You’ve probably seen black and white images of tennis games, where tennis players wear long white pants and long-sleeved shirts buttoned up with ties. A dress quite fit, and so we can imagine anything comfortable to practice a sport as physical as tennis. In the 1920s a Frenchman named Rene Lacoste – surely you have already heard this last name – was one of the most dominant players, he won several Grand Slam tournaments. He did not like traditional tennis clothing, he found it very limiting and uncomfortable, and he began to design something better. Then, he created a white garment, short sleeve, cotton, loose, with a flat neck, buttoned and that was a little longer in the back. Lacoste used his design for the first time at the United States Open in 1926, a year after adding a small crocodile emblem on the left side of the chest, reflecting the nickname “crocodile” that fans and press gave him.
The polo or the tennis?
True precursor Before the massif cation of the Lacoste polo shirts, polo players wore those polo T-shirts we already mentioned, of heavy fabric, long sleeves, with buttoned collar, which were marketed by Brooks Brothers. But, even this garment did not seem the most comfortable for the players that, it was solved, when the players met Lacoste’s, in 1930 and adopted it. In the 50s polo shirts were commonly used in the United States, tennis players themselves, referred to these as polo shirts, although it is estimated that it was in tennis where they were first used. In 1951 Lacoste had the idea of expanding colors, and offering more options than white, these were sold at a high price, which made them exclusive. By 1953, popularity grew when US President Dwight Eisenhower used a white polo shirt to play golf. Today they are one of the shirts that every man should have.