Fred Perry is undeniably one of the foremost heritage brands to come out of Britain and one of only a handful that seamlessly merge streetwear and sportswear with timeless design. The result? One of the most iconic brands operating today.
The Fred Perry Polo Shirt has its roots in the 19th-century, originally named the ‘Tennis Shirt’ it was conceived to sit somewhere between sportswear and formal attire. Something befitting such a gentlemanly pursuit. However, in the 1950s, when British tennis star Frederick ‘Fred’ Perry, the number one player in the world for four consecutive years, looked to create a more fitted, comfortable shirt for optimal performance on the court, the legendary cotton pique shirt we know and love today was born, proudly featuring the laurel wreath embroidery that has become synonymous with the Fred Perry brand.
The collared Polo Shirt has since become an essential in the wardrobes of men and women alike. Showing no sign of losing its popularity, it remains at the forefront of fashion trends, continuing to reign as a British institution during the 1990s, into the new millennium and beyond.
In the 1980’s, this iconic piece was used to signify membership into the subcultural groups of the day. Punks adorned the Polo Shirt and paired it with sta-pressed trousers, braces and Docs. Mod revivalists took advantage of its sleek construction and wearability to elevate casual looks. And following the emergence of Britpop in the early nineties, the ‘Fred Perry‘ as it became known, was seen as a must-have for anyone looking to imitate the likes of Blur and Oasis in the pub, at a gig, or on the terraces.
Since then we’ve seen many celebrities, style icons and trendsetters take the Fred Perry Polo and make it their own. Amy Winehouse was a fan. As was Freddie Mercury. And you’d be hard pushed to forget the Modfather himself, Paul Weller when thinking about the brand with the laurel wreath’s impact on British culture. But when all is said and done, it is the popularity of Fred Perry among those at street level – the everyman/woman – that has driven the overwhelming popularity of the brand, cementing its reputation as an unwavering part of UK street style.
The pairing of the famous Laurel logo, the instantly recognisable twin-tipped collar and clean-cut aesthetic of the polo indicates to passers-by that its wearer – whether Mod icon, Punk disrupter or Terrace god – holds up a commitment to timeless style rather than fleeting fashion trends, solidifying Fred Perry as one of the most beloved British brands, even after 70 years.
To coincide with Fred Perry celebrating its recent 70th anniversary, here at Aphrodite, we’ve pulled together the finest examples of the Fred Perry Polo from the current collection for our customers to browse.
Read the Fred Perry 70th anniversary blog here.