You’re no stranger to the polo shirt, also known as a golf shirt or tennis shirt. Your mom had been dressing you in these for as long as you’ve been fit to go out in public. You’ve spent your life seeing middle-aged guys wear these tucked into dress pants. And you’ve probably eschewed them as you’ve started caring about your personal style, assuming they’re for prep school kids and old guys on the golf course.
The polo actually has a fascinating history. In the early days of tennis, players (unfortunately) had to wear a full on regalia while on the court. Long sleeved button up shirts, ties, and flannel trousers(!?). As with all great change, it took a trailblazer to finally bring some sense to tennis attire. René Lacoste, seven-time Grand Slam champion, got fed up with how impractical and uncomfortable the uniform was and designed a short sleeve, knit pique cotton shirt with a collar and placket, and a “tennis tail” – a shirttail that was longer in the back to keep it from untucking. Lacoste first debuted his shirt at the 1926 US Open, and in 1927 began sewing a crocodile patch on the left chest after journalists began referring to him as “The Crocodile.” After retiring in 1933, Lacoste went full-press into clothing merchandising.
The soft, luxurious cotton-silk blend polo shown here from H&M is a subtle aesthetic alternative to your run-of-the-mill pique polo. First, the smoother cotton versus the texture of a pique polo can have a surprising dual effect. If pairing with casual shorts and tennis shoes the smooth cotton can play almost like a t-shirt, tapping into the overall casualness. However, paired with slim, dressier shorts and penny loafers, a smooth cotton shirt now enhances the dressiness in a way a pique polo can’t. A knit like this can also be dressed up for a great looking summer business casual, stay tuned for the Getup!
Shorts have become slimmer and higher for well over two decades. And while there are plenty that are too high and too tight as you start approaching the fashion end of the style spectrum, there is a great middle ground that will give you a fitted silhouette without compromising comfort or showing too much leg. Don’t be afraid of seeing an inch to two of leg above your knee cap: It creates a more put-together, intentional look. When done correctly, it won’t look too tight or too short.