MEN'S polo shirts have been popular for decades and for a good reason.
With their collar and buttoned placket, polo shirts look smarter than a simple T-shirt yet still sporty and laid-back enough for the weekend.
It’s this combination that makes them such an important design for every man’s wardrobe.
You can see how versatile this design is by looking at the ones worn by David Beckham and Mark Ronson.
Beckham’s gone for something really pared-back, which looks smart and sophisticated but, on the other hand, the bright stripes on Mark Ronson’s version give it a much more lively, casual look and a retro feel.
Find the polo shirt design that suits your look from this guide to the best around today.
What is a polo style shirt?
A polo shirt is the space between t-shirt and shirt, a smarter version of a t-shirt but more casual and sporty than a shirt.
This nifty little number can be paired with jeans, smart trousers, chinos, shorts, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
A plain and simple polo is your best bet, making it smarter and more versatile.
How should a polo shirt fit?
The ideal polo shirt should be slim fitting, with sleeves reaching smack in the middle between the tip of your shoulder and your elbow.
No one wants a polo shirt that clings to the wrong places, make sure it is long enough and just loose enough, and never wear an undershirt.
Our top tip: you need to be able to stick one finger between your bicep and your sleeve, otherwise you need to size up or size down accordingly. Make sure the tail stays above the middle of your bum, and whatever you do- do NOT pop the collar.
Best plain polo shirt
Sometimes simple and pared-back is all you need, and German brand BOSS certainly knows how to pull a minimalist look together.
This polo is made from smooth cotton piqué with a slight stretch making it a really comfortable choice, and the only detailing is a subtle patch at the chest.
It’s the sort of deep shade of navy that will go with everything you already own too.
BOSS Passenger Polo, £69 from Next - buy here
Best colourful polo shirt
Lacoste is another favourite option when it comes to polo shirts, as it was the brand’s founder, René Lacoste, who popularised the style.
The brand has since become synonymous with a selection of great colours, and the bright blue of this design is perfect for adding energy to off-duty outfits.
It’s made from Pima cotton, which is particularly soft and breathable, making it a worthy investment.
Lacoste Pima Cotton Regular Fit Polo Shirt, £80 from John Lewis - buy here
Best striped polo shirt
The gradient stripe in sunset tones on this Marks & Spencer polo shirt makes it a stylish way to bring some pattern into your weekend outfits.
But it’s the bits you can’t see that make this one special, from the moisture-wicking treatment that will keep you feeling fresh to the enzyme wash that helps it to resist fading and pilling, this piece is engineered for performance.
Striped Polo Shirt, £22.50 from Marks & Spencer - buy here
Best preppy polo shirt
Polo Ralph Lauren is synonymous with preppy style, as it was the label of choice for college kids at the height of the scene’s popularity.
A polished preppy look still feels fresh today, and this polo shirt would look great worn with a blazer and chinos.
The oversized polo emblem, striped edges and a handsome crest give this piece serious collegiate cool.
Polo Ralph Lauren Logo-Embroidered Cotton Polo Shirt, £125 from Selfridges - buy here
Best polo shirt for the beach
Polo shirts are built for warm weather, so it’s always tempting to pack one when heading to the beach.
Orlebar Brown’s polo was designed for exactly this.
It’s cut from soft terry-towelling fabric that’s lightly absorbent, so you can put it on after leaving the water and be ready for a walk to your nearest lunch spot in style.
The pocket adds a nice casual touch.
Orlebar Brown Terry-Towelling Cotton Polo Shirt, £115 from Matches - buy here
Best polo shirts for sports
Outdoors and performance specialist Regatta has chosen a technical fabric for this polo shirt, one that will wick moisture away from the body and dry quickly while maintaining breathability.
This means that even as you get hot while playing sports, you’ll feel fresh and comfortable.
The jersey fabric will also allow you complete freedom of movement, so this is a great choice for really active days.
Regatta - Blue 'Marverick' Polo Shirt, £18.75 from Debenhams - buy here
Best polo shirt to wear with a blazer
For a smart-casual look, the combination of polo shirt and blazer is ideal - it’s the perfect blend of formal and informal.
This Reiss polo is knitted from pure merino wool, which gives it a premium appearance and soft feel, helping to polish your outfit.
It’s also got long sleeves, which is much more comfortable to wear with a blazer than short-sleeved designs.
Trafford Merino Wool Polo Shirt, £90 from Reiss - buy here
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