A polo shirt is essentially a t-shirt with a collar. Originally knows as a tennis shirt, or a golf shirt; the ubiquitous polo is incredibly popular for being “just dressy enough”. Although many believe that this type of shirt was first worn by Polo players, this is not the case. French tennis star Rene Lacoste, who also founded the label Lacoste, created the original tennis shirt in 1926 as a replacement for the overly dressy cloths that tennis players were forced to wear while playing matches. His creation of a loose knit, short sleeve shirt with a three button collar gained instant popularity among other players, and soon thereafter the modern polo was born. The shirt got its name when the Argentinian haberdasher and polo player, Lewis Lacey, created this type of shirt with an embroidered polo player in 1920. The term 'Polo Shirt' soon became the universal name for a tennis shirt.
The game of golf followed the tennis movement in the late 20th century and adopted a more casual dress attire that was almost entirely composed of polo shirts. The popularity of the polo increased dramatically among non sport players in 1972 when Ralph Lauren featured the shirt style in his famous Polo line.
Today polo shirts are near ubiquitous and it is difficult to find a major clothing retailer that does not sell their own brand of the shirt. The polo’s popularity among people as a more casual alternative to dress shirts is unmatched due their relative comfort and the perception that it is acceptable attire for most workplaces and schools. Casual business attire often times is interpreted as an outfit consisting of dress pants, dress shoes, and a tugged in, nicely ironed, polo shirt.
For additional reading on Polo Shirts you may want to read the post in our mens fashion blog titled: Polo Shirts For Business Attire