Up until the 1920s, professional tennis players played their matches in flannel trousers, button-down shirts, and ties. This restrictive dress code came to an end in 1926, when a young star named Rene Lacoste won the U.S. Open wearing a certain short-sleeve cotton shirt of his own design. Lacoste went on to mass-market his creation, emblazoning each of his shirts with a small crocodile logo on the left breast. Today, the polo shirt, as it is known, is a remarkable versatile garment, appropriate for sports, leisure, and casual business settings. Here are a few of the style icons who have made the famous pique collar their own.
An angel-faced Clint Eastwood metes out vigilante justice in a polo-shirt-and-sport-coat combo.
Photo: Hulton Archive/ Getty Images
A young Sir Sidney Poitier looks regal in a tucked-in polo and pants.
Photo: The New York Times
It’s not enough to say that he was the Ryan Gosling of his day. Paul Newman was the guy who defined being a guy. Here he is in The Hustler.
Photo: Getty Images/Hulton Archive
Arnold Palmer reminds us that the term "golf clothes" wasn't always pejorative.
Photo: LIFE Magazine
JFK, in a polo shirt, on a sailboat: Good ol' postwar American optimism, personified.
Photo: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Trade in your faded, stretched-out number for a clean, fitted one from Joe Fresh.
Sign up for Birchbox Man to get the latest and greatest in grooming and lifestyle direct to your door. Join now.