How To Wear Polo Shirts: A Comprehensive Style Guide For Men

How To Wear Polo Shirts: A Comprehensive Style Guide For Men

Polo shirts are an indispensable part of men's fashion, gaining popularity for their versatility and timeless appeal. Whether you're going for a casual, semi-formal, or even a formal look, polo shirts can be styled in various ways to suit different occasions

Let's face it - you just can't beat a nice polo shirt. They can be dressed up or down, they're available in colours to suit any style or occasion, and they don't necessarily require any high-maintenance dry-cleaning or ironing - what's not to love?!

Polos really do tick all the boxes: they're practical and comfortable without compromising on style. We've put together this comprehensive guide to all things polos, showcasing our best polo shirt brands and ways you can style a polo for any situation.

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Polo Shirts 101

What is a polo shirt?

Polo shirts, also known as golf shirts or tennis shirts, are collared shirts typically made of breathable cotton or a blend of fabrics. They feature a buttoned placket and a distinctive ribbed collar and sleeve cuffs. Polo shirts come in various styles, including classic, slim fit, long sleeve, and more, catering to all body types and preferences.

Origins Of A Timeless Classic

Polo shirts have become a timeless staple in the world of fashion, known for their versatility and classic appeal. The polo shirt has a rich and varied history, dating back to the early 1900s. The first polo shirts were designed specifically for polo players, hence the name. The players needed comfortable and lightweight shirts that allowed freedom of movement while maintaining a sense of style. The design of the modern polo shirt was adapted from the traditional long-sleeved shirts worn by polo players, featuring a collar that could be flipped up to protect the neck from the sun.

Today, the polo shirt is a staple of casual and athletic fashion, worn by people of all ages and backgrounds. Its versatility and comfort have made it a timeless classic that continues to evolve with changing fashion trends.

Different Styles of Polo Shirts

Polo shirts come in various styles, each with its own unique characteristics. Classic polo shirts are the most traditional and timeless, featuring a regular fit that suits a wide range of body types. Slim-fit polo shirts, on the other hand, offer a more tailored and modern silhouette, perfect for those who prefer a sleeker look. For cooler weather, long-sleeved polo shirts and rugby tops are a great option. These variations ensure that there is a polo shirt to suit every individual's style and preference.

Casual & Smart-Casual Dress Code

Casual & Smart-Casual Dress Shirts

One of the reasons why polo shirts have gained such popularity is their ability to effortlessly transition from formal to casual occasions. When it comes to casual styling, polo shirts and activewear polos are a go-to choice due to their comfort and versatility. The breathable fabric and relaxed fit make them perfect for leisurely activities or laid-back gatherings.

To truly embrace the casual nature of polo shirts, it's important to maintain a relaxed and effortless style. Avoid overthinking or over-accessorising. Let the simplicity of the polo shirt speak for itself. Embrace a laid-back attitude and confidence, and you'll effortlessly exude a casual yet stylish look.

How To Wear A Polo For Casual & Smart-Casual

When selecting a polo shirt for a casual look, it's essential to consider both the colour and fabric. Casual and smart-casual dress codes allow for more freedom and versatility in your choice of wear, so don't be afraid to experiment with bolder patterns and colours. Opting for lighter colours such as pastels or earth tones can create a relaxed and approachable vibe. Striped polo shirts are a perfect middle ground that feels casual whilst remaining smart and stylish. Fabrics like cotton or linen offer a comfortable and breathable feel, perfect for warm weather.

To achieve a relaxed and effortless style with polo shirts, consider pairing them with jeans, shorts, and casual footwear. For a classic and timeless look, chinos or jeans are a great option. Choose a slim or straight fit for a sleek silhouette. If you prefer a more relaxed vibe, opt for shorts, particularly during the summer months. As for footwear, sneakers or loafers complement polo shirts perfectly, ensuring both comfort and style.

5 Tips For Achieving A Relaxed & Effortless Style

  1. Choose the right fit: Casual dress codes allow you to strike a balance between comfort and style. Opt for a more relaxed fit polo for an effortlessly cool feel.
  2. Pair it with jeans: A classic combination is a polo shirt paired with jeans. This outfit will never go out of style and is perfect for any casual occasion.
  3. Accessorise: Simple accessories like a watch, sunglasses or belt can add a touch of casual style to your polo shirt outfit.
  4. Roll up the sleeves: For a more relaxed look, roll up the sleeves of your polo shirt.
  5. Choose the right shoes: The shoes you choose to wear with your polo shirt can help create a more casual or dressy look. Casual footwear such as sneakers or sandals are perfect for a casual dress code. For smart-casual dress codes, boots and loafers will take the sophistication of your outfit up a notch.

Remember, dressing for a casual dress code means keeping it simple, comfortable, and stylish.

Semi-Formal Dress Code

Polo shirts are a versatile choice for semi-formal events. They strike the perfect balance between casual and formal, allowing you to look stylish and put together without being overly dressed up. Whether it's a social gathering or a business-casual occasion, here are some tips on how to style a polo shirt for a semi-formal dress code.

How To Style A Polo: Semi-Formal

When selecting a polo shirt for a semi-formal event, opt for colours that are classic and understated such as navy, white, or light pastel shades. Avoid loud patterns and go for a clean, minimalist look. Pair your polo shirt with chinos or tailored trousers for a polished appearance. Consider wearing loafers or dress shoes that complement the colour of your outfit. To add a touch of sophistication, accessorise with a leather belt and a subtle wristwatch.

5 Tips For Achieving An Understated Yet Smart Look

  1. Fit is key: Ensure your polo shirt fits well, neither too tight nor too loose. It should skim your body without being restrictive.
  2. Opt for quality fabrics: Choose polo shirts made from high-quality materials like cotton or a cotton blend for a refined look and comfortable feel.
  3. Pay attention to grooming: Maintain a well-groomed appearance by neatly trimming facial hair, styling your hair, and keeping your nails clean and tidy.
  4. Add subtle details: Incorporate small details like a pocket square, a lapel pin, or a metal collar stay to elevate your overall look.
  5. Confidence is key: Remember to wear your outfit with confidence. A well-fitted polo shirt paired with the right accessories can make a statement while keeping your look understated and smart.

Formal Dress Code

Contrary to popular belief, polo shirts can be a surprisingly suitable choice for formal occasions. By following a few guidelines, you can transform a polo shirt into an appropriate and stylish option for formal dress codes.

Decode the difference between semi-formal vs. formal dress codes in our comprehensive guide on the hub.

How To Style A Polo Shirt: Formal & Black Tie

When selecting a polo shirt for formal or black-tie events, opt for dark, solid colours such as black, charcoal grey, or deep navy. These colours exude elegance and sophistication. Pair your polo shirt with tailored pants in a complementary neutral shade. Complete the look with dress shoes, preferably in black or a matching colour. If you need footwear inspiration, check out our guide to 7 types of men's dress shoes. For an added touch of formality, consider layering your polo shirt with a well-fitted blazer or suit jacket.

5 Tips For Dressing Up A Polo For Formal Attire

  1. Choose the right fabric: Opt for a polo shirt made from a high-quality fabric like pique cotton, which has a more refined texture.
  2. Embrace simplicity: Stick to a classic and minimalistic style without any flashy logos or embellishments on the polo shirt.
  3. Perfect the fit: Ensure the polo shirt fits impeccably, hugging your body without being too tight or loose for a put-together look.
  4. Pay attention to details: Invest in high-quality accessories like a sleek leather belt, cufflinks, and a well-made wristwatch to enhance the formality of your polo outfit.
  5. Don't be afraid to make a statement: Carry yourself with confidence and poise. Remember that a well-styled polo shirt can make a sophisticated statement in a formal setting.

Essential Polo Shirt Care Tips

Short Sleeve Stripe Blue Polo Shirt

Proper care is crucial to maintain the quality and longevity of your polo shirts. Follow these essential care tips to ensure your polo shirts stay in excellent condition.

How to properly fold and store polo shirts

To prevent stretching or misshaping, it's best to fold your polo shirts instead of hanging them. Start by buttoning up the top button and laying the shirt on a flat surface. Fold one side of the shirt inward, about one-third of the way, and repeat on the other side. Then, fold the bottom of the shirt up to meet the collar. Finally, fold the shirt in half, creating a neat and compact fold. Store your folded polo shirts in a drawer or on a shelf to protect them from dust and maintain their shape.

To keep your polo shirts organised and easily accessible, consider using drawer dividers or organisers. These help to keep your shirts neatly folded and prevent them from getting tangled or wrinkled. You can also sort your polo shirts by colour or style to make it easier to find the shirt you want to wear. Another tip is to rotate the shirts in your wardrobe regularly. This helps to distribute the wear and prevents any one shirt from becoming overused.

Tips for washing and ironing polo shirts

Before washing your polo shirts, always check the care instructions on the label. In general, it's best to wash polo shirts in cold water to prevent colour fading or shrinking. Use a gentle detergent and avoid bleach or harsh chemicals. To prevent wrinkles, remove the shirts from the washing machine promptly and shake them gently before laying them flat or hanging them to dry. If ironing is necessary, use a low to medium heat setting and iron the shirt while it is slightly damp. This helps to remove wrinkles effectively without damaging the fabric.

How to remove common stains from polo shirts

Stains can happen, but with the right techniques, you can effectively remove them from your polo shirts. For food or beverage stains, blot the stain with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove any excess. Then, apply a small amount of mild detergent directly to the stain and gently rub it in. Let the detergent sit for a few minutes before rinsing the shirt with cold water. For tougher stains, you can use a stain remover or pre-treatment product. Always follow the instructions on the stain remover and test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the shirt before applying it to the stain.

Best Polo Shirt Brands for Men

When it comes to polo shirts, certain brands have established themselves as leaders in the field. These brands are renowned for their quality, style, and range of options:

US Polo Assn

There may be no other brand as synonymous with the polo shirt as US Polo Assn. US Polo Assn. is the licensed brand of the US Polo Association (USPA), a non-profit organisation founded in 1890 to promote the sport of polo in the United States.

The USPA launched the US Polo Association brand in 1890 to promote the sport of polo and create a uniform for polo players. The brand was originally focused on creating high-quality polo equipment, including protective gear, riding boots, and polo shirts. Over time, the US Polo Association brand began to expand its offerings to include a wider range of clothing and accessories.

Today, US Polo Assn. is a global lifestyle brand loved by consumers around the world. They offer a wide range of classic and timeless polo shirts. Known for their attention to detail and superior craftsmanship, their shirts are made with high-quality fabrics and feature iconic polo shirt designs. US Polo Assn. caters to all bodies with an extensive range of plus-size menswear and polos to choose from as well.

Bronson, Bronson Casual & Bronson Basic

Bronson is a menswear brand that offers a wide range of clothing, including shirts, fleeces, jackets, footwear and accessories. Their polo shirts come in a range of colours and cuts, allowing you to find the perfect fit and style for your wardrobe. Bronson shirts are known for their quality construction and comfortable fabrics, making them a reliable choice for everyday wear. They use premium fabrics like cotton, linen, and wool to create comfortable and durable clothing that stands the test of time. The brand also offers a variety of sizes to ensure that every customer can find the perfect fit.

Bronson, Bronson Casual, and Bronson Basic clothing have a modern, minimalist aesthetic that appeals to a wide range of men. Their shirts are constructed with clean lines and simple details, making them versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down.

By choosing a reputable brand, you can ensure that your polo shirts are made to last, providing both style and durability.

Blue Long Sleeve Stripe Dress Shirt

The Polo Playbook: A Timeless & Classic Style Icon That Belongs In Your Wardrobe

A well-fitted polo shirt is an essential piece for any man's wardrobe. With the versatility and comfort it provides, this timeless piece can be used to create a variety of different looks. Choosing the right colour, style, and fit can make all the difference in how you look and feel. So, head out to your local store and start experimenting with different styles and combinations to find what works best for you.

Ready for polo season? Get started by browsing our fantastic range of men's polos in-store or online now.