Ralph Lauren hit the fashion jackpot when they launched their now ubiquitous polo shirt 50 years ago. A fixture of nearly every man’s wardrobe since, the brand has decided to celebrate the milestone of half a century with a book dedicated to the evolution of the one and only Ralph Lauren polo shirt.

Succinctly and accurately titled Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt and published by Rizzoli International, the coffee table book investigates the history of a shirt that has shaped our understanding of the definition of smart casual. Minimal in design, yet versatile in its use, the polo shirt represents peak Americana: a sport-like comfort presented in a chic, elevated form. In homage to the polo’s chameleon-like presence, the cover of the book will be available in multiple colourways – much as the polo and stitched emblem could create a personalised style accent.

Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt.

There’s much talk around what constitutes a “staple” of clothing, but even the white T-shirt has some stiff competition from a fellow legend of fashion – the Ralph Lauren polo shirt. The cornerstone of the prep trend, a casual alternative to the collared shirt and comfortable go-to for weekends, Ralph Lauren’s polo shirt is to menswear what the tank is to womenswear – essential and timeless.

Few other items can boast the kind of congregation that the Ralph Lauren polo shirt has within its church. Spotted on the backs of presidents, sportsmen, rappers, actors, artists – there’s few sectors the polo hasn’t found itself in.

The book will also highlight iconic campaign images from the polo shirt’s history.

To coincide with the milestone and the launch of the book, an extended selection of the polo shirt will also be available should you need to add a new something to your wardrobe. Including a limited number of select vintage and collectible designs that are depicted within the pages of Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt. These will only be made available across certain regions, but if you’re a purist who likes to have an original this is your chance to get your hands on a piece of history.

An alternative angle to the vintage hook is the Upcycled Polo Shirt. Selected from a limited-edition collection of Polo Shirts that have been hand-repaired by artisans from the Los Angeles-based circular design platform, Atelier & Repairs, each Polo is sourced from North America, and given a second life through a unique over-dyeing process that gives each shirt its vibrant true indigo hue and patched with vintage fabrics on the placket and at the gussets.

Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt.

The third option, and perhaps the most exciting, is a customisation offering. A Create Your Own (CYO) Customisation program featuring the recently introduced Custom Polo, Made to Order that includes a choice of solid, striped or colour-blocked designs for the body, collar and sleeves, as well as the ability to have lettering and symbols knit into each cuff. This on-demand manufacturing model helps reduce product inventory and provides hundreds of combinations available for the customer to make each polo their own to then be knit to order using elevated flat knit technology.

For more information on the collectable Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt from Rizzoli International, check out Ralph Lauren.