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Mr René Lacoste (1904-1996) was a tennis champ. The Lacoste shirts were created as early as 1933 and the polos (or so-called "izods" in english) were created in 1960. We used to call them "polos Lacoste" in French. Basically they were short-sleeved polo shirts intended to play tennis. Until the mid-eighties they were only made in bright colors such as green or pink, and white of course. but then they released other colors such as navy blue, grey, brown, dark green, red, yellow... for a total of pproximately 20 distinct colors. There were indeed 3 buttons located one above the other just before the collar (the collar itself had no button). The Lacoste logo was an alligator on the left breast. Some ladies used to wear them with the collar "put up." Polos now have 2 buttons instead of 3. I indeed remember buying some in 1989 and they already had only 2 buttons..
The alligator was turning its head towards the "outside" of the chest. There were cheap imitations made in Taiwan, and you could recognize them because they mistakingly put an alligator that was turning its head in the wrong direction, that is toward the center of the chest.
There were also jokes: a factory released some polos where the alligator was on top of a second alligator. The trademark itself was a pun that was written just under the alligators: "J'accoste" instead of "Lacoste", which means in French: "I'm accosting".
The real Lacoste polos were considered very classy and worn by preppies. They later were used by just everyone and stopped being a symbol of upper-class clothing. Because of that, the preppies who used to buy them now prefer to go for Ralph Lauren, even in countries like France. However there are still many Lacoste shops, and there is even one on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
The following are links about Izods you may find interesting. Also check out the other =Clothes of the 80s?> pages.
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