Men's Polo ShirtsMEN'S POLOS

The polo shirt, a classic and versatile piece of clothing which is never out of fashion. Smarter than a t-shirt but more casual than a button through shirt, the polo is as popular today as it's ever been. The polo shirt has it's heritage in sportswear, hence why it's also known as a golf shirt or tennis shirt. 

We stock a wide range of men's polo shirts, from classic and original polo brands such as Original Penguin, Lyle & Scott and Gabicci Vintage though to more mod and retro contemporary polos from brands including Pretty Green, Luke 1977 and Farah. Men's polos are available in classic pique cotton styles, plain or with tipping and in many retro 60s and 70s styles and designs. For our picks of this season's best polo shirts for men, check out our Top 15 Men's Polo Shirts

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, tennis players would wear what was referred to as 'tennis whites', which consisted of long-sleeve, button through shirts, flannel trousers and formal ties, which was obviously not the best choice of attire for playing sports. René Lacoste, the French seven-time Grand Slam tennis champion, wanted to design clothing which was more comfortable to play tennis in but kept the smart, sharp look and style. He designed a white, short-sleeve, loose knit pique cotton shirt with a collar, a button fasten placket and a shirt tail which was longer at the back than the front (now called a 'tennis tail'), which he first wore for the 1926 US Open Championship. This shirt was clearly more comfortable to wear. The cuffed short sleeves resolves a problem where the long-sleeve shirts would roll or fall down during play. The soft collar could be worn upturned to protect the neck from the sun, and the jersey knit cotton was more breathable. After retiring from professional tennis playing in 1933, Lacoste started to manufacture and sell his polo shirt. 

The polo shirt soon found use in other men's sports. Polo players previously wore heavy, long-sleeve oxford shirts which was also not ideal wear for playing sports. They switched to the short-sleeve jersery polo shirt and were the first to add the button down feature to the collar, which polo players invented in the late 19th century to keep their collars from flapping in the wind. (Brooks Brothers's early president, John Brooks, noticed this was a problem for polo players while at a polo match in England and began producing a button down shirt in 1896). The polo players also gave the polo shirt it's name - the polo shirt had previously referred to the long-sleeved buttoned-down shirts, and it soon became the universal moniker for the tennis shirt.

The polo shirt was also adopted by golf players in the latter half of the 20th century. Many golf courses and country clubs require players to wear golf shirts as a part of their dress code. The polo shirt here as the 'golf shirt', were commonly made out of polyester, poly-cottons or mercerized cotton. The placket was typically three of four buttons and extended lower than the typical polo neckline and the collar is typically fabricated using a stitched double-layer of the same fabric used to make the shirt, in contrast to a polo shirt collar, which is usually one-ply ribbed knit cotton. Golf shirts often added a left chest pocket to hold a scorepad and pencil.

The polo shirt also appealed to mods who liked the smart and sophisticated look of the shirt. The polo shirt is a garment which runs through all of mod culture and it's many sub-cultures. Mods on Northern Soul dancefloors will wear a polo as often as a skinhead, mod revivalist or modernst and today the polo is still the smart casual shirt of choice. 

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