How the “polo” shirt as we know it today came to be is complicated. French tennis icon René Lacoste hated the feel of traditional tennis whites and felt they restricted his game. So he developed a new white shirt made of loose-knit cotton complete with short sleeves and an unstarched collar, which he wore in the 1926 US Open championship. It turns out polo players had similar issues with the standard uniform of the day and soon adopted his “tennis shirt” for their own sport. Eventually golfers came onboard too.
Today, the same qualities that appealed to summer athletes for decades make the polo the perfect go-to shirting option when long sleeves are just too much. Ledbury’s new Windward Polo Line ($95) stands out from masses thanks in part to their use of cotton oxford piqué with a yarn slub, which adds a distinctive textured look to the extremely light and breathable fabric. Combined with classier details, like Mother-of-Pearl buttons stitched with tension threading to ensure they stay fastened, plus a button down collar, the Windward collection will keep you feeling comfortable and looking polished long after it’s been washed a few times.
They’re available now in four distinct colors of blue, red, green and white. Look out for long-sleeve versions as well later this month.