The Lacoste Polo Shirt – A Short History

The tale of this ubiquitous garment is well-documented. Few garments can cross cultural boundaries like this simple hybrid of smart and casual.

The first thing to say is that although it’s colloquially known as the quintessential polo shirt, it’s never had anything to do with the ancient game played with sticks, on horseback. That’s another story and another brand. The lineage of the Lacoste is like its English counterpart Fred Perry, in tennis.

René Lacoste was a French tennis pro, whose success on the court earned him many plaudits, as well as the nickname ‘The Crocodile’. He won the Wimbledon singles in 1925 and 1928, the French singles in 1925, 1927, and 1929, and became the first foreigner to win the U.S. championship twice (1926–27).

As with many sporting heroes of the 20th century, life after competition presented an opportunity to cash in on fame and create a lasting legacy beyond tennis. Lacoste developed a tennis shirt which we now generally refer to as its iconic Polo Shirt.

Simplicity is key and the less is more approach is underpinned by a breathable petit pique fabric that always comes in colours that are just right.

Not only has the polo shirt found its way into the wardrobes of almost every male subculture of the late 20th century, its been seen extensively on screens both small and big, too.

No wardrobe should be without this garment, which leads us seamlessly onto a little mention for our mates at Terraces, who have several versions of this timeless item of clothing on offer.

Check it here.

Mark Smith

I had pizza for tea.

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