How to wear a polo shirt
7th March 2018
The polo shirt is a style staple in every guy’s wardrobe – whether you’re a sportswear fan or a smooth dresser every day of the week.
We’ve rounded up how to wear a polo shirt and style it up – to ensure you look boss whatever you get up to.
What to wear with a polo shirt
It’s all about your personal style but when it comes to how to wear a polo shirt we’ve got some inspiration:
Trousers to wear with a polo shirt
1. Your go-to jeans
Polo shirts are easy to throw on with your best denim for an everyday, casual look. Darker jeans are best reserved for smarter occasions – think indigo or black. If you’re just hanging out at the weekend looser fit, lighter coloured denim is the best choice.
2. Slim fit joggers
Cuffed, slim fit joggers are the perfect streetwear option for a navy or black pair – then team these with a plain polo shirt with a sharp collar.
3. Tailored shorts
When you’re planning a big trip with the guys in the warmer months – a polo shirt is the perfect match for tailored shorts. Ideal for evenings spent chilling with a drink in hand. Striped polo shirts are a good fit, adding a little extra to your look and freedom when it comes to creating an outfit that really nails your vibe.
4. Cargo pant
Great for slightly smarter occasions, pair a crisp white polo shirt with low rise cargo pants for easy, laid back vibes. Avoid the styles featuring heavy side pockets – instead look for straight leg, relaxed fit cuts. Play around with colour and print – we’re loving a strong red for summer weddings or a bold blue for lunchtime drinks at the weekend.
Shoes to wear with a polo shirt
1. Chukka boots
Chukka boots are the best choice for smarter occasions – with suede styles working easily with your jeans and polo shirt combo.
2. Leather trainers
Great for weekend style, pull on a pair of clean trainers when teaming your polo shirt up with slim fit joggers. Court trainers with a retro vibe are the best choice and work with everything in your wardrobe.
For easy summer style, a pair of espadrilles are comfy when you’re chilling poolsideor heading out for the evening in tailored shorts and a polo shirt. Choose a pair featuring woven details and if you’re feeling bold steer away from your basic blue and black and look for a design featuring a strong print.
4. Slip on loafers
You need a pair of these shoes in your life – just be sure to wear them with invisible socks. There are a huge number of options – from velvet to embroidered – opt for an easy to style pair in black or brown and keep them ready for smarter occasions.
What to wear over a polo shirt
Polo shirts are great for layering – just ensure you stick to that ‘no t-shirt underneath’ rule. Here’s what you can throw on top:
Polo shirts and bomber jackets create that cool, retro vibe. When paired with work style boots they remind us of Mod fashion – and embracing your rebellious side. Best reserved for weekends stomping round town or hanging out at your fave bar with your mates – go for a khaki or camo print bomber to add some interest.
A slim fit polo shirt with a leather jacket is great for nailing bad boy vibes. Wear with slim fit black jeans and leather boots.
A thin, V-neck jumper thrown on over a polo shirt – instead of a dress shirt – is a good move. Do those buttons up and let the collar hang out. If you’re wearing a long sleeve polo shirt, roll up the sleeves then tuck these back over the jumper cuffs to mimic a shirt.
Dress things up a bit with a heavy denim shirt, worn open over the top of a white polo shirt. It’s a strong weekend look and when paired with jeans is ideal for nailing double denim vibes.
Hoodies are easy to throw on over most outfits but go great with a polo shirt. Look for a zip up style to ensure the polo is still on show and don’t be afraid to clash colours when it comes to your hoodie and shirt combo. Add a parka jacket on top to finish in colder weather.
How to wear a polo shirt
Taking all the suggestions above, here’s how to style a polo shirt for every occasion…
You can definitely wear a polo shirt for a smart occasion – think a summer wedding or dinner date. You also don’t want it to look like a school uniform – so best to skip the formal black trousers.
Instead, a looser fit blazer and dark coloured chinos are the best option if you want to create a smarter look with a polo shirt – ensure it’s tucked in to your cargo trousers.
Opt for a crisp white polo shirt, ensure the collar is ironed flat and doesn’t crumple at the edges and have all the buttons done up. Finish with espadrilles for a summer wedding or slip on loafers for everything else.
Shop the look:
If your office has this dress code in place, then a polo shirt is the ideal item to pair with dark denim – black jeans are easy to wear and always look good.
You can get away with more than a crisp white polo shirt as well – have a little fun with colours and don’t worry about doing the buttons all the way up to the top. Leave the polo shirt untucked and finish off with chukka boots.
Shop the look:
Polo shirts are easy to throw on, so pairing them with slim fit joggers for the weekend is ideal if you want a casual look. Playing with volume is a massive trend – so pair a longer, looser fit polo with your slim fit joggers. Trainers are perfect to finish off this look.
Shop the look:
What to look for in a polo shirt
A polo shirt should feature a few key things:
- A distinct logo – You can be as bold or subtle with this as you like, but since polo shirts originate from the days of tennis legends rocking branded styles, a logo on the chest of your polo shirt is a must.
- A good quality material – Whether you prefer pique or jersey, ensure your polo is a thicker material that washes well and holds its shape.
- Strong buttons – It’s a good idea to have at least one of the buttons done up.
- Range of colours – Ensure you have a few colour options to move between, in your wardrobe. Classics such as black, white and grey are essential but chuck in a fluro pink or a pastel yellow too.
- A structured collar – Most polo shirts come with ribbed folded collars, keep an eye on this over time and if it starts to crumple or roll in on itself it’s probably time to look at buying a replacement.
The rules of polo shirt wearing
Here’s a quick run through the do’s and don’ts:
How should a polo shirt fit?
Your typical polo shirt should be a slim fit but not too tight. This means you don’t need to wear a t-shirt underneath, always wear a polo shirt on its own.
The general rule is – If you can’t get your finger between the sleeve and your bicep comfortably you need to go a size up – yeah, we know you’ve worked hard in the gym lately but you don’t wanna bust out of your shirt.
How long should a polo shirt be?
In terms of length, a polo shirt should sit on your hips – not hang below your waistband – and the sleeves should end around mid-bicep. If you are looking for that retro vibe, sleeves that end higher up are a good choice.
Which material should you choose?
There are two main options when it comes to polo shirts:
What is a pique polo shirt?
Pique is simply the type of weave pattern, used to create a classic polo shirt. It is heavier and has a textured waffle pattern finish.
Jersey material polo shirts are generally lighter and have a slight stretch for a tighter fit – so are best for more casual scenarios.
Do you wear a polo shirt tucked or untucked?
Depends on the trousers. A tucked in polo shirt is best for a smarter look but if you’re just hanging out in jeans and trainers leave it untucked.
Don’t want to commit? Just tuck the front in and leave the back loose.
Should you ever pop the collar?
Nope – you’re not Usher. Leave your polo shirt collar turned down.
Button all the way up?
For smarter occasions doing all the buttons up is a good call. Otherwise you can get away with having just one done up. Avoid leaving them all undone and baring your chest hair.
A quick roundup on how to wear a polo shirt
- Fit – Ensure the polo shirt fits but isn’t too tight or too baggy – do the finger between bicep and material test to check.
- Buttons – Always have at least one button done.
- Iron – It goes without saying but ensure your polo shirt is freshly ironed before you leave the house – focus on the collar and check this is pressed into a neat fold to stay crisp all day.
- Tucked in – Tuck your polo shirt in for smarter occasions but leave untucked everyday.
- Collar – Check this isn’t curling or creased before wearing, look for stronger ribbed collars.
Feeling confident when it comes to how to wear a polo shirt? Check out our range on the site and update your wardrobe with this style staple.