While the name itself might indicate that the shirt is related to the sport, the emergence of the polo shirt was actually seen on the tennis court. Rene Lacoste was the founder of the iconic combination of pique knit collar with a buttoned placket.
However, polos today have become a staple in almost every man and woman’s closet. Perfect for a smart and casual look, polos have become a popular choice of clothing amongst men. Nevertheless, selecting the right polo is not easy. There are a few key elements that need to be kept in mind when shopping for a polo.
1 – Fabric
Just like most other t-shirts, polos were also originally made completely from cotton. A majority of polos are still made with pure cotton as cotton is easily one of the most comfortable fabrics. However, they are also available in a number of other materials including different blends of cotton and polyester.
This fabric for men’s polo shirts are highly popular amongst buyers and are generally sold more than polos which are made from 100% cotton. Cotton-polyester blends usually see less wrinkling and are more resistant to shrinking after a wash. On the other hand, unsoaked cotton will always shrink once it has been washed.
Pure polyester polos are also available but they are more similar to dry-fit clothing which has moisture-wicking qualities. Polos made from only polyester are suitable for hot weather or occasions where you’re likely to sweat such as while playing sports. This is one of the reasons polos also became popular in women’s sports like tennis leading to women’s polo shirts today becoming an everyday fashion article.
The most important aspect when choosing the fabric is the texture. The fabric should be comfortable against the skin. The fabric can also be chosen depending upon the occasion at which the polo is to be worn. Pique is suitable for semi-formal events whereas jersey polos are worn more casually. There are also performance polos that are specifically designed to be worn during exercise or sports.
2 – Size
Another important consideration while considering the best polo shirt is the size. You must never wear a polo that is too big for you, drapes too tightly over your torso, or looks to be a dress.
So, to ensure you’re getting the right fit, these are the top 3 considerations you should bear in mind:
- Length: A good polo shirt should fall somewhere between your hips and mid-pocket in the back. Keep in mind that a long polo shirt does not suit either men or women.
- Width: A polo shirt should flow over your body rather than be overly tight or too loose in width. Having enough fabric on both sides to pinch 2″ is a perfect fit that is neither oversized nor slim-fit.
- Sleeves: The sleeves of your polo should be about 10 centimeters above your elbows. Any other length size is not a good fit for a polo shirt since you need slim-fit sleeves that fit snugly around your biceps.
Keeping these three key elements in mind while shopping for a polo shirt can help you choose one that appears to be perfectly tailor-made for you.
3 – Color
Polo shirts are famous for being one block color. Polos can easily be found in different colors, including solid color and color combinations but traditionally, they were a singular color from top to bottom.
Polos come in a variety of different designs and prints. From stripes to floral prints, different brands have different takes and ideas as fashion evolves. Polos can be worn with same-colored slacks or in a contrasting combination. This is completely up to the aesthetic and fashion sense of the wearer.
Most polos have an embroidered logo on the left side of the chest area. The monogram provides an elegant and sleek look which is ideal for business-casual outings. Some brands often have multi-colored polos to represent something.
If a polo carries a country’s name, the colors of the flag might be represented on the shirt. For example, a “USA” polo might have themes of red, white and blue.
However, polos with multiple colors are more suited to casual wear. Similarly, polos with funky prints such as palm drees are ideal for beach wear. Opting for solid colors is always a safe option but if you want to be bold and stand out, there are a lot of design options to choose from.
4 – Design
Thinking about the design of the polo, the first thing that comes to mind is a simple, plain layout which usually has an embroidered pattern, usually a logo, on the left chest area. This is the classic and most used design layout for a majority of the polos.
There are also other designs and decoration methods that can be found on polos. While the design changes are usually subtle in nature, one of the most stark differences you can find between different types of polos is how the logo has been applied to the shirt.
While the traditional method uses embroidery to stitch the logo into the shirt itself, some polos come with a screen printed or laser etched logo. The different types of application can influence the overall aesthetic of the shirt, which is why the design is an important aspect when selecting a polo.
Embroidered polos are most people’s go-to as they provide a neat, polished and professional look. It is also much more durable than other options and was the original design choice. However, laser etched logos can provided a minimalist touch to the polo, giving it a unique look with a single color logo.
A combination of these four elements can heavily change or inspire the look and fitting of your polo shirt. It is important to consider them while making a purchase while also thinking about the dress code if you are buying it to wear it at a specific event.
With these tips in mind, shopping for the right polo shirt can be easy to find and buy. It also ensures that it will look good on you and be an appropriate choice of clothing at the event you intend on wearing it to.