Vintage Polo Shirts

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by South, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. South

    South One of the Regulars

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    170
    Location:
    United States
    I've had a hard time finding good Polo type shirts. In the early 80s, I had some Izod/Lacoste shirts that were great. They were a heavy cotton, with a bit of a coarse, solid weave. I can't find anything quite like that now.

    For years, I've bought Chaps, Izod (which is no longer part of Lacoste), Lacoste and some others. It seems the ones I've had are thin, don't have that heavy weave and don't hold up. They fade quickly, wear out quickly and lots of them have problems with collars. A lot of the collars will "crease" on one side and forever look wrong.

    My wife just bought me a Lacoste, which I thought would be like the old ones. Wrong. It faded after three washes and is thinner than the old ones. (My wife wears one of my old ones around the house sometimes, so I have something to compare it to. It's nearly 30 years old!)

    Any recommendations for something better?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Hemingway Jones

    Hemingway Jones I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    Lacoste makes several different styles of Polos from all sorts of different materials from pique to pima. I have several, have never had a problem with them, and would never characterize mine as thinner than the ones I had back at school in the 80s.

    If you are looking for a thicker heavier canvas style Polo similar to a rugby shirt, then I would suggest you check out Barbour who makes excellent tough Polos and Ralph Lauren's Rugby brand, which does as well.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Tailor Tom

    Tailor Tom One of the Regulars

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    Minneapolis, MN
    I think RL is tops

    I used to work for RL in the late 80's, and bought several Polo shirts (I should have bought more). I still have some of those 20 year old shirts and the are great. They have been washed hundreds of times (and we're talking Red, Navy, etc) and kept their color, never had loose stitches or even have a button fall off. They traveled the world to keep me dressed in casual classic style. I have been through numerous brands of other Polo's since, none held up, kept their color & shape as well as Ralph Lauren. They have outlasted all the competition and still get worn on a regular basis in season. I have said it time and time again, nothing beats Ralph Lauren classics.
     
    jamesmac1801 likes this.
  4. resortes805

    resortes805 Call Me a Cab

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    Cushman
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  5. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    I prefer the finer cotton pique from the Italian mills to the beefy coarse stuff.[huh]

    And machine washing/drying is really stressful to cotton garments, especially the dryer. Hand washing, air drying with a light pressing on the reverse side is the way to go with polo shirts.
     
  6. Richard Warren

    Richard Warren Practically Family

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    Ralph Lauren is best. Lacoste aren't cut like they used to be, fabric is too thin, no tail.
     
  7. Undertow

    Undertow My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Des Moines, IA, US
    I guess it depends on what you're going for. Is this a day on the golf course? Or a typical Tuesday at the office? Or just a wear-around? Maybe you're trying to impress a new lady?

    I agree with Corky in that you should get some cheapies, wear them out and toss them if you must. But if you're going for the gold, or you want to impress someone, or if you simply have a thing for quality clothes (which is an excellent habit to possess), then you might need to throw down some cash.

    Doesn't Brooks Brothers have a nice line? I always thought they were relatively high quality. I'm sure Younkers or JC Penny's has something of value and taste.

    Quality is hard to determine because one shipment might be great, whereas another has busted seams, or lame stitching, etc. I think Lacoste is fine, but nothing to sell the farm over. Ralph is good, always has been, but boy are they expensive.
     
  8. Chasseur

    Chasseur Call Me a Cab

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    I've been pretty happy with Brooks Brothers polos. I wait until there is a sale at my local factory store. I find they run large though, so try them on first, its easy to end up swiming in them unless you are looking at slim fit ones.
     
  9. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    Really? I've found that the higher priced polos are generally better made and use higher quality knit fabrics (milled in IT, CH and UK) than those at the mid-market. These knits have a superior handle and wear better than the lesser quality knits. Mind you, I'm not referring to the super sheer stuff that while beautiful does have a tendency to be fragile.
     
  10. davestlouis

    davestlouis Practically Family

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    805
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    I've about given up on polos...they all want to shrink up over time and there's not enough tail to stay tucked in. It doesn't help that I need bell-bottom shirts to cover my ever-expanding belly, but the tail in back is too short too, even in 2X Tall sizes, and I'm only 6 ft tall.

    I've graduated to aloha shirts and guayabera-styled items that I can leave untucked.
     
  11. Bourbon Guy

    Bourbon Guy A-List Customer

    Messages:
    374
    Location:
    Chicago
    It's kind of like other articles of clothing, including suits. Go try on a bunch until you find ones assembled from patterns that best fit your shape. Some are boxier, some have short or long tails. Polos fit me the best, so that is all I get. They are expensive, true, but if you wash them in cold water they last forever. You get your money's worth. You might like LL Bean or Cabelas or Brooks...

    However, if you want to try Polos, don't go to the Polo outlet stores. They do not sell the same shirts as the department stores. I have read that they have cheap knockoffs made just to sell at a discount at their stores in the outlet malls. Don't know if that is true, but they are different shirts. The sleeves and tails are shorter, and they shrink. That's also a danger if you buy them online. You don't know what you will be getting.
     
  12. Tailor Tom

    Tailor Tom One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    My thoughts...

    For me it is the classic Ralph Lauren Polo. I still have 5-6 of them from when I worked for RL 20+ years ago. The fabric, stitching and the colors have held up through hundreds of washings and wearings....( ie: the red is still a solid red, not washed out, etc.)

    They are on the high end price-wise, but you def get what you pay for.

    So much so, that I am now checking out RL's expanded selection of colors, looking for my next purchase.
     
  13. The Good

    The Good Call Me a Cab

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    I know this thread may have been started by a forum spammer, but while we're talking about polo shirts, I actually bought one the other day at Target. Nothing fancy, just a $20 Merona 100% cotton polo, dark blue/navy color. It's currently the only polo I own, but I figured that I would like to own at least one.
     
  14. fluteplayer07

    fluteplayer07 One Too Many

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    I don't own many. Two or three in regular rotation; less for in summer. I think a button down shirt is much more comfortable than a knit shirt; they breathe more.

    As far as price, I'll take maybe $20-25 for a high quality, conservatively patterned polo. Double or triple it for a button down.
     
  15. 4spurs

    4spurs One of the Regulars

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    mostly in my head
    let it breathe

     
  16. Aether

    Aether One of the Regulars

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  17. MisterGrey

    MisterGrey Practically Family

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    Texas, USA
    For me, the polo-with-a-sportcoat will forever be associated with Tony Soprano.

    I don't think that any of the fat, tattooed drunks in my neck of the woods even own polos.
     
  18. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    Like wearing a fedora is associated with Al Capone.....:rolleyes:......



    IMO it's a classic look, even with suits, as long as quality garments are used.



    [​IMG]
     
  19. FedoraFan112390

    FedoraFan112390 Practically Family

    Messages:
    643
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Slim cut polo shirts?

    Idk if it's just an illusion, but polo shirts from around the early to mid 1960s seem to have had a more slim cut than today's (which are baggy cut):

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    All pictures taken between '61 and '64.
     
  20. The Good

    The Good Call Me a Cab

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    Alright, Dr. No! That actually inspired me to purchase a light blue polo made by Land's End Canvas (Canvas is mainly targeted towards young adults and teens, but they've got some good stuff, and the general focus is on more of a trim fit). They actually are quite slim fit, but not too much so, and they do resemble the fit of the polo shirts in the pictures.

    That is one thing I've noticed about polo shirts of that era, is that they are almost, but not quite skintight, compared to the loose fit of most of today's polos. I don't know why people think the loose fit looks good, even on people who are physically in shape, but that seems to be the prevailing fit.
     

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