Rethink Your Polo Shirt

July 24th, 2012

As the heat rises, men are left with fewer options in their wardrobe. As a default, many guys turn to polo shirts as their go-to for the summer.

The problem is, the polo shirt category is dominated by few brands who make a very similar product. Not every polo shirt needs three buttons and a chest symbol.

Try a polo design that is a little less predictable, and a little more stylish.

Here’s a few examples that I’ve picked up recently.

    1. V-Neck w/ Shirt Collar

    This is a super simple design, and it’s one of my favorites.

    It’s a v-neck without a placket (no buttons or button holes). The body is cotton in a red hairline stripe, with a slight spandex blend for a little stretch. The collar and neck trim are shirting cotton, so it feels like a real collar.

    A simple and effective design, for only $30. The v-neck sits open and keeps the face framed (I hate when polo plackets are prone to shutting themselves up to the neck).

    The length of this polo is on point as well. In my opinion a polo should hit about halfway down the pant fly. Some are cut too short in the front, which can expose stomach at times and are impossible to keep tucked in.

    2. Deep Placket w/ Button-Down Collar

    The best polo to wear under a jacket has a button-down collar and is cut from a sturdier cotton.

    The deep five-button placket resembles a shirt and allows for more adjustment of the neckline (wear it all the way open on the beach). It also allows the designer to cut a very slim garment using a non-stretch fabric, since it can be opened halfway to pull over the head.

      3. Polo/Sweater Hybrid

      Another awesome piece by Brooks Brothers Black Fleece. Thom Browne has designed some amazing polos througout his collaboration with Brooks Brothers – slightly stylized, but very wearable.

      This super soft pique cotton polo feels more like a lightweight cashmere sweater. The monochromatic stripe is complemented by cool details like an oversized ribbed hem, two-button cuffs on the sleeves and a grosgrain-trimmed placket.

      The burgundy suit (as featured here) is so much more versatile than I anticipated. Both pieces are great separates…I’ve been wearing the trousers with all kinds of summer tops.

      4. Old School Ribbed Hem

      Another open v-neck design, in John Smedley’s famous super soft sea island cotton.

      The ribbed cuffs and hemline make this polo appear slightly dressier and give it a retro feel.

      Weather you’re wearing it to the office, the bar or the beach – think of it as more than just another polo shirt.

      Thanks for reading.

      Yours in style,

      Dan Trepanier


      Photography by Alex Crawford.

      • Bill Speakman

        So, I have this very polo in my cart at uniqulo right now. Thing is… I don’t do white pants. Any alternates to suggest?

      • Anonymous

        YO TSB i prefer the old site feature in which you named what brand each item was

        • Dan Trepanier

          Check the Featured column on the left. Info is there.

      • fernando

        is this off the rack or do you get it tailored/altered?

        • Dan Trepanier

          Which piece?

      • Shannon

        The fist Uniquro pink polo shirt looks so nice on you. What’s size you wear? I think my bf is similar to your size.

      • DG

        Hi, first of all big fan of the blog! Keep up the good work!
        As others have mentioned the polo in the first pic, Striped polo shirt by Uniqlo, is sold out. Just wondering if anyone else found anything similar to this somewhere and is keen to share?

      • Bry

        Another great post

      • Tom

        Hey SB, so I want to dress more classy now that im out of school. How much of what do I buy? and do I need a lot of clothing?

      • suzanne

        dan, i think im in love!!! with the polos that is! lol. you’re pretty hot too. love the site, keep up the good work.
        suzie in cali

      • Alan

        Uniqlo in the UK are currently clearing the ‘Johnny Collar’ placket-less polos for £9.90 ($15) – in store there’s a few XLs too.

        Unfortunately for me, the stretch material showed a little too much nipple when I tried it on (I am cheered up by my first purchase from Turnbull & Asser though).

      • 9Sharp

        On point as usual – posted a couple tips for updating short sleeve shirts in the summer heat as well –

      • tgis

        how short should your pant leg be? are you wearing them extra short for photos? whats a good rule of thumb? i’ve heard that it should barely touch the floor w/o shoes on.
        -concerned pants wearer

      • Adam

        The uniqlo polos are awesome. I have quite a few myself and altered the sleeves to be slightly shorter. Perfection. They sell for only $25 in my country.

      • Sam

        Love the first look! (sans glasses) I wish Uniqlo was more accessible to us Californians.

      • MM

        Holy fuck, you’re sexy.

      • Ray

        Hi Dan,

        I have been a fan of your blog for quite some time. what I love about your blog(and what I think truly distinguishes it from others) is your masculine/simple and always appropriate style. That is definitely a direction I am shooting for personally. I saw in your previous posts that you have hosted various readers events, just curious if you have any plans for events like these in mind. It will be great to meet you and people with similar interest.

        Keep up with the great work,

      • MrJBeee

        Love this post. DoIng big things man, keep it up! Enjoy that Marciano party. Should’ve RSVP’d!

      • Bob

        Awesome! I’m really diggin’ the ribbed cuff look, I like the buttonless collar fit as well, creativity at its finest. – Fashion

      • BLSesq.

        Great post!

      • Jack

        Very much my kind of summer style. Ted Baker are very good for distinctive, characterful polos (not sure if they are in the US). My personal favourite is a Vivienne Westwood ‘drunken’ style placket :)

      • PaTo

        Uniqlo Polo looks awesome! But isnt available @ online store :-( Great Post!

        • PaTo

          Some other ideas vor buttonless polos? Smedley Polo is out of stock xD

      • Anonymous

        Uniqlo Polo looks awesome! But its not available @ Uniqlo Online Store :-(

      • James

        You have probably adressed this. When you go socess do you wear some type of sock? Thanks

      • Pablo

        Casual yet elegant awesomeness! Thanks, i know now just what to wear this weekend. Great stuff.

      • chrisd

        thanks for this. i sorta gave up on polo’s because all I see are shape-less collars, and too short (if i size down to make it fit) or too baggy (if i size up to get the length right).

      • Anthony


        Where did you get that Uniqlo buttonless polo? I don’t see it on their site.

        • SB

          Uniqlo in Soho NYC. They have 5 or 6 different colorways too.


      • Tee

        when you pull up your suit sleeves will that stretch them out or loosing the stitching?

        • SB

          If the suit fabric has an stretch blend (which 99% of suits do not), you risk losing some bounce-back to the elastic.

          Otherwise the only downside is a little sleeve wrinkling.


      • cam

        the brooks brothers pieces are exceptional!

      • Kien

        Hi Dan, what size is the Uniqlo polo?

        • SB


      • Desmond

        Great post! Good job on keeping everything logoless. Polos are great for those lazy days and times when you need to make a quick run out the house. Effortless to wear and you still look put-together.

      • Emanuel Iuhas

        Absolutely IN.
        Great stuff dude.
        Thanks for inspiring us!

      • Adyna

        Indeed women have much more options in their wardrobe during summer :D..but these polo shirts are are great for both male/female. In Romania are like 40 degrees and those sandals for men are actually very stylish.I see them a lot on guys..cuz you definitely can`t wear something else in those hot days!

      • JT

        I do have a few Ralphies that I love but everybody wears them. Gonna have trouble finding shirts like that in my budget in Britain though. Still, love the shirts!

      • Mike

        Love it! Very needed advice. So hard to stay cool, look fly and feel like you’re not wearing the same thing every day in the summer. Those gladiator sandals are and will always be horribly ugly though ha. Keep the tips coming!