Most if not all of us men love polo shirts.
They are quite comfortable to wear and fashionably versatile. You can wear them in almost any occasion and look amazing between trips.
Depending on how well you carry it, a polo shirt can also make you look sleek and sharp in a semi-formal meet-up.
Throw in a suit jacket and you can eat your heart out in a fine dining restaurant.In this review we have rounded up the best of the best polos for men to point you to the right direction.
But before you get your mind blown of the thousands of options that you get to choose from online, it would be wise to first gear yourself up with some basic knowledge about this amazing American classic.
My Top Picks for Men's Polo Shirts!
Need a new polo? Check out my top picks!
Defining a Polo Shirt
The polo shirt is one of the most loved types of pullovers because of its versatility, function, and comfort. The polo shirt basically has a collar and an opening across the front side of the neck that can be securely closed with two to three buttons.
Traditional polo shirts were usually made of jersey or pique fabrics. However, you can find newer versions of polo shirts made of almost any kind of fabric such as cotton, linen, and silk. They come with long sleeves for both sporty and formal wears. Polo shirts also come in a wide variety of shades, styles, and prints to offer diversity in appeal.
Watch this video to learn how to rock a polo shirt in 4 guaranteed-to-look-good ways:
Did you know...?
The polo shirt was actually invented by a tennis player and not by a gang of polo playing cavaliers. Before the birth of polo shirts, tennis players had to deal with old tennis uniforms defined with white long sleeves paired with dress trousers. By the looks of it, the old tennis uniform was pretty uncomfortable and significantly limited the movement of the player.
Enter Jean Rene Lacoste, a French tennis champion. For Lacoste, the old tennis uniform just won’t do. He took the initiative to design and develop his own style of tennis outfit through his innovative and creative imagination. He replaced the full arm sleeves with cuffed and fitted short sleeves and matched it with unstarched flat collar that can be flipped upright to provide a comfortable shade across the back of the neck. And this collar is a secured with a half placket matched with two buttons. Using a cotton fabric, Jean Rene Lacoste introduced his polo shirt design to the public in time of the 1926 US Open which he eventually won over.
Polo Shirt vs T-Shirt
The polo shirt and T shirt are two of the most commonly worn types of clothing by both men and women. Both are pretty comfortable and amazingly functional making them ideal garments for a wide variety of purposes and occasions.
The term T shirt was coined after the T shape formed by the body and sleeves of the attire. It is a pull over with either V or U neck shapes. They are basically collarless and come in a wide variety of styles, designs, and prints. In place of a collar which can be commonly found among polo shirts, T shirts sometimes come with a hoody.
The polo shirt on the other hand is basically composed of short fitted sleeves with two-three button placket and flat collar. Compared to T shirts, polo shirts are not limited as a casual wear. They can be worn in semi-formal and formal occasions with the help of a suite jacket for the latter.
Wear them right, polo shirts can make you look awesome year round. Wear them wrong and it will definitely spell disaster.
Polo shirts are not designed to be worn with an undershirt. They are fitting with just the right lengths in various parts. Wearing an undershirt in it will only make you feel uncomfortable throughout the day. Apart from parts of the undergarment peeking through the ends of your polo shirt, it will spoil the overall fitting look of the latter will make it appear full and crumpled instead.
The ideal polo shirt should be semi-fit, a fitting in between loose and tight. Getting a smaller of larger size of the shirt directly depends on your body size and how the clothing drapes throughout your contours.
Never flip your collar up. You can only do this if you are a professional tennis player in the middle of a game. Another exception is if your age is below 12 years old. As much as possible, keep your nice and laid back.
Some polo shirts nowadays come with overwhelmingly large logos. Avoid them. Keep your polo shirts clean and simple. You can opt for different shades and styles but never get tempted with humungous longos that hunger for attention,
Whether or not you want to wear your polo shirt tucked in totally depends on the situation. You could use a tucked in look for those semi-formal to formal occasions. On the other hand, the laid back untucked polo shirt will do just fine for those casual strolls. You must also consider the length of the shirt’s tail. Long tail polo shirts can be quite annoying and uncomfortable when tucked in. And they look even worse when untucked.
When Buying Polo Shirts...
Not all polo shirts are destined to look good on you. When you are purchasing a polo shirt online, it is only imperative to set some guidelines to help you land on a product that would best define your fashion statement and personality. Here are some critical factors to consider before you hit that “Buy” button:
- Perhaps the most critical factor to consider in buying a polo shirt is the clothing’s fit. This directly depends on the built and size of your body. A good fit should not make you look sloppy. It shouldn’t also make you look like a grown man stuck in a 12 year old boy’s shirt. A good fit will help you move and breathe comfortably while effectively complementing your body shape.
- The overall style of the shirt shouldn’t be a problem. It all depends on the wearer’s personal preference. Lucky for us modern men, polo shirts nowadays come with a wide array of styles to meet unique fashion requirements. With or without a logo, the choice is totally up to you.
- The brand of the polo shirt is also more of a personal choice. Buying a polo shirt from a well-known brand ensures good quality of the garment and the pride of wearing a reputable logo. Some favorite names in the world of polo shirts are Lacoste, Hugo Boss, Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, and many others.
- Overall comfort and functionality of the polo shirt depends on the fabric used. Polo shirts of today are made of various types of fabrics with different sets of benefits and drawbacks. The most commonly used fabric is cotton which can make the polo shirt super light and breathable. Another commonly used fabric is the jersey-knit which can make the polo shirt soft and elastic. On the other hand, the blended fabric is a combination of two to three fibers and is used to develop polo shirts that are wrinkle and stain resistant.
Polo Shirt Colors
The overall appeal of the polo shirt is significantly affected by its color or shade. As much as you want to try on some fun and active colors, polo shirts are better off with bold and basic hues. Polo shirts are created to project simple and subtle impression with a dash of sophistication. Some of the most commonly used basic hues on polo shirts are white, black, green, light blue, purple, orange, pink, and yellow.
Now that I've covered some of the basics, let's get into some of my favorite products.
Made of polyester and cotton this performance type polo shirt by Hanes is a great choice for those who live an active lifestyle. It is super breathable and absorbent ensuring comfort throughout the day. It is safe for machine wash and comes with a three button placket.
Even just by the looks of it, this SportShield Polo is super comfortable and lightweight. They are extremely flexible so they stay in good shape even when you’re working out in the gym. They come in a wide variety of color options and offers great durability.
For men of all sizes, Lee Men’s Uniform Modern Fit Polo Shirt could be the ideal choice. It offers a variety of special fitting – classic, modern, and big and tall. Whether or not you are a plus sized dude, you’ll definitely land on a good fit with these polo shirts.
This polo shirt is another great choice for those warmer days. Its super breathable design ventilates the whole body through and through. It comes equipped with moisture wicking technology so you stay dry even when others are already sweating it out.
There are a lot of good polo shirts out there in the market. But in this review, we only have to choose one above the cream of the crop. Of the five cool choices listed above, my best bet would be the Jerzees Men’s 437 SportShield Polo. Its slim fit style makes it perfect for men with well-built physique. It can be super flexible and comfortable at the same time to effectively accommodate intense outdoor activities without falling out of style.
Written by Robert Ordway
Raised in the small mill town of Lake Station, Indiana, Robert’s blue collar upbringing exposed him to little if any of the clothing industry. Robert has been following the menswear industry for over a decade and has been significantly influenced by the book, Dressing the Man by Alan Flusser. From 2009-2012, he worked in retail sales at both Brooks Brothers and JCrew. In 2015, Robert received the Custom Clothier certification from the Custom Tailor and Designers Association (CTDA), the oldest continuously operating trade organization in the United States. He is the former owner of Rusted Oak, a men’s retail clothing store in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Today, Robert's mission is to teach men of all shapes and sizes about grooming care, general life style tips, and of course male fashion stemming from his deep career in the fashion industry.