What is a Polo Shirt
A t-shirt with collars and a pocket, maybe, is the image which flashes in front of our eyes whenever we hear the word Polo Shirts. Few polo shirts are an imperative part of a man’s wardrobe and no matter if you are still in your teens or have started to enter your fifties, this flexible clothing remains our favourite for a reason.
Polo shirts are so easy going and easy to care for apparel that it never goes out of fashion. Be sportswear, an outing or even for a party, this humble attire easily fits into every occasion and can be paired with a trouser, a pair of jeans, chinos and shorts. Sports like golf, tennis and cricket are incomplete without the athletes flaunting a company-sponsored Polo T-Shirt and a cotton Polo Shirt is a perfect companion for a stroll in the summers. Although, Polo shirts are a quintessential part of men’s collection, yet it’s equally important to know about the right fit, fabric and style and where and how to wear them. In this comprehensive guide, we will try to look at the various details about Polo Shirts; along with its fascinating history.
Although, the roots of Polo as a game dates back to 200 BC in Iran (Persia); from where it slowly began spreading in other parts of the world. But, it was in Manipur, India from where the modern game of Polo was shaped and so did the advent of Polo Shirts.
According to legends, British Army soldiers were impressed by the Polo matches being played by locals and formed the first Polo Club in 1859 at Silchar. Most of the British wore thick cotton shirts with long sleeve and big collars, but due to the pricking heat of India and the collars flapping onto their face while riding the horses; they began attaching buttons to the shirt collars to hold them steady. The British soldiers returned to their homeland and introduced these shirts there in 1862. It was during a trip to England in 1896, an American John E. Brooks noticed these shirts worn by the Polo players and introduced them as a new style of shirt, today known as the button-down shirt.
However, it was in the early twenties; when a polo player Lewis Lacey introduced a lightweight Polo with an embroidered picture of a polo player sitting on a horse and today we all see this famous logo on the U.S. Polo Shirts.
But, the modern polo shirt we know today was developed by Rene Lacoste, a great tennis player; when he realized that the short and wind-resistant collar can be useful for a sport like a tennis and he shortened the full sleeve and also removed buttons of the then Polo Shirt. Rene Lacoste also designed the shirt in a way so that the back of the shirt is slightly longer than the front part and hence it becomes easy to tuck in during an action-packed match.
Not only this, he used a knitting technique called pique cotton that was machine knitted fabric and was more durable and light in weight. He wore this experimental Polo Shirt in the 1926 US Open and won the match followed by another win in the same tournament in 1927. Immediately after this, the newly designed Polo Shirt became popular sportswear across the world and the ‘crocodile’ logo was derived from his nickname and was printed on the left breast of the shirt.
10 Classic and Uber Fashionable Polo Shirts to Wear in 2019
With the changing lifestyle and technology, the polo shirts have also undergone transformations and today there are plethoras of options available for the once plane and sporty polo shirt. We have picked few Polo Shirts which are made from different types of fabric, have distinct designs and can be worn on different occasions.
Men White Solid Polo Collar T-shirt
This plain white solid colour polo t-shirt by the legendary U.S. Polo Assn. is a must-have in the wardrobe of every man. The Polo T-Shirt has an embroidered logo of U.S. Polo on the right sleeve, the iconic ‘Polo’ logo on the left breast and number 3 written in large font on the backside of the T-Shirt. The T-Shirt makes for nice summer wear as it’s made of 100% cotton and looks great with chinos and denim paired with your favourite sunglasses and makes for great weekend wear. This Polo T-Shirt is available on myntra.com for Rs. 1,099.
Men's Solid Regular Fit Polo
Here is another Polo T-Shirt from U.S. Polo Assn., but this Polo is quite simple, plane and has only the trademark Polo logo on the left breast. This Polo is also 100% cotton and regular fit half sleeve t-shirt with tennis tail. This Polo being easy to wear and easy to clean is a perfect pick for sports and athletics wear and is available on Amazon for Rs. 1,299.00.
Men's Striped Regular fit Polo
Moving from plain polos to striped polos, here is our pick for the casual office wear or maybe a stroll through the mall. This cobalt and white colour striped polo by Louis Philippe gives you the gentleman look with its suave styling. Pair it with a pair of chinos untucked or tuck it inside a trouser with a leather belt. A nice leather strapped watch and loafers would complete the casual look. This striped regular fit polo can be purchased for Rs. 1,274 from Amazon.
Polo Pique Matchup T-shirt
The category of Polos would be incomplete without the mention of pique fabric Polo. This pique matchup Polo T-Shirt with embroidered Nike Logo is made of 100% pure cotton with pique knitting which allows proper ventilation through the fabric, thus making it a useful T-Shirt for gym and track wear. The Polo pique matchup Nike T-Shirt is available in five colours and can be purchased from ajio.com for Rs. 1,257.00.
Broad Stripes Men Polo Neck Red, White Full Sleeve T-Shirt
An apt Polo T-Shirt for mild winters and would look great under Denim or leather jacket. This Polo T-shirt is different from the regular half sleeves Polo T-Shirt and gives a cosy feeling when worn inside a jacket or sweater in the winters. Also, the broad Red and White stripes make the Polo T-Shirt look very attractive even from a distance and the embroidered number 87 and the Aeropostale logo in the front add up to the style of the cloth. This full sleeve polo T-shirt by Aeropostale is available for Rs. 1,099.00 on Flipkart.
Woolen Blend Polo Collar T Shirt
One more T-Shirt which can be worn during mild winters is the Woolen Blend Polo Collar T-Shirt by Monte Carlo and is available in more than 20 solid colours. Though they are half sleeve T-shirts, the blend wool fabric keeps you warm when worn inside a sweater or jacket. This polo shirt makes for nice formal wear when paired with chinos and is available for Rs. 975 on montecarlo.in.
Club Solid Polo Tennis T-shirt
This Polo T-Shirt is strictly for Tennis players and what makes it distinct from the normal Polos is the longer Tail in Polo T-Shirts, as this one is joined from front to back and has equal front and back parts. Secondly, the raglan sleeves provide enough room to your arms while you move up your arms during shots. The pique weaving on the 100% recycled polyester makes it breathable and pairing it with track pants and sports shoes will complete the look. Own this Navy Club Solid Polo Tennis T-shirt by Adidas for Rs. 1,999 at Myntra.
Silk-blend polo shirt
Leaving an important occasion like ‘party’ would be unfair with Polo Shirts and so our next pick is the Silk Blend Polo Shirt by H&M. The silk (30%) and cotton (70%) blend finely knitted Polo Shirt with ribbing at the collar, cuffs and hem and button placket looks shiny and trendy, which makes it a nice option for an evening party in summers. This silk-blend polo shirt can be purchased from www2.hm.com for Rs. 2,699 and is available in four colours.
Men's Printed Slim Fit Cotton Polo Shirt
This Printed cotton polo shirt is another polo shirt which can be worn for parties and for an outing as well. Made of 100% cotton, this slim fit Polo would look great with a light coloured or contrast colour khaki, chino or even a pair of denim. This suave and stylish polo shirt can be purchased from Amazon for Rs. 699.
Custom Embroidered Polo Shirts
Have a design in mind and you want to wear it on your Polo shirt, then Vista Print can help you with selecting your own design or choosing from a range of designs available with them. You can get your own logo embroidered on polo shirts which are available in eight different colour options in all the regular sizes and the prices start from Rs.475 on vistaprint.in.
Some Do's and Dont's of Wearing Polo Shirts
We know that you love your Polo Shirts, but there are certain fashion etiquettes to be kept in mind before carrying the Polo T with panache.
- Layering your polo: never wear a loose polo shirt and then wear undershirts or round collared t-shirts beneath it. It's best worn alone.
- Secondly, Polo’s aren’t meant to showcase your muscles, so wear a Polo Shirt which has a little bit of breathing space between the fabric and your body and not a body hugging one.
- Height is another important factor if you have decided to not tuck it inside your trouser or Jeans. Ensure that the hemline of the untucked polo shirt doesn’t go any further below the middle part of your bottom. It’s better to avoid tennis tailed polo shirts if you like to wear it untucked.
- Do tuck your polo’s when pairing them with chinos or khakis, but not with shorts or bermudas.
- Do not pop your collar up under any circumstances, unless you want to look like a teenager just out of school, guzzling beer in a bar. The collar popping, style casing era is over and doing so would make you look like a cheap vagabond and not and not give off the elegant appeal that polos have.
- Check if the shoulder seams are sitting properly on the shoulder bones and the sleeves should cover halfway to two-third part of your biceps.
- Avoid shirts with large logos as they look good only on kids.
- Never pair polo shirt with a blazer as blazers look great with dress shirts, but not too good with polo shirts.
- Finally, choose the right fabric as per the weather and occasion, for e.g. silk or wool blended polo shirt is a big no during a hot day in summers.While selecting a polo shirt specifically for gym or sports purpose, check if it is made of performance material as polo shirts made of these materials often has odour reduction and UV protection properties and are made from lightweight, synthetic or blend materials.
Some Interesting Facts About Polo Shirt
Dwight Eisenhower, an American army general and President of the USA (1953 to 1961) wore a Lacoste Polo Shirt on a golf ground in 1952 and after his picture went viral, Golfers from all over the world begin to wear Polo Shirt as a part of their golf dress and Golf clubs across the globe started placing it as the Golf attire in their dress code rules. In 1954 Fred Perry, another Tennis player and legend, created his own version of Lacoste and added his ‘embroidered logo’ to the Polo T-Shirt and this was the time when the once “Only for Sports” Polo Shirt took it’s leap from Sports to the Fashion arena.
Now comes the interesting point, from where do these Shirts get the name, ‘Polo’? In 1972, a young designer named Ralph Lauren came up with the idea to provide a sophisticated look to the sporty polo and he launched his own brand by the name ‘Polo’ as Polo was considered to be a sport played by the royals. But his marketing style didn’t go well with ‘Lacoste’ and a cold war started between Ralph Lauren and Lacoste and it lasted till the ’90s, but Ralph Lauren’s ‘Polo’ brand was always a notch above Lacoste and that’s how the collared half sleeve T-shirts are known as today’s Polo Shirts.
Never Compromise on Quality and Take Care of Your Shirts
The first thing we would like to mention that you should never compromise on quality of fabric. The quality is what will matter after a couple of days. The shirt should not get dull after only a few washes. To avoid this, take extra care while washing also and choose a detergent that is effective at cleaning but will not strip away the colour. If air drying, do not leave them out in the sun too long. A little extra care will ensure a long life for your clothes.