Getting dressed is hard work (sometimes). Like me, you’ve probably had a day where a t-shirt isn’t on the money. A button-up dress shirt, on the other hand, is sometimes too much work on your fingers — especially after five days in a row at the office. And really, who needs arthritis in their 20s or 30s?
Enter the highly-underrated, often-scorned, polo shirt. Polo shirts were originally conceived as activewear for tennis players. Now, you can find just about anyone in a polo shirt, from slightly-pissed dads at a Sunday BBQ, to British punks who take their fashion seriously.
Don’t let its respective proprietors scare you off though. Wearing a polo won’t turn you into a fifty-year-old bank manager or lad. In fact, a polo is often the crucial ingredient to an outfit that needs to be dressed-up, without screaming ‘it’s my first day at the office’. It works equally well with a pair of chino shorts, or a linen suit. With a polo, you can navigate the difficult terrain between casual and formal without doing lasting harm to your cortisol levels.
This is a selection of men’s polo shirt brands that are worth your time, and (some of) your money. Even if you only get one — you won’t any longer be the guy that pushes his luck with the same Brooks Brothers button-down he got for Christmas three years ago.
Here is our selection of simply the finest polo shirt brands for men.
Uniqlo creates clothing for everyone and transcends social status and categories by offering a comprehensive range of clothing that is both affordable and good quality. To honor this ethos, they create basic essentials that are timeless in design and style. Their polo shirts are the perfect embodiment of this.
Everlane is very much a modern clothing brand and appreciates, that in this day and age, garment production must walk hand-in-hand with sustainability. All of their garments are made in hand-selected factories and use ethically and environmentally sourced materials and labour. Their polo shirts have a traditional cut and timeless aesthetic.
Started by a pair of friends from Stanford Business School, Bonobos creates garments that focus on fit and finish. They want their clothing to wear well and to age better. They use a range of high-quality materials and make adjustments to traditional silhouettes to create the perfect polo shirts.
J Crew makes clothes to last you a lifetime and if they’re going to last you that long, they want them to look great too. They focus on traditional designs with slight modern adjustments to ensure they’re clothing is in the moment but not of the moment. Their polo shirts will last forever and will look great.
Following his design roles at the likes of The Gap, Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren, Mr Todd Snyder opened up his own label. He focuses his efforts on producing high quality, timeless basics that are ultra-versatile. His polo shirts are no excuse and are available in an array of cuts, colours and fabrics so suit every occasion.
Rhone blends fit, form and function in all of their clothing. They can be worn at the gym, on the golf course or at work. Their activewear roots ensure moisture is wicked off the body and that the fabric is flexible enough for any movements. Their polos are ultra-sharp and a versatile addition to any wardrobe.
Sunspel are masters of minimalism. Their collections are a seemingly boring collection of classic lines and plain colours. However, this focus on making the best essentials has resulted in ultra high quality, timeless products that are key building blocks in the modern man’s wardrobe.
Polo Ralph Lauren
No doubt the very thought of a polo shirt sparks thoughts of those made by Polo Ralph Lauren. Their iconic logo of a polo player is a symbol of status and sophistication, especially when embroidered on the pique cloth of a polo shirt. Their polo shirts are timeless and are likely to be a staple for all men for decades to come.
Reiss is a British label that hopes to make everyone feel comfortable and confident in their clothing. Their designs are both modern and classic, a perfect blend for a polo shirt. They have a range of traditional polos as well as some more modern examples featuring unique materials and zipper collars.
Originally stared by Mr Adam Brown, Orlebar Brown quickly became the name in luxurious, fitted swimwear. Their swim shorts are so good, they were even worn by James Bond in Skyfall. To complement their brilliant swimwear, Mr Brown decided to add other selected items of clothing to his collections. Orlebar Brown polo shirts are the perfect option for a casual look or resort wear and are available in bold colours and interesting materials such as this green number in terry towelling.
Inspired by his father and his label Maxfield, Mr James Perse started his own label in 1994. His Los Angeles upbringing is evident in his collections, blending casual and luxury styles. His passion for minimalistic lines and silhouettes can also be seen in his designs. James Purse polo shirts are casual yet luxurious, and are made to the highest of standards.