Reviewed & updated: March 28, 2023 by Jamie Wilson BA
Polo is always the answer, no matter the question, to be honest. If you’re looking for the perfect in-between of smart and casual, you have got to have at least a couple of go-to polo shirts hanging in your closet.
You’ve got the right idea in mind by wanting to wear a polo shirt and looking up how to do so, so well done for ending up here. Any shirt you wear should fit you well, but particularly a polo shirt for work or other formal or semi-formal events where you will be wearing some type of collar. Whichever occasion you want to wear a polo to, you don’t want your shoulder seam to be a dead giveaway that you are wearing a polo shirt that is slightly too big or too small. But don’t you worry, as if you keep on reading, you’ll know everything you need to know about polo shirts and how you can tell whether it fits you right or not.
Where Do Polo Shirts Come From?
The original polo shirt came from the polo sport back in the 19th century, where British Soldiers who were stationed in Manipur, India at the time, watched a match and where then inspired to set up the first polo club there.
As this club developed, they began to pay more attention to having traditional polo attire, and began to make their long sleeve polo shirts out of a thick fabric. They soon found this to be too uncomfortable, especially as the collar would flap in their face whilst riding the horses. Then came the buttoned-down collar, which solved the issue.
By the end of the 19th century, the Brooks Brothers company visited England from the United States and witnessed a polo match for the first time. They, too, felt inspired by the polo shirts with longer sleeves and returned home to create the classic, button-down polo shirt we would nowadays wear as formalwear.
How Should A Polo Fit?
If you want to find the right polo shirt fit, you know you’ve come to the right place. The classic polo shirt should fit well in regards to all your proportions on the upper half of your body. You should make sure you don’t wear polo shirts that are too loose as they will lose their iconique fitted structure.
The key giveaway about whether your shirt fit is right for you or not will be the sleeves. Naturally, fitted polos are made out of a thick fabric that might make your sleeves feel tight around your arms, but these will loosen over time or even after a day’s wear. But when buying your new polo shirt, your shirt should fit so that at least one finger fits in between your arm and the sleeve’s fabric. You should also make sure that the shirt should fit well so that the sleeves reach halfway down your upper arm.
That being said, one of the most important factors to keep in mind when it comes to getting a polo shirt is that your polo shirt should fit comfortably. You probably don’t want to spend your money on nice polo shirts from Ralph Lauren if you find a fit polo isn’t your style or the fabric isn’t forgiving enough so you don’t end up wearing it.
Most manufacturers these days will give you a choice of polo shirt between the classic fit and slim fit. If you don’t want the polo shirt to hug your arms and torso too tightly, make sure to go for the classic fit option. If a polo shirt tucked in is a look you’re a fan of, the classic fit polos are designed to be slightly shorter in the front (should fall around near your belt) and longer in the back specifically for this. The style is more forgiving in the sense that the sleeves are usually longer, and the fabric falls baggier around the torso. So if you feel like you’re not quite Conor McGregor’s twin, this could be a great option for you.
If you find you’re more a fan of athletic fit polo shirts (also known as slim fit), meaning that you like the fitted, sportier look of tighter sleeves and torso, then these are a great option, and look great worn untucked as they don’t have the variation in lengths in the front and back of the shirt.
Casual Classic Fit
The iconic Ralph Lauren pony logo can be seen by anyone from miles away. Wearing a polo shirt with a collar is an effortless way to look smart, but still looking appropriately dressed for a casual event. The picture shows an athletic fit, collared shirt polo, meaning that it is tighter around the torso and arms. This polo shirt should fit this way as long in the front as the back so that it can be worn untucked.
We think that opting for a navy blue T-shirt is a great for your first investment into polos, as it is truly timeless and suits any guy with any skin tone and build. Navy is also versatile as it can be matched with any color pants or shorts, and also ideal for any season.
Semi-Formal Slim Fit
This classic fit T-shirt looks great tucked in, as its loose shape contrasts well against the slightly more fitted structure of the slacks they are paired with. The slacks and polo combination, especially in the neutral tones will be a go-to for any guy, and an outfit that can easily be pieced together. The neutral tones look particularly good in fall, as you transition from the brighter colors for summer into the cool, more simple colors for the colder months ahead.
If you love the idea of this outfit, but feel like it needs to be a little more dressed-up looking for whatever event you have in mind, you could easily opt for the blazer with polo shirt look. Just get our favorite blazer out your closet, in a tone and color that matches your top and pants, and you’re ready to go to a lunch conference with your colleagues.
Super Casual Jeans And Polo Combo
Lastly, polos will definitely be a new staple in your closet because of how flexible they are in terms of whether you want to wear them casually or to a semi-formal event. Consider getting patterned polos to make them the centerpiece of your look and add a little bit more detail. Anything polos, from dotted to horizontal lines, are a great way to make your outfit look a little bit more fun during the last few warm months of the year.
Just pair them with your favorite jeans or shorts, whatever you feel comfortable in, and let the pattern do all the work for your outfit. We think wearing a polo shirt with some sneakers tones down the formality of your outfit even more, and finishes off your everyday outfit perfectly.
Know How A Polo Should Fit
You seriously don’t have any polos in your closet? A polo shirt is sure to be your new go-to T-shirt that looks a little bit more formal than the other casual tops you have. And what’s great is that they truly are a timeless piece, the proof is in the fact that they have been around since the 19th century and yet they’re still trendy today. We dare you to go out into the city and go a whole day without seeing someone in a polo. They’re just that cool. Be quick to hop on the trend, and you’ll find you never understood why you didn’t own a polo shirt in the first place.