The polo shirt is one of those fashion basics that can be found in almost every wardrobe. It is without a doubt one of the most popular and timeless essentials in fashion.
But did you know that the first ever polo shirt wasn't designed for polo? The short-sleeved shirt with a top row of buttons and collar that we know and love today was actually designed for playing tennis in 1929 by tennis player René Lacoste. The design proved immensely popular and was quickly copied and welcomed among the polo community. The term polo shirt, which previously referred to the thick, long sleeved, buttoned-down shirts traditionally used, became a universal term for the elegant and athletic shirt.
By the 1950s, in an effort to make them lighter, polo shirts began to be produced in a Pique fabric. The open knit fabric allowed air to circulate, keeping the body cool and comfortable. The following decade saw the polo shirt move beyond sportswear to streetwear, adopted for its informal take on the classic shirt, the polo came to symbolise a wide spectrum of youth movements and by the late 60s the shirt had even been adopted by celebrities, politicians and members of the Royal Family in their downtime.
Over the latter half of the 20th century to this day, the popularity of the polo, particularly in outdoor pursuits has grown further; Adopted almost universally as standard golf and sailing attire, and even clay shooting. In the working world polo shirts can be found just about everywhere, from the casual attire for business leaders and office workers to the uniforms of hospitality and retail workers.
Polo shirts are comfortable, casual and smart at the same time. In terms of style, the polo shirt is a true all-rounder. This unassuming garment continues to be worn by many, and is unlikely to go out of style any time soon.