A Brief History Of Sport Style

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A Brief History Of Sport Style

Words by Mr Chris Elvidge

27 April 2015

With the trend of sports-inspired menswear reaching its apex, we look at how it all started.

Much of what we wear today finds its origins on the sporting field. You don’t need a degree in fashion history to make an educated guess at the provenance of the baseball cap or tennis sneakers, but there are other elements of the casual male wardrobe that you might not have assumed had sporting pedigree: the button-down collar, for instance.

Likewise, many of today’s most famous brands have sport woven tightly into their DNA. Polo Ralph Lauren was inspired by the easy elegance of the sport from which it took its name, while several venerable fashion houses that still exist today began life as specialist sporting outfitters (Dunhill was founded in 1893 as a motoring accessories company, for instance).

To celebrate the launch of our new sporting category on MR PORTER, we’ve made a short film that examines the history of the enduring and fruitful marriage between sports and style. Narrated by Mr Michael Griffiths and researched and written by the inimitable Mr David Kamp, it explains the origins of the word “sporty” and tells the story of Messrs René Lacoste, John E Brooks and other men who, over the course of the past hundred years, have left an indelible impression on the way we dress.

Film by Mosaic Films

Script by Mr David Kamp