Polo shirts neatly bridge the gap between casual and formal attire and are wardrobe staples that have been with us for almost a century. Despite their name the style did not originate in the world of polo but with another sport entirely. Polo shirts have a long, interesting and surprising history that has seen them transform from a revolutionary sporting garment to a much loved fashion statement in the modern era.
Back in the 1920's Rene Lacoste was a leading tennis player and was tired of the stiff, long-sleeve shirts that were the order of the day. He decided to create a more practical garment for the sport and designed a short-sleeve white shirt in cotton pique fabric with an unstarched collar and buttons at the top. His creation was a great success and drew the attention of polo players.
The standard polo uniform of the day was also a stiff collared long sleeve oxford type shirt but it wasn't long before Lacoste's invention was adopted and his simple garment became known as a polo shirt.
Lacoste had come up with an inspirational idea but he didn't rest on his laurels. He began to produce the shirt in different colours for sale in up market department stores. Meanwhile British tennis player Fred Perry also began to produce cotton pique shirts in a similar style which proved popular with teenagers. The polo shirt had successfully made the leap from sports equipment to fashion statement. The style went on to be adopted by the Mods in the 1960's. Mod culture was very much one of dressing sharply with collared shirts and tailored suits and the polo shirt was the perfect fit for the scene.
The shirt's fashionable status was further enhanced in the 1970's when leading designer Ralph Lauren was looking for a brand name for his casual range. He opted for "Polo" and heavily featured polo shirts in his collections, cementing the kudos of the look.
It is not difficult to understand why the polo shirt has retained its popularity across so many years. Its smart casual looks, soft feel and durable nature offer the ultimate in flexibility. To celebrate the style we have assembled a fabulous selection of the shirts at Jean Store drawn from the Fred Perry, Carhartt, Pretty Green, Wrangler, Lyle and Scott and Levi's collections. We are sure that you will find the perfect polo shirt right here at Jean Store.