The shirt is one of the most basic items of clothing in the wardrobe of any man. In fact, it is so common that we often take for granted that the shirt has actually gone through a lot of changes before taking on the look that we now consider to be the standard shirt for men. During its earliest days, shirts for men did not have any collars. Instead, they had long puffy sleeves and were commonly used by sculptors, painters and other artists. This medieval design is where the present button-down shirt of today originated.
The most common shirt used by men today is the polo shirt. Conceptualized by Rene Lacoste, a popular French tennis player, during the late 1920s, the polo shirt was originally meant to be the new standard outfit for athletes who at the time were confined to wearing stiff uniforms that hampered their movements Comme des Garçons . After a couple of decades, athletes began to lose interest in the polo shirt in favor of new designs. But during the 1960s, renowned fashion designer Ralph Lauren brought the polo shirt back into the limelight by making it the star of his new Polo collection. Although tennis players have long ceased to use this outfit for their games, there was a much brighter future for the polo shirt in the mainstream market.
Another distinctive shirt that has been in fashion several times in the past is the granddad shirt, a collarless long sleeved shirt used mostly in tropical countries and other places with extraordinarily hot summers. A version of this shirt was made popular in Asia by Jawaharlal Nehru, the former Prime Minister of India. Typically called the Nehru Jacket, this shirt is still very widely used in the region, as well as in other parts of South Asia. Some movie stars are also known for frequently donning this outfit, such as Steven Seagal and the late Sammy Davis Jr.
As of today, the most popular type of shirt for a man is the button-down variety. However, it is not very clear as to who developed it or when this version first came to be. Many fashion students speculate that it was the brainchild of an American who had watched a polo game and was inspired by how the collars were buttoned down to prevent them from flapping with the wind. There are also theories that it was a New Yorker who thought of the concept after being constantly bothered when his collar kept flapping in the breeze.
Regardless of its origins, there is no doubt that button-down shirts have really secured a notch in the fashion world for men to this very day. The simple design of this attire makes it practical choice for many different occasions. Depending on the material used, you can use these shirts for either casual or formal events. Button-down shirts are also available in all kinds of colors, making it very easy to find a particular shirt that fits your style precisely. It is very rare these days to find a man who owns just one or two shirts. This garment has truly become the quintessential item in the realm of fashion for men, and we can safely say that it will definitely be around for many years to come.