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How to Pick the Best Men's Polo Shirts

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Section: Building Your Wardrobe - Blog

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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.

Rolling up Your Sleeves

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.

An ace up your Sleeve

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.

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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.

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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:

  • White
  • Light blue
  • Navy blue
  • Grey
  • Black
  • Khaki

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.

Fit and Styling Challenges

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.

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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.

Tailor Made FOR EVERY OCCASION

We tailor make mens suits, jackets and shirts for all occasions. Each garment is custom designed, precisely made-to-measure and is guaranteed to fit you perfectly. Unlike others, we offer you end-to-end service and a personalised styling session where we take the time to understand your needs to ensure you get the colour, style and fit you want.

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Never bought custom made before?

Wondering what all the hype is about? Here's why you'll never go back to off-the-rack:

How It Works

About Montagio

Named in GQ Magazine's "Best Tailors" list, and the highest reviewed tailor on Google, Montagio has paved the way for discerning men to get suited up with style. We offer a truly personalised experience, specialising in custom designed, perfectly fitted suits, shirts, coats, and shoes for for business, weddings, formal and casual events. Our showrooms are visually packed with designs that inspire plus thousands of fabric options, making it easy for you to get the look you want. Our expert stylists will advise and professionally fit you and frankly won’t let you walk out until we’ve tailored your perfect garment. Since 2010, we have custom tailored looks for thousands of happy customers. To experience the same red-carpet service, book your personal appointment today.

Steve Fambo

Hats off to the team at Montagio Custom Tailoring Sydney. I was immediately impressed once I stepped into their boutique showroom... more »

Scott Lasak

The suit and shirts I received were terrific and much better quality than ones I've found in stores off the rack. I would absolutely recommend them... more »

Yun Zhi Lin

I would highly recommend Montagio for anyone else planning a wedding or looking for a trendy tailor made suit... more »


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