Originally Posted by bigbadbuff
...Polo and Lacoste can get away with it because they are both classic and well enough made...
THE classic tennis polo is the Perry. And Mr. Perry is a classic for himself...
Local lad Frederick John Perry, was born in Stockport in 1909 but moved down South while he was still at school and fell in love with table tennis. He practiced his ping pong every night, eventually becoming world champion at the tender age of 18. He then promptly retired from the game and got busy with his latest obsession, lawn tennis.
Unfortunately his Stockport bad boy style did not go down too well with the snobbish tennis heirarchy. His habit of changing his clothes mid-game to stay looking fresh, leaping over the net at the end of each match and dating a string of actresses and models caused major problems for this working class playboy. They were especially displeased when he went on to win Wimbledon three times in a row.
After the third victory he decided to move to America and become a pro at the Beverley Hills Tennis Club, giving lessons to Charlie Chaplin, David Niven, Errol Flynn and the Marx Brothers whilst establishing himself on the Hollywood party circuit.
In the late 40s Fred was approached by Tibby Wegner, an Austrian footballer who had invented a novel anti-perspirant device worn around the wrist. Fred made a few changes and the sweatband was born.
Tibby's next idea was to produce a sports shirt which was to be made from white knitted cotton pique with short sleeves and buttons down the front. Launched at Wimbledon in 1952, the Fred Perry polo shirt was an immediate succes.
It was only available in white until the late 50s when the mods picked up on it and demanded a more varied colour palette. It was the shirt of choice for diverse groups of lads throughout the 60s and 70s, ranging from the skinheads to the Northern Soul scene and Manchester's very own "Perry Boys".
Now recognised as a classic British staple in anyone's wardrobe, we wonder if history would have been any different if they'd gone for Fred's first choice for the emblem - a pipe.
...text stolen from oipolloi.com