‘Tis the Season for Polos

With long days ahead filled with warm weather, lawn care, cookouts, visits to the pool and vacations it is officially polo shirt season. So, I have strung a few thoughts together on what you need to know when grabbing a new polo shirt such as color, length, and yes, even logo.
Polo ShirtsWhen it comes to color I like to keep it simple. This means, white, navy, and hunter green. White polo shirts work best 99% of the time. White polos might also be the only thing that pairs well with patchwork Madras shorts other than a blue OCBD. When white does not work navy or hunter will. If I were to extend this list to other colors I would add light yellow, kelly green, and tangerine. Last, but not least avoid wearing a red polo to Target. You will thank me.
Polo Post Man and WomanWhere can you get them? The great thing about polos is that you can find them just about anywhere and at just about any price point. I recommend buying cheap polos that are logo-less and wearing them hard, but there are plenty of high-end polos on the market for someone who wants a more refined look. Just consider wear you plan on wearing this polo prior to making your purchase and you should be fine.

There are a few other considerations to make outside of color and cost. One is tail length. Are you going to wear this polo tucked or untucked? Another consideration is logo. I am a no-logo type of guy, but that’s just me. There are plenty of trad approved logos like the Polo horse, Lacoste gator, Brook’s Brother’s golden fleece, and a handful of others.
Polo Post MainI have often use the analogy that polo shirts are t-shirts for adults. While this is a bit facetious it helps drive home the point. The point being is that as grow up our play clothes change and there is almost nothing that you can do in a t-shirt that you can’t do in a polo shirt. Plus, you will look a lot better doing it!

oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

12 Comments on "‘Tis the Season for Polos"

  1. Joel Vau says:

    Jerrod, pls tell us you know that the Lacoste logo is a crocodile, not a gator. Devised as the emblem of legendary French tennis champion Rene Lacoste.

  2. Johnny says:

    “The point being is that as grow up our play clothes change and there is almost nothing that you can do in a t-shirt that you can’t do in a polo shirt. Plus, you will look a lot better doing it!”

    Hear, hear! This is what I always say too. Polo shirts not only look better, but they’re more comfortable because they’re open at the neck; it’s odd to me how many men hate wearing ties, but they don’t mind the neckband of a t-shirt up against their necks all the time.

    “Last, but not least avoid wearing a red polo to Target. You will thank me.”

    I really did thoughtlessly walk into a Target once wearing khakis and a red polo. I quickly found out what I had just done to myself.

    Speaking of Target, their Merona polos are shockingly good for the $13 they usually cost: 100% cotton, logo-less, and with tails. Last week they were on sale for $7, which is an insane value. I picked up two more: a pink and a yellow. (I wish I could embrace your minimalism; I probably have at least two dozen polos, at least one in nearly every imaginable color.) My only gripe is the sizing is inconsistent, so be sure to try it on before purchasing. (I don’t even mess with the fitting room for a polo; I just pull it on over my shirt, which is enough to gauge the fit.)

    Anyway, thanks for the great blog, Jared. I hope you’re staying cool where you are.


    Of course you are — you’re wearing a polo!


    I scored a like-new light blue Polo RL popover short-sleeved oxford a couple of weeks ago at a thrift for $4; it has supplanted my two-dozen-plus polos as my favorite summer shirt.

  3. oxford cloth button down says:

    Joel – You are correct. It is a crocodile. I have always heard it referred to a an alligator which was Lacoste’s first nickname given to him by americans because of the alligator skinned suitcase he carried.

    Johnny – Thanks! I appreciate the intel on the Merona polos!

  4. Woodberry says:

    The pink Target popovers are sold out online but are still available in some stores. Yesterday I bought the last one in my local Target for $9.99. Luckily it was my size.

  5. Richard says:

    Jerrod, a nice summary of the polo’s virtues. Navy is #1 in my book for pairing with khaki pants/shorts or madras, while white is for tennis. I too can’t really embrace the broader spectrum of colors available, although in college it was a different story. Love and have the gator but generally buy Target polos for roughousing with the kid.

  6. Joel Vau says:

    Jerrod, you well might be correct. I have always heard that his fellow Frenchmen called him “le croccodile”

  7. oxford cloth button down says:

    Joel – We are telling the same story 🙂 When he returned to France they called him “le croccodile” and it took off from there!

  8. Richard aka Tweeds says:

    Back in my Greek days our fraternity would occasionally wear our school polos. Later we would have sorority sisters remove the gator and sew it back on upside down. The gator is dead (No disrespect).
    I also enjoy wearing white , blue, and light pink polos especially with khahis and navy blue bermudas.
    What is your take between polos made from cotton mesh material compared with the interlock weave ? Do you think one is dressier or more casual than the other?

    • Orange Fiji says:

      Back in my fraternity days, I did hear about people that would have the “croc” sown upside down on their shirts. Unfortunately, I could never find a sorority girl to do it for me!

  9. Gary says:

    I think each — the polo and the T-shirt — has its rightful place. I personally am partial to the kind of striped shirt and graphic tees that found favor among the California surfers of the 1960s — and just as one needs not swing a racket to wear a polo shirt, neither does one need to surf the ocean waves to enjoy the relaxed feel of those cool tees. I have a number of plain-colored tees, too, that I wear with casual chinos and jeans and such. Again, context is key — am I going to hang out at a dive bar? A tee-shirt is fine. Am I entering a more “refined” establishment? Then a polo is the choice over a tee, of course. I’m glad there are choices like this — my closet would be a little more boring if I had to limit my options to either the polo or the T-shirt.

  10. Joel Vau says:

    Jerrod, you obviously know it better than I. Thanks for the missing info. Really appreciate it.

  11. Orange Fiji says:

    I am with you when it comes to labels. Although, I was tempted to buy some Lacoste shirts I saw at an outlet mall this past week for $49 (a bargain). I do prefer polos from either L.L. Bean or Land’s End. They are offered in a diversity of colors, hold up very well in the wash, and are reasonably priced at approx. $35.

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