Polo Basics: What to Know and What to Look For With Your Polo Shirts

Polo basics: what to know and what to look for with your polo shirts

Polo shirts hit their peak of trendiness in the early aughts. Back then it seemed like anybody who was anybody was wearing one. Certain smells bring us back to the old days: the time we spent scouring the shopping malls, crawling through dimly lit perfume-heavy stores that thumped music as though nothing could be cooler than a hot pink striped polo, and you knew you needed it. We were in a trance and the polo seemed to be along for the ride.

But the real secret of the polo shirt is that even though we kept trying to change it and make it the height of ironic preppy fashion by adding skulls, bright stripes, or huge labels across the back - the polo never went out of style. It is a classic staple that always looks good and put together.

So, how do you re-introduce the polo shirt into your wardrobe without being a victim of another trend? Here are our go-to tips for making the polo a staple in your closet, and look great doing it!

How many polo shirts does a woman need?

We tend to get obsessed over how many garments we should hang onto. We have an even harder time saying goodbye to certain clothes. They can last a lifetime and in a way, they become family to us. But oftentimes we overdo it. Oh, this dresser drawer? That's for all the argyle dress socks I've collected over the years. The best answer for your women's polos is to use the five-finger rule. If you have more than five you can pare down. Simple as that. But who are we to judge if the allure of super-soft cotton and finished side vents proves too big of a draw? You are your own judge, friends.

How many polo shirts does a man need?

The answer is that you should own 2-3 polo shirts in different colors and 1-2 rugby polo shirts. Again, the five-finger rule will help you cherish your polo variety. These help to balance out your other tops and they are a go-to for when you want dual-citizenship in comfort and sharp looks. When you own both men's polo shirts and rugby shirts you're ready for a boating adventure or that casual Friday work lunch.

What about rugby shirts?

The thicker cotton synonymous with rugby shirts is one style that has no comparison. Rugby shirts are built to withstand the sport they are made for; tackling, crashing into other players, and pile-ups - these shirts need to look nice game after game. These are proven to last in dire conditions, so even if you're meeting the parents your rugby shirt will have your back. Look for superior details like rubber buttons, designed to keep those buttons intact, and to help prevent injury on the field. Even if you never toss the ball, you'll appreciate the durability of a real rugby polo.

What polos are in style?

All this new knowledge can help you find what works for your collared desires. Since polos have maintained their original look after all this time, the polos that are in style are those that make you feel comfortable. Smooth Supima® cotton or the more casual, breathable comfort of a mesh piqué with a bit of stretch – both have their place in a smart wardrobe. Beyond fabric, a well-fitting polo is the best one to pay attention to. Tuck it in, make sure it fits snug against the body, but not too tight. Look for finished side vents so you can wear it untucked, too. It's more flattering the more it works with your figure.

When can I wear a polo shirt?

Polos are the perfect intersection between casual and a little dressed-up. They’re not as casual as a t-shirt, but they’re a lot less fancy than a dress shirt or blouse. Polos are perfect for casual Friday at work–or work all of the time if there’s a more casual dress code in your office. Polos are also great for golfing and everyday wear. 

What should I wear with a polo shirt?

Polo shirts are pretty versatile and they look great with jeans and with dress pants. So, you can’t go wrong there. You can even wear them with skirts and shorts if you want to go that route. If you wear polos in a more casual setting (golf, casual Friday, out to run errands, etc) wear them with casual bottoms and sneakers. If you’re in a more professional work setting, you might want to opt for a flat shoe or a casual dress shoe. 

Also, polo shirts don’t call for a lot of accessories. You can wear a belt while sporting one, and maybe a small pair of stud earrings or a watch. However, necklaces, scarves, etc. are not needed. It’s a casual preppy look and wearing too many accessories won’t go well with the style.


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