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The history of the polo shirt

The polo shirt is one of the few items that never go out of fashion.

For both men and women, wearing a polo shirt makes it possible to make a difference and give that extra touch to your outfit, without the need to invent anything special.

But what is the history of the polo shirt?

How did this garment survive all this time and evolve continuously?

These are some of the questions that we at Rifò want to answer together with you in this article. Make yourself comfortable and let's find out everything you need to know about the polo shirt.

Storia della polo

History of the Polo Shirt

On April 7, 1818 Henry Sands Brooks, the polo shirt inventor, opened a small clothing store in a neighborhood south of Manhattan. Its motto is: "trade only goods of the best quality, sell it at a fair profit and deal only with those who know how to appreciate it".

To find out the origin of the name of the garment you need to move to the environment in which it was initially used. We are talking about sport polo. The players in fact wore this traditional cotton tunic, characterized by the buttoned collar and long sleeves.

Sport Polo

The idea came to John Brooks, who during a business trip to England noticed that particular collar of polo players. He liked the idea so much that he decided to apply it to his shirts as soon as he returned to America.

The original name was polo shirt.

This item of clothing remained tied to the world of sport, especially tennis. You may not know, but until the beginning of the twentieth century it was customary to practice this sport in a suit and tie.

The change came when the tennis player René Lacoste designed a new type of t-shirt and was the first to wear it in 1926. He would then be very interested in a crocodile bag during a tournament and once he retired he would market his type of t- shirts that we still know today as Lacoste polo shirts, those with the crocodile symbol.

Polo became more and more part of the tennis world when another great player created his version: his name was Fred Perry.

Over time, the polo shirt was transformed from an exclusively sporty garment to a garment for all young people who wanted to dress fashionably.

The last important name in the history of this garment is that of Ralph Lauren, who in 1972 launched his new fashion line which he called his own Polo shirt.

Famous people who wore a Polo Shirt

We can say that it was a cloth capable in the miracle of reaching anyone. Despite being born on a sports field and subsequently moving outside, the polo was able to become a real fashion item, without missing anyone

There are several famous personalities who have worn it, transforming it into a real personal brand.

Here is a list of some of the most famous characters to have worn this garment:

  • Prince Charles
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Lady Diana
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Paul Simonon and Joe Strummer of Clash.

Rifò's Polo shirt

Our polo shirt will be officially launched on April 9 in both the women's and men's versions. Of course our version is 100% upcycled.

Our polo shirt in upcycled cotton takes up the classic polo shirt from the 1920s, which was worn especially in sports contexts, in particular in tennis as we have seen.

Today it represents the casual alternative to the shirt, its transversal use has stopped being closely linked to sports practice and has become the connotation of a style that combines sport and elegance in a combination that has become an icon of the informal look, both male and female.

We made it our own by studying the design in every detail and its wearability and using the yarn produced from 180 gr of cotton waste and ⅚ plastic bottles. In this way, we value waste and save on the intensive use of water and chemicals that usually characterize the production of virgin cotton.

Polo Rifò cotone rigenerato


Here we are at the end of the article.

Today we discovered the history and evolution of this wonderful piece of clothing together. What were the most famous figures to have worn it and why it managed to attract the attention of people with apparently so different tastes.

We have also given you the main features of our polo shirt and now you just have to pre-order your favorite as soon as it is available on our store!

2 Kommentare

28, May 2024

Hello Sunny,

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Sunny, 25 May 2024, 10:11 CEST

– Rifò - Circular Fashion made in Italy
09, Jun 2021

The polo shirt came in a rainbow of sorbet hues, before frat boys ever thought to pop its collar, before it became synonymous with upper-class prep or back-to-school uniforms, the polo shirt was, simply, the top worn during polo matches, hence the origin of its name. We know, Polo shirts are the most common and most attractive type of shirt for men. Polo Shirt is another name of comfortable and stylishness.

– Brandon Fred

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