How to wear Polo Shirts

Penguin Polo Shirt

   One would imagine that wearing a polo shirt would be a pretty straightforward endeavor for a man to undertake. Would should a task not be as simple as taking the item of choice out of a wardrobe and pulling it over one's head?

   In short, no.

   Like most items of clothing there's a subtle distinction between wearing an item and being worn by one - this is equally true of a casual polo shirt as it is a more formal three piece suit. Sure, it's possible to purchase items off the rack and assume that no additional thought has to go into making a cohesive and flattering look work, but the style conscious among us no that this is simply not true.

   The first issue with regards to wearing a polo shit often comes with individual's inability to consider the sartorial whole over simply piecing together an outfit based on individual items. It is, for example, no good to invest in an array of mens Ted Baker polo shirts if one were to simply team them with an old pair of scruffy jeans (or, even, the oxymoron that comes from the concept of "smart jeans" - an issue I'll be sure to tackle with the right amount of brio and righteous indignation further down the line).

   As retro and vintage fashion is becoming increasingly popular, as we as a civilisation realise that the average person dressed much better six decades ago than we have at any point since, one idea for stylising a polo shirt is through the appropriation of the ultra-smart fashion of yesteryear. This means fastening the top button. Much like the bottom button of a waistcoat should always be fastened, so should the top button of a polo shirt. Whilst a polo shirt and smart trousers will never replace a shirt and tie as the go-to choice for formal occasions, it can be used in context of the vastly over-looked "smart-informal" mode of dressing. As such, think about the rest of item in context - a buttoned up shirt, as mentioned, does not look good with jeans.

   So, whilst many see Polo shirts as interchangeable with t-shirts and other casual attire, the smart dresser should always be thinking about dressing smartly. "Polo" is misleading for the style as, I'm sure we are aware, sports clothes are never made to be this aesthetically pleasing. Polo shirts are not an alternative for those who wear replica football kits day-to-day but, instead, a great alternative choice to long-sleeve shirts instead. As the weather begins to warm this summer, consider teaming a Fred Perry pique polo with a pair of slacks and a blazer - you'll be appropriately attired for an office environment and, equally, won't be overdressed if you want to hit the bar straight after work. To use the antithesis example of earlier, teaming a polo with old jeans and trainers will make you under-dressed for both your place of employment and going out after.

   Instead, think - Polo shirts represent a smart way of dressing smart. Make the rest of your outfit reflect this.

1 comment

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