In the 1920s, before the birth of synthetic athletic wear, Olympic athletes wore a jersey cotton top. It was short sleeved (though the sleeves were longer, coming down to the elbow), robust and had a round neck. Read more about the history of the sport shirt and the inspiring athletes that wore it.
In the early 20th century, tennis was the reserve of upper class Britain, and the attire players wore was equally restrictive, involving a long-sleeved collared shirt. Fred Perry, a working class player with a ferocious playing style, needed a less restrictive top. Read more about the history of the tennis polo here.
Henley Royal Regatta is the most prestigious regatta in the world, but as with all great things it had humble beginnings. The people of Henley in England were obsessed with rowing in the early 1800s and developed a certain vigorous rowing style that required a suitable garment. Read more about the henley's history.
During the 16th century, seafaring in Britain enjoyed a boom, with international trade having grown quickly. As the time spent at sea grew for fishermen, so did the need arise for a thick and robust top for the seamen to be protected from the elements. Read more about the history of the fisherman's sweater here.
Throughout history, the humble mock neck sweater had been adopted by a wide variety of people, from knights to sportsmen, to non-conformist artists. But there seems to be one common characteristic that unites its many wearers – courage. Read more about the history of the mock neck sweater here.