Who wears polo shirts

The polo shirt is back!

Dusty, boring, sticky - a few years ago the polo shirt was frowned upon by many fashion-conscious men. Some complained that it was only for guys who couldn't decide between a shirt and a t-shirt. Others got annoyed with guys who wanted to look particularly cool and to do so by flipping the collar of their polo up. Even if it "officially" went out of fashion: the polo shirt was never gone. Many men appreciate it as an elegant and comfortable item of clothing that goes well with jeans or chinos. One in black, navy blue and white is part of the basic equipment of every man who wants to look casual but not too loose.

Now the polo shirt is reappearing on the designers' catwalks - and not just for men. Maxi polo dresses, polo shirts with pelvises and leather inserts, polo blouses with a tie-dye pattern - women are also in polo fever.

From India to Europe

René Lacoste (1904–1996) is considered to be the real inventor of the polo shirt. The tennis player, who regularly won major tournaments such as Wimbledon, Paris and the US Open in the 1920s, had enough of long-sleeved shirts and uncomfortable jackets in which the men had to stand on the court at the time. He looked around in other sports and found what he was looking for among the polo players. He adapted the shirt made of sturdy cotton fabric used there, which British soldiers brought with them from India along with polo at the end of the 19th century. And adapted it to his ideas. The Frenchman shortened the long sleeves, parted with the continuous button placket and chose a lighter piqué fabric.

What was initially intended for personal use became a hit. The tennis athletes fought for the new piece. And Lacoste sensed his chance, founded a company in 1933 and began to manufacture "his" polo shirt. The logo was a small crocodile sewn onto the chest - the trademark of René Lacoste, who was only called “Le Crocodil” in the tennis scene. Rumor has it after a losing bet in which a crocodile leather suitcase was used as an insert. He said without further ado: "The crocodile reflects my fighting spirit: never give up the prey!" Lacoste was successful: as early as 1939 it was selling 300,000 polo shirts a year, an enormous amount at the time.

The polo shirt involuntarily brought another tennis legend out of the sports corner: Fred Perry (1909–1995) fought his way from the British working class to the top tennis elite in the 1930s: a dirty working-class child ”- as Perry is said to have once called himself - the Wimbledon Championships. And that three times in a row.

When Fred Perry gave up his career as an active athlete, he became a late fashion designer. His version of the polo shirt came on the market in 1952 - without a crocodile, but with an embroidered laurel wreath, which was to remind of Perry's Wimbledon victories. Incidentally, a cigar was originally planned as the logo.

Because the colored, somewhat narrower cut Perry polo shirts were offered in the same shops where the "mods" bought their shirts and suits, they became aware of them. And bought them. The “Mods” were a youth movement that formed in London jazz and soul clubs in the 1950s. Since the young people, as a counterpoint to the “rockers”, value a well-groomed appearance and fashion, polo shirts had arrived in the fashion world. Because with the cool shirts you could party through the night and still look fresh and wrinkled the next morning. As a traditional British style icon, the laurel wreath polo was never completely out of fashion - because it was rediscovered time and again by fans of reggae, ska, punk, Britpop and Northern Soul, as well as football fans. Right-wing neo-Nazis in Germany also took over the Fred Perry polo for a while - not knowing that Fred Perry had been brought up in the Jewish faith.

American Ralph Lauren (78) brought out his polo collection in the early 1970s. Right from the start, his compatriots and then the whole world were enthusiastic about the wider and longer cut, brightly colored shirts. The polo had finally arrived as a lifestyle garment in the fashion mainstream.


Polo shirts at Coop

Wide selection of cool brands In larger Coop City department stores, there are polo shirts in different designs from fashion labels such as Pierre Cardin, Bugatti, Fynch Hatton, Levi's, Maerz, Naturaline, Basefield, Pepe Jeans, Pierre Cardin, Sergio, S.Oliver and New Zealand Auckland. There are polo shirts by Lacoste, Gant, Tommy Hilfiger, Brax, Vanguard, Strellson and J. Lindeberg especially in the Basler Pfauen.


Attention fashion trap: Stylist Clifford Lilley (67) says what's possible and what's not.

Fold up the collar or not? Fashion expert Clifford Lilley explains what to look out for when buying and wearing a polo: do you put the polo in your pants or wear it outside?
Both are possible. If you want it more formal, put it in your pants. If you like it casual, don't. The casual look has become more and more popular in recent years.

Some polos have a longer back. Why?
Putting it in your pants gives you more room to bend over - that's all. Polos with a longer back are always tucked into the pants. Polos with the front and back of the same length are worn more casually and not tucked into pants.

How long should a polo be?
When worn, it should extend a few centimeters above the waistband at the front and cover no more than half of the bottom at the back.

How long the sleeves?
For God's sake they can't go up to their elbows. Ideally, the sleeves should cover half of the biceps. It's sexy to look at too!

Go giant logos?
That's trendy, trendy, trendy! But be careful: You can only do that if you want to make a fashion statement. However, if you want to conjure up great self-confidence with large logos, this is bad advice. Then prefer to be more modest.

Solid color or patterned?
Solid color polos always work, they are classic and chic. In summer things can also be more colorful. A lot is possible - whether camouflage, flowers, stripes, patterns. Here you have to weigh carefully: which colors and which style suit me? What occasion am I traveling for? Which pants do I wear underneath?

Slim fit or casual fit?
In the last few years everything has become more physical. If you have muscles, you can also show them - and wear tailored polos. But be careful: you should keep some freedom of movement. If you don't have the muscles or have a small abdominal attachment, you should rather go for the classic cut polo. But even here it can't look like a potato sack!

Can I wear a polo under my jacket?
As a gentleman of the old school, I say: Under a jacket should be a long-sleeved shirt with the cuffs sticking out from under the jacket sleeves.

Piqué or jersey?
You can choose according to your mood. In general: piqué fabric is classic, but also sportier. The jersey polo shirt often seems a bit more elegant.

Can you wear a polo under a sweater?
No - this look doesn't look pretty!

Can you wear a t-shirt under the polo?
That is not how it works! A polo shirt is worn next to the skin. A T-shirt underneath spoils the look and is compositionally bad. Dense cotton fabric under dense piqué fabric - that just doesn't fit.

Now the question of all questions: Can you put the collar up?
Anyone who does that has the image of a con man for me (laughs). I would advise against it and not do it. At most for practical reasons, if it is suddenly windy or the sun hits your neck.

Rolled-up collars in polo are a no-go, aren't they?
Yeah, that doesn't look good. But what's so bad about it? So anyone who wears rolled-up collars with a certain self-confidence can be forgiven - after all, it happens to everyone. For me, however, I would choose polos with a reinforced collar. Or just always iron the collar well.


Care tips: This is how the polo stays in shape for a long time

  • Wash inside out
  • Set the washing temperature to 30 or a maximum of 40 degrees
  • use mild detergent
  • Adding a little fabric softener will keep the polo smoother
  • It is best to only fill the washing machine drum halfway, this reduces too much friction
  • Avoid using a tumbler if possible. If you still want to put it in the tumbler, buy the shirt one size larger than normal
  • Pull a little straight after washing
  • It is best to put the polo on the drying rack to dry. There is a risk of warping when hanging
  • Avoid deodorants that contain aluminum; they turn white polo shirts yellow under the armpits
  • It is best to iron inside out and at lukewarm temperature, then the polo does not lose its shine. Carefully smooth the collar as well, this will keep it in better shape