are factors that make it a great all-round item to wear both for work and leisure.
- The soft collar could be loosened easily by unbuttoning the placket.
- The short, cuffed sleeves solved the tendency of long sleeves to roll down.
- The pique collar could be worn upturned to protect the neck from the sun.
- The “tennis tail” prevented the shirt from pulling out of the wearer’s trousers or shorts.
- The jersey knit pique cotton breathed and was more durable.
Other sportsmen took heed and then replaced their current sporting outfits and swapped over to the Lacoste Poloshirt, the polo-shirt then became its own identity and with the economic boom and more relaxed popular culture, the shirt began to move more into everyday wear.
The last step cemented its place in every wardrobe (when it comes to every occasion) was when Ralph Lauren wanted to give his new fashion line a name. He took great inspiration from the royals and the wealthy and the result was Polo.
Since then the polo-shirt has spread across all elements of society – from the everyday hardworking labourer to the smart outfits to be worn at black tie events across the globe.
Logos 4 Clothes have a huge range of Polo-shirts on offer. For more information please visit our website or call 01400 230 180 or email us at email@example.com.