100% Cotton Polos

I live in Atlanta, so humidity is a curse that all of us locals must endure.  I get the technical polo thing.  The first versions back in the late 2000s/early 2010s were pretty bad.  They were shiny and a little thick.  Over the past few years, the technical fabrics have evolved into somewhat comfortable options that essentially take care of the sweat issue, but they haven’t been able to get rid of that sheen.  The blends add some variety and a little stretch.

In looking at all the new Spring lines, any company producing a polo is dumping buckets of money into the poly-blend technology.  And what’s funny?  They are doing everything they can to NOT look like a tech polo.  Wonder why…

This brings me to my point: don’t sleep on cotton polos.  Before 2012 it’s essentially all we wore.  Was there sweat?  Yes.  But those polos were great.  And still are.  The transition to tech has forced brands to up their game on the cotton polos, and for the most part, these are fine to wear until the humidity becomes almost unbearable.  I have a few that I wear quite a bit and am happy to recommend.  Here we go:

From top left:

1. Orvis Angler’s Polo: Probably my favorite all-cotton polo on the market.  Orvis may not be your first thought when thinking about polos, but these deserve a look.  I have two and wear them quite a bit, but the selection is seriously impressive:

2. Criquet Player’s Shirt:  I’ve been a Criquet guy since they launched.  These are the best weekend polos on the market.  The style is GREAT for the lounge, campfire, playground, cookout, late-night vibe, paired with some baggies or a pair of Stand-Ups.  Never tucked in.  Ever.
3. Sid Mashburn Pique Tie Dyed Polo:  I love the idea of having a fun cotton polo at the ready.  The tie-dye is a bit of a departure from the solid polos, but I love it.  Pair it with some white jeans and bit loafers.  Ready to party.
4. Peter Millar Beachbreak Polo:  Peter Millar used to make some super-thin cotton polos with a front pocket that looks to have been discontinued.  I loved those.  I got one from The Masters and one from Sea Island a few years ago.  This is the closest I can find, and it should be a good substitute.
5. Classic Ralph Lauren Pique Polo:  I grew up with these as I’m sure most of you did, too.  The reality is that no one has ever made a better pique polo.  The fit is great, and they break in so well.  You should absolutely have a couple of these in your closet.
6. Vintage Polo Golf Polo:  I constantly search Ebay for the old Ralph Lauren “Polo Golf” polos with the crest logo.  It has to be 100% cotton, preferably pique, but NOT Pima.  These are a personal obsession of mine.  I have four, but I want 40.

What did I miss?

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14 Comments

  1. SMB
    02/24/2021 / 10:24 AM

    I lost of lot of respect when Criquet moved away from Made in the USA. I get it, that as a business they need to make money but the fact that they were one of the few companies making USA polos was awesome. I ended up buying just a couple of the non USA made polos and the quality was not great.

    Do you know of any current brands that are making polos here in the US?

    Oh and if you want to splurge I would highly recommend the Sunspel Sea Island polo. AMAZING!

  2. NEM
    02/24/2021 / 11:28 AM

    I am a big fan of the Brooks Brothers standard polo. The fit is close to Polo/RL, and they can be had for less than $20 landed off eBay. Good call on the Orvis unit, hadn’t considered them.

  3. BDH
    02/24/2021 / 12:27 PM

    B Draddy can’t be beat for cotton polos. Must try if you haven’t already.

  4. Van
    02/24/2021 / 12:35 PM

    The Sid Mashburn polos are highly underrated, quality is top notch, I have them in a variety of colors, breathe better than you might think.

  5. MJS
    02/24/2021 / 12:46 PM

    I was a huge fan of the Peter Millar cotton polos with the pocket and would love to see them come back. They were my go to shirts at pro shops.

  6. whiskeydent
    02/24/2021 / 1:15 PM

    I think the croc is far better than the pony.

  7. Tanner
    02/24/2021 / 1:21 PM

    I second the Brooks Brothers polo as being similar to Polo. I have a lot of Polos and as they fade or get beat down after years of wear they become lake/beach shirts. But I made the switch to Criquet a few years ago and they are absolutely my favorite. I haven’t noticed personally a change in quality. They are dang comfortable during the hot summers in the South and they always dress nice, either up or down. Their long sleeve player shirts are also a great staple in the chillier months.

  8. PDB
    02/24/2021 / 2:44 PM

    I was just shopping for polos the other day and was turned off with all the poly blend options, so this is a timely post. I too am a big fan of the Peter Millar cotton polos and hope they return as well. Cheers.

  9. Brad Wesley
    02/24/2021 / 3:51 PM

    The Peter Millar cotton polos are outstanding and can hang through the peak of summer with the blended options out there. The collar has some structure to it too which keeps them from coming off as too casual

  10. Adam
    02/24/2021 / 5:00 PM

    I am a big Perlis guy. Love the crawfish and love the classic fit and style!

  11. CCE
    02/24/2021 / 6:42 PM

    I do enjoy a good, heavy cotton polo; the kind that fades and gets softer with each wash. Wilkes & Riley out of Maryland have great polos with a preppy fox head logo- highly recommend.

  12. Spencer
    02/24/2021 / 8:52 PM

    No Holderness & Bourne Chapman cotton polos? I also really like Sunspels Riviera Polo

  13. Dan
    03/11/2021 / 8:55 AM

    The problem with the tech blends is that they don’t “drape” well on the shape of most men who wear them, particularly if you have any kind of gut or … how to say this … man boobs. A thicker cotton polo does a better job of hiding these flaws. As far as cotton polos go, don’t forget about the classic and trusty LaCoste.

  14. nachdrock
    03/22/2021 / 7:12 PM

    THE SPORTING GENT is my favorite and I only heard of it from one of your IG posts

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