design

What's New (and Old) About the Nike Polo

The polo shirt — the one worn while riding horses and swinging mallets — was invented near the turn of the 20th century (the fin de siecle, if you’re fancy). Its more-athletic evolution, the tennis polo, came into play in the 1920s, and was later adopted by golf and, subsequently, as a casually elegant, versatile wardrobe staple. 

For some years there was a harmony — what was good enough for sport was good enough for style. With that, the polo enjoyed a glorious duality. Somewhere, somehow, things changed: As sport advanced, the needs of athletes became more nuanced and the fabrication of the polo shifted from pique cotton to more progressive materials. This resulted in two general iterations: a polo for sporting pursuit and one for relaxing. 

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The Nike Polo comes in quality colors

The Nike Polo renews the garment’s happy equilibrium by retaining a traditional fit and feel and combining it with an innovative, proprietary fabrication. "It was important to nail the traditional aesthetic of sport while simultaneously aiding the movement of sport. The fabric mix, with a cotton exterior and polyester interior, solves for this as it allows the polo to glide along the skin while in swing,” says Kelly Tweeden, Creative Director for Apparel, Specialty Categories. The result is a comfortable garment that holds up during contemporary performance:

What’s traditional

  • The Nike Polo might be all-new, but it feels just like a traditional cotton pique polo — same touch, same drape. 

  • A two-button placket with a pearlized finish conveys sporting elegance. 

  • The drop-tail hem lends an element of shape and functions to keep the shirt tucked in during action. 

  • Standard fit and slim fit options assure classic styling. 

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Recording artist Jay Park and high jumper Vashti Cunningham in the Nike Polo

What's Nike-only

  • It’s engineered with a new proprietary plated knit that combines cotton craft on the outside and cooling comfort next to the skin.

  • The points of the collar are built to avoiding curling and lay flat.

  • The back neck collar vents, and tape on the inner neck feels smooth against the skin.

  • Eyelets at each underarm enhance airflow.

  • There are three distinctive embellishments: The top button is sewn on with orange thread forming an “N;” a small orange label is featured on the outside of each placket; and the label on the inside references Nike’s original shoe box. 

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Pro Skater Brian Anderson in the Nike Polo

The Nike Polo releases April 9 on nike.com