When the Prince of Wales appeared on the Riviera in 1923 in a polo shirt, men's fashion reporters, who followed him everywhere he went, called it a major sartorial event. Before this time there had been no such thing as a sport shirt as we know it. There were shirts—such as the polo shirt—designed for specific sports, but there was no difference between the shirt a man wore to his office and the one he wore at his ease. Since this beginning, sport shirt sales have picked up to outstrip business shirts 2-to-1 in the average man's wardrobe. And this year the knitted shirt looks like the hottest item on the sportswear counter. Influenced by such continental shirts as the French matelot (sailor's) and the English tennis shirt, designs are more varied and attractive than ever before. Also, in the last three years such stabilizing processes as Redmanizing and Cyana have been developed to prevent faults like stretching and shrinking.
Illustrated from left to right above are 11 of the newest knitted sport shirts, available in stores from coast to coast.
1. An imported cotton knit, blue-and-white stripes with red trim, by Mirsa of Italy, about $12.
2. Traditional polo shirt with long placket, short collar by Activair, $5.95.
3. The Piccolino, a striped shirt of combed cotton, by McGregor, $2.95.
4. The Rapallo, a striped matelot with push-up sleeves, by McGregor, $5.
5. A brushed-cotton shirt in vertical stripes, by Arrow, $3.95.
6. A new version of the Chemise Lacoste—in two colors, a perfect golf and active sports shirt, by Izod, $8.
7. A Sam Snead-designed mesh-knit golf shirt by Merrill-Sharpe, $5.50.
8. Crew shirt in striped cotton tricot knit with red trim, by Catalina, $4.95.
9. A striped T-shirt, by Jantzen, $2.95.
10. A buttonless-collared shirt in multi-colored stripes, designed by Maggi of Italy for Van Heusen, $3.95.
11. A knitted wool revival of the 1920s bathing suit top by Gantner, $5.