We’ll tell you something you probably already know: Polo shirts aren’t just a uniform for the golf course. The simple three-button collared shirt is now available in more fabrics, patterns, and styles than ever before, and brands are experimenting with new interpretations of the menswear staple. Whether or not they’ve been in your rotation before, the latest crop of men’s polo shirts are making a strong case for a spot in your dresser.
But as you’ll see below, there are lots of great options to choose from. Picking the right polo for you depends on a few different variables, so we reached out to stylists for guidance on what to look for. First off: Make sure you pick one that fits. Size up if the buttons are pulling, says Lisa Cameron, stylist to celebs like Queer Eye‘s Karamo Brown, and make sure you have enough length to cover your stomach if you raise your arms up. But don’t go too baggy—a trimmer polo can accentuate your physique. “If you want to make your arms look a bit bigger,” says stylist Patrick Kenger, “find a polo with some ribbing around the end of the sleeves, which will hug your arms and help them ‘fill out’ the shirt sleeve.”
In addition, try to avoid shirts with lots of branding or big logos. “Keep it clean,” Kenger says.
Stylists agree the polo is a versatile shirt, and you can wear it with quite a few different outfits. For starters, try using it as a replacement for your usual T-shirt.
“One of the best ways I’ve heard it put is that a polo is a gentleman’s T-shirt,” explains Kenger. “If you want to bump things up from the usual T-shirt and jeans outfit, then a polo is a great substitute.”
It also looks great with a suit. You can opt for a monochromatic look by matching your polo with the suit’s color, or go for a complementary color scheme, like a navy suit and pink polo, Cameron advises. You can also try pairing a polo with a bomber jacket, or wearing it with a simple pair of chinos and some sneakers.
Feeling inspired? Here are some of the best new polos to mix up your look this season.