With this entry we provide you a brief history of the polo shirt. Though they rose to prominence in the early 1980’s–with “preps” and ironically, golfers, polo shirts have been around for nearly 100 years, and don’t seem to be losing any popularity even today. Learn more about the history of the polo shirt and perhaps you’ll decide that you want to don one of these traditional tops next time you play golf, polo or perhaps for casual Friday at the office.
In the 1800s and early 1900s, Tennis players wore cumbersome tennis whites that were much-despised by players as they did make it hard to move around the court. Rene Lacoste, Grand Slam tennis champion devised a shirt that would become the polo shirt. He first wore it at the 1926 US Open. The next year, he started wearing a small crocodile on the breast of the shirt–as he was often referred to as “The Crocodile.” A few years later, he retired from the sport and begun manufacturing the shirt and promoting it to other athletes.
Oddly, a “polo shirt” used to refer to a different style of shirt altogether. This was a long-sleeved shirt that polo players often wore. However, over time polo players began wearing the “tennis” shirt and started calling it a polo shirt as well. By the 1950s, even tennis players used the moniker polo shirt to refer to the short sleeved collared shirt that they wore on the court. These shirts are also know as sports shirts as result of their use across all types of sports. Any short sleeve shirt with a collar and a 2 or 3 button placket (often more buttons for ladies styles) is a polo or sport shirt.
Ralph Lauren and a Surge in Popularity
In the 1970s, designer Ralph Lauren released a new fashion line he dubbed “Polo.” This line included the well-known polo shirt design. This would prove to be his most notable line ever. The Polo Shirt gained popularity among fashion-conscious individuals, and with the rise of the preppy style in the early 1980’s, it seemed everyone was wearing the polo. During the height of its popularity, and in many years since, dozens if not hundreds of designers have created their version of the shirt. But even today, you’ll find the original, Lacoste, featuring a small crocodile logo.
As you can see, the polo shirt has been through a lot. Today, you have more options than ever before. Here at OutletShirts.com, we offer a number of different options for adults and youth alike. Check out our options and give us a call or contact us online if you have any questions or concerns. We will help you find the perfect polo shirt for all your needs.
Tennis champion and inventor of the Polo shirt – Rene Lacoste – wearing one of his early editions: