Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Men’s Polo Shirt

A timeless top that looks cool with almost everything.

Man walking on bridge wearing polo shirt.
A polo shirt works well in both casual and more-formal settings.Unsplash

A good polo shirt is timeless. After a white tee, this might be the most essential staple in a man’s wardrobe. It’s like the perfect two- or three-button style compromise between a crew neck and a button-down, equally at home with a pair of shorts and a blazer.

Nautica Men's Classic Fit Short Sleeve Solid Soft Cotton Polo Shirt
The fabric wicks away moisture to leave you cooler and drier.Nautica

Natural materials like cotton and viscose (bamboo) are great when it comes to this style of shirt, because they’re soft, light and comfortable. Polyester is a durable and fast-drying synthetic fabric that offers UV protection, while being less prone to wrinkling and staining than cotton. Consider a blend of natural and synthetic so you can get the best properties of both. Add a little spandex for moisture-wicking and you’ve got an idea lsports top.

Lacoste Mens Short Sleeve L.12.12 Pique Polo Shirt
The collar and armbands are ribbed, but this delicate knit is hand-wash only.Lacoste

Textured cotton adds volume, and it works best in formal and professional settings. Jersey knit is flat and smooth—lightweight and more casual in tone, it looks better with shorts than with a blazer and dress plants. If you hate when collars curl up at the edges, go with one that has additional lining sewn in.

Amazon Essentials Men's Slim-Fit Quick-Dry Golf Polo Shirt
The 100 percent polyester construction offers from UPF 20 to 40 sun protection, depending on the color.Amazon Essentials

When untucked, a polo should reach about mid-fly in the front, mid-pocket in back and be fitted enough to compliment your physique, but not so tight that it shows every lump and bump. If you can pinch one to two inches on each side, it’s just right. As for the sleeves, they should fall halfway between your shoulders and elbows, and be just loose enough to let your biceps breathe. If you can slide a finger between the fabric and your skin, you’re good to go.