The Classic Lacoste Polo Shirt: Making Sportswear Fashionable Again

A Brief History Of The Polo Shirt

The origins of the polo shirt can be traced back to the game of polo, a sport played by British soldiers in India during the 19th century. The players wore long-sleeved shirts made from thick cotton to protect themselves from the sun and keep cool. These polo shirts were buttoned up to their necks, which made it difficult for them to move around on their horses.

It is believed that Brooks Brothers, who in 1896, were the innovators behind what we now call the polo shirt. John Brooks had travelled to England, where he saw a version of the now iconic fashion must be worn, and took the idea back home to the USA, where he gave it classic features, reduced the sleeve lengths, gave it a sporty chic silhouette it was first introduced as ‘The Original Button-Down Polo Shirt.’

It wasn’t until the 1920s that tennis player Jean Rene Lacoste decided to create a more comfortable and practical polo shirt for athletes. He wanted something lightweight and breathable to allow him to move freely on the court without feeling restricted. Lacoste came up with a design that featured cotton petit piqué, short sleeves, an unstarched traditional polo collar, and two buttons at the neckline.

The new shirt quickly gained popularity among other tennis players who appreciated its functionality, comfort, and style. It wasn’t long before Lacoste started producing his own clothing line under his brand name, “Le Chemise Lacoste.” The polo shirt became one of his most iconic designs and is still worn today by people worldwide as both athletic wear and casual fashion attire.

Who Was Jean Rene Lacoste

Jean Rene Lacoste was a French tennis player who lived from 1904 to 1996. He is best known for creating the iconic pure cotton, petit piqué polo shirt, which has become a perfect style staple in fashion and sports. Lacoste was born into a wealthy family, but he chose to pursue his passion for tennis instead of following in his father’s footsteps as an industrialist.

Lacoste had an impressive career as a professional tennis player, winning seven Grand Slam titles between 1925 and 1933. He was known for his tenacity on the court and earned the nickname “The Crocodile” due to a bet he made with the French Davis Cup team captain that involved him receiving a crocodile-skin suitcase if he won an important match.

After retiring from tennis, Lacoste formed Le Chemise Lacoste with André Gillier in 1933 to produce high-quality sportswear. The company initially focused on creating functional clothing for golfers and sailors before branching out into other sports like skiing and hunting.

Despite being retired from professional tennis, Jean Rene Lacoste continued to be involved in the sport throughout his life. In addition to designing clothing tailored explicitly for athletes’ needs, he served as president of the International Tennis Federation from 1968 until 1977. His legacy lives on through both his contributions to fashion and sports history.

A statue of The man who became king of the tennis court and king of men's polo shirts
The man who became king of the tennis court and king of men’s polo shirts

Rene Lacoste’s  Career

Jean Rene Lacoste was a French tennis player who debuted in the sport in 1922. He quickly became known for his tenacity on the court, earning him the nickname “The Crocodile.” This moniker would later become synonymous with his fashion brand.

Lacoste won seven Grand Slam singles titles and dominated international tennis rankings during his career. However, he also faced health issues that forced him to retire from professionally playing tennis at just 29 years old.

Despite this setback, Lacoste remained involved in the world of sports by coaching and developing new technologies for athletic gear. During this time, he began to envision a line of clothing that combined style and function – something that had yet to be seen in the industry.

The Formation Of Le Chemise Lacoste

Jean Rene Lacoste, a French tennis player, was the founder of Le Chemise Lacoste. After retiring from tennis in 1933, he began working on designing pure cotton petit piqué chic polo shirts that would be more comfortable to wear during matches. He wanted something that would allow for ease of movement and breathability while still looking stylish.

Lacoste’s design featured all the classic features of polo shirts, short sleeves, a flat collar, and buttons at the neck. The fabric was lightweight and breathable, making it perfect for athletic activities. He also added his signature crocodile logo to the left chest area of every shirt.

Le Chemise Lacoste was officially formed in 1933 when Rene partnered with Andre Gillier to produce and distribute the polo shirts throughout France. The company quickly gained popularity among athletes due to its comfort and relaxed and easy style. It wasn’t long before other sports enthusiasts started wearing them as well.

The success of Le Chemise Lacoste led to the expansion of their product line beyond just polo shirts. They began producing other clothing items such as shorts, skirts, dresses, and accessories like watches and sunglasses. Today, Le Chemise Lacoste is known worldwide for its iconic crocodile logo and timeless fashion pieces that continue to be popular among people from all walks of life.

The Design Of “Le Crocodile” Logo

The world famous crocodile logo
The green on white logo look so good on any colour block item of clothing

The iconic Le Crocodile logo is a statement that is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable logos in the fashion industry. But how did this unique emblem come to be? It all started with a bet between Rene Lacoste and his team captain at the Davis Cup. The captain promised to buy him a crocodile-skin suitcase if he won an important match, which he did not. However, Robert George, an American friend of Lacoste’s, drew a cartoon of a crocodile for him as consolation.

Lacoste was so taken by the image that he used it as his personal emblem on blazers and shirts. He also used it when he formed Le Chemise Lacoste in 1933. The logo was initially embroidered on the left chest area of each shirt but later moved to its current position on the right side.

The perfect style of the design itself is simple yet striking – featuring an outline of a green crocodile against a white background or sometimes vice versa. This minimalist casual look approach has helped make it timeless and versatile enough to feature on everything from polo shirts to sneakers and range even to perfume bottles over time.

Tennis Players Who Have Endorsed Lacoste

One of the first tennis players to endorse Lacoste was Bill Tilden, who won 10 Grand Slam titles in the 1920s. During his matches, he famously wore a white Lacoste polo shirt and became one of the brand’s most prominent ambassadors. Other tennis stars who have endorsed Lacoste on court over the years include Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, and Gustavo Kuerten.

Lacoste has always been associated with elegance and sophistication on and off the court. The brand’s iconic crocodile logo is recognized worldwide as a symbol of quality and style. Tennis players who wear Lacoste are seen as fashionable trendsetters, setting new standards for athletic apparel both on and off the court.

The partnership between Lacoste and tennis players goes beyond just clothing endorsements. The brand has sponsored numerous tournaments, including major events such as Wimbledon, Roland Garros, and US Open. This commitment to supporting professional tennis has helped cement Lacoste’s reputation as one of the top sporting brands in history.

How Many Lacoste Polo Shirts Have Been Sold?

Lacoste polo shirts have been a staple in the fashion industry for decades. The brand has become synonymous with luxury and sophistication, attracting customers from all over the world. It’s estimated that Lacoste has sold over 50 million polo shirts worldwide since its inception.

The popularity of Lacoste polo shirts can be attributed to their timeless design and quality materials. The brand prides itself on using only the finest fabrics to create its iconic polos, ensuring that each shirt is comfortable and durable. This commitment to excellence has made them wardrobe favourite that has earned them a loyal following among consumers.

Despite being around for nearly a century, Lacoste continues to innovate and evolve its designs to stay relevant in today’s fashion landscape. From classic styles to bold new colour patterns, from polka dots and vibrant colours, there’s something for everyone in their extensive collection of polo shirts. As long as they continue producing high-quality garments that stand the test of time, it’s safe to say that Lacoste will remain a top player in the fashion industry for years to come.

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Fashion of Lacoste

Lacoste’s fashion has always been known for its timeless and classic designs. The brand’s range of polo shirts are a versatile staple in many wardrobes, tennis courts and the golf course and have become synonymous with streetwear and casual elegance. Lacoste’s clothing line includes polo shirts, dresses, skirts, trousers, shorts, and accessories such as bags and hats.

One of the reasons why Lacoste’s fashion is so popular is because it appeals as year round wear to people of all ages. From teenagers to adults, everyone can find something that suits their style in the brand’s collection. Whether you are on the golf course, playing tennis or enjoying a casual lunch the relaxed and easy style that Lacoste offers includes a range of sizes to cater to different body types.

Another factor that sets Lacoste apart from other fashion brands is its commitment to sustainability. The company uses eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyester in its products. It also implements sustainable practices in its manufacturing processes to reduce waste and carbon emissions.

Lacoste continues to evolve with the changing times while staying true to its roots of creating high-quality clothing that exudes sophistication and simplicity. Its fashion remains relevant even after decades since Jean Rene Lacoste first designed his iconic polo shirt with the crocodile logo on it – a symbol that has become an emblem of style and elegance over time.