First, let me start off by admitting something seriously embarrassing. It took a LONG time, like, years before I had any idea that "polo" was a brand. Despite wearing "polo shirts" every day for 13 years in school it never really caught on. I think this was partially because we weren't allowed to have labels on our shirts. No alligators, no equestrians, not even a creepy looking smiley face a-la the Walmart Roll Back guy. Any markings on our shirts would earn us a detention.
Looking back I think this was a really good idea even though it left me sounding like an idiot in front of the members of Pi Kappa Popyour Collar or something my freshman year of college.
FAIL. This is all wrong for so many reasons. If you don't think so, keep reading.
Though I have never considered myself a prep, or really an "anything" for that matter, I feel as if everyone will at one point or another find themselves wearing a collared shirt.
Before you break our the starch my collar popping friends, let's take a quick look at what function this funny fad originated from.
History of Trend Part II: The Polo Shirt
The polo shirt was first worn by (surprise, surprise) Polo Players in the late 1800s. It was a long sleeved, button down, cotton, collared and probably ugly piece of fabric. The design of the shirt included two functional aspects- buttons down the front of the shirt and a collar on the back of the neck. John Brooks (of Brooks Brothers) began manufacturing these shirts for athletes when he noticed that the sun protecting collar needed to be buttoned up to prevent it from flapping during the player's rides.*
In the 1930's Rene Lacoste (tennis) was the first designer to cut off the sleeves and limit the amount of buttons on his shirts for his fellow tennis players. Polo players also found this more comfortable.
So now we have about 90% of what today's polo shirt is.
I am not against popping the collar if the collar popper understands why he or she is engaging in this fad.
[College Prepster Note: I loved this post!!! My high school crew coach would wear his collared polos "popped" to keep the sun of his neck during hot summer practices. He would always explain that that was the original purpose, not for fashion.]