How to style a polo shirt for smart and casual looks

A polo shirt is perhaps one of the key staple items in many a man’s wardrobe. Comfortable, versatile and timeless… what’s not to love about the humble polo?

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An article in Sunspel examines the history of the polo shirt. They are thought to have originated in the 1920’s after gaining a lot of popularity around university polo tournaments and then spreading to other sports like tennis. Their sporting connotation has helped them appeal to all classes and gain acceptance in both casual and formal dress scenarios.

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So here in 2022, what are the best ways to style the Polo for smart and casual looks? Leading outfitters like EJ Menswear have you covered.

The right fit

Before even looking into ways to style a polo shirt, it is important to know how to get the right fit. A polo shirt should be roomy but not overly baggy. It should hug the shoulders, arms and chest and then taper out toward the waist giving a relaxed but flattering fit. In terms of length, it should extend about half the distance from your waist to your crotch: any longer and it looks oversized but any shorter and it will appear too small.

The smart look

Because of the relaxed fabric and style of a polo shirt it can be tricky to nail that smart look, but it is possible and designer brands such as mens Ralph Lauren polo shirts make it super easy with their high-quality garments. Pair them with chinos, loafers and a tailored jacket for a chic lunchtime rendezvous or for any smart but informal meeting.

The casual look

In order to style a polo shirt casually, the rest of your outfit should be casual too. You can opt for designer jogging bottoms or even ripped jeans. Think about your layering choices too – anything too structured (like a blazer) runs the risk of looking overly formal whereas a casual hoody or bomber jacket nails the cool-but-casual look perfectly. This sort of outfit is best finished with great quality sneakers or trainers – ideally in shades that match the shirt and other elements of your ensemble. Remember, trainers are designed to be comfortable but that doesn’t excuse you from keeping them scrupulously clean. Not many things can ruin that Polo look, but scuffed, grubby sneaks is one of them.