Anyone for Polo?

Rene Lacoste John F. Kennedy Clint Eastwood

Summertime is well and truly with us and everything is so much more relaxed! Perhaps the easiest and most popular item of clothing that will grace our wardrobes this summer, yet again, is the polo shirt.

This little ‘gem’ has become a wardrobe staple for both men and women. Initially worn as sportswear, it has now become the epitome of casual style. Available in a vast array of colours it can easily be co-ordinated with jeans, trousers, shorts and skirts!

Its origins date back to the turn of the 20th century when the rules of tennis dictated that long-sleeved dress shirts be worn. One singles champion, however, objected to the rules. His name was Rene Lacoste, a player so fast that the French nicknamed him ‘Le Crocodile.’ He set about inventing his own, short-sleeved, tennis shirt and the rest, as they say, is history.

Made from a resilient cotton pique knit, it was based on the long-sleeved polo shirt (itself a successor to the button down shirt originally worn by polo players). A crocodile was sewn on to the breast and hey presto the original Lacoste polo shirt was born!

By 1929, Rene had become a professional shirt maker and his design was christened the ‘polo shirt’. It has been widely copied ever since. A symbol of style and ease of wear, the polo shirt has been worn by film stars and distinguished presidents alike and looks set to maintain its fan base for many years to come!