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Andrew Jackson
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Buy Polo Shirts BETTER

This just in: the perfect textured polo sweater is unlocked. J.Crew (aka, the master of classic styles), offers its Cotton Silk Short-Sleeve Polo Sweater for less than $100 in rich hues to keep you warm yet comfortable on breezier days. Plus, the cotton and silk blend is top-notch.

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Think of the open-collar polo as the shirt equivalent of kicking back with your arms behind your head, soaking up an achingly beautiful sunset while you ignore whatever work shenanigans are going down in your inbox. Orlebar Brown's screaming red riff takes that relaxed vibe and cranks up the sex appeal exponentially, rendering its buttonless polo in an oh-so-soft mesh knit with a trim cut that'll temporarily lend you the physique of a man who spends waaay more time in the gym. To paraphrase a Drake bar (probably): in this polo, you stopped trying to be that guy because you are that guy. Get it?

If you've ever wanted to look powerful, like a bigshot CEO on their day off or an A-List actor at a press junket for their new blockbuster action flick, the long sleeve polo is the one-way ticket you've been hoping for. This one from Todd Snyder hits all the right notes: the tasteful tipped collar, the knit construction, and the goes-with-everything navy blue color that will look even better when you push up the sleeves to flash your timepiece. We can't fully explain it, but everyone just looks like their hottest selves when sporting a classic long sleeve polo like this, and we're not here to argue the data.

While the exact history of the polo shirt is uncertain, most believe it was originally developed in the 1920s by tennis star Rene Lacoste. However, historians have also charted it as far back as the mid-1800s in Manipur, India.

Allegedly, British Army soldiers witnessed a polo match by locals and took it upon themselves to open the very first polo club in the world, where the sport grew in popularity throughout India. At the time, most of them wore long-sleeved shirts made of thick cotton with broad collars but due to the heat and discomfort, they began attaching buttons to the shirt collar to prevent them from flapping in their face as the horses galloped. When they returned to Britain, they introduced polo to their homeland in 1862.

As the Roaring Twenties hit, a designer and polo player named Lewis Lacey began introducing a new lighter-weight polo shirt with an embroidered picture of a polo player on the breast in his store in the Buenos Aires.

Realizing that the polo shirt could have multiple uses, especially due to its wind resistant collar, tennis great Rene Lacoste designed the modern polo shirt as we know it today. He realized that one benefit it could have was removing the sleeves; an idea he got from rolling up the starched sleeves of his long-sleeved white tennis shirt.

He also wanted a shirt without buttons as was common of the tennis shirts of the 1920s, so he removed those and was left with a short sleeved shirt that could be slipped on over the head. To make the shirt easier to wear, he invented the tennis tail which allowed the back of the shirt to be slightly longer than the front and therefore more comfortable to tuck in and keep in place during a heated match. He also adopted an innovative knit called pique cotton that allowed the shirt to be machine-knitted, which made it far more durable and lightweight.

Wearing his shirt proudly to the 1926 US Open, he won it, and immediately the shirt became a staple in tennis wear and activewear around the world. Immediately the polo world took notice and adopted the same shirts for use in their game. Paying homage to where Lacoste got the idea, he opted to name them polo shirts rather than tennis shirts. The button-down collar was no more, and polo players liked the woven shirts because the comfortable, yet sturdy collar could be popped up, allowing them more protection from sunburns.

Then, in 1952, the polo shirt took off when a picture of President Dwight Eisenhower wearing a Lacoste polo shirt on the golf course was released. Immediately, golfers from around the United States and the world started wearing the polo shirt as a part of their golf attire and country clubs began placing it on the approved list of appropriate golf wear in their dress codes.

A heated war between Lauren and Lacoste ensued and lasted throughout much of the 1980s and 90s. However, with the Ralph Lauren name and budget, as well as its reputation in the Ivy League schools, Ralph Lauren managed to beat out Lacoste and become the iconic shirt coveted by men worldwide. As the teenagers from the 1950s grew up, they continued to wear their polo shirts as a fashionable choice in clothing.

With the start of the tech industry and more offices adopting less formal work environments, polo shirts began to be worn as standard work apparel. Soon industry took notice, and the polo shirt was included in many trade and retail uniforms. Companies began to realize that they could easily brand the shirts and began to use them as a regulated uniform for their staff with logos branded on the sleeves, breast, collar, and back of the shirts.

Men wear polo shirts just about everywhere, to football games and the office alike, and with everything, ranging from a tailored blazer to ripped denim jeans. Even the oft tuxedoed James Bond is famous for wearing Sunspel polo shirts, which pair perfectly with his Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster.

Recently a trend has hit with large oversized logos appearing on polo shirts. It started with Ralph Lauren and has progressed to other brands. Normally we advocate avoiding visible logos entirely, but when it comes to polo shirts, having a small logo on the breast is often unavoidable since it has become the standard. Some companies offer logos that are tone-in-tone with the knit, which is preferable to contrasting logos. In any case, oversized logos are nothing short of atrocious. Unless you wear one as part of your work uniform, leave the logos to the kids.

One big difference between the standard polo shirt and a golf or tennis polo is performance. These shirts are specifically engineered to allow the wearer a wider range of motion and to protect them by wicking moisture away from the body under the hot sun. In most cases, these shirts are made using a synthetic blend of materials designed for active living.

Traditional polo shirts are longer in the back than they are in the front and look better when tucked in. If tucked in, the shirt should not exceed halfway past your buttocks in the back or your fly in the front. When untucked, the polo shirt should sit just below the waistband / belt line.

Perfect for the guy in great shape and for athletic use, these polo shirts have the trimmest fit throughout the torso and sleeves, with a shorter back and front hem that allows the shirt to be worn untucked.

The custom fit is right in the middle of classic and slim fit polo shirts. It has higher armholes than the classic fit with a shorter sleeve length. It also features a trimmer fit against the torso, with a slightly shorter front and back hem than the classic but longer than the slim fit.

Blended fabrics are often used for corporate polo shirts or grocery store uniforms because the blended synthetics increase durability and stain resistance at a low pricepoint. At the same time, they are less comfortable than all cotton materials, and they sometimes make the wearer more prone to sweating. Usually right in the middle to low end when it comes to price, these are the most commonly found polo shirts on the market, and if you are on a budget, this is likely what you will end up with. If you can afford better quality, you should do so because the feel and comfort of this type are just not desirable.

In recent years, linen has become more popular for all kinds of knitwear and some offer linen polo shirts. With its crisp look and sophisticated wrinkles, it certainly adds another dimension, but it is also much rougher than cotton. As such, it is only recommended in blends if you want the crinkly linen look.

With moisture wicking abilities, breathability, and decent durability, cotton shirts are the most common polo shirts found today. Now, not all cotton is alike, and cheaper cotton polos use short-staple cotton that will cause pilling and faded colors after a few washes. Of course, longer staple cotton will last longer and likely feel better on your skin; however, it will also fade in color eventually, especially with darker colors. That aside, the quality of a polo shirt does not just depend on the materials but also the knit.

So, what is knitting? Knitting is the process of interloping yarns, and while there are many ways to knit for the purpose of this article we will focus on just two basic knit categories that are the most relevant for polo shirts.

Also known as pique knit, this is not to be confused with Marcella pique fabric, which is woven. The reason it is called that is because of the characteristic three-dimensional waffle look, also found in the Marcella pique weave. Pique knit is not only flexible but also breathable, and, therefore, the most popular polo shirt knit. The scale of the waffle can differ tremendously. For more breathability, you want a bigger knit, and for less weight, you want a smaller knit.

Jersey knit polo shirts have a smooth surface that is similar to a t-shirt or fine sweater. Often this knit is used for less expensive polo shirts but it can also be used for higher quality polo shirts. It simply creates a different look, and it all depends on your taste. In terms of breathability, an open pique knit is superior to any Jersey knit.

You can find them with a classic collar, cutaway collar, and button-down collar. These shirts are not meant to be worn with neckwear so you should choose a collar shape that appeals to you when you wear the collar unbuttoned.

For a classic look, 2 to 3 buttons are normal. The more expensive polo shirts should have real Mother-of-Pearl buttons whereas less expensive ones will come with plastic buttons. Of course, less expensive brands like Izod and Chaps will use basic plastics for their buttons. However, you can always have your own sewn on. 041b061a72


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