For better or worse, polo shirts almost completely owned a good part of the early aughts. Rappers like Kanye West were wearing them, preppy guys were throwing one pastel LaCoste polo on-top of the other, and every other person seemed to think that popping the collar was just about the coolest thing you could do. Of course, after a while, the shirt became fatigued. Much like an intense wave of nausea one gets while looking at a bottle of liquor after a night of overindulgence, we collectively rejected the style.
Now that the hangover has faded and we’ve gone through other trials and travails like bedazzled jeans, polos have shed the stigma they once had. We’re glad for that, too. Polos are the perfect shirt for smart casual looks. Ideal for the guy who is going to be a bit more active during the day – whether they’re commuting in the city or heading out to a worksite. Along with being comfortable, throwing on a polo and a good pair of slacks or shorts is an easy way to look sharp without too much preparation. Dive into the list of what we think are the best men’s polo shirts on the market.
Uniqlo Dry Polo Shirt
Keeping cool and looking stylish can sometimes be a tough thing to do, but this accessible polo from Uniqlo makes it simple thanks to its use of cotton-poly blend fabric stitched with a dry technology. Featuring two buttons, a crisp collar, and a competitive price-point, this shirt is an ideal for stocking your wardrobe.
Banana Republic Jacquard Pique Polo
A light shirt made from 96% cotton and 4% spandex, this polo has a nice natural feel to it while still managing to incorporate a good deal of give and flexibility. What stands out most about the polo, however, is the button down collar (not something you usually see on this style of shirt) and the woven-in pattern.
Frank and Oak Printed Pique-Cotton Polo
For the guys who grew up playing video-games but now need to keep things a bit more prim and proper, this is an ideal go-to shirt. Featuring an understated print of what look like Space Invaders, this clean cut pique-cotton polo manages to sneak a bit of fun in without drawing too much attention to itself or coming off as a bit too geeky.
Bonobos Yarn Spun Polo
This shirt from the New York based brand is meant for guys who love the way a great t-shirt feels in the summer but don’t quite love the casual look that comes with it. Made from a lightweight cotton polyester blend and coming in two different cuts – slim and standard – this is a choice pick.
J. Crew textured Cotton Tipped Polo
It’s pretty wild what a simple detail like a couple stripes along a collar and pocket can do for a shirt. The cotton tippings on this piece from J.Crew are reminiscent of a kind of old-school cool that you only see in photos from the 1960s and 70s. You can pick this shirt up in three different colors – each as striking as the last.
Howler Brothers Ranchero Polo – Bakersfield Ed.
You wouldn’t think twice about this polo if you saw it only from the front. Sure, the buttoned breast pocket and two-button collar look nice, but spin the polo around and what stands out the most is the patterned floral yoke. It’s a really simple style choice, but it goes a long way.
Brooks Brothers Racquet Embroidered Polo
Embroidered rackets on a Brooks Brothers polo is a preppy-style deep cut if there ever was one. This three button polo from the brand’s Red Fleece collection is made from a high quality pique cotton that’s durable and perfect for the tennis fan and fan of preppy style (the same thing, no?). Pick one up before you head back to school in the northeast.
Aether S/S Polo
Any item of clothing is as much about the fabric as it is the cut and style. While the look of a polo may not change that much from brand to brand, what does vary is the fabric being used. For those who choose polos for their cool but formal style, there aren’t too many natural fabrics better than Supima cotton. Made from Gossypium barbadense, a type of plant used to produce Egyptian cotton, this polo from Aether is worth your time in large part due to how great it feels.
Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Polo
For those who love the feel, versatility, and look of synthetic fabrics both in and out of the gym, the Metal Vent Tech Polo from Lululemon is the way to go when it comes to polos. Coming in 8 different colors and featuring a lightweight four-way stretch from powered by Silverscent, an odor-fighting technology, it’s the kind of shirt you’d be just as happy wearing while on a run as you would in the office.
Alchemy Equipment Jersey Merino Polo
For those who want the benefits of a synthetic clothing but prefer the feel of cotton, merino is the fabric you should be looking for. New Zealand brand Alchemy Equipment cut their polo from an 18.5 micron merino and used a turkish stretch cotton for the collar, yoke, and placket on the shirt.
Todd Snyder Chambray Collar Polo
Much like Alchemy switched up the fabric on the placket and collar, Todd Snyder New York fitted this cotton jersey polo with chambray details along the same area. The contrast between the two fabrics and colors make for a smart and handsome look.
Kit And Ace Crawford Polo
Both cut and cloth on this polo make this shirt from the young brand Kit and Ace stand out. First is the slanted welt left breast pocket, something you usually find on chinos or slacks, it fits well on this polo, especially when placed next to the shirt’s concealed placket. The fabric on the shirt is made from a blend of cotton, cashmere, and spandex making it comfortable and yet versatile.
Faherty Jersey Beach Polo
The signature polo from the New York based brand, this shirt is made from an indigo-dyed cotton jersey and features a chambray placket and side vents. With a slightly longer tail in the back and given a worn-in look and feel, it’s the kind of polo you’d be happy to wear while headed out to the beach or put on after a day of surfing.
Sunspel Cotton Mesh Polo
If anyone knows how to make a polo, it’s Sunspel. They’ve been at it since the 1950s when the grandson of the brand’s founder wanted to improve tennis shirts. Since then the brand keeps innovating and pushing better shirts like this cotton mesh polo. This particular polo features a classic style cut from pique fabric made with some of the finest pima cotton available.
Etro Slim-Fit Paisley Print Polo
Patterns are hard to do well, but Etro knocked it out of the park with their slim-fit paisley print cotton pique polo. Made from 100% cotton and featuring a simple but impressive stitched pattern, this Italian made polo can be worn in even more formal contexts.