Understanding Polo Shirts: A Detailed Study Of The Ever-Popular Clothing Piece

  • Only Teez
  • February 1, 2024

One of the most refined and versatile shirts that any man can own is a polo shirt. You might have a whole collection right now. And why not? With famed t-shirt manufacturers bringing a never-ending variety in one-of-a-kind colors, prints, cuts, and sizes, it’s nothing surprising. The love for these shirts has been witnessed year after year as this style continued trending. Be it in sports, at work, or simply in casual events, men wear polo shirts just about everywhere.

In this blog, you get to know about every side of this clothing item, starting from its history.

Looking at The Past

Polo shirts come with a rich, long history.

In the 19th C, they were first seen in the UK, when the British military started wearing these shirts. Interestingly, the country adopted them from the Indian natives in the area and slowly these shirts became one with royalty and the upper class.

While golf and tennis players enjoyed their sport, one issue was that the collar of the shirt flapped in the wind. On a trip to England, John Brooks from the noted American high-end luxury fashion company of the modern-day, found that players often used pins or buttons to hold them in place.

Did you know that the pique polo, which is probably your favorite polo shirt type today, originated on the tennis court and not the polo field? However, it took more than 30 years for the pique polo to come to the market. The first supplier was the famed American fashion designer and businessman Mr. Ralph Lauren. The shirt displayed a small embroidered polo player on the chest.

The link Between Tennis and Polo Shirts

Tennis players had a tough time playing matches as a result of the poor design of their sports outfits, between the 19th and early 20th C. During those days, long-sleeved shirts, trousers, and ties were a must. Being too heavy and cumbersome, the performance of most players suffered. To save himself and others from this situation, Rene Lacoste, a well-known player, launched his line of tennis shirts (polo shirts) that displayed loosely knitted unstarched pique cotton shirts featuring a collar and longer shirt tail at the back. You can call it an earlier sketch of the modern polo shirt version that tennis players are so fond of today.

In fact, today, they are preferred in almost every sport, from football to baseball to golf to rugby, and more!

difference between tennis and polo t shirt

The Trusted Polo Fabrics

The materials that make polo shirts simply amazing are:

100% Polyester

The synthetic fabric that offers exceptional durability and absorbency is polyester. It lets the fabric dry faster than other types of materials which lessens the chance of stains and sweat on the clothing piece. They are great for sports.

 Cotton

Breathable, easy to maintain, and so soft to the touch are the conventional cotton polo shirts. If you want to go on a family picnic on a warm, summer afternoon, these shirts are what you can rely on.

Poly-Cotton Blend

Do you need a fabric that can keep you a little warmer? Try the poly-cotton blend if you haven’t yet. While the natural cotton part offers the comfort you want, the synthetic polyester keeps you warm.

Polo Shirts with Refreshing Colors

You can find polo shirts in countless colors but the ones that are the most preferred nowadays are these three refreshing shades:

Charcoal-Grey:

If you are into light and neutral colors, you will surely fall for this one. It can give you the very professional look you want for your office meetings. To make it stand out, combine it with plain bottoms like trousers or jeans.

Sea-Green:

This lively, eye-soothing color is great for those men who want to separate themselves from the crowd. It’s calming and quite unusual to look at, which makes them perfect for hot days. A sea-green polo shirt can offer you a sophisticated appearance when you couple it with a dark shade of dress pants or trousers.

Blood-Red:

Every fashion-forward man has voted it to be the best. With this passionate color, you can make a bold style statement. A blood-red polo shirt can show off your flamboyant nature well and when you combine it with chinos, it can make you the star of the day on any casual occasion.

idea-of-polo-t-shirt-fabric

Unique Ways to Wear A Smart Casual Polo Shirt

The smart casual polo shirt has successfully broken its ‘’only reserved for sports’’ image and has become a fashion favorite for many men. Do you want to know how to wear this timeless menswear staple? Take a look at these unique ways given below:

A super soft cotton polo shirt with an effortlessly cool appearance will never make you feel underdressed if you decide to wear it to the bar. To get approval from one and all, try to team it up with slim-fitting dark jeans, a blazer, and derby shoes. If you are going out with your friends during the day, opt for chinos and suede loafers to take things down a notch. Do accessorize with a leather belt to inject a little flair into your ensemble.

Be it the city break or the tropical getaway, when it’s about packing for a vacation, you need to be smart. Why stuff your carry-on luggage with whatever comes to your sight when you can pack it with these versatile and easy-to-wear pieces? Do think! The trusty polo shirts can help you to create 101 outfits with them. Just like how great they are to wear to the beach with your swim shorts, they are equally classy to wear to dinner with some tailored shorts!

It’s not like you can’t wear a smart casual polo shirt to the office at all, you can! All you need to do is put a bit more effort into getting an outfit that’s not just okay but amazing for work. How about a polo shirt paired with chinos and Chelsea boots? You can try partnering a knitted version with a tailored suit and leather loafers for a more formal setting. Oh! And when it comes to office, neutral colors are always the best.

Polo Shirts Best Suited For Your Workplace

Okay, contrary to what many think— not every kind of polo shirt is suitable for the office. To make a positive impression at your workplace, you can make use of these two kinds:

Pique Polo Shirts

Pique polo shirts are quite basic and conventional. Easily recognizable for its waffle-like, woven pattern, these shirts are flexible and durable with a natural stretch that is there for your ultimate comfort. You can use them on casual Fridays with denim jeans or chinos.

Jersey Polo Shirts

Flatter and smoother in texture, jersey polos offer you a super soft feel. It has more elasticity and a lighter feel than pique polos. If your office asks its employees to dress in professional or formal-looking attire, you can take the liberty of combining a slim-fit jersey polo shirt with a blazer and a pair of work trousers.

versatile fashion design of polo t shirt

Differences between Polo Shirts and Golf Shirts

Since there are some similarities as well, you will be forgiven for thinking that they are the same.

There are slight differences between the two styles:

  • While polo shirts are usually crafted from a pique-knit material, they are less fast-drying than golf shirts, whereas golf shirts being commonly constructed from polyester blends, help you to stay dry in hot and humid weather.
  • The polo shirt collars are generally made in a knit material to match the shirt’s body and display single stitches and golf shirts, on the other hand, feature double-seamed collars that are designed to be worn flat and folded down.
  • Polo shirts are often best suited for casual events whereas golf shirts are designed specifically for playing the age-old sport.

difference of polo vs golf t shirt

Polo Shirts as Worn and Flaunted by Yesteryear Actors

Paul Newman

Paul Newman, the actor and director with steely blue eyes, is always considered one of the greatest style icons of America. The man’s signature look created out of well-cut basics was, is, and will always be a prime reference for gentlemen who have a soft corner for preppy American looks. In one of his movie shots, he looked dreamy in a conventional Ivy League uniform of chinos, a sport-coat, and a polo shirt.

Toshiro Mifune

Toshiro Mifune, the late Japanese movie legend, was one of the most loved actors during his time. In the 1961 samurai flick, Yojimbo, the skilled actor played a wandering ronin who answers the ‘30-year-old mulberry field’ or ‘Kuwabatake Sanjuro’ when asked his name. Winning the Volpi Cup for Best Actor for this masterpiece at the 1961 Venice Film Festival, Mifune looked fabulous in a crisp white polo shirt and slacks.

Clint Eastwood

When it comes to the movie industry, Clint Eastwood is an unforgettable name. The actor is known to obsess over the motto of ‘’less is always more’’ during his entire 60-year film career. No matter which movie you take, you will never see him displaying an over-the-top velvet jacket with coordinated shoes. You will see him in polo shirts for sure both on and off screen as for him it was always ‘’less fashion more practicality’’.

Popular Sportsmen Who Rock Polo Shirts

Roger Federer

Often considered the God of tennis by many, the former professional Swiss tennis player, holds a list of records on and off the court. Roger Federer was ranked world no. 1 for over 300 weeks with 20 Grand Slam singles titles. When he played, he looked fab in polo shirts and now even when he doesn’t, he looks smashing in one. Did you see the man carrying it with the sleeves of a sweater loosely tied around his shoulders? You should!

David Beckham

A football icon and a cool family man, David Beckham is also known for his stylish appearances. Well, not only in suits for magazine covers or in men’s underwear for fashion shoots, the former professional footballer knows how to grab eyeballs in even the simplest polo shirts. And, when he throws on a beanie, greyish-black jeans, and low-top sneakers, he kills it. With both hands covered in tattoos, it can be called the perfect Beckham special street-style look.

Blake Griffin

The American basketball power forward is probably the crush of every woman alive on this planet right now, not just because of his playing skills and good looks but his awesome fashion sense as well. While he looks great no matter what he is sporting, that one time when Griffin paired a reddish-orange polo shirt with a striped collar with a long camel-color trench coat and white chinos, he looked beyond handsome.

best celeb polo t shirt idea

Photo Source: google

The Preppy Polo is All Set to Rule This Year

In this year’s spring/summer collection, designers focused on the preppy polos a lot. With models dressing up like posh boys in neutral-colored polos such as navy polo shirts, collegiate blazers, baggy board shorts, and boat shoes or flip-flops, the Miu Miu collection was an instant hit. One can say that the ‘university style’ is as sloppy as preppy.

While the models may have looked like they would soon be attending lectures, elsewhere, the preppy mood was a little more country-club stylish. The Belgian fashion designer, Dries Van Noten’s collection showed polos with cool Ivy League colors and wide horizontal stripes. However, what gave them a street-style edge is the styling. For instance, when a moss-green and navy polo shirt was paired with a black tailored coat, a sequin embellished sheer skirt, patterned socks, and heels.

Polo shirts will be replacing tanks this year for sure. Don’t believe it? Well, celebs such as Rihanna and Hailey Bieber have already given fashion-forward appearances.

looking for preppy polo t shirt

New Year, New Style – Unusual Polo Shirt Outfit Ideas

For Men

Want a fail-proof look? Try being a minimalist with a tonal approach. Combine a polo shirt with tailored trousers and an overcoat. The collar keeps things from becoming too simple and casual and goes perfectly with the sharpness of the other two pieces.

To add a pattern or a pop of color under a layered look, polo shirts are the best. Consider adding a plaid polo with a color scheme consisting of beige and green under a camel overcoat. As for bottoms, opt for classic blue denim jeans. The polo shirt will help tie the look together.

During warmer months, the Riviera-style polos work great. This easy-to-wear style looks marvelous in soft, pastel colors during the hot days, especially when partnered with tailored shorts.

idea of mens fashion polo tees

For Women

The easiest way to play up a polo shirt is by adding some color and texture to it. Consider opting for one crafted in a textured fabric like wool or knit. To set yourself apart from the rest, you can also go for a bright and bold color.

How about recreating your school uniform? Go for a head-to-toe preppy look that will be both modern and chic. Layer your white polo shirt with a blazer or sweater vest on top and add a pleated skirt or a nice pair of printed trousers to finish the look.

To make the tennis girl look your own, other than matching a crisp polo shirt with a pleated short skirt and tennis sneakers, tie a striped sweater in complementary colors around your waist.

idea of womens polo t shirt

Useful Tips to Design Custom Polo Shirts

If you are a business owner planning to connect with a well-recognized t-shirt manufacturing company and wishing to customize your polo shirt order, here are some effective tips for you:

  • Most men prefer polo shirts with a simple design as it gives them a more classy and sophisticated appearance. So, whether you are opting for screen or embroidery printing, consider keeping it simple.
  • If you want your design to stand apart from those of your competitors, then consider going for higher-quality, embroidered logos as screen printing is too common today.
  • Not just colors, prints, cuts, or features but many manufacturers offer you the option to choose the thread as well. You can create your designs out of stunning threads like neon, metallic, silk threads, and more!

So, now that you know almost every little thing about this ever-trending clothing item, it will help you in the buying process and get the looks right!

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