The Polo is the most humiliating top and the world may not want it anymore
Polo shirts fucking suck.
So let’s say that you ran your very own supermarket or even a fast food restaurant. You’re getting ready to hire some people and then suddenly you realize that they need a uniform. For the sake of ease and simplicity, you would prefer to make your company’s sartorial moniker a basic tee and some jeans. But there isn’t enough professionalism in simplicity. Instead you have to give them something more formal. So you decide that all of your future employees shall only be allowed entry if wearing a ironed oxford, tucked into a tailored pair of trousers. But that is a bit much to expect from the people that you desperately want to pay minimum wage.
What’s the solution? I give you — the polo. Maybe at one point in time, they had a notable connotation to polo players, or some other sect of country club wealth. But as time has elapsed and companies paying minimum wage expect a little more than minimum effort, they needed a little more than a basic uniform for the people they were about to abuse. In doing so, they took a glance at the polo: it’s formal enough to have people look like they’re meant to be doing work in them, but not so formal that it requires the workers to spend more time outside of the job preparing for it, like with a suit.
And this adoption by retailers and fast food employers has generated some humiliating associations as this one Twitter user so rightfully points out.
It would also appear that polo shirts, specifically short sleeved ones, are seemingly dropping straight out of collections and the general fashion landscape. You can’t even buy one on the Bodega online store. Granted, it is a skate shop but perhaps that is very indicative of one reason why the polo is set to fall — people want skate wear. People also want street wear. People would rather wear rugby shirts, or camp collar short sleeved shirts.
When people see polos, they automatically either think of either the abused, the retail employee working tirelessly for a system that doesn’t care about them, or the abusers, frat boys.
And even though fashion shows clothing going in and out of style, I have a little gut feeling that polos, or at least short sleeved polos, will be the first big piece of clothing in a long time to just straight up disappear. Unfortunately, I have no statistics, but the next time you see a runway full of McDonald’s employees, let me know. But after a pandemic where, for many people, the only time they got dressed and left the house they were in a polo and khakis, I don’t think we will anytime soon.