Polo Shirts – Formal, yet rather casual – versatile clothing for every ocassion.
Polo shirts are somewhat of an amalgamation of a formal and casual wear. It bears the silhouette of a T-shirt, but with a collar and two or three buttons down the chest. A breast pocket can also be present on the left side of the chest. A polo shirt is also sometimes known as a golf shirt or tennis shirt. A longer version that are meant for females is called a polo dress.
The origins of the polo shirt goes back to the tennis shirt (which is simply the same thing). In the past, tennis shirts were basically long-sleeved button up shirts with ties, and a pair of flannel trousers. This was obviously an issue and is uncomfortable to wear while playing tennis as it interfered with body movement. The solution to this old design was by Lacoste, a seven-time tennis champion: He designed a new tennis shirt that is short-sleeved, looser, with a buttoned placket, and a longer rear of the shirt (known as the tennis tail). This solved all of the problems of the older tennis shirt, and became the standard design of the polo shirt we know today. Lacoste then took the design of the shirt and put a small crocodile emblem on the left breasts – this would eventually also become the famous polo shirt brand that we all know of today.
Because of its origins in tennis as the tennis shirt, polo shirts are still used in the sport until this day, albeit with many different types of designs and materials used. The original design by Lacoste set the standard for all tennis shirts because of its great function and comfort, as well as easy of use. Materials used for tennis shirts today include many forms of cottons and polyester, or a combination of several different materials. The materials are also made to wick moisture from the skin to cool tennis players.
Polo shirts are also used in golf, or variants of it. As golf grew out of its more formal clothing, the polo shirt was adopted in its place as a more relaxed and casual attire while providing superior comfort as well. The only difference among the different shirts are their cutting and material. Golf shirts also have more buttons that extend downwards. Golf shirts are also commonly made using polyester as the material of choice or other combination with cotton.
The polo shirt has changed throughout the years to reflect many of its different uses and styles. Now it is commonly worn as a casual everyday wear. It reflects a rather formal and yet casual use; making it perfect for smart casual dress codes and events. Its collar gives off a sense of formality, whereas the overall casual silhouette keeps things simple. The casual polo shirt today comes in a large variety of color, coming in many different shades. Polo-dresses on the other hand, are also similar to a casual polo shirt, but meant for females who want the dressy look while remaining comfortable and casual.