A guide to polo shirts for men, including the various styles and their history. A look at Lacoste, Polo Ralph Lauren, and more.
Men’s polo shirts are a distinctly stylish wardrobe staple. Whether taking it to a tennis court or the city streets, the polo offers any man the comfort and versatility he needs, with a look that’s both modern and classic.
The Lacoste Tennis Shirt
Original tennis and polo uniforms for men consisted of heavy, stiff cotton that was both uncomfortable and restricting. 1920s tennis great Renee Lacoste took it upon himself to design a lightweight white tennis shirt. Featuring a flat collar, button neck, and a sturdy yet comfortable cotton pique, the 7-time tennis champion was first to debut his new design at the 1926 US Open. Complete with the green applique of an alligator, this attractive shirt caught the eyes of the media in a big way.
Polo Shirts and Golf
The shirts worn by Polo players in the 1930s were equally as restricting as their tennis counterparts. While Brooks Brothers successfully created a dressier-looking “polo shirt” with an oxford button-down collar, the sport was quick to catch on to Renee Lacoste’s lighter variation. Even tennis teams began referring to their short-sleeved pique tops as a polo shirts.
The 3-button golf shirt was also adopted by the golfing industry worldwide. Nearly identical to that of a polo, golf shirts often feature double layers of cotton and a slightly lowered neckline.
Polo Ralph Lauren
American designer Ralph Lauren first created his Polo Ralph Lauren collection in 1972. Designed to fit every type of lifestyle, this collection of classic shirts, jackets, slacks, and denim continues to remain a household brand, selling over $4 billion per year internationally.
Your Favorite Polo Shirts
Today’s wearers love the polo shirt for its no-fuss attention to style. With a relaxed yet tailored image, the men’s polo makes great style a breeze. Pair it with neatly hemmed khaki pants for a look that’s preppy chic; these shirts are also a fabulous complement to your favorite designer jeans!
Color Tips for Polo Shirts
Polo shirts are a fantastic excuse to add some variety in color to your wardrobe! Bright pastels and light colors work well with darker pants, while men wishing to play it safe may opt for darker, solid colors such as navy blue or black to go with lighter pants.