How to Wear a Polo Shirt With Style Full-time JobMar 10th, 2022 at 08:45 Engineering Bedelē 60 views
How to Wear a Polo Shirt With Style
The polo shirt is a true men’s style staple.
Yet despite its ubiquity in the male wardrobe, it’s not a garment that typically comes in for much affection or enthusiasm.
Perhaps this is because of the negative associations with which the polo shirt is laden. It is often thought of in terms of a uniform — either literally, as in the required get-up of a pizza delivery man or elementary school student, or metaphorically, as the go-to garb for corporate drones and preppy fraternity brothers. The polo is further seen as the default of the sartorially lazy — something a guy dons when an event requires a shirt with a collar, and he can’t be bothered to even button up an Oxford.
Yet the polo deserves a little more love than it typically gets. Falling between a t-shirt and a dress shirt, it’s the perfect garment for the many events in life that aren’t at all formal, but aren’t outright casual either. It’s a great shirt for summertime first dates, backyard BBQs, and when you’re not sure exactly where the plans for your day or evening will take you.
Even in terms of casual everyday wear, the cool, breathable polo shirt is just as easy and comfortable as a tee, but looks a notch more put together, so that swapping the former for the latter is a zero-effort way to upgrade your summer style.
And far from being blandly uniform, or only worn by one type of man, polos have been popular with widely varied groups, from Nantucket yachtsmen to West Coast skaters; there are different types of polos for different occasions, and they can be worn and styled in many different ways.
In other words, contrary to popular opinion, the polo shirt is quite versatile and can be sartorially interesting. Truly, the polo shirt is clutch.
Today we’ll take a look at how to elevate it beyond the realm of casual Fridays and suburban dad-dom — how to wear a polo with style.
In its early days, tennis had a touch of aristocratic flare and was played in a get-up known as “tennis whites” — flannel trousers, a dress shirt (with sleeves rolled up), and even a tie. Thick, heavy, hot, and cumbersome, these garments obviously didn’t lend themselves well to playing an active, outdoor sport.
Seven-time Grand Slam winner René Lacoste decided to do something about this issue, creating his own ideal tennis shirt. Made of a comfortable, breathable “jersey petit piqué” cotton, the white short-sleeved shirt eschewed buttons all the way down for a placket of three up top, and included a soft, unstarched collar that was still stiff enough to flip up to protect his neck from the sun. The flexible, lightweight shirt also had a longer tail in the back to keep it tucked into René’s trousers.
Lacoste debuted the shirt at the 1926 U.S. Open — which he won in both comfort and style. The following year, Lacoste, who was nicknamed “the Crocodile,” adhered the now famous reptilian logo to the breast of the shirt. And in 1933, the retired player began to manufacture his garment for the masses.
The “tennis shirt” caught on with other kinds of sportsmen, particularly polo players. These athletes had developed their own “polo shirt” — the Oxford button-down (the buttons on the collar were designed to keep it from flapping in your face as you galloped about the field) — decades prior. But Lacoste’s short-sleeve garment proved even more suitable to the game, and was so widely adopted that even tennis players began to refer to it as a “polo shirt.”