As the weather doesn’t seem to know if its coming or going at the moment. One of the most versatile pieces of menswear kit at your disposal is the humble Polo Shirt. OK not from such humble beginnings, we have the French tennis champion Monsieur René Lacoste to thank for inventing this wonderful bit of clobber, back in 1933, when he replaced the classical woven, long-sleeved starched shirt with a light and comfortable short-sleeved one in airy petit piqué fabric, better known today as the classic LACOSTE polo shirt.
Since then the polo shirt has come a long way baby, refusing to be categorised into a casual or formal box, the polo shirt can be worn on either occasion looking equally as good teamed with a clean, crisp single breasted suit for a summer wedding as it does with a pair of dark selvage denim jeans on a long, leisurely evening out with a loved one.
One brand really pushing the boundaries of the polo shirt and it’s versatility is Niccolò P. Based in London, Niccolò P. (pronounced: /ni-CO-lo-P/) launched in May 2018 as a more structured approach to polo shirts: polos smart enough to take you from contemporary meeting to a rooftop bar and from airport lounge to poolside. Made using the finest natural materials and with bespoke-level details in classic style and a contemporary fit.
The fabrics for their ultra soft cotton polo shirts are knitted in Montebelluna, Italy using Supima and Egyptian Mako cottons. Both varieties are extra-long staple cottons of exceptional fineness and, while the fabric is naturally soft, it is very robust and withstands frequent use. They call these polos ‘ultra soft’ as they are knitted using a double-jersey technique. Single-jersey – the most common kind – has a ‘right’ side (always facing out) and a ‘wrong’ or slightly rougher side (always facing in). This means the garment feels softer on the outside than the inside. Using double-jersey, the ‘ultra-soft’ cotton polo shirts have a ‘right’ side outside and in. Together with a mercerised finish it will give you an incomparable silk-like wear, every time.
The Niccolò P. team spent 15 months (and 9 prototypes) perfecting the pattern and sourcing the natural materials for their structured polo shirts – the perfect ‘Friday Polo’. They eliminated the shortcomings commonly found in other polos such as curling/shapeless collars, plastic or imitation mother-of-pearl buttons which crack easily, run-of-the-mill cottons and the boxy fit common in many heritage brands. With flat-felled seams, a stand collar and ‘set-on’ placket giving the shirt its unique ‘structured’ appearance, the result is a polo shirt with bespoke shirt-like attention to detail made using the smoothest cottons; a polo which always feels great and is destined to become a staple in your wardrobe.
“The inspiration for starting Niccolò P. came in 2016 while at a barbecue with friends. Several were wearing name brand polo shirts and I noticed that most had collars which had curled up, cheap plastic buttons or a fit which was too boxy – the quality was clearly not what it should be.
I wanted to put the ‘shirt’ back in ‘polo shirt’ using the highest quality materials in the world produced responsibly in Europe. From this, Niccolò P. was born. The name derives from Niccolò Polo, an Italian travelling merchant best known as the father of explorer Marco Polo. Travel is a personal passion and we strive to make products as versatile for travel as possible – for us this means perfectly threading (sic) a line between formal and relaxed.” Pascal Keane, Founder of Niccolò P.