The ubiquitous Polo Shirt- A trip down history
Posted on 21 May 2013
Few garments deserve the title of a ‘fashion classic’ as the polo-shirt. Found in India, by the Englishmen and popularized by Americans, our namesake, is one of the most versatile piece of garment a man can own. But did it ever trigger that corner of your brain so much so that you actually wanted to find out how it came into being? Now that the question has risen, let me take you on a trip down history of fashion and find out how it all started. From the early 19th century British sportswear to being hijacked by a brand to finally being Presidents’ favorite clothing, the Polo shirt has indeed an interesting tale to tell.
The story of the Polo shirt dates back to the late 19th century. British soldiers stationed in Manipur, India (can you believe that! We had it right here on our lands) first witnessed the horseback sport being played and set up the first polo club ever in the 1800s. The game hit popularity overnight and became a regular affair among the British soldiers and the tea planters of the region. As uniforms, players used to wear long sleeved cotton shirts. Soon after, they were upgraded to buttoned collar shirt to hold down the unruly, flapping collars to ease playing. After the game was imported to England in 1862, John E. Brooks of Brooks Brothers fame happened to watch a Polo match one of those days in England and was fascinated by the collar style of the shirts. Thus in 1896, the American public first saw the English button-down Polo shirts, introduced by Brooks Brothers of New York. From being the ‘ultimate dress shirt’ to ‘redefined business casuals’, the traditional Polo shirts went through a roller coaster ride in design, style, utility and significance. But, even to this date, I believe, the button down Polo shirt remains a wardrobe staple for men all over the world from all walks of life!
Legendary personalities from Adolf Hitler, Frank Sinatra, and Cary Grant to modern style icons like David Beckham, have managed to keep alive the charm of button down Polo shirts!
Style up with Button Down
These shirts work great under a suit or blazer, with or without a tie. Wear it under a sweater like Paul Newman or with a sports jacket like David Beckham and you are impeccably dressed for the lazy Sunday brunch or a casual meeting! Our very own version of the traditional Button Down Polo shirt aims to bring back the old English charm to the Indian wardrobe! It wouldn’t hurt to be a little English vintage eh?