The polo shirt is a commonly adorned piece of clothing that is hugely popular amongst both men and women. Comfortable, fashionable, and extremely versatile, the polo shirt has become a go-to when it comes to having something to wear during the blistering heat.
A key part of everyday wear, it provides the perfect blend of smart and casual and is an ideal choice of clothing in a lot of situations. The polo shirt can be worn all year round, whether it is with a pair of shorts in the summers or with a nice jacket in winters.
However, finding the right polo shirt can be tricky as there are various aspects that influence how good the polo looks on you.
Finding the Perfect Fit
A task that is easier said than done, the fitting of any article of clothing plays an integral part in how good you look in it. When it comes to finding perfect-fitting men’s polo shirts, there are a few key elements to keep in mind.
One of the most basic components of a well-fitting polo shirt is the length. The bottom hem of the shirt should not fall any lower than the back pockets of your trousers or jeans. At the same time, it should also not be higher than the hips. The sweet spot is just a couple of inches below the beltline.
An excessively long polo shirt can end up looking like a night suit, which needs to be avoided at all costs. The ideal polo can be tucked into your pants or be left untucked without looking shabby.
The second element in fitting is the sleeves. The perfect sleeve length of polos is midway down the bicep. The sleeves of a polo must not reach your elbow or fall any further. A good-fitting polo shirt sits close to the body.
Different body types mean different fitting, and this difference is pronounced when you compare men’s polo shirts with women’s polo shirts should not be too large as that makes the shirt look untidy and leaves excess fabric. However, even if you’re someone who is in great shape, a polo shirt should not be too tight or form-fitting.
Picking the Right Garment
The choice of fabric not only changes the look of the polo shirt, but it can also change the feel and fitting of it. This makes the choice of fabric an important thing to consider when picking a polo shirt to buy. Polos can be found in a lot of materials from synthetic to natural materials.
These usually range between pure cotton, cotton-poly blends, and 100% polyester polo shirts.
There are also polo shirts with a silky blend but they are usually reserved for special occasions and are not fit for sportswear as they sweat easily. Polyester or cotton/poly blends are more popular due to their robustness and comfort.
Polyester polo shirts are preferred by athletes and for sports as the material is usually made from light synthetics or blends, including spandex which offers elasticity and comfort. The material also helps to keep body odors to a minimum.
Polo shirts are more commonly worn in the summers which make 100% cotton material an ideal choice as the material is light and breathable.
Types of Polos
There are two main types of polos:
This is the original design of the polo and the fabric is knitted in a pattern that has a woven pattern. This provides a material a textured surface, adding a subtle design layer to the shirt itself. Polo shirts made from this material are usually a little heavier than other options that are available.
Pique polos are also more breathable as the weave has tiny, minuscule holes in its weave which makes the fabric more sweat resistant. With the sleeves having a ribbed band/cuff finish, Pique polos are usually seen as a bit more formal and professional.
Jersey polo shirts are commonly made with the same type of fabric that is commonly used in t-shirts. This provides a more flat look when worn with the fabric having a smooth, soft, stretchy feel to it. While they are lighter than Pique polos, Jersey polos are more likely to highlight sweat patches while also being less durable in the long run.
The sleeves of Jersey polo shirts end in a simple hem. The lightness of the material and the relaxed drape of the fit makes it a better option for casual situations. Pique polos and Jersey polos have their own unique advantages and feel. When choosing one or the other, consider what type of events you plan on wearing them to.
Other Design Elements
Since a majority of polo shirts follow the original, classic design, the other design elements are often the element that sets them apart from each other. These can include a variety of things such as the size of the logo and how many of them there are.
This is often the personal choice of the buyer as different brands have a different outlook on this. Lacoste, known for its polo shirts, has just one small logo on the left side of the chest.
Another brand renowned for polo shirts is Ralph Lauren. Their shirts have a much larger logo on the left side of the chest, accompanied by another one on the right side, and also usually have a number embroidered into one of the sleeves.
The logo can be embroidered, printed or laser etched. The most common is embroidery as that provides a classy look and feel. Laser engraving offers a more modern, minimalistic look, and printing is often found on polos of lower quality.