Odds are you don’t know a single person who plays the sport of polo. But just about everyone you know owns a polo shirt. It’s place in a stylish guy’s closet is as assured as a pair of jeans and a button down oxford. The reason is the shirt’s versatility. The addition of a collar instantly elevates it above the standard T-shirt, so you can wear a polo to slightly dressier occasions (don’t be the guy who wears it with a tie.) But since it traces its origins to sports, the polo is very much at home in more relaxed settings.
That versatility is also reflected in the different styles of polo shirts that are available this season. Whether you’re chilling at the pool, going to a concert, or heading to work, we have found the perfect polo shirt for every occasion and every budget.
They say you get what you pay for. Well, for less than $15, you can get this polo from H&M in a classic navy and white striped pattern that will fit in whether you’re playing tennis or going to a rooftop BBQ.
UNIQLO X MICHAEL BASTIAN
Renowned menswear designer Michael Bastian excels at taking traditional preppy styles and updating them with a unique flavor. His latest collaboration with Uniqlo features a series of polo shirts and this is one of the standout items. The lack of buttons is reminiscent of a vintage soccer jersey, while the color palette recalls the grass courts of Wimbledon.
What is the difference between a leisure shirt and a polo shirt, you may ask? I have no clue. But I do know that this American Apparel shirt pulls off a cool, 70s vibe effortlessly. The jersey cotton is as soft as your favorite T-shirt so you’ll find yourself throwing it on for just about any occasion.
WALLACE & BARNES
Dyed with real indigo, one of the most popular colors this spring, this polo will develop its own patina the more you wash it and will break in the same way a good pair of raw denim does. The all-over anchor print adds a classy detail, but its subtle enough that you won’t look like Danny Noonan at the yacht club in Caddyshack.
The iconic Fred Perry shirt with it’s striped collar and cuffs has been worn everywhere from country club tennis courts to punk concert mosh pits. Wherever you fall in that spectrum, you’ll appreciate the soft cotton polo with its laurel wreath emblem. Button it all the way up for a sleek, downtown vibe or leave it unbuttoned to keep it casual.
POLO RALPH LAUREN
You can’t talk about polo shirts and not mention the brand that made its name on the style. The classic Polo Ralph Lauren shirt has been updated in a number of different ways in recent years, from fabrics to colors to fits. One of the best new additions is the bolder, big pony style. With a number on the sleeve, you may be tempted to actually saddle up for a chukker, but we strongly advise against that.
COMME DES GARCONS PLAY
One of the easiest ways to distinguish one polo shirt from another is the logo over the left breast. For some, it’s a mark of status. With the Comme des Garcons Play line, it also adds a little fun. The clever heart with eyes helps this white polo stand out from a sea of lookalikes.