How Did The Polo Shirt Come About? December 01, 2014 21:59

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, tennis players wore "tennis whites" consisting of long-sleeve white button down shirts (with the sleeves rolled up), flannel trousers, and ties. As you can imagine, it would be difficult to play in this attire.

Fed up with the uncomfortable apparel, René Lacoste (a seven-time Grand Slam tennis champion, designed a white, short-sleeved, loosely-knit shirt with an unstarched, flat, protruding collar, a buttoned placket, and a shirt-tail long in the back than in the front. He wore this shirt in the 1926 U.S. Open championship and won! In 1927, he placed a crocodile emblem on the left breast of his shirts. This is how Lacoste got its start. Polo players adopted the Lacoste polo in the early 1950s causing the term polo shirt to become a universal moniker for the tennis shirt.

In 1920, Lewis Lacey (a polo player) began producing a long-sleeve buttoned-down shirt that was embroidered with the logo of a polo player, a design originating  at the Hurlingham Polo Club near Buenos Aires. This was 19 years before the birth of Ralph Lauren, and 52 years before he marketed a shirt embroidered with the logo of a polo player as a prominent part of his original line Polo. Ralph Lauren wanted a brand name that portrayed sophistication and timelessness so he named his line after the sport of the wealthy and the Royals - Polo.  This clothing line further boosted the popularity of polo shirts.

During the 1990's, the polo shirt became the standard informal business attire for many industries. If you look around you today, it would be a rare occasion to go a day without seeing someone wearing a polo shirt.

In 2014, Ryan and Lea Bailes started Bailes Brothers. We are taking after Lacoste and Lauren and offer our customers subtle apparel for both work and play. We look back on the story of the polo shirt and hope to improve upon its rich history. It's the start of a great future for Bailes Brothers and for Polo Shirts. We welcome you to become part of the Bailes Brothers story.