Fashion Men's Fashion

14 Best Polo Shirts Are the Easiest Way to Look Handsomer

Hits: 13

The early part of this century was not kind to even the best polo shirts. Between The 40-Year-Old Virgin and guys like Phil Mickelson, the polo’s time-honored knack for helping all types of dudes look suave and put-together in a snap all but vanished, swallowed whole by a black hole of fusty, dorky, billowing sleeves.

It’s taken a decade or so, but as all things in fashion eventually do, the polo shirt has reclaimed its rightful spot in the menswear canon. The casual Friday hall-of-famer is back in a big, brasher-than-normal way. And we say it’s about time, because there’s are a lot of reasons to celebrate the humble polo. They’re as laid back and versatile as a T-shirt, only, you know, with the added bonus of a collar. You can trust ‘em again to help you look handsome in a host of situations—with shorts on the weekend, with denim at the bar, with a cotton suit at an outdoor wedding. Oh, and did we mention they are a cornerstone of the most essential dress code of our time, Zoom Casual?  

Here’s the best part: You don’t just have to stick to the plain Jane polos you wore when you were younger. Like you already have with the rest of your wardrobe, get weird! We’re talking abnormal colors, vintage details, and yeah, oversized—but not Mickelson oversized—proportions. Here are 14 of the best polo shirts for all tastes and comfort levels to get you reacquainted with the resurgent classic.

The Best ’50s Crooner Polo

Todd Snyder textured stitch tipped sweater polo

The late ‘50s were a golden age for supremely handsome sweater polos worn by supremely handsome guys—think Arnold Palmer at the Masters or Sinatra at the Sands. Todd Snyder, the king of reinterpreting mid-century icons for modern dudes, really worked his magic on this one: it’s finely knit from silk and cotton to keep you cool in mid-July heat, with ribbing at the sleeves and waist for a snug fit. The real clincher, though, is that winning combination of light navy and chocolate brown, expressly formulated to elevate all manner of light gray suits and blue jeans.

Todd Snyder


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The Best Britpop Polo

Fred Perry stripe collar polo shirt

If you were ever a teen who liked a British band too much—The Jam, The Specials, The Smiths, Blur, Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, name your decade—then you’ve probably owned one of Fred Perry’s classic twin-tipped polo shirts. Chances are, though, you’ve never worn ones of these updated striped-collar joints before, especialy not in a pleasing earthy olive. Which is precisely what makes it so great: it nods to the NME subscription of your youth, but still reflects the more assertive, more open, less pimply you of right now. In other words, it’s a lot like the UK band you like too much in 2020.



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The Best Acid Trip Polo

Missoni knitted polo shirt

For a couple of years now, you’ve likely heard us describe the present moment as the no-rules, wild-style era of menswear. But as far as Missoni is concerned, it’s never not been the no-rules, wild-style era. For close to 70 years, the Italian knitwear savants have served up piping hot, abstract expressionist fever dreams like this one. It’s got the same onslaught of trippy colors and mind-bending patterns as the average Grateful Dead tee, done luxuriously enough that you can wear it to work without anyone blinking an eye. Even once fashion reverts back to all-black-everything minimalism, you’ll still look like a king in this polo.



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The Best Top-of-the-Line Polo

Sunspel cotton piqué polo shirt

Sometimes you want swervy tones and bold graphics and weird fabrics. Sometimes you just need a clean, crisp polo shirt to cleanse the palette. When the latter mood hits, you’d be hard-pressed to find one executed quite as flawlessly as this joint from Sunspel. Part of that just comes down to reps: the English label has been churning out top-notch basics since 1860, and it lays claim to producing some of the first T-shirts ever made. In other words, Sunspel has had more than enough time to nail everything from the soft-yet-sturdy pique cotton to the flatteringly tailored fit to the shine of the shell buttons. Like a Burberry trench or a pair of Stan Smiths, it’s simplicity you can count on.



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The Best Budget Grail Polo

Uniqlo U washed short-sleeve polo shirt

By now, you’re hopefully well aware of what French design god Christophe Lemaire’s Uniqlo U line brings to the table: slightly offbeat, wholly game-raising staples at bargain basement prices. This guy—with its cool-kid boxy silhouette and pleasing-to-the-touch crepe jersey fabric—sticks to that formula with certified fresh results. You’ll feel like a million bucks in it, not least because only you’ll know that it actually cost less than $20. Uniqlo U’s polos are currently sold out, but the merino long-sleeve polos from the Japanese label’s mainline are both plenty handsome and still available in all sizes.

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The Best Actual Polo Polo

Polo Ralph Lauren P-Wing mesh polo

These shirts were designed for a sport, remember? You know: Polo, the one with the horses and the mallets and the absurdly rich white people and whatnot. Ralph Lauren, who named his most iconic label after the game, certainly didn’t forget, and he’s proven it with this striking athletic number featuring a big ol’ varsity-jacket-esque chenille patch on the chest. It’s guaranteed to put up big numbers in your summer fit rotation—even if the closest you’ve come to riding a horse is a carriage ride through Central Park.

This exact style is sold out, but you can buy a very similar-looking polo through Ralph Lauren’s Custom Shop.

Ralph Lauren


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Eight more polos we love

Polo Ralph Lauren custom fit mesh polo shirt (was $78, 35% off)

Ralph’s iconic polos come in every color under the sun, but it’s tough to beat the crisp white OG version.




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Saman Amel cotton polo shirt

No buttons, no problem.

Mr Porter


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COS knitted long-sleeve polo shirt

Cut the slightest bit boxy and oversized, because 2020.

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Reigning Champ athletic polo shirt

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Reiss “Bramble” geo zip neck polo shirt

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Thom Sweeney striped cotton polo shirt

Step 1: Button this to the top. Step 2: Add a suit and sunglasses. Step 3: Own every room you enter.

Mr Porter


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Billy Reid “Pensacolo” polo shirt

The same soft, rumpled vibe as your favorite washed-to-oblivion tee.

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Lacoste classic pique slim fit polo shirt

The inventors of the tennis shirt still make one of the very best in the business.

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