Known as both a golf and tennis shirt, polos have evolved well beyond the country club. They can be dressed down effortlessly for a casual occasion, easily dress up any man’s outfit without the worry of tying a tie or coordinating your pocket square’s colors or patterns.
“Throw a blazer over your polo and you’re cocktail and dinner ready,” says Dwight Fenton, vice president of design for Bonobos. “A polo is truly one of the more versatile shirts you can own.”
A polo should be comfortable and move easily with your torso — choose a slim or tailored cut, but be mindful that it shouldn’t hug your body like a second layer of skin. The fabric should rest on your shoulders, not be restrictive.
“Ultimately, it’s about finding a shirt that marries fabric and fit,” Fenton adds. “That polo will become an instant classic in your closet.”
Most polos are made of piqué cotton, which refers to the raised weaving style of the fabric. Venture out and try different options in silk cotton and merino wool. With a variety of patterns and colors, there are very few rules. Max the hues on your shirt to three, and skip over excessive logos to avoid being a brand’s billboard.
“Daytime, you can’t go wrong pairing a polo with your favorite shorts and slip on shoes,” Fenton says. “Nighttime, go for a tucked-in look with a crisp, slim pair of trousers, a blazer, and loafers.” Below we’ve sorted through the competition — you’re sure to find a perfect set or match to keep your tennis shirt game on point.