Types of Polo shirts

types of polo shirts

Polo shirts have been a staple of men’s fashion for decades. They are versatile, comfortable, and stylish, making them a popular choice for both casual and formal occasions. In this blog post, we will explore different type of polo shirt styles, their history, and how to wear them.

What is a Polo shirt?

A polo shirt is a type of collared shirts, a placket with two or three buttons. The collar and sleeve cuffs of a polo shirt are often ribbed, and the shirt may have a vented hem to allow for ease of movement. Polo shirts were originally designed for sports such as tennis and golf, but they have since become a popular casual shirt for everyday wear. They are available in a wide range of colors and patterns, and can be worn with jeans, shorts, or khakis for a classic, preppy look.

What is the difference between a t shirt and a polo shirt?

A T-shirt is a casual shirt, with short sleeves and a round neckline, although some variations may have a v-neck or a scoop neckline.

On the other hand, pique polos are more formal, with a collar and a button-up neckline. Polo shirts typically have a more structured fit than T-shirts and are often made of a cotton-polyester blend or a performance fabric that wicks away moisture and dries quickly. Polo shirts are often used for athletic activities, golf courses, and as a dressier alternative to cotton shirts.

What is the difference between a dress shirt and a polo shirt?

A dress shirt, also known as a button-up or formal shirt, is for more formal events or occasions such as business meetings, weddings, or interviews. Dress shirts are made of woven fabric such as cotton or linen and are designed to be worn with a suit or dress pants. They usually have a stiff collar and may feature French cuffs, buttoning sleeve cuffs which require cufflinks to fasten.

A polo shirt, is a more casual shirt that is often worn during outdoor activities, sports, or casual events. Polo shirts are usually made of a knit cotton material and feature a collar, short sleeve counterparts and a few buttons at the neckline. They often have a small embroidered logo on the chest and come in a range of colors.

History of Polo Shirts

The polo shirt has its roots in the sport of polo player, which originated in India in the late 19th century and was popularized by British army officers. The original polo shirts were made of thick cotton, with full length sleeves and buttoned collars to protect the polo players from the sun and wind. They were also longer in the back than the front to prevent them from coming untucked during the game.

In the 1920s, tennis player Rene Lacoste began wearing short-sleeved, lightweight polos made of a breathable fabric called piqué jersey knit. He founded the Lacoste brand, which quickly became known for its iconic polo shirt with the crocodile logo. The shirt was designed to be both functional and stylish, with a relaxed fit and a flat, knit collar that wouldn’t flap in the wind.

Polo Shirt Materials

  1. Comfortable and breathable: Polo shirts are typically worn in warmer weather, lighter weight cotton or cotton blend is a good choice.
  2. Durable: Polo shirts are often worn for casual activities and sporting attire, so the fabric should be able to withstand frequent washing and wear without losing its shape or fading.
  3. Moisture-wicking: To keep the wearer dry and comfortable, the fabric should be able to wick away moisture from the skin and allow it to evaporate quickly.
  4. Stretchable: Polo shirts should be able to move with the wearer’s body, fabric with natural stretch is better.
  5. Easy to care: Many polo shirts are often worn as casual garment, so the fabric should be easy to care for and require minimal ironing or other special treatments.

Common fabrics used for polo shirts include cotton, polyester, and blends of the two, pima cotton polos and wool polos are more soft and comfortable, some higher quality fabric may include merino wool, silk, bamboo. Some may also incorporate other fabrics like spandex or rayon for added stretch or moisture wicking capabilities.

Over the years, the polo shirt has evolved into a wardrobe staple, with various styles and designs that suit a range of tastes and occasions.

Types of polo shirts

Classic Polo Shirt

The classic short sleeve polo shirt is the most popular polos, a simple design with two buttoning plackets, a flat collar, and short sleeves. The shirt is typically made of piqué cotton, which is a breathable fabric that wicks away moisture and keeps the wearer cool and comfortable.

The classic pique polo comes in a range of colors, from basic white polos to bright and bold shades. It can be worn untucked with jeans or chinos for a casual look, or tucked soft with a blazer or suit jacket for a more formal occasion.

Slim Fit Polo Shirt

The slim fit polo shirt is a modern take on the classic fit polo shirt. It has a narrower cut through the chest and waist, creating a more tailored and streamlined look. This style is ideal for men with a lean build, as it accentuates their physique.

The slim fit polo shirt is usually made of a stretch fabric that allows for freedom of movement and a comfortable fit. It is best worn with slim-fit trousers or jeans for a sleek and contemporary look.

Long Sleeve Polos

Long sleeve polo shirts are perfect for cooler weather or more formal occasions. It has the same design as the classic polo shirt, only difference on length sleeves, with long sleeves rolled up or down depending on the temperature.

The heavy long sleeve polos are typically made of a thicker cotton fabric to provide warmth and insulation. It can be worn with jeans or chinos for a relatively casual garment, or paired with dress trousers for a more formal outfit.

Short sleeve polos

A short-sleeved polo shirt is a type of casual shirt that typically has a collar, a placket with buttons, and a short sleeve that ends above the elbow. Some design may have breast pocket to carry small things like pen. The shirt is usually made of cotton or a cotton blend, and the collar and sleeve cuffs may be ribbed or have a contrasting color. Short-sleeved polo shirts are commonly worn in warm weather and are available in a variety of colors and patterns. They are often paired with shorts or khakis for a casual, preppy look.

Rugby Polos

Rugby shirts are sporty style, it takes inspiration from the rugby jersey. It has a thicker collar and a buttoned placket that extends further down the chest than the classic polo shirt. The shirt is usually made of a heavier cotton fabric and features broad horizontal stripes in various colors.

The rugby shirts are perfect for casual occasions. It can be worn with jeans or shorts and sneakers for a laid-back look, or dressed up with chinos and boots for a more elevated outfit.

Performance Polo Shirts

The performance polo shirt is designed for athletic activities and outdoor pursuits. It is made of a moisture-wicking fabric that dries quickly and helps regulate body temperature. The shirt may also have added features such as UV protection, anti-odor technology, and stretch panels for improved mobility.

The performance polo shirt is a great choice for sports such as golf, tennis, and running, as well as outdoor activities like hiking and camping.

Striped Polos

The striped polos are classic style that adds a touch of elegance to any outfit. It features vertical stripes in two or more colors, creating a slimming effect that elongates the body. The shirt may have a contrasting collar and cuffs, adding a pop of color to the design.

The striped polo shirt is a versatile piece that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. It can be worn with jeans, chinos, or dress trousers, and paired with loafers, sneakers, or dress shoes.

Printed Polos

The printed polo shirt is a bold and playful style that adds personality to any outfit. It features a pattern or design printed on the fabric, ranging from subtle motifs to eye-catching graphics. The shirt may have a solid-colored collar and cuffs, creating a contrast with the print.

The printed polo shirt is a statement piece that is perfect for casual occasions and social events. It can be worn with shorts, jeans, or chinos, and paired with sneakers, sandals, or loafers.

Pocket polo shirts

This type of polo shirt features a small pocket on the chest, adding a functional and stylish detail.

Contrast collar polo shirts

This style of polo shirt has a contrasting color on the collar and/or cuffs, providing a pop of color and visual interest.

Vintage polo shirts

This style of polo shirt has a retro look, often featuring distressed or faded fabric and classic details like a four-button placket and ribbed collar.

Oversized polo shirts

This type of polo shirt has a looser fit and longer length, creating a more relaxed and casual look.

Henley polo shirts

A partial button placket, similar to a Henley shirt, instead of the full button placket of the classic style.

Baseball polo shirts

They are similar design to a baseball shirt, with contrasting sleeves and collar.

Two-tone polo shirts

Features two contrasting colors, often with one color on the body and another on the collar and cuffs.

Golf polos

Specifically for golfers as golf shirt, featuring high-performance fabrics, stretchy materials, and a comfortable fit that allows for a full range of motion.

Embroidered polo shirts

An embroidered logo or design on the chest, adding a personal touch and branding element.

Denim polo shirts

Made with denim fabric, giving it a more casual and rugged look.

Other polo shirts can made to custom fit as your requirements. Custom polo match your style and personality.

Some famous polo shirts brands (golf apparel brands) include: Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, Fred Perry, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Burberry, Lyle & Scott, peter manning nyc polos, Brooks Brothers.


Polo shirts are a versatile and timeless piece of men’s fashion that can be worn in a variety of ways. From the classic polo shirt to the slim fit, long sleeve, and rugby styles, there is a polo shirt to suit every taste and occasion. Whether you prefer classic, modern, sporty, or playful styles, there is a polo shirt out there that suits your taste and personality. When choosing a polo shirt, it’s important to consider the fit, fabric, and style to ensure that it looks and feels great.


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