How to wear a polo shirt – simple tips for him and her

how to wear an embroidered polo shirt - hero image

Personalised polo shirts have been a staple in men’s and women’s wardrobes since the 80’s and it isn’t hard to see why. Polo Shirts offer the comfort of a T-shirt, but the formality of a button-up. They’re easy to combine, dress up or down and they come in all sorts of price ranges.

As user-friendly as they are, though, not many people know how to wear them. In the following post, we’ll cover how to wear a polo shirt. Printsome style…

An embroidered polo’s size

Unless you’re trying to make a fashion statement by wearing a very large polo shirt, polo shirts should have a specific fit:

Sleeves
For men, they should end mid bicep and hug it, not choke it. If it’s either too tight or too loose it’s wrong — it has to be just right. As a general rule, you should be able to fit two or three fingers between your arm and the fabric.
For women, the same rules apply although sleeves tend to be shorter.

Length
Ideally, you want a garment that reaches your hips. Any longer an it may look odd, any shorter and it’ll be impossible to keep it tucked in your pants.

Some polos have the back part longer than the one in front, this is to prevent the shirt from untucking whenever you’re sitting down. These types of garments should always be tucked because the uneven lengths can look be very unflattering.

Pair it up with…

A blazer
During those casual days, a polo can be a great substitute for a shirt. Just make sure you pair it up with a light, unstructured jacket. The reason being that a regular wool, structured jacket is too ‘tough’ to combine it with a polo shirt and would ‘overwhelm’ the garment.

Embroidered polo shirt and blazer by Mango. Source.

Polo shirt and blazer by Mango. Source.

Note: Whenever you wear a polo shirt with a blazer, always make sure that the jacket is not squashing the collar of the polo shirt. Keep it in mind whenever you take the blazer on and off. The collars of polo shirts are softer than regular button-ups which is why one should pay attention to them.

Trousers or chinos

For the ultimate casual-chick look, pair a polo shirt with a pair of chinos or trousers with a pair of trainers. Depending on the office guidelines of your workplace this could be a great outfit to go to work in during the summer time.

Trousers and blazer pair well with polo shirts because they create a balance. The first two are structured while the latter isn’t.

Polo shirt and chinos by Topman - how to wear embroidered polo shirts

Polo shirt and chinos by Topman. Source.

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Joggers
This might sound contradictory, specially coming from the tip above, but one of the advantages of the polo shirt is that it can be dressed up and dressed down. Besides, with all of the options there are nowadays for athletic wear (God forbid, athleisure) joggers can look just as nice as tailored pants, without even mentioning comfortable!

zara polo shirt and joggers - embroidered polo shirts

Polo shirt and joggers from Zara.

Don’t

Pop your collar
It might have been okay when you were 16, but now it’s just embarrassing. Nothing good can come of it — so just don’t.

Double layer
There was a tragic point in time when wearing a polo on top of another polo was considered ‘cool’. This is not a good idea. I repeat, this is not a good idea. Whether if it looks good or bad is subjective (it does not), but even if it did, it’s very uncomfortable since more often than not polos are made of piqué which is sturdier than your regular cotton. Definitely not intended to be put on top of one another.

Wear an undershirt
Polo shirts are meant to be worn by themselves, an undershirt will make you look bulky.

Other tips

Long-sleeved polos
Some state that long-sleeved polos don’t make sense because the garment was originally intended to replace the shirt on the tennis court so adding long sleeves would ‘beat the purpose’ in a way.

While I see their point, I still think long-sleeved polos can offer something that regular shirts can’t. Due to their sturdier fabrics, they become a jumper in a way and are a good option during the colder months for those who can’t part with their polos.

Button up!
Women can go for the all-buttons-fastened, it looks chick on them, but men should always meet them halfway. If every button is fastened then you’ll look like the ‘geek’ of an American sitcom and the opposite will make you look like a latin lover wannabe. Neither of them a good look.

embroidered Polo shirt by H&M. Source

Polo shirt by H&M. Source.

Conclusion

Polo shirts are a versatile garment everyone should have in their wardrobe. While they might have gathered a bad rep, they’re still a valid choice for those who want to maintain some formality while staying fresh and comfortable at the same time.

Make sure you’re wearing the same size by checking:

  • Sizes
  • Length

Dress it up by pairing it with:

  • A Blazer
  • Chinos
  • Trousers

Dress it down by pairing it with:

  • Trainers
  • Joggers

And whatever you do, never ever:

  • Pop your collar
  • Double layer
  • Wear an undershirt

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