A Brief History Of The Iconic Polo Shirt


Thanks to Rene Lacoste’s tenacity on the tennis court, he was not only able to change the game, but its attire, too. In 1926 he wore a shirt he designed himself that would soon become a staple in everyone’s wardrobe.

Tired of the traditional “tennis whites” that consisted of long-sleeved woven buttondown shirts, ties and flannel trousers, Lacoste designed a short-sleeve, loosely knit shirt with a flat, protruding collar, a simple buttoned placket and a long shirttail in the back (know today as a “tennis tail”).

He wasn’t intentionally trying to make a fashion statement with his new shirt. Truth be told, his design was all about function.

- The knit pique cotton he used was much more breathable and durable.

- The soft collar could be loosened by unbuttoning one of the buttons.

- The collar could be “popped up” to block sun off the player’s neck.

- And the “tennis tail” prevented the shirt from pulling out of his pants during a match.




Throughout the years the polo shirt has adopted some different names – like “tennis shirt” or “golf shirt”.  It has embraced every known color and pattern. And it’s taken on different shapes and fabrics – like the polo dress, sweater polo, T-shirt polo and the mesh polo.

But its fundamentals have stayed true. It is still the most versatile, functional, low-maintenance and dependable style in anyone’s closet.



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