While the name of this classic garment might refer to one particular sport, the origins of the modern polo shirt come from another activity altogether. The polo shirt we know today was created by René Lacoste to replace traditional, stiff tennis whites, and for the 1926 Open, he debuted an unstarched, flat shirt with a protruding collar to maintain a sense of formality.
These days, there are a myriad of polo shirts for men from the likes of Ralph Lauren, Fred Perry and Ted Baker, but not all are created equal. Thankfully, in this article we've ranked the top 10 best polo shirts for men in the UK, including links to buy them online on ASOS, Amazon, John Lewis and eBay!
While the classic polo shirt is probably something every bloke has been wearing since he was a young boy, it’s not often men think about what they’re buying. In this section, we aim to do just that by comparing the subtleties of fit, sleeve length and the various other factors that go into choosing the right polo shirt.
The first factor you'll need to consider when buying a polo shirt is the fit. A polo shirt should be fitted, but not tight, giving you the option of regular or slim depending on your build and body type.
A regular fit polo shirt will probably be the best bet for most blokes, as it strikes the right balance. After all, you don't want it to be too wide or too narrow. The fabric should hang loosely over the torso, whilst aiming to avoid the oversized look.
If you’re of slimmer build naturally, or spend a lot of time working out, opt for a slim-fit polo shirt. These narrow towards the hip and have the 'upside-down triangle' shape that many men aspire to have. That said, it shouldn't be too tight, as this type of garment will look infinitely better with a bit of space between your body and the fabric.
When and where you plan on wearing your polo shirt? While the short sleeve polo is still a smart-casual garment, long sleeves take it to that next level. Even though the polo will never reach the same heights as a traditional button-down shirt in terms of formal attire, long sleeves veer away from a sports or workwear aesthetic.
That said, a short-sleeved polo shirt is going to be more versatile. If you’re looking for a garment that can be worn on a variety of occasions, such as an afternoon in the beer garden, an evening in a cocktail lounge, or even during a dress down day at the office, then this is probably the better choice.
The block colour polo is by far the most popular. They come in a wide range of tones to suit many occasions, from pastels for the summer to dark, rich colours for the autumn. However, if you like to have a little more fun with your wardrobe, choose a patterned shirt.
The most beloved and, arguably, most fashionable are either the striped or Carlyle pattern polo. These give the shirt a touch of character and a sportier look. You could even opt for a rugby shirt. These are typified by having a white-collar and come in an array of patterns, from stripes to quarter designs.
Finally, you’ll want to consider the the fabric your shirt is made from. Practically all polo shirts will be 100% cotton. That said, there is still a difference – is the cotton woven or knitted?
Woven cotton is the most common and therefore, has the standard look and feel that you know and love. These polo shirts are durable, comfortable and flexible, meaning they won’t need as much care and can usually be washed alongside all your other clothing. Although, we would certainly double check that on the label!
Knitted polos, on the other hand, are made from interloping yarns, which give the garments a little more stretch. There are many different types of knitted polo. However, this is rarely specified. It may still be something worth looking into if you’re a fashion conscious bloke.
Now it’s time to get to the good stuff – the shopping! Here we have a curated selection of classic polo shirts from some of the finest brands on the planet. Hopefully, if you’ve read the buying guide, you should find one that is perfect for your wardrobe!
|Design||Block colour, striped cuffs|
|Design||Block colour (navy)|
|Design||Block colour (green)|
|Design||Block colour (black)|
|Design||Block and striped|
|Design||Block colour (camel)|
|Design||Block colour (panorama)|
John Lewis & Partners
L.12.12 Polo Shirt
Knitted Long Sleeve Polo in Camel
Twin Tipped Polo
Slim Fit Pique Polo
Supima Cotton Pique Polo Shirt
Blok Polo Shirt
Striped Polo Shirt
Fulhumm Long Sleeve Polo Shirt
Striped Cuff Knitted Polo Shirt
Oakhaven Striped Shirt
The Original Polo Shirt for Men
A Smart-Casual Classic
A Quintessential British Staple
Polo by Name, Polo by Nature
Even Cosier Than Regular Cotton
The Sporty Yet Sharp Aesthetic
Stripes Straight From the 90s
A Polo Shirt From a Long Standing British Institution
Just a Touch of Character
From the Workwear Giants
|Design||Block colour (panorama)||Block colour (camel)||Block and striped||Block colour (black)||Block colour (green)||Striped||Striped||Block colour (navy)||Block colour, striped cuffs||Striped|
If you like to look good, but don't exactly love scrolling endlessly online, worry not! We've taken the hassle out of shopping by ranking some more of the best men's fashion in the UK. From matching co-ord sets, to linen shirts, your new wardrobe is only a click away.
After reading our article, you're hopefully feeling a lot more confident about picking your new polo shirt. Once you've decided which one will work best with your wardrobe, fingers crossed that the sun stays out so you can show it off!
Author: Lewis Clark
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