Can someone please explain to me exactly when polo shirts became the go-to look for all corporations everywhere?!?! When did this weird, preppy, Ralph Lauren creation become the icon of business casual? Is it because no sane person would wear one unless forced to by work place decorum thereby distinguishing employees from customer? Or something more devious… an insider plot by the capitalist, polo shirt powers-that-be, implementing US-wide dress codes in all corporate stores in order to boost sales and create a dependency on the polo shirt that would have otherwise withered away with the 80s if left untampered with!?!?!?!?!??!?! It’s definitely the last one, probably.
Whatever the reason, the polo shirt now has a seemingly permanent place in the closets of all low-level, corporate employees… and gym teachers (for some inexplicable reason). I have a lot of problems with the polo shirt, but let’s start at the top (literally). A COLLAR; a collar on a short sleeve shirt. Not even a button-up, short sleeve shirt (ala hick in church), but a regular short sleeve shirt. Does the collar say “professional” but the stretch cotton blend says “I just want you to have fun.”? What kind of message are we really trying to send with a polo shirt, besides: “I like to play golf.”? Then there are the two useless button at the top. What are their purpose? Buttoning up the two buttons does not keep me warmer when I am cold, and unbuttoning them does not cool me down when I am hot. They do not allow me to open my shirt entirely, giving me alternative outfit options; no, in fact, they don’t even open far enough to show off my tits. They are useless. Another way of saying to the mindless customer: “I may be wearing a uniform, but I am just as fun-loving as you. SEE?? I have TWO buttons unbuttoned.”, but not more, ohno, that would be unprofessional. PUKE.
Truly, honestly, my biggest complaint with the polo shirt, is that no one looks good in one. You have never seen somebody walk by and were all like: “DAYUMMMMM, they look gooooood in that polo.” I’m sorry, you just haven’t. No one has in the history of the polo shirt. Don’t believe the cute preppy picture above, polo shirts do not fit that snuggly, and after each wash they become baggier and baggier until it looks like you are wearing a bag…with a collar…and two buttons (unbuttoned). To add insult to ugliness, most places that require one to wear a polo shirt, also require them to be tucked in (professionalism first!, fun second…or never). There is no way, I repeat NO WAY, to make this look cute. Add mandatory slacks and a belt, and you have bought yourself a one way ticket to fashion Hell. Have fun hanging out with people who wear crocs and that one guy that still tries to rock a faux hawk.
I was excited to work at a restaurant. I assumed it meant dressing up like a penguin in my oh-so chic white button down. Alas, no. I am no doomed to a life of an unflattering red (yes, this actually does exist) polo, Dickies and non-slip shoes. Kill me now.