Section: Building Your Wardrobe - Blog
Polo shirts, t-shirts' dressier cousins, add visual interest without dominating an outfit’s overall look. They play well with denim, chinos or odd trousers and add some colour tweaks to your wardrobe, which makes them perfect business casual or warm weather fashion choices. Here’s how to rock them in style.
You may wonder, "A shirt is a shirt. What possible difference could short sleeves on a shirt make?" Our response? This quote by the French dramatist, Jean Anouilh, who said, “To say yes, you have to sweat and roll up your sleeves and plunge both hands into life up to the elbows.”
So, are we implying that men wearing polo shirts are more industrious than men wearing long sleeve business shirts? No, we want to encourage you to appreciate the vital role of these shirts in your wardrobe.
There's a French, as well as a sporting, connection to the polo shirt's origin. Frustrated by traditional tennis court attire, the French tennis player Rene Lacoste, developed the Polo shirt.
Soon, other athletes and sporty gents began wearing these shirts as well. Today, they have gained such popularity you can find an almost unlimited supply of brand names and styling options to choose from.
Like most men's fashions, there are some dress code "rules" dictating where they can be worn. Solid, muted colours made from soft, smooth cotton or wool are considered the fancier, formal versions. Similarly, the casual versions of these shirts are typically patterned and made from rougher cotton weaves.
Branded men's polo shirts - think Lacoste - are appropriate casual attire for the workplace. While cheaper versions of polo shirts are available, we'd advise against wearing a bargain polo to a business event.
Remember, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression, so don't skimp on business attire.
With that in mind, reserve your expensive polo shirts for business wear, but do keep some inexpensive polos on hand for leisure wear. So, how many polo shirts do you need?
We'd recommend you keep about six, in solid, classic colours, in your wardrobe. For most business uses, the best colours are:
Finally, polo shirts can also be worn underneath a sports jacket or men's blazer to create a sophisticated casual look. But remember, the soft, relaxed polo collar may not look good with the stiffer look of a jacket.
Because of the slimmer fit, these shirts may accentuate a heavy midsection. Further, since their styles change rapidly to keep up with fashion trends, an appropriate style this season may be outdated by the next season, thus their wearable life is more limited.
We suggest you consider short sleeve shirts as fashion or casual pieces rather than classic ones.
Our professional recommendation? Do keep a few short sleeve casual shirts your wardrobe, but do not make major investments in them.
It's hard to get a good return on your money, which is better spent on adding more business suits, sports jackets, or blazers to the mix.
Speaking of good returns on investments, it's hard to find a better wardrobe investment item than men's tailored suits. A quality suit can give you decades of wearable use, thus yielding a low cost-per-wear. Pop into our showrooms to see some classic examples or peruse ourSuit Style Galleries for ideas.
Montagio did a great job on wedding suits for me and my two groomsmen. Bally provided us with fantastic service and the result was definitely superior to an off-the-rack option... more »
I have bought a total of 11 pieces custom made so far - quality and attention to detail is spectacular, material choice is broad and the input customers have in creating the exact look they want is a great experience... more »
I went back for another suit, a few shirts and some ties. Outstanding! I had so many complements on my new suit yesterday! more »