The Polo shirt, also known as a golf or tennis shirt, has been worn since the early 1900's but they didn't start out as the polo we know today. Tennis players would wear a long-sleeved white button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up for ease of play.
Evolution of the Polo
Seven-time Grand Slam tennis champion, Rene Lacoste, revolutionized the tennis shirt changing it from a button up to a more modern polo shirt. His design was a white, short-sleeved cotton shirt with a flat collar, button placket and shirt tail that was longer in the back than the front. This "tail" is also known as the "tennis tail" and helps shirts stay tucked in while playing. This shirt was first worn in 1926 and then in 1927 Lacoste added the crocodile emblem to the left breast, which is still there today. In 1933 Lacoste worked with a clothing merchandiser and mass produced his polo.
Polo players also wore something similar to tennis players. Theirs was a thick cotton with a button down collar. They switched to the Lacoste style polo because it was lighter and easier to move in while they played.
The Modern Polo
In 1972, Ralph Lauren began mass producing his line, rightfully named Polo, featuring a rider on a horse playing polo. Ralph Lauren's shirt started to modernize the style and took it out of the sport and introduced it to the mainstream. Golfers have modernized the shirt for the course, turning it from cotton to polyester as attire has become more casual. These are also often called "Golf Shirts" rather than polo shirts as they typically feature a pocket on the left sleeve for a scorecard and pencil.
Polo shirts have become a standard in casual wear. They can be worn to many functions and can still be worn on the golf course of tennis court. Many places from schools to businesses have adapted to polo as part of a standard uniform. They are unisex in basic design, some brands create special cuts for women, and can be paired with almost any bottom. They are a staple piece of clothing for sporting activities and for people who just like to watch.
Here at Ole Mason Jar, we've also redesigned the polo slightly. Our North Carolina Polo is made out of 100% Pique Cotton and is individually hand sewn and features our mason jar logo on the left breast. We have also included a ribbed collar and sleeve and signature gingham neck lining and placket for extra detailing. The shirts are a classic trim fit and are made in North Carolina! They are also incredibly soft and are ready to be worn anywhere. We recommend wearing them tucked or untucked with dark denim, chinos or a great pair of shorts.