There will inevitably come a time in a man’s life, maybe on a Thursday, where he’s bored of wearing t-shirts to work, but the office isn’t formal enough for a fully-fledged button-up. Fortunately, for situations such as this, there is an item of clothing that can often go overlooked: the polo shirt.
Polo shirts were originally conceived as activewear for tennis players. But not wanting the ball-hitting elite to have an item of clothing reserved just for themselves, clothing brands decided to push polo shirts out to the paying public. Their popularity has sky-rocketed, and 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’. A polo can work equally well with a pair of chino shorts or a linen suit, such is its versatility.
Of course, no two polos are made the same, but that’s not to say there are good ones and bad ones. On the contrary, with virtually every clothing brand under the sun producing its interpretation of the polo, weaving out the good ones can be tricky.
And that’s where we come in, as we like to think we know a thing or two about style here at DMARGE, and know which brands are a go and which are a no – we can also tell you how to wear your polo, too. So take heed of this list of the coolest men’s polo shirt brands you should be buying.
Uniqlo is a Japanese brand that all men need to get behind. It caters for practically every single essential you could ever need, with high-quality materials being used throughout. Add to that incredibly affordable pricing and you'll soon wonder why you ever bothered with high-end designer brands in the first place.
Everlane is as modern a company as you can get. Founded in California and with physical stores in all the trendy hotspots, including New York and Palo Alto, Everlane not only aims to produce its entire clothing range in ethical ways, but to provide transparent pricing on to you the consumer. To some, that may signal poor quality clothing, but Everlane's range is anything but. This Performance polo is made from a highly breathable fabric that is both sweat-wicking and anti-odour, yet maintains a classic profile.
Wellen is a clothing brand founded in Southern California and now stocked exclusively by Huckberry. The online retailer only selects the very best labels to feature on its site, with sustainability and high-quality garments being the order of the day. Wellen is more than happy to oblige, creating shirts such as this hemp polo, which fuses hemp with organic cotton to create an incredibly soft fabric that will last for years. Not quite slim-fitting but not overly-relaxed, Wellen's polo is one to move in.
Founded by a pair of friends from Stanford Business School, Bonobos creates garments that focus on fit and finish. The company wants its clothing to wear well and to age even better. Bonobos uses a range of high-quality materials and makes adjustments to traditional silhouettes to create the perfect polo shirts.
J. Crew is an American fashion brand with heavy ties to the 'preppy' look championed by Ivy League Universities. And what to top-performing students like to wear? Polo shirts. It's with this in mind that J. Crew's polos are made to perfection, using high-quality materials and produced in slim-fitting cuts that hug you in all the right places. With multiple colours to choose from too, you can easily stock up on a decent selection of fine-looking polos.
Following his design roles at the likes of The Gap, Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren, Todd Snyder founded his own label. He focuses his efforts on producing high quality, timeless basics that are incredibly versatile. His polo shirts are no excuse and are available in an array of cuts, colours and fabrics to suit every occasion.
Rhone blends fit, form and function in all of its clothing. Whether it's a t-shirt, polo or any other top, they can be worn at the gym, on the golf course or at work. Rhone's activewear roots means technologies are passed across to its casual range, so can rest assured that moisture will be wicked off your body and that the fabric is flexible enough for any movements. The company's polos are ultra-sharp and a versatile addition to any wardrobe.
Lululemon is a Canadian brand practically synonymous with active wear. But while it may have a strong presence in the world of gym and yoga, the company's clothing can also be worn on a more casual basis, with many of its pieces benefitting from sports-orientated technologies. This Evolution polo for example features Silverescent technology, which has been developed to prevent odour build up, leaving you smelling fresh.
Sunspel is a master of minimalism. While to some the very idea of plain silhouettes is boring, 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.
No doubt the very thought of a polo shirt sparks thoughts of those made by Polo Ralph Lauren. The American fashion brand's iconic logo of a polo player is a symbol of status and sophistication, especially when embroidered on the pique cloth of a polo shirt. Its 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 its clothing. The company's designs are both modern and classic, a perfect blend for a polo shirt. Reiss has a range of traditional polos as well as some more modern examples featuring unique materials and zipper collars.
Famous for his quirky and unique designs, Paul Smith is a master of polo shirts. His label makes them in an array of colours, materials and patterns and can be had in a choice of classic, relaxed cuts or more modern slim fit styles.
Originally stared by Adam Brown, Orlebar Brown quickly became the name in luxurious, fitted swimwear. Orlebar's swim shorts are so good, they were even worn by James Bond in Skyfall. To complement its brilliant range of 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 which include linen and terry towelling.
Inspired by his father and his label Maxfield, James Perse started his own label in 1994. His Los Angeles upbringing is evident in his collections, blending casual and luxury styles while his passion for minimalistic lines and silhouettes can also be seen in his designs. James Perse polo shirts are casual yet luxurious, and are made to the highest of standards.
Marine Layer was founded with the aim of creating incredibly soft t-shirts and polo shirts. The company develops its own unique fabrics and materials, with beechwood being a main ingredient for its natural properties, the result is an incredibly soft fabric that you won't want to take off.
A icon on and off the court, Fred Perry has become synonymous with clean likes and cool as fuck polo shirts. More notably are his collaborations with Raf Simmons which take on a luxe sports vibe perfect for sweating or styling.