You might be wearing polo t-shirts on a regular basis but have you ever wondered how it came into being or how it got its name – polo t-shirt? The history of the polo tees dates back to the nineteenth century and involves an interesting tale. Through this article we’ll tell you this interesting story behind the origin of polo t-shirts. Read on to know more about it.
Early History of the Polo T-shirt
The tropical environmental conditions in India necessitated the invention of the polo shirt. Though invented by an American its origins are found in the Manipur state of India. When the British soldiers used to play sports with the locals in Manipur they found it difficult to play in their uniforms which were full sleeved high neck buttoned shirts. The climate of India was such that it required another kind of clothing for sports. The game that they played with the Indians was polo. The British soldiers started attaching buttoned collars to the shirt to prevent them from flapping into their faces as the horses galloped. Later when the sport of Polo was introduced in England in 1862 this practice of wearing collared shirts continued.
End of the Nineteenth Century
Towards the end of 1800s John E. Brooks, grandson of the founder of the American firm Brooks Brothers visited England to watch a Polo game. He observed the peculiar pattern of the collars of the shirts of the players and built up on this idea to manufacture the first polo t-shirts. Brooks Brothers introduced the first button-down collared shirts in 1896. From then on it became famous as the button-down formal shirt and changed the way men used to dress forever.
So the polo t-shirts derive its name from the sport of polo.
Next Landmark in the Evolution of Polo T-shirt
In the year 1920, an Argentine-Irish cloth merchant and polo player Lewis Lacey began selling the polo t-shirts embroidered with the image of a polo player in his shop at Buenos Aires. The credit of commercialisation of the polo shirts goes to him.
Innovations in the Polo T-shirts
By now it was realized that these polo shirts could have multiple uses apart from being used for the polo players. In the mid 1920s designers all over the world were looking for something much comfortable for the sportspersons. It was at this time that the great tennis player Rene Lacoste realized that these shirts could be used for the tennis players. He modified it further according to the requirements of the players. The greatest being he thought of cutting down the sleeves because full sleeved shirts that were in vogue were quite uncomfortable for the players. Another important innovation brought about by Lacoste was the introduction of fabric made from pique cotton technology. It made the material more durable and light weight. It s breathability was also enhanced. This fabric was more suitable for the tennis players. Lacoste wore this polo t-shirt in the U.S. Open Championship 1926. He won the game and polo t-shirts became the new style and comfort statement for the players.
The make and design of the polo t-shirts underwent various modifications by personalities like Fred Perry and Ralph Lauren. But the basic technique remained the same.
The Polo T-shirts as we know Today
Today, polo shirts are known for the comfort they offer all over the world. They have travelled from the sport and elite club houses to the common folklore. It is most popularly called as the “casual business attire”. Many schools and industries opt for polo t-shirts as the uniforms for the kids and employees respectively.
Various online stores also offer these fashionable and comfortable t-shirts for men at reasonable prices. You can explore the wide range of colours and fabrics available on bewakoof.com, flipkart.com, etc. and choose yours now.