Wholesale Men Polo Shirt - The Apparel Factory

29 Apr.,2024


Wholesale Men Polo Shirt - The Apparel Factory


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Wholesale Men's Polo Shirts at Affordable Prices

Men's polos are essential in many outfits because they provide the ideal balance of professional and casual looks. They can be worn in a variety of circumstances, are comfortable to wear, and are adaptable. The Apparel Factory offers an extensive collection of wholesale polo t-shirts at unbeatable prices, catering to businesses, retail stores, and restaurant owners alike. Our range includes various colors, from classic black polo shirt to vibrant blue and more, ensuring a match for every brand identity or personal preference. Our plain Polo T-shirts are fashioned from premium cotton for those who prioritize breathability and softness, ensuring all-day comfort whether at work or leisure. Whether you're looking to outfit your staff in smart work shirts or stock your retail shelves with casual wear essentials, our wholesale Polo shirts promise quality and style.

Get Classy Polo T-Shirts in Bulk

The Apparel Factory stands out in the wholesale apparel market by offering a diverse collection of Polo T-shirts, renowned for their blend of casual comfort and sophisticated style. Our women polo shirts are celebrated for their versatility, making them a preferred choice for various settings, from business casual environments to leisure activities. We take pride in offering styles that cater to everyone's needs, including long-sleeved Polo shirts for cooler climates and pocket Polo shirts for added functionality. By choosing The Apparel Factory, you're not just buying Polo T-shirts; you're investing in the opportunity to elevate your brand or retail offering with apparel that combines aesthetic appeal with practicality. Plus, our selection doesn't stop at branded options; we also provide wholesale t-shirts and a variety of other plain apparel from esteemed brands such as UltraClub, Core365, Port Authority and Sport-Tek. Save money without compromising on style or quality.

Plain Men's Polo T-Shirts in Superior Fabrics

At The Apparel Factory, quality and choice stand at the forefront of our plain men's Polo T-shirt collection, available at wholesale for businesses and retailers. We carefully select a variety of premium fabrics to meet diverse needs, from breathable, soft cotton for day-long comfort to durable cotton-polyester blends for a perfect mix of maintenance and wearability. Additionally, our range includes advanced polyester fabrics, ideal for those requiring activewear with moisture-wicking properties and resilience for outdoor activities or demanding environments. Choosing The Apparel Factory's plain Polo T-shirts means opting for a product where quality meets versatility. Each fabric choice is designed to uphold the integrity of the Polo's classic style while providing modern functionality, from the boardroom to the golf course. Available in a spectrum of colors and sizes ranging from XS to 7XL, our blank polo shirts are designed to suit everyone, ensuring your business can cater to a broad audience.

Polo Shirts: Your Guide To Buying, Styling, History & More

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Casual, Classic, Elegant: The Polo Shirt

A polo shirt is one of the most versatile shirts any man can own. Chances are, you already own an array of these shirts, and every Classic wardrobe will benefit from the presence of at least one polo to serve as a casual sport shirt that is especially well-suited for warmer weather. From sporting attire to leisurewear, polo shirts can be paired with many wardrobe items such as chinos, shorts, seersucker, and Madras, and they will help every item in your wardrobe go further.

Men wear polo shirts just about everywhere, to football games and the office alike, and as part of many outfits, ranging from a tailored blazer to ripped denim jeans. Even the oft-tuxedoed James Bond is famous for wearing Sunspel polo shirts, which pair perfectly with his Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster.

But just because polo shirts are popular, it does not make understanding them any less important when it comes to proper fit, ideal materials, and trusted manufacturers. Even though a polo shirt is a wardrobe staple, it can be difficult to find the right cut, fabric, and combinations to take advantage of all the style possibilities this unique shirt presents. In our guide, we take a look at every element of the polo shirt, starting with its long and venerable history.

Whether you consider yourself a preppy gentleman, only wear polo shirts as a leisure item, or use this shirt like sportswear on golf courses or tennis courts, we know that you’ll learn a great deal from this informative guide.

The History of the Polo Shirt

The Polo Shirt’s Origins in the Game of Polo

A 16th-century Persian miniature depicting polo players [Image Credit: Wikimedia]

As the name implies, the history of the polo shirt is closely linked to the history of the game of polo, although the modern polo shirt as we recognize it today looks very different from its ancient antecedent.

The game of polo had been played in Asia for centuries, but it was introduced to Europeans during the expansion of the British Empire in the 17th and 18th centuries. At this same time, Europeans were also introduced to the uniforms traditionally worn by locals when playing this game.

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The English Bring the Polo Shirt to Europe

English colonials adopted the game of polo following the conquest of India.

In Manipur, India, during the middle of the 19th century, British soldiers took up the Indian game and polo and adopted uniforms based on traditional examples. These outfits usually consisted of long-sleeved shirts made of thick cotton with broad collars.

Because the broad collars on early polo shirts could flap in the breeze and were stuffy and uncomfortable when loose, buttons were added to help secure them and prevent them from flapping in the riders’ faces as their horses galloped.

By the early 1860s, polo, and its attendant uniforms, were well-established in Great Britain, whence they soon spread across the European Continent and eventually reached North America.

The Polo collar is popularized by

Brooks Brothers

During a trip to England in 1896, John E. Brooks, heir to the American Brooks Brothers haberdasher, attended a polo game and noticed the button-down collars on the shirts of the polo players. Thinking it was a brilliant idea, he brought back the idea to his grandfather, and they began to introduce a new dress shirt with a button-down collar that we know today as the button-down dress shirt. Even though the “polo shirt” has evolved to represent a different clothing item entirely, Brooks Brothers still markets some OCBD shirts as the “Original Polo” shirt.

The first “polo” polo shirt from

Lewis Lacey

While the polo pony logo is today closely associated with Ralph Lauren, a different maker had already employed this logo almost fifty years earlier. Lewis Lacey was a clothing designer and polo player who introduced a newer, lighter-weight cotton fabric to the game. To market his new shirt, available at his store in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he embroidered a picture of a polo player on its breast.

Rene Lacoste and the Birth of the Modern Polo Shirt

René Lacoste is credited with effectively inventing the modern polo shirt.

Rene Lacoste was a French tennis player and one of the biggest names in the sport in the 1920s and 30s. Realizing that the traditional polo shirt could have multiple uses, due primarily to its wind-resistant collar, he used it as a starting point to design a shirt that would eventually become the modern polo shirt.

Early 20th-century tennis shirts were often long-sleeved, had a full complement of buttons, and could be relatively heavy. Lacoste’s innovations, based on the original polo shirt, called for removing the sleeves, which he had often worn roll-up on his traditional tennis shirt.

Vintage tennis attire could be very cumbersome and heavy

Lacoste also ditched the buttons traditionally found on tennis shirts, opting instead for a pull-over design. He also gave the shirt a longer hem in the back than in the front, allowing it to remain tucked in without restricting his ability to move and flex. To this day, the asymmetrical shirt hem is still referred to as a “Tennis Tail.”

Reny Lacoste introduces

Cotton Pique

As a fabric for his new polo shirt, Lacoste adopted an innovative knit called pique cotton. Cotton pique could be machine-knitted, making it relatively easy to manufacture, and it was also very light and breathable while retaining durability. While Lacoste had not invented cotton pique, he was instrumental in its popularization as a sporting and leisure fabric.

The Polo Shirt Dominates … Tennis?

Rene Lacoste wearing the shirt he created

Lacoste wore his new shirt proudly in the 1926 US Open, which he dominated, and immediately the shirt became a staple in tennis wear and activewear worldwide. Even the polo world took notice and adopted the same shirts for use in their game. The button-down collar was no more, and polo players liked Lacoste’s shirts because the comfortable yet sturdy collar could be popped up, allowing them more protection from sunburns.

Does a gator or crocodile represent


Despite some confusion over the issue, the reptile on the Lacoste logo is decidedly a crocodile because “Le Crocodile” was Lacoste’s nickname. The origins of this nickname, however, are disputed. One theory claims that Lacoste’s large nose resembled the snout of a crocodile. Another idea was that the force of his slams was like the snapping of a crocodile’s jaw. Finally, Lacoste’s son, Bernard, claimed that the nickname originated from a bet involving, even more confusingly, an alligator-skin bag.

Paying homage to where Lacoste got the idea, he opted to call his creation a polo shirt rather than a tennis shirt. In 1933 he formed a company to market his polo shirts, and the Lacoste brand was born. Focusing on polo shirt sales, their original market consisted almost exclusively of athletes and sports fans.

Realizing he could sell more shirts if he created various designs, Lacoste and his designers came up with many colorful patterns, including stripes and even graphics, presaging the modern trend of boldly styled polo shirts.

“They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Originally, polo shirts were almost the exclusive domain of the sporting world, including an introduction to the world of golf when American President Dwight Eisenhower wore a Lacoste polo while on the links. Golf and country clubs soon adjusted their rules to allow for polo shirts on their courses, and almost overnight, the polo shirt became the preferred golf attire for golfers in North America and across the globe.

Dominating Casual Menswear: The Polo Shirt in the Mid-20th Century

Polo shirts are just one of many casual shirts worn during the Golden Age of Menswear.

After World War II, the growing casualization of menswear saw the introduction of an increasingly wide range of leisure and sports shirts. The polo shirt, already popular in the world of sport, transitioned relatively easily into the world of casual men’s fashion. Polo shirts became regular wear for men at informal social events like cookouts or when running errands. Young men, in particular, flocked to the polo shirt, and it slowly began to develop cachet as a status symbol and emblem of the youthful Prep Style.

The Stitched logo and

Fred Perry

Like Rene Lacoste, Fred Perry was a tennis legend who expanded into the world of fashion. Perry marketed his own brand of polo shirt that closely resembled Lacoste’s but with a logo that was stitched rather than ironed on. While the Lacoste polo remained the preferred choice for athletes, fashion-conscious young men in the 1950s seemed to prefer Fred Perry’s offering because of its iconic emblem, one of the earliest examples of the adoption of logos in menswear. By this time, it was clear that the polo was no longer just a sport shirt but a fashionable shirt to wear outside of athletics.

Ralph Lauren Enters the Polo Market

As the 20th century progressed, the polo shirt solidified its position as a premiere shirt within casual menswear. The polo shirt was so iconic, in fact, that when Ralph Lauren was developing ideas for what to call his new line of casualwear clothing, he settled on the name Polo because it was evocative of both the sport of polo, with its royal association and sophisticated air, and the whimsical fun and lightness of the polo shirt.

The polo player emblem of the Polo Line first appeared on women’s suits in 1971. A year later, Ralph Lauren launched a polo shirt featuring the famous design as the flagship offering of his new line of casual menswear items.

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The Polo Wars

The polo became a flagship garment for Ralph Lauren.

By the opening of the 1980s, one of the first decades in which brand consciousness was a significant consideration in men’s fashion, several clothing retailers had well-established lines of polo shirts, including Lacoste, Izod, Ralph Lauren, Original Penguin, Fred Perry, and Brooks Brothers, to name a few.

The competition was fierce between these brands to establish their superiority and dominate the lucrative polo shirt market. Within a few years, it was clear that Lacoste and Ralph Lauren were the primary contenders for the crown. Thanks to its deeper corporate pockets and popularity with the Ivy League set, the Ralph Lauren polo emerged as the winner, becoming the iconic polo coveted by men worldwide.

The Polo Shirt Today

One of the Most Popular Casual Shirts in Menswear

Examples of knit polos.

From their origins on the polo fields, polo shirts have come to dominate menswear. Few other garments are seen on middle managers and suburban dads as often as they are glimpsed on celebrities and music stars. It is a safe bet to say that the polo shirt is currently one of the most common and popular garments on the planet, and it is unlikely that its fame will be declining anytime soon.

A Premiere Casual Shirt

Today, the polo shirt can be worn in almost any environment where an open collar is substituted for a dress shirt and tie. Because of their versatility and ability to be paired with many types of trousers, from jeans and chinos to dress pants, polo shirts, along with tee shirts, are one of the most common shirts worn by men today.

As Sports Equipment

Lightweight and breathable but retaining a certain well-put-together air, the polo shirt remains true to its root as a favored garment for tennis players, golfers, and many other athletes.

As Part of Prep and Collegiate Style

From the halls of Harvard and Yale to the fraternity keggers of the local state university, polo shirts are indelibly associated with contemporary collegiate style. Whether paired with cotton shorts at a cookout or worn with collar popped while playing beer pong, polo shirts and college culture, as well as “Bro Culture,” are strongly associated.

As Business Casual Staple

With the rise of the modern tech industry and more offices adopting less formal work environments, polo shirts became standard work apparel in these fields. Soon more industries took notice, and the polo shirt was included in many trade and retail uniforms, from blue-collar plumbers and exterminators to big-box retail stores. Companies began to realize that they could easily brand the shirts and began to use them as a regulated uniform for their staff, with logos imprinted on the sleeves, breast, collar, and back of the shirts.

As Superlative Casual Shirt

Because of their ability to appear relatively formal and neat while remaining casual and comfortable, polo shirts are favored by gentlemen from all walks of life on various occasions, from running errands and sporting events to fun grilling and laid-back meals out.

Polo Shirt FAQ

What was the original polo shirt?

The first “polo” shirts were heavy cotton shirts worn by polo players. In the 1920s, the French tennis player Rene Lacoste developed a new shirt that was closely modeled after the shirts worn by polo players, that he called a polo shirt. This polo shirt, although designed for use in tennis, is what we today know as a polo shirt. 

Which brand makes the best polo shirts?

Ultimately, the best brand and price point for a polo shirt depends on what you need the polo shirt to do, but you can expect to pay more for polos that have more attentive constructive and expensive materials, but also for polo shirts made by luxury brands. To help you determine if a polo shirt, or any iconic item in menswear, has a good value, check out our extensive Is It Worth It? Series.

How many polo shirts should a man own?

How many polo shirts you should own depends upon your personal preference, but in general, having a few polo shirts in classic colors and styles will always be a good addition to your selection of classic casual shirts.

What colors are the best for polo shirts?

Classic menswear colors like white, gray, navy, blue, and green will be extremely versatile in a Classic menswear wardrobe, but because polo shirts are more casual and are often worn in warmer temperatures, you can also consider bolder pastel options like yellow, orange, and pink.

What is the best material for a polo shirt?

Most polo shirts are made from cotton, but depending on your needs, other quality natural fibers like wool, linen, and silk can also be good options. In general, unless you are wearing the polo for sports and prefer performance fabrics, synthetic fibers should be avoided.

What is a pique polo shirt?

In this context, pique refers to the knitted pattern of the polo shirt fabric. It has a distinctive waffle-like pattern and possesses superior breathability and flexibility. 

How should a polo shirt fit?

In a Classic Fit, a polo should drape pleasingly at the shoulders with a lightly structured midsection that encourages a pleasing, but not sharp, inverted v torso. The sleeves should fall between the shoulders and elbow and be secure but not tight.

Are polo shirts a trend?

While trends are associated with polo shirts, such as layering or popping collars, polo shirts have existed for over a century and have been staples in Classic menswear since the 1950s. Opting for a polo shirt in classic colors with versatile styling will ensure that your polos are timeless and will look great on you for years to come.

Should I tuck in my polo shirt? 

If your polo shirt has a Tennis Tail, in which it is longer in the back than in the front, you should tuck it in. You should also tuck your polo shirt in if it falls around the middle of your buttocks in length. If you want to wear your polo shirt untucked, the hem should fall just below your belt line. 

How do I clean a polo shirt?

Always follow the individual washing instructions printed inside your polo. In general, however, be aware that cotton polos do tend to shrink, and so should be washed gently in cool water and never put in a dryer.

Is a polo shirt formal? 

While they do have a collar, polo shirts are inherently casual shirts and should not be worn with any dress code above Business Casual.

Polo Shirt Quality Hallmarks and Details

Assessing Quality is Key to Sourcing Superior Polo Shirts

When selecting a polo shirt, take advantage of the following list of quality hallmarks to make a selection that falls within your desired price point while also leveraging the full potential of this versatile and functional garment.


Polo shirts can be made from many different materials.

The majority of contemporary polo shirts are made from one of six common materials. The material that is best for you will depend primarily upon your desired price point and how you intend to employ the polo shirt in your personal wardrobe.

MaterialNotesCottonWith moisture-wicking abilities, breathability, and decent durability, cotton shirts are the most common polo shirts found today. Of course, not all cotton is alike, and cheaper cotton polos use short-staple cotton that will cause pilling and faded colors after a few washes. Of course, long-staple cotton will last longer and likely feel better on your skin; however, all cotton will also fade in color eventually, especially with darker colors.SilkLight, comfortable, and shiny, silk is a favorite material for high-end and luxury polo shirts. In reality, however, pure silk can have a number of drawbacks when used for polo shirts, the most significant of which is the fact that silk fades when exposed to moisture or high heat, both of which occur commonly in circumstances in which polo shirts are worn. To mitigate these issues, consider cotton-silk or linen-silk blends as alternatives.LinenIn recent years, linen has become more popular for all kinds of knitwear, and some makers now offer linen polo shirts. With its crisp look and sophisticated wrinkles, it certainly adds another dimension to this casual garment with great visual interest, but it is also much rougher than cotton. As such, it is only recommended in blends to achieve that crinkly linen look without sacrificing comfort.PerformancePerformance polos are made with athletes in mind. They come with various unique features like silver particles on the material to reduce odor or built-in ultraviolet light protection. They are usually made from lightweight synthetics or blends. The price will vary depending on the company’s marketing budget and brand reputation. These shirts are intended only to be worn on athletic fields or when exercising, not anywhere else.SyntheticsWhile polo shirts made from synthetic materials like polyester have a few benefits, such as resistance to wrinkling, shrinking, and staining, they have numerous drawbacks, including reduced breathability, unappealing textures, and a cheap appearance. As a result, we suggest that you avoid shirts made from these materials if at all possible.BlendedBlended fabrics are often used for corporate polo shirts or grocery store uniforms because the blended synthetics increase durability and stain resistance at a low price point. At the same time, they are less comfortable than all cotton materials, and they sometimes make the wearer more prone to sweating. Usually right in the middle to low end when it comes to price, these are the most commonly found polo shirts on the market, and if you are on a budget, this is likely what you will end up with. If you can afford better quality, you should do so because the feel and comfort of this type are just not desirable.

Knit and Weave

An illustration of the differences between woven and knit material.

How the material fiber of the polo shirt is assembled will have a considerable impact on quality. In conventional weaving, two distinct sets of yarn or thread are interlaced at right angles to form the fabric. Most polo shirts, however, are not woven: they are knitted, in which yarns are interloped with each other.

Common Polo Shirt Knits

Polo shirts are commonly knit in one of two ways. Ultimately, which knit is right for you will depend upon how you want your polo to look and function.

Pique Knit

Pique knit is known for its iconic three-dimensional waffled appearance. Its name comes from its resemblance to marcella pique, a different type of fabric usually reserved for formal evening garments. Pique knit is known for being both flexible and breathable, with breathability increasing relative to how large the knit is. The majority of knit polo shirts employ a pique knit.

Jersey Knit

Jersey knit is the second most common knit for polo shirts. Because of the tighter interloping of its yarns, Jersey knit has a smoother texture and often a more lustrous appearance. This tightness also means, however, that it is not as breathable as pique knit.

Should you wear long or short


The original polo shirts were long-sleeved, but since the 1930s, the overwhelming majority of contemporary polo shirts have had short sleeves, with rugby shirts being the preferred long-sleeved sports shirt in Classic Menswear. In recent decades, however, long-sleeved polo shirts have enjoyed a resurgence, with the Friday Polo by Luca Avitabile representing a prime example.

Sleeve Construction

Sleeve construction refers to how the sleeves of the polo shirt are attached to the trunk of the garment. Two types of sleeve construction are commonly seen for polo shirts.


Set-In Sleeve

The head of the sleeve is attached flush with the trunk of the shirt. A seam at the shoulder circles around the arm hole and holds the sleeve in place.

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Raglan Sleeve

The sleeve head extends in one piece over the shoulder to the collar with an extended diagonal sleeve. Because this sleeve type puts less stress on the joint of the shoulder, it offers greater comfort and greater range of movement. It will therefore be more commonly employed for higher-end polo shirts.

Sleeve Cuff

Polo shirt sleeve cuffs can be finished in three basic ways.

A basic hem consists of a simple, finished termination that drapes loosely at the cuff. If baggy, this sleeve cuff can seem visually unappealing, but it tends to be very comfortable as no fabric constricts the arm. Rouched hems can be either welted or ribbed. They sit more tightly around the arm and tend to have a more trim and neat appearance. Because of different stitch densities, welt cuffs tend to be slightly more elastic than ribbed cuffs, but they are otherwise very similar.

Collar Construction

Curled Ribbed Collar Sewn Shirt Collar Style

Almost all polo shirts have a soft, ribbed collar that is set broadly to encourage good airflow. Unfortunately, these soft collars are often flimsy, and they tend to wrinkle or curl at the edges.

Some companies offer collar stays that you can glue onto your polo shirts to fix this problem, but we have found that they don’t actually work very well.

Instead, if possible, opt for a polo shirt that comes with an interlining similar to a genuine shirt collar. Not only will these collars appear neater and trimmer, but you can also select different collar types for expanded styling options.


The placket of the polo shirt sits right at the collar, and how it is assembled considerably impacts quality. Three placket types are commonly employed for polo shirts.

Basic Placket

Basic Plackets, also called Solly Plackets, are often found on more inexpensive polo shirts. They are favored by makers only because they require less fabric and stitching, as they are essentially made from the body of the shirt.

Set-In Placket

Set-in plackets are very similar to the basic placket but use more stitching on the button-hole side of the placket, giving it a tailored appearance.

Set-On Placket

Set-On attached plackets require considerably more stitching and fabric because the placket is sewn separately from the shirt and attached afterward. Because of its interfacing, this option offers a more rectangular and clean appearance and is usually found on expensive polo shirts.

Plackets can be hidden with the addition of an extra layer of fabric that lies over the placket. This hidden placket creates a cleaner overall appearance, and it often appears on higher-end polo shirts.

A red Ferrari-branded polo shirt with a set-on hidden placket

Button Arrangement and Materials

Plastic button Imitation horn buttons Mother-of-pearl buttons

Polos can have anywhere from 1 to 6 buttons, although 2 or 3 is the most classic. Buttons can be made out of any material, with plastic being the most common and mother-of-pearl or horn being the most classic.

Identify a quality polo by the


Buttonholes are a great way to assess the quality of the construction of a polo shirt. Poorly-made buttonholes are sewn and then cut, leaving the buttonhole with a distorted appearance and lots of loose threads. While you should not expect most polo shirts to have hand-sewn buttonholes, quality machine-sewn buttonholes should still be neat and tidy with no loose threads.


No pocket Chest pocket.

While some polo shirts feature a breast pocket, unless you are planning to actually carry something, like your sunglasses, we suggest skipping it. A superfluous pocket can spoil the shirt’s lines, And with age, they often become saggy and wrinkly.

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How to Style a Polo Shirt

There are many ways to wear and style a polo shirt.

Now that you know how to find the best polo shirt, we will share with you tips and tricks to achieve the best possible look in your polo.

Overall Fit

Raphael checks the fit of an army green Spier & MacKay long-sleeved polo shirt.

As with most things in menswear, fit is king, even with casual shirts like polo shirts. The most Classic fit for a polo shirt will be comfortably fitted with a torso that gently implies an inverted V silhouette without squeezing your midsection. A super-tight slim fit might be trending now, but unless you have a muscular figure, it will not look good on most body types and isn’t typical of Classical Style.

Polo shirts should ideally fit in the shoulder similar to a dress shirt, but because they are mass-produced in more limited sizes, it can be difficult to get a perfect fit in the shoulders. Experiment with a variety of different polo shirt makers to identify brands with proportions that align well with your own.

Standard Polo Shirt Fit Profiles

Today, many manufacturers offer different kinds of fits, and while they are not absolute indicators, they will tell you how the shirts fit relative to other polo shirts of the same brands.

Fit ProfileNotesClassic FitIdeal for men who don’t have washboard abs and chiseled pecs, the classic fit has lower armholes with sleeves that reach closer to the elbow. They offer a very relaxed drape over the torso with a longer back hem allowing them to be tucked into a pair of pants or shorts. Great if you have some love handles you’d like to hide, or if you simply prefer to tuck your shirts in.Slim FitPerfect for the guy in great shape and for athletic use, these polo shirts have the trimmest fit throughout the torso and sleeves, with a shorter back and front hem that allows the shirt to be worn untucked.Custom FitThe custom fit is right in the middle of classic and slim fit polo shirts. It has higher armholes than the classic fit with a shorter sleeve length. It also features a trimmer fit against the torso, with a slightly shorter front and back hem than the classic but longer than the slim fit.

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Sleeve Length

Shorter polo sleeves. Medium polo sleeve length Longer polo sleeve length

The sleeves of a polo shirt should fall about halfway to two-thirds of the way between your shoulder and elbow. You can go somewhat shorter if you prefer a more vintage look or longer for a more contemporary look. Regardless of length, the sleeve cuffs should sit securely without appearing loose and dangling or overly tight and constricting.

Size your polo sleeves perfectly

The Finger Test

The Finger Test is an easy way to determine if your polo shirt fits well in the sleeves. If you can slide your finger between the sleeve and your skin with ease, but the fabric still contracts against your skin on the opposite side, you are on the right track.

Hem Length

Tennis Tails polos should not be worn untucked. Properly untucked polo shirt. Polo shirt hem tucked in.

The desired hem length of a polo shirt will vary depending on whether or not you intend to wear the polo shirt tucked or untucked. In an innovation going back to Rene Lacoste, a classic polo shirt has a “Tennis Tail” that makes the polo shirt longer in the back than the front. This added length was intended to allow for greater movement while keeping the shirt neatly tucked in. If your polo shirt has a Tennis Tail, you should plan to wear it tucked in.

For polo shirts without Tennis Tails, the bottom hem should sit just below your belt line if you plan to wear it untucked or no more than halfway past your buttocks or fly front if you plan to wear them tucked in.


Polo shirts come in a variety of colors.

When it comes to color selection, the most versatile variety of colors will be those commonly found in Classic menswear, such as white, gray, navy, blue, and green, as well as neutrals. Because polos are so closely associated with warm weather, they also look great in a range of spring and summer colors like yellow, pink, orange, and similar pastels.

Ultimately, your polo color selection should fit with your personal style, but because polos are typical of a more casual look, don’t be afraid to have fun and experiment with bolder colors.


Polo shirts come in a variety of patterns.

Polo shirts are available in all of the patterns typical of Classic Menswear, and contemporary iterations may also feature graphic designs. For the most traditional look, classic patterns are the safest choice. Overly involved, oversized, or dramatic graphic images may cause the polo shirt to more closely resemble a tee shirt, causing it to appear precipitously more casual.

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Polo Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts


Do wear polo shirts fitted but not tight

If you can’t stick a finger between your bicep and your sleeve, get a bigger size. If there’s a lot of slack, get a smaller size. Good quality polo shirts are made from light materials like cotton. Therefore, they should drape nicely over your body without showing too much of your body.


Don't layer polo shirts

A properly fitted polo shirt should skim but not hug your frame, so there shouldn’t be room for another shirt. Wearing an undershirt almost guarantees it will slip from under your sleeve or crumple at the collar. Polo shirts aren’t made for layering, and we suggest that you not wear an undershirt, long or short-sleeved, with a polo shirt. Accordingly, don’t layer more than one polo shirt at a time; this inexplicable trend is a cry for attention rather than a real fashion statement.


Do size polos to your height

Unless you prefer a tunic-like fit, make sure the tail of an untucked polo shirt doesn’t extend further than midway down your bottocks. Not only will it crumple and show when tucked in, but it will throw off your proportions if left untucked. Also, avoid tennis tails, which have a longer back hem, if you plan to wear your polo shirt untucked.


Don't pop your collar

That trend of popping your collar is over, and it’s not coming back. Opt for sunscreen for neck protection and you won’t have to pop it in the first place. Popping your collar is kind of like wearing sunglasses at night. Leave it for the bar crowd and teenagers trying to look cool.


Do tuck in your polo when the situation calls for it

It would be wrong to stipulate a rule never to tuck or untuck your polo shirt. Rather, it depends on the outfit and the occasion. With a pair of Madras shorts, you don’t want to tuck them in, but with a pair of seersucker slacks or chinos, it will look better when it is tucked in.


Don't wear oversized logos

Recently a trend has hit with large oversized logos appearing on polo shirts. It started with Ralph Lauren and has progressed to other brands. Normally we advocate avoiding visible logos entirely, but when it comes to polo shirts, having a small logo on the breast is often unavoidable since it has become the standard. Some companies offer logos that are tone-in-tone with the knit, which is preferable to contrasting logos. In any case, oversized logos are nothing short of atrocious. Unless you wear one as part of your work uniform, leave the logos to the kids.


Do experiment with fun colors and patterns

As a casual warm- and hot-weather shirt, polo shirts offer considerable leeway when it comes to bold and vibrant polos and patterns. Do not be afraid to take advantage of this opportunity to add unexpected colors, patterns, and textures to your ensemble. This will generate visual interest and help distinguish you from all of the other men wearing boring polos.


Don't wear polo shirts with a blazer

Some men think they look smart sporting a polo shirt with a blazer, even though the soft collar doesn’t lay flat. No matter what situation you are in, a blazer will always look better with a dress shirt. Therefore, skip the polo and go right to the dress shirt.

Watch our video on polo etiquette

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How to Buy a Polo Shirt

Tips for Finding and Buying the Perfect Polo Shirt

Learn how to assess genuine value!

Establish basic colors before branching out

To start with, you should invest in basic colors, including but not limited to navy, white, burgundy, light blue, green, purple, orange, yellow, or pink. All of these are good colors, but the right ones will depend on what the rest of your wardrobe — and you — look like. If you have black hair and Caucasian skin or if you are black, high-contrast outfits will work better. On the other hand, if you have blonde hair and fair skin, muted colors and less contrast will work better. Once you have the solids covered, you can think about expanding into some patterns, such as checks, stripes, or something else. Fashion polos often come with contrasting collars, packets, or ribbed hems and will stand out more, but they will look distinctly dated a few years from now and are not a wise investment.

Price does not always equal value

When it comes to price, polo shirts can range in price from a mere $10 or less for a fast fashion shirt to $1500 for a polo shirt from Brioni. In addition to the price, the quality also changes based on the manufacturer. Of course, a shirt for $10 cannot be of great quality, and generally, $50 is what you need to spend for better quality. Some $150 shirts have a particular design or a big marketing campaign behind them, and therefore it is difficult to tell how well they will hold up in the end.

For example, due to a marketing placement, Daniel Craig wore a navy Sunspel Riviera polo shirt in a James Bond movie, and therefore many men went out and bought it for $135 so they could feel like James Bond. If you need this kind of confidence boost, it is a good investment. On the other hand, if you are about the look and you are on a budget, the $15 shirt from Uniqlo might be a better choice. Of course, the Uniqlo one is made from a cotton blend, but it has a shirt collar, a similarly trim cut, and the same color.

At the end of the day, you have to decide what provides more value for you, but it pays to look around and to compare options. Generally, it helps to look for quality hallmarks rather than brand names because hallmarks will help you to distinguish better quality from low quality.

Look for taped shoulder seams

In order to ensure longevity, one thing to look for in a polo shirt is a taped shoulder seam. This is easily distinguishable by looking at the inside of the shirt on the seam, where you’ll find a white piece of fabric sewn into the shoulder. This is what’s used to maintain the shirt’s shape with wear and numerous washes.

A soft feel does not guarantee quality

You will not be able to predict longevity just by touching the fabric. Sometimes, polo shirts like the ones from Tommy Hilfiger feel soft, but in fact, they do not last very long and look faded very quickly.This is because the softness is the result of a chemical process, that dissipates after washing, and not because of the actual quality of the materials.

Seek out single-needle stitching

Generally, the more time that is spent on the making of the polo shirt, the higher the chance a better knit was used. However, that is not always the case. Try to select polo shirts with single-needle stitching in the shoulder and a reinforced box that gives the shirt a more finished and tailored appearance. Interfacing in the placket and buttons that have been cross-stitched are simple additions that can improve the quality of the shirt.

Account for color fading

It is very difficult to determine if a polo shirt has ben dyed correctly. Unfortunately, you really won’t be able to tell until you wash the shirt several times. Sadly, not even a brand label like Ralph Lauren Polo or Brooks Brothers will guarantee a certain quality anymore because each season can be very different. Raphael has old polos from Ralph Lauren that have been worn more often than newer ones, yet the new ones look considerably worse than no-name micro-brands or wholesale brands intended for use as branded uniforms. One tip is to look at the cuffs and the collar to make sure they match the shirt and aren’t from different dye lots.

Always bear in mind that the darker the color, the sooner it will age. White polo shirts don’t show washed-out colors because they are white. However, you are more likely to get deodorant stains or stain it otherwise, so no one color is, per se, superior to others.

Wash your polo shirts

Inside Out

When washing your polo shirts, washing them inside out will help reduce fading. This is because the exterior fabric will not be directly exposed to the cleaning chemicals, which can cause fading, and because the exterior will be protected from the agitation of the machine, which can bruise fabrics and make them appear more faded.

Polo Shirt Brands to Consider

Find the polo shirt brand that is right for you.

In the following list, you will find a list of polo shirt manufacturers at different price points. It is simply a way to show you what’s out there. At the end of the day, there is not one perfect polo shirt for everybody — it really depends on what you value.

Our “Is It Worth It?” Series Finds Which Polo Brands Are Worth Their Price!

Is It Worth It?


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Is It Worth It?


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Is It Worth It?

Spier & Mackay

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Athletic Polo Shirts

One big difference between the standard polo shirt and a golf or tennis polo is performance. These shirts are specifically engineered to allow the wearer a wider range of motion and to protect them by wicking moisture away from the body under the hot sun. In most cases, these shirts are made using a synthetic blend of materials designed for active living.

While many amateur golf and tennis players will simply wear a polo shirt from Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers or another brand, most professional athletes stick with the ones made for their sport. Whether that’s partially due to sponsorship from the brand or because of its enhanced performance capability is tough to say.

Watch our video on how to buy polo shirts

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Where will you wear your polo shirt?

Regardless of whether you’re a country club prep from Manhattan or a blue-collared guy from the South, we hope that today’s guide has left you feeling confident when it comes to wearing, and rocking, a polo shirt. Polo shirts provide an excellent opportunity for adding personality and style to a casual ensemble. We look forward to hearing about all of the great looks you will soon be crafting!

Let us know in the comments: who makes your favorite polo shirt, and what do you wear with it?

Outfit Rundown

Kyle is wearing a tan polo shirt from Ralph Lauren, a famous purveyor of polo shirts. He has opted to wear it untucked, and selected a shirt with an appropriately short hem. To emphasize this more casual styling, Kyle’s trousers are dark-washed jeans, which harmonize well with his dark brown, pebbled oxfords. The entire look is given a subtle pop of color thanks to his midnight blue and burgundy Fort Belvedere socks.Fort Belvedere Midnight Blue and Burgundy Socks


Available exclusively from Fort Belvedere, these fine dress socks are made from 100% Egyptian 2-ply fil d’ecosse cotton. Woven in Italy, they are hand-finished in an over-the-calf length to ensure that they stay up all day, and are available in five sizes, from Small to Extra-Extra Large.

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