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Wardrobe Essentials: The Polo Shirt

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The definition of smart casual, the polo shirt is the perfect hybrid of a shirt blended with a casual t-shirt. Originating from the mod period of the 60’s the polo shirt is a style staple that needs to be in everyman’s wardrobe, as this piece of clothing is perfect as a transitional piece in spring and summer.

The Polo shirt was first designed by René Lacoste, founder of the Lacoste brand. This idea came about as an alternative to the more bulky sportswear and was later adopted by golfers and of course polo players. In today’s fashion led world, the polo shirt has become synonymous with the preppy trends that are normally associated with varsity college students and lacrosse players. Now it has become a key fashion piece and an important part of creating head to toe stylish looks.

mens polo shirts

This shirt however does not always have to be worked with the stereotypical preppy look, yet this is one for the key looks this spring. There are other ways to wear this wardrobe essential, such as combined with a blazer and chinos or even a Harrington jacket.

polo shirts for men

Look One: Preppy

The preppy trend is something that we have covered before so you might want to look that up again, but in the mean time here is a quick refresher on the polo shirt and its preppy qualities. This look is a good way to get a leg up in terms of introducing the polo shirt into your wardrobe. Worn with chinos, boat shoes and a bow tie you will definitely rock the vintage prepster with as much authenticity as any Harvard alumni. Don’t forget to add a couple of accessories to really tailor the look to your own style. A good way to really give this look something different is to stick with colours in a similar but not too obvious way; this adds a more refined quality to the look and allows itself hereditary qualities mentioned from the one colour trend that we have also looked into previously. As an example the pieces below are all different shades of blue, and with a tan accent to lift the look a little more.

mj polo topfive pocket trouserdexter navy bow tie

tricolour boat shoeselasticated woven beltsgrande steel watch

Look 2: Mod

This is one of the original looks that gave birth to the popularity of the polo shirt, and as the 60’s is slowly making a comeback on the runways this is a perfect style to look at. The mod look is definitely a statement style but it is perfect for those of you not brave enough to go for a full on preppy look. This style is maybe a bit more slicker and cooler in the same vein as James Dean for that truly rebellious look. Pair your polo with a Harrington jacket, jeans and a good pair of ray bans and this look is easily perfected. If you are looking to emulate this look in its entirety then you can also opt for a slicked back quiff to give your hair that added feeling of a true mod icon.

teddy polo shirtlacoste harrington jacketedwin straight jeans

saddle slip on loafersreversible leather beltrayban wayfarer sunglasses

Look 3: Smart

For a smarter approach yet still encompassing the elements of a preppy/mod look the trusty blazer is an excellent choice in terms of adding refinement to this look. Smart shoes and a pocket square are good accessories when looking to differentiate from the previously mentioned styles. These pieces also give you the opportunity to add the individuality that only your personal taste can dictate. Worn open or closed the blazer will look fantastic over a statement or printed polo shirt. When looking for a blazer, it is probably worth while mentioning that you should avoid blazers that look too formal. It is a better option if you look for one that is a standalone piece and doesn’t appear to be part of a three piece dinner suit. Informality is key for this look because this is what will give your look a cool edge to your overall style.

farthing polo shirtdecons tructed blazercanali blend chinos

anchor print pocket squaremid brown suite belturanus brogue navy suede

How do you wear your polo?

As you can see the trusty polo shirt has more versatility than initially intended. With the world full of people more willing to push the fashion boundaries, its pieces like the polo that are being given the opportunity to be part of a number of different trends and styles. How do you wear yours, and do you go for simple styles or bold colours and prints? Keep us posted in the comments below.

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  • Zac

    where can I buy the jackets?

  • Andrew

    To tuck in or not to tuck in? I think it looks smarter when the polo shirt is tucked in. What do you think?

  • Ian

    If in doubt, tuck it in! Still looks casual but for me more stylish. The only time I’d hangout is with shorts 🙂

  • Daniel Riding (Head Writer)

    If you click on the jackets in the look one and look two sections they will automatically take you to that specific product. However the best bet is to look at online men’s fashion sites and narrow it down via the available categories. It’s crazy how many options are available to you, and you may find something that will suit your style perfectly.

  • Daniel Riding (Head Writer)

    Hey guys, in terms of tucking the polo shirt I say tuck it in most times. the only time i leave a polo shirt out is if i wear it under a blazer with chinos. A fastened blazer will hide the fact that the top isn’t tucked in, and it allows for more movement and it will help keep you cool when it gets warmer. Hope this helps. Daniel

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