Is a Polo Shirt Acceptable as Business Casual Attire?

The polo shirt has recently reclaimed its rightful position in the menswear classics. The casual Friday frontrunner has returned in a big, bolder-than-usual way. They’re as simple and adaptable as a T-shirt but with the added benefit of a collar. You can rely on them to make you look good in various situations, including shorts on the weekend, denim at the bar, a cotton suit at an outdoor wedding, or a staple for business casual attire.

Polo shirts are not only considered business casual by many workplaces, but they also provide a wardrobe choice that is both simple and easy to style. Polo shirts can be worn to work all year long with the right pairings and accessories.

When and How to Wear a Polo Shirt

The polo is also seen as the default of the stylishly lazy. A man would wear something when an event calls for a collared shirt, but he can’t even be bothered to button up an Oxford or wear something fancy.

However, the polo deserves a little more attention than it usually receives. It’s the ideal item of clothing for the many events in life that aren’t formal but aren’t entirely casual. It’s a cross between a t-shirt and a dress shirt.

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So, here’s how you can wear and style your polo shirts.

On dressy yet casual days

Polo shirts are a good choice for men’s business casual attire. They are simple to combine with other work-appropriate clothing. Suppose your office favors a dressier business casual look. In that case, a few polo shirts in your favorite colors or patterns will suffice.

Polo shirts go well with everything from dress pants to chinos. You’ll have a lot of fun wearing it with your go-to pants for work on days when you want to be a little more laid back. You’ll still be dressed appropriately for work, but you’ll also be highly comfortable.

Events that have a laid-back dress code

Suppose you’re fortunate enough to work in a notably casual environment. In that case, polo shirts are a great option, even if you don’t have to dress up. These shirts also look great when paired with jeans. Even if you are permitted to wear more casual attire at work, you can maintain a professional demeanor with a polo shirt.

Choose a darker-colored pair of jeans for a more casual look that is still appropriate for the workplace. Dark blue and black washes are also an excellent option for your bottom. Also, you can experiment with your favorite polo shirts. And take note that in a more casual workplace, you can use solid colors or fun patterns.

On hot summer days

Polo shirts are an excellent choice for the hot summer months, and you still need to look presentable. Cotton and other soft fabrics will keep you comfortable whether you’re stuck in a traffic jam on a long commute or striving diligently at the office. When the weather warms up, you can always pair polo shirts with light-colored slacks.

Chino pants are also a popular choice for a good reason: not only are lightweight fabrics ideal for heated, humid climatic conditions, but they also look great with polo shirts. If you’ve been dreading going to work during the summer, let polo shirts evolve your summer work style.

When autumn approaches

Polo shirts are also a great transitional piece as the weather begins to cool and autumn approaches. You’ll not only maintain your modern business casual look, but you’ll also be comfortable while wearing it.

To transition your outfit into the fall, swap out your chinos for heavier pants. This classy look is appropriate for all seasons, and it’s simple to layer as you head to work in the uncertain autumn weather. To transition into fall styles, opt for darker, neutral tops.

Things to Consider When Buying a Polo Shirt

There aren’t many technicalities to know about the polo shirt, but understanding these two, fabrics and fits, is beneficial.

Fabric

Polo shirts are made from a variety of materials, ranging from natural to synthetic. The latter is frequently used in performance blends used in polos explicitly designed for sportswear. Silk and silk blends are an alternative, but they are not advised because they show sweat quickly and lose color when wet.

Considering that polo shirts are typically worn in warm weather, 100 percent cotton is the most common and recommended fabric for these shirts because of its cool, comfortable, and breathable properties.

Fit

When it comes to wearing a polo shirt with style, the essential point to remember, as with all garments, is to get the fit right. So, here are two factors to consider:

  • The lower part hem should not extend past halfway down the fly/back pockets of your pants. It should not be higher than the hip and no lower than a few inches below your waistband/belt. Then the shirt should be long enough to tuck in but short enough to wear untucked.
  • Sleeves should hit about halfway down your bicep and run no more than two-thirds the length of your upper arm.

Overall, the shirt should be fitted but not too tight to your body. It should be a bit closer in the arms and chest, then slacken down to the waist.

The Best Polo Shirts for Men

Polo shirts have evolved into various styles, including long-sleeved versions, zips and button-ups, and fabrics such as French terry, recycled cotton, and polyester. The look can be worn to the beach, on a date, with jeans or dress pants, a sport coat, or a leather jacket.

So, if you want to add some polo shirts to your wardrobe, below are the best ones you can find on the market.

Lacoste Recycled Loop Polo

The unisex Loop Polo is made with 30% recycled cotton sourced from surplus polos. Even the iconic crocodile logo has been reused. Because of the different colors in the recycled material blended with virgin cotton, the petit-pique fabric has a heathered appearance.

OAS Terry Polo

The shirt was crafted and knitted in Sweden, but it is intended for use in the tropics. The fabric can absorb a lot of moisture while remaining dry. It’s also very soft if you’ve spent too much time in the sun and have a sunburn.

Billy Reid Pensacola Polo

The Pensacola Polo is fitted through the chest, body, and sleeves for a slimmer silhouette. Sizing up for a looser fit is recommended by the brand. The placket has four buttons instead of the usual two or three, and the chest pocket is refined with subtle stitching.

The Bottom Line

Polo shirts are a great year-round business casual choice. We recommend that you start stocking up on various colors and patterns. You will indeed have fun mixing and matching a put-together yet comfortable look that you can wear throughout the seasons.

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Jonathan B. Delfs

I love to write about men's lifestyle and fashion. Unique tips and inspiration for daily outfits and other occasions are what we like to give you at MensVenture.com. Do you have any notes or feedback, please write to me directly: [email protected]

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