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Friday, August 5, 2011


The game of Polo, first played in Persia in the 5th century BC as part of the Calvary unit training ultimately became a sport that was enjoyed by both male and female nobility. Eventually this game was spread to the Asian continent, the Byzantine empire and Egypt. A favorite sport among Sultans at the time. It was also popularized later in China during the Tang Dynasty and it was played from Constantinople to Japan by the middle ages. The very word Polo is said to be derived from its Tibetan ancestor, "Pulu" which meant "ball".

The sport later spread to India and consequently into Britain since it was one of its colonies. British settlers also exported the sport to Argentina in South America during the 1800s. At this juncture, this version of Polo was slower paced and a bit different than games played in India. It lacked aggressiveness and required equestrian skills. From there on the sport became popular in several countries in South American until it reached the USA in the late 1800s. The sport from its origins epitomized nobility, skills, finesse and a host of other good qualities.
This is a very concise history of Polo. The reason for this background story is because of today's blog post's focus: The Polo shirt.

Summer and spring are one of my favorite times of the year because I can finally pull my hibernating Polo"r bear" shirts (see what I did here? Even though Polar bears do not necessarily hibernate) out of the closet and sport them (no pun intended).
There is nothing better than a nice quality Polo shirt worn outdoors on a boating trip, a nice brunch, an outdoor party, a casual get together and on occasion they may even serve as a dress up outfit. Although they come in various fits, my recommendation of course is the custom or slim fit. The slim fit hugs the body better than the custom fit and really accentuates the figure as well as provide a neater look. The custom is also tighter than their classic fit, but not as hugging to the body as the slim fit. I stay away from the classic fit as it can create a disorganized rumply look which I abhor. Here is a direct explanation from POLO on their different fits:

"The Classic-Fit is our original style and features a roomier chest, longer sleeves and an extended shirttail that allows for increased mobility. For a sleeker silhouette that pairs well with a suit jacket, for instance, the Custom-Fit is 1½ inches narrower in the chest and features shorter sleeves and hems for a streamlined fit. The newest is our Slim-Fit, a more tailored option inspired by European style, which offers our narrowest chest (a ½ inch slimmer than Custom-Fit) and our shortest front and back hems. Worn with dark jeans this spring, the Slim-Fit offers the classic look of a polo, updated in a modern style-minded fit."

See examples below (from Classic > Custom > Slim):

I am of course speaking of true POLO shirts, not copycats from other brands. Although Lacoste is a popular one, I am not a big fan of their fits at all and for the amount of money they cost, you're better off purchasing some good old POLO shirts. I must admit though that I do own a few HUGO BOSS polo shirts, but that is only because they were an impulse acquisition. Once I saw them in their glory at a respectable price I had to obtain them. They fit me like a glove which was a plus as well. I do recommend these for those who are in fairly good shape. Zara polo shirts are also of great quality and a wonderful fit.
What can one pair with a POLO? Well almost anything goes well with a POLO shirt, minus sandals (refer to my post on my relationship with sandals). You can wear Jeans, Chinos, Shorts, dress shoes, top-siders and more. Of course I am biased to the Sperry's & Polo crew (FTW), therefore I highly recommend boat shoes with shorts and a POLO. This look is easy to attain and although it has its 1980s fraternity look, it is a time tested fashion statement, an iconic Summer look initiated in the 1950s.
Anyway, pick up some POLO shirts, go crazy...Get a good variety of colors. My recommendations are Dark Blue, Gray, Black, Green and White as these can be paired with almost any bland pair of shorts and shoes. Good luck warriors.

Here are some examples of yours truly:


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