Polo shirts have started as practical clothing for sports like tennis, golf, and polo and graduated to one of the most popular and controversial styles ever.
It’s often associated with prep schools, golf-playing businessmen and wealthy men on yachts hence the controversy. For decades, polo shirts were also overshadowed by classic crewnecks and Henleys precisely because of those widespread dislike associations.
However, in recent years, we’ve seen more and more polos in luxury brands and the more affordable shops too. This brings up our today’s dilemma – are polo shirts still fashionable?
First of all, we need to admit that the polo shirt is a timeless piece of clothing. Whether you like it or not, it’s classier than your traditional tee, and you can dress it up or dress it down as needed.
The collar and the buttons give it the “I put some effort in this” look, and the firm cotton or knitted fabrics usually keep better shape than any other tee.
Polo shirt styles
To fully understand the polo shirt, we need to look into different styles because there’s more than your monochrome tee.
Your classic polo tee is made of cotton and comes in an array of colours from the basics like black and white to pastels to bright neon (maybe stay away from these, though).
Cotton polo’s are summer favourites from day to night and can be worn with chinos, jeans and even Bermuda shorts.
These classic tees are not too tight yet not too loose and give a guy the permission to experiment with different shades.
You’ve got to look for quality, though, so only shop for high-quality brands like Fresh Clean Tees to ensure the best fit and durable polo tees.
A linen polo is relatively new, but it’s gained much popularity in the last couple of years, especially for the summer. These tees are more relaxed and have that old-school vibe that’s been trending for a while now.
Linen polos also usually come in more natural, earthy colours such as brown, orange, beige, light blue or white.
Knitted polo shirts remind us of the 50s and 70s in all the best ways. This style works great for summer and fall, making it a very versatile item.
It’s one of those trendy basics fashion people are relying on to create their simple yet chic looks.
Knitted polos are usually made from cotton and wool and are super soft to touch.
It’s a slippery slope when it comes to graphic polos. While tiny details or subtle prints can add to the look, making it more unique or cool, large logos are a definite no-no.
Some people might think that promoting famous brands on their attire gives them an edge, but the reality is that it’s tacky. Case closed.
Listen, we’re not telling you what to do but stay away from poly polos if you can. You’re welcome.
How to choose a Polo
We’ve covered the fabrics, but let’s talk about fit for a minute. One of the reasons a polo shirt gets a bad rep is the fact that many guys wear baggy, oversized tees like there’s nothing wrong with that.
Newsflash, there is. And if you’re one of those guys, its’s time for a change.
Here are three things you should know about choosing the fit of your polo.
Length. The bottom hem should be no higher than the hip and no lower than a few inches below your waistband. You want to be able to tuck your shirt, but you don’t want to look like you’re wearing a dress when it’s untucked.
Sleeves. The sleeves should go to about midway of your bicep and shouldn’t cover more than two-thirds of your arm. It’s one of the most common mistakes, so make sure you don’t make it!
The overall fit. You want to find a polo that’s not too tight and not too baggy, except if you’re in super shape; in that case, go on, show it all off!
How to style a Polo shirt
As we’ve established earlier, a polo is very versatile, and you can either dress it up or dress it down. Here are some ideas on how to style it.
Polo with sweatpants for the weekend
Yes, you can wear a polo tee with sweatpants! It will quickly become your favourite weekend attire for running errands and hanging out. Few things to remember, though: always think about the colours, never forget to clean and iron your items and opt for tailored sweatpants. Add nice stylish sneakers, and you’re good to go!
Polo with a blazer and jeans
The fall is a great time to layer your outfit, and nothing looks better than a polo on nice dark denim trousers and with your favourite blazer. It will work for the office, dates and even semi-format events!
Always opt only for the best quality tee in this case and stay away from the bright primary colours.
Polo with chinos and a cardigan
Another great semi format outfit is pairing an earth-toned polo with your chinos and a classic blazer. This is the ultimate autumnal look and will work for pretty much any occasion!
So, are Polo shirts still fashionable?
The short answer is “heck yeah”, the longer one is – get the right fit and style it properly to get the most of this timeless and classic tee, and you’ll enjoy it for years to come!