Is that a Polo shirt or a one-legged lion with a toothpick in its mouth?  Everyone knows when you ask for a Polo shirt you’re expecting Ralph Lauren not just some cotton knockoff.   The term “polo shirt” has become a catch all for any “casual short-sleeved cotton shirt with a collar and several buttons at the neck” (according to Wikipedia.

As a cheap private school student, my friends and I would spend hours looking through racks of discounted merchandise just to find that rose (of a shirt) in a field of thorns. Or perhaps better phrased as “the real Ralph Lauren Polo with a tiny hole in the armpit that no one will see and only the frugal will purchase.”  I can remember my older brother saving all of his grass cutting money to buy the latest Polo shirt in summer colors.  I can also remember the fist fights when my younger brother wore it to party and got a giant stain down the front.

Why did we care so much? After all, it was the early 1990’s, when kids played outside and no one was bombarded by pop-up ads and email offers. 

It’s because trends are set by our peers, and the cool kids, and the agenda-setters, and the jocks.  Hollywood stars aside, all it took are someone in your neighborhood to try to pull off some Top Gun aviators and before you know it, the baseball team is looking like miniature Tom Cruises.  Or I guess, like regular Tom Cruises.

Back to the brand.  You don’t have $50 to go to the mall and spend on a new Polo t-shirt.   If you want the look, just design your own t-shirt.  First go to Whooptee.com and find a shirt like the Bella Ladies’ 1x1 Short Sleeve Scoopneck T-Shirt in pink.  Next, open a new tab and search Free Polo Silhouettes to find an image free to use.  Go back to the Whooptee and use the Designer Tool to insert the image.   Now order.  Cheaper than the name brand, just as cool and no gas money wasted.  

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