Better than a t-shirt, more comfortable than a shirt
The polo shirt is a key piece of the male wardrobe, yet many men don’t really know how to wear it. At the crossroads of the shirt and the -shirt, it is nevertheless an effective ally in your looks and deserves its place in your wardrobe.
The relaxation of the compulsory dress code in recent years has restored the image of this garment; it can now be worn in all sauces, as much as with a suit as with shorts.
Polo is therefore making a comeback; if you don’t have yours yet, it’s time to think about it. Before you start looking for the perfect piece(s), here’s what you need to know.
The history of polo
The polo shirt, like many men’s garments, has its origins in sport; aside, on closer inspection, we realize that almost all men’s clothing was created either in the military world or in the world of sport.
As its name suggests, polo has its roots in the sport of the same name. Created at the beginning of the 20th century, it became very popular among players in the 1920s. If it was therefore on the polo fields that it was born, it also owes its rise to another sport: tennis.
René Lacoste, the legendary French tennis player, is the one behind this garment. The matches were played until then in a white shirt, which Lacoste found impractical, this outfit not allowing sufficient ease to play.
He, therefore, set out on a quest to find the perfect garment, which materialized through a short-sleeved jersey adorned with a loose and fairly wide collar and a buttoned opening at the top. He wore this garment for the first time during the 1926 US Open and never took it off.
Since then, the polo shirt has become an iconic piece of men’s dressing. In the wake of Lacoste, many brands then launched their collections.
How to recognize a good polo shirt
Before you start looking for the perfect polo shirt, there are a few details to pay attention to. Not all polo shirts are created equal, here’s what you need to know to choose the right one.
As with many garments, the fit is paramount. A polo shirt should be relatively slim (without being tight) and fit the shape of the bust. The shoulder seams should end at the top of the shoulders and the collar when closed should not be tight around the neck (it allows a finger to slip between the collar and the neck). Finally, for the length, it must arrive just above the hips.
The fabric must be soft and slightly stretchy; this is also true if you want to wear a mesh polo shirt.
The best brands of polo shirts for men
Now that we know the origins of polo shirts and have learned how to choose them well, here are the best brands in the field.
The surroundings of swimming pools are not the easiest places to show off your style. But Orlebar Brown is one of the references that specializes in loungewear with character.
The British brand has notably created a polo shirt, the Jarrett Classic, which is intended for moments of relaxation or vacation without compromising on its appearance. It’s dressed enough for a drink and relaxed enough for an afternoon by the water.
The English brand Fred Perry is one of the references in terms of polo. Initially known for its collections dedicated to tennis, it has reinvented itself a lot over time according to new generations.
Along the way, she created a few iconic pieces like her polo shirt.
The polo shirt was already present in men’s wardrobes when Ralph Lauren started producing its own. Although it arrived late, the preppy-style American brand has successfully established itself in this market.
So much so that polo shirts are now a reference for the rider brand.
Related article: US brands to know
Impossible to devote an article dedicated to the best polo brands without mentioning Lacoste. Although the brand is behind this garment, that’s not the only reason to mention it here. It has been able to reinvent itself, while continuing to produce its basics (like the L.12.12), without compromising on quality.
Reiss is one of the brands that manages to mix classic and contemporary pieces with talent. Among the creations, there are several polo shirts updated with details such as open collars and zippers.
Related article: best t-shirt brands
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