It was actually invented by tennis player Rene Lacoste, in 1926.  He decided that the stiff tennis attire was too cumbersome and uncomfortable, so he designed a white, short-sleeved, loosely-knit piqué cotton (he called the cotton weave jersey petit piqué) shirt with an unstarched, flat, protruding collar, a buttoned placket, and a longer shirt-tail in back than in front, which he first wore at the 1926 U.S. Open championship.