Best Men's Polo Shirts

Updated September 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

22 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
201 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best men’s polo shirts

Last Updated September 2019

A polo shirt is an essential, stylish piece that belongs in every man’s wardrobe. This iconic shirt style is synonymous with preppy, sporty fashion — though it’s not just preps and jocks who wear them. Polo shirts have become central to business casual attire, athleisure styles, and uniforms. If you’d like to round out your wardrobe, it’s high time to add this classy, versatile piece to your collection.

Men’s polo shirts are simple, as they usually have short sleeves, a collar, and a characteristic column of two or three buttons. They’re made with thin, comfortable materials well-suited for all-day wear. Since they’ve become a part of everyday fashion, polo shirts have become the go-to shirt for men. They match almost any pair of pants or shorts, making it easy to build an outfit around a polo shirt.

More than anything, polo shirts aim to be versatile, so when in doubt, reach for a polo. But which one? There are so many. Use our buying guide to help you take your polo shirt game to the next level.

If you love cotton polo shirts but don’t love how they fade, choose colors like light pink, sherbert, and baby blue. It’s harder to tell when pastel colors fade, so they’ll look new longer.

Key considerations

How to wear a polo

  • Everyday fashion: The traditional way to wear a polo is with a pair of pants or shorts and casual shoes. You can wear it tucked or untucked, but if you decide to tuck it in, make sure to use a belt that complements the overall outfit. As far as shoes go, sneakers, deck shoes, or simple loafers all go well with polos, depending on the season and fabric of your pants.

  • Sports: Polo shirts are ideal for some sports, especially golf and tennis. These sports are often played in clubs where polo shirts are generally acceptable club wear. As far as playing goes, polo shirts are comfortable and flexible. They’re midway between form-fitting and baggy, so you can move freely with each swing of the club or racquet. Other sports also embrace polo shirt styles, including bowling, racquetball, darts, and billiards.

  • Business casual: In recent years, polo shirts have been adopted for business casual wear. These preppy, put-together shirts are easy to match with trousers, dress pants, jeans, and corduroys. As they look polished without making the wearer seem overdressed, they’re a comfortable style choice that professionals of various industries enjoy. Some companies with dress codes also recommend polo shirts. They either have company-embroidered options available for purchase, or they ask staff to wear approved colors.

Size

  • Something for everyone: Men’s polo shirts are available in the normal size range. Medium through XXL are the most common sizes found in department stores and online retailers. Size small is usually the hardest to find in a store; your best bet is finding them online. Polo shirts also come in big and tall sizes.

  • Slim fit vs. regular cut: Men’s polo shirts can be either slim or regular cut. Slim-cut or slim-fit polo shirts have narrow torso areas and are meant to be worn with little slack around the body. Regular-cut polo shirts, which are the most common, have a comfortable amount of fabric that is on-par with the average T-shirt.

Sleeves

  • Length: The most common polo shirt sleeve length is short, though long-sleeve styles are also available. Short sleeves typically stop at mid-bicep; most long sleeves run to the wrist.

  • Cuff styles: Polo shirts have either rolled or ribbed cuffs. Rolled cuffs, which are similar to those seen in regular T-shirts, feature a flat double stitch. These styles are often seen in golf and tennis polo shirts. Ribbed cuffs, on the other hand, are more fitted and hug the bicep or wrist. They have a refined, tailored fit that makes them a little more formal and well-suited for dressier looks.

  • Button style: Polo shirts have a column of two or three buttons. The buttons are intended to be stylish and functional. Keep in mind that the way you button them affects how the collar sits. The basic rule of thumb is to button at least the bottom button for a balanced look. Some people prefer to button more if they feel the deep-V of the open collar is too revealing.

Wash dark polo shirts separately from light colors and pastels to avoid colors bleeding in the wash, especially with cotton polos.

Staff
BestReviews

Features

Colors, patterns, and designs

Polo shirts come in an incredible range of colors, including pastels, primaries, and on-trend hues. There are also some polo shirts that have patterns and designs, including paisley, stripes, hoops, and color blocks. Patterns and designs are common in sporty and athleisure polo shirts, especially those made as golfwear.

Materials

The traditional material for polo shirts is 100% cotton, though now that’s only one material among many. Blended fabrics are just as popular, and blends can include cotton, polyester, nylon, and elastane. Blends are also popular because they resist fading, so they look and feel newer far longer than 100% cotton polos.

Easy-care features

Easy-care features are a major selling point in polo shirts. Shrink-resistant fabrics, such as polyester blends, can be washed dozens of times without affecting fit or color. Some polo shirt fabrics are manufactured to be wrinkle-free, so no ironing is required. If you’re planning on eating or drinking while you’re out, you’ll be glad to know that many polo shirts are treated to fight staining. And for long days of sports, travel, or recreation, there are wick-away fabrics that keep sweat at bay by pulling it away from your body and drying quickly.

Men’s polo shirt prices

Inexpensive: At the low end of the polo shirt market, the average polo shirt costs between $10 and $30 in either cotton or cotton blend. The quality of the material is sometimes only fair at this price point, and polo shirts in this range have a reputation for shrinking after washing.

Mid-range: Polo shirts priced between $30 and $65 are typically made with premium materials and feature better designs. The collars and sleeves are more refined, and you’ll see some wick-away fabrics as well.

Expensive: At the high end of the market, between $65 and $150, polo shirts are made with materials of the highest quality. They have significantly better stitching, provide a better fit, and boast plenty of long-wear features.

EXPERT TIP

If you’d like to institute a dress code at your company, you could opt for polo shirts of specific colors as a cost-effective option. Instead of requiring employees to purchase company polo shirts, provide a list of approved colors for them to buy on their own.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Purchase spare buttons to match your polo shirts plus a travel sewing kit, so it will be easy to replace missing buttons when you’re on the go.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Get long sleeve styles for winter layering. If you like to layer when temperatures drop, long-sleeve polo shirts are ideal. They’re soft and thin enough that you can wear shirts under and over them.

  • Buy in three neutral colors. For a complete set of polo shirt basics, get three neutral colors such as light blue, white, and gray for easy styling with the rest of your wardrobe.

  • Travel in style. Wear a polo shirt when traveling on an airplane. It’s easy to add or remove layers when you’re hot or cold, and it’s loose enough to be comfortable and unrestrictive in your seat.

  • Use fade-resistant detergent. Wash brightly colored polo shirts with color-safe and fade-resistant detergent to maintain brightness, especially with cotton polos.

Other products we considered

We like the versatile, sporty Nike Men’s Dry Victory Golf Polo. While the polo is simple, it has the iconic Nike Swoosh over the heart. Available in more than 30 colors, this shirt is made with Nike’s Dri-Fit technology to keep you cool and comfortable in all temperatures. The ribbed collar lays flat and won’t curl or pucker while you’re exercising. To create the most comfortable fit available, adjust two collar buttons to your preference. Rolled sleeves move naturally with your range of motion, so you can swing, throw, and stretch without restriction. Overall, this polo shirt is ideal for athletes and casual dressers alike.

For a more traditional style, try the Polo Ralph Lauren Classic Fit Interlock Polo Shirt, which delivers the classic, preppy polo look. Made with 100% premium cotton, these shirts are ultra-soft for all-day wear. The refined details of a ribbed collar and arm bands provide a tailored yet casual look. Of course, it wouldn’t be truly polo — or truly Ralph Lauren — without the embroidered pony logo over the heart in contrasting colors. These polo shirts come in more than 20 varieties, including pastels and primary colors.

For a quick change of clothes from the beach to a waterfront restaurant, pack a polo shirt and khakis in your beach bag.

FAQ

Q. How far up should I button the collar of my polo shirt in a business casual setting?

A. It depends on how well-defined your company’s dress code is. If you think being unbuttoned seems too casual, play it safe and button at least the bottom one. Traditional wear for a polo includes leaving the top one or two buttons undone, though this may not be appropriate for every office.

Q. Is it weird to buy several colors of the same polo shirt?

A. A man’s wardrobe is best served with a variety of styles, and polo shirts are no exception. Because they’re a staple of men’s fashion, it’s not unusual for the average gentleman to own several of the same polo shirts in different colors. If you want to diversify your collection, consider purchasing a couple with patterns or in on-trend colors.

Q. How should I pack my polo shirt to minimize wrinkles?

A. You could fold it like you fold a T-shirt and neatly stack it with the rest of the items in your suitcase. Some travelers prefer to roll clothing, including folded items like polo shirts, which helps keep wrinkles at bay and saves space. If you travel with a garment bag, you could also hang your polo shirts on hangers.

The team that worked on this review
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    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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