Ah, the misunderstood polo shirt. A staple among the likes of golfers and Caddyshack theme party-goers, the polo shirt is often perceived as the lowest common denominator of a 'business casual' dress standard.
Refusing to tolerate such mediocrity after a childhood spent in stiff prep-school school uniforms, friends Hobson Brown and Billy Nachman founded apparel company Criquet as a means to end their lifelong search for The Perfect Polo.
Think of the best shirt you own to date. Most likely, it isn’t a brand new Brooks Brother’s button down that ran you $100-plus or an American Apparel tee that ran you a ghastly $40. Rather, it's probably that perfectly washed, faded, funky-smelling-but-oh-so-glorious vintage shirt you nabbed from a random resale shop in town.
Primarily inspired by that vintage aesthetic and quality (and after some cringeworthy years of experimenting with popped collars, double collars and aggressively emblazoned logos), design duo Brown and Nachman fused “prep-school Preppy” with a dash of “Skinny Jeans Hipster” and a side of environmentally friendly flair to create the Criquet look.
Made from 100 percent organic cotton, the Criquet line has quickly expanded from a few short-sleeved options for men and women to shorts, long-sleeves styles and a line for children.
If Criquet shirts look familiar, it may be because you've seen ACL Live employees sporting them as part of their venue uniform. For those not lucky enough to score a shirt from your employer, purchasing directly from Criquet's e-commerce site is your best bet.
“Selling direct to our customers has given us the ability to provide a superior product (organic cotton, better details) while still remaining price competitive. It allows us to be green without having to overcharge for it,” says Nachman, who also alludes to future retail outposts with carefully selected partners.
Excited for the future of the small business, Criquet dreams of becoming a staple within the retail industry and, in turn, creating jobs for Austinites.
“We look forward to creating a workplace that attracts interesting, smart and fun people. We look to companies like Patagonia and Tom's Shoes for inspiration — that's the kind of apparel company we'd like to build,” says Brown.
With a perfect balance of vintage flair, hipster chic and local inspiration, it looks like Criquet is well on its way to being Austin's "Perfect Polo" for years to come. Visit criquetshirts.com.