Imagine stumbling on the perfect vintage polo. You know the one: perfectly broken in, slightly faded, fitted but not overly so. It’s soft and supple in your hands – except for the collar, which is preternaturally perky, as though being held in place by the same guardian golf angel you’re hoping will guide your ball down the fairway.
Now imagine buying it brand new. And then buying six more colors so that you can wear one every day of the week.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Criquet’s vintage, classic look, and I really love the 19th hole spirit behind the brand,” – Luke Wilson
That’s what Criquet co-founders Hobson Brown and Billy Nachman were hoping to make a reality when they launched the brand and its celebrated Players Shirt. Inspired by the stylish golf greats of the ‘70s and ‘80s (as well as the polos worn by parents and uncles while the founders were growing up in Austin, Texas), the shirt’s name is a nod to the game – but the vibe is all lifestyle.
“It’s really about the look,” said Hobson. “We took the features we loved from the old-school golf polos – the four-button placket, the pocket flap, the fit – and added collar stays to fight the dreaded ‘bacon collar’ effect you get after washing a few times. It’s also made of 100 percent cotton, so you don’t get that shine in the sun.”
The resulting product has garnered plenty of loyal fans, including actor and Criquet part-owner Luke Wilson. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Criquet’s vintage, classic look, and I really love the 19th hole spirit behind the brand,” said Luke. “They've managed to capture the laid-back vibe that’s unique to Austin and create a product that I can take from the golf course to the set.”
"As a company, I loved that these guys started something from scratch in Austin before its boom,” Luke added. “They started on a small scale doing a few things really well and sticking to a style that I loved.”
“They started on a small scale doing a few things really well and sticking to a style that I loved.” - Luke Wilson
The Players shirt now comes in short- and long-sleeved styles, as well as a performance version with added stretch and a slim cut for those who prefer a trendier fit. Regardless of which one you choose, however, the appeal is timeless.
"My dad was always well-dressed,” said Luke. “He was from Boston and he would go to this place in Harvard Square, which sold clothes to the professor, boarding school crowd. So I grew up liking that style, classic fashion that’s basic and versatile. They get better with age.”