Sid Mashburn Has Created the Perfect Polo, But.. by Jon Hickman

I care a lot about what I wear. Probably too much. I tell myself vanity has nothing to do with it (it probably does) and that it’s not obsessive (it definitely is). But, it’s something I have internalized. It mostly comes from my grandfather. I never saw him leave the house without a proper shirt and jacket, and usually with a tie. I have tailored clothing pretty well sorted. Mostly made-to-measure but the Model 3 Ring jacket from The Armoury fits me well off the rack.

As I approach my mid 30’s, I’m still trying to hone in my casual wardrobe. I’ve left t-shirts in my 20’s, but I don’t always want to wear an OCBD to play golf, or tennis, or wrestle with my kids. The polo feels like a natural suitor to fill that void, but which one. There’s always the Polo. To me, it has too much of a collegiate vibe, and I’m not planning on doing a keg stands anytime soon (or ever), but it’s a readily available comparison.

Enter Sid Mashburn. I discovered Mashburn the way anyone finds anything these days, social media. While I have long admired SM’s clothes online, I struggled to take the plunge. I don’t live close to a brick-and-mortar and hate returning things in the mail. SM’s sizing also confuses me. The website seems to go out of its way to provide fit and size guides, but does anyone else have five pair of 501’s that are all different sizes? I was lucky enough to be in NYC (I live in Denver) during a trunk show at Bloomingdale’s and ended up walking away with every color variation of the polo that fit me, but there are some caveats.

The Mashburn polo isn’t cheap. At $95 it’s significantly more than a polo from somewhere like J.Crew or Uniqlo, but it’s also significantly better. It’s almost priced exactly the same as Ralph Lauren’s polo shirts. I would say the Pima pique is of a very similar weight and quality to an RL polo. They are made in Peru (RL’s are typically made in Asia), and a Sunspel polo made in Portugal costs around 40% more. Overall, I feel the price is appropriate. Mashburn has given a lot of discussion to the collar. It is not ribbed like many others but is cut and sewn and has the structure of a dress shirt collar. It’s also excellent. It is much more substantial than a ribbed collar and looks great under a sport coat. I also love the pocket, I am prone to using shirt pockets to hold my I.D. in airports or a couple business cards for easy access. When you find your fit, which I’ll discuss below, it is in my mind probably the best polo on the market- and definitely the best under $200.

On to the fit. I consider myself of average build. I’m 5’10”, measure 41in around the chest, and have a 32in waist in most trousers. According to the chart on the website I’d be a size medium. The site even says that they are designed to be trim so size up for a roomier fit. I don’t like a lot of excess fabric but I by no means like my clothes skin tight. With all this in mind, the medium was much too big for my taste. I’m not sure that I have ever, in my adult life, bought a size small shirt- but in the Mashburn polo I am definitely a small. They are also quite long, so long that I feel like they would look silly untucked (we’re all adults here so tuck in your shirt.)

And so I present, my favorite, worst sized, and new casual companion- the Sid Mashburn polo.

Thanks to RCS brother Jon Hickman (@doctockandtimber) for the review.

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14 Comments

  1. Poor Man
    06/02/2021 / 9:56 AM

    No buts about it – Its the best out there. Hoping we see a long sleeve variant as well as a lighter weight pique for summer months..

    • Jon
      06/02/2021 / 11:12 AM

      Long sleeved version would be great. Armoury makes a great long sleeved polo but it’s 3x the price. 😬

      • Doug
        06/02/2021 / 2:01 PM

        I have 3 of their LS polos from last season. They are just as perfect as the short sleeve version.

  2. SMB
    06/02/2021 / 12:42 PM

    Great honest review Jon. I recently splurged on one of the SM rally stripe sweater polos and boy am I impressed. It was not cheap but boy was it worth it. I am roughly your size and the M fits me like a glove in the sweater polo. I might need to try a small in the pima polo you reviewed.

    Is that a Datejust on your wrist?

    • Jon
      06/02/2021 / 2:59 PM

      Good catch. It’s an old DJ from the 70’s.

      • SMB
        06/02/2021 / 4:52 PM

        Very nice. Wear it in good health…doing keg stands.

  3. D
    06/02/2021 / 1:44 PM

    Why aren’t you planning on doing anymore keg stands?

    • Jon
      06/02/2021 / 3:03 PM

      I get a crick in my neck if I sleep wrong and don’t want to tell co-workers I hurt myself doing a leg stand.

      • SMB
        06/02/2021 / 4:51 PM

        Never overshare.

  4. Dan
    06/02/2021 / 2:32 PM

    Sid’s team does a great job but sizing consistency is definitely something worth calling out – especially with the non-tailored items. I’ve shopped there since the beginning. Part of this comes with the tweaks made by all brands from season-to-season or with a factory/production switch.

    Perhaps they should do a fit “type” for their casual stuff just like they do for tailoring and have a section of the site where they explain their various garment fits and sizing. You know, like the “Miles” fit is slimmer than the “Brando” or whatever…

    Not many stores do this right but when they do it makes it a lot easier to buy online. Would be an easy win in the e-comm battle of the brands and probably sway a lot of on the fence customers like the author.

  5. Matthew Filter
    06/03/2021 / 9:01 AM

    Any thoughts on Criquet?

    • SMB
      06/04/2021 / 7:12 AM

      I was a huge fan of them when they first launched many years ago and were made in the USA. I still only a couple of their players polos and one of the pique polos. The quality of the USA made stuff was great. Not on the level of SM but they were cheaper so I was okay with the slight loss in quality. Now that everything is made outside the USA and quality is worse I feel that they are not worth the money they charge.

    • Tanner
      06/07/2021 / 10:41 PM

      Criquet shirts are really the only ones I buy anymore. They are extremely comfortable and durable and get a lot of compliments. I have five shirts from them and all are great quality. Also, the collar stays are a great move.

  6. David
    06/11/2021 / 10:49 AM

    I bought a navy polo at the Mashburn Dallas store in 2019 and it’s become part of my weekly rotation in the hot Texas weather. The sleeves and body are a little longer than most other makers but I got used to it and now it doesn’t bother me. The collar stands up better than my other polos that also have self-fabric collars. It is a looser fit compared to my other Mashburn shirts, though after lockdown eating habits, it’s the only one that still fits. The navy is just starting to show color fading after the 100+ washes it’s been through, so I am thinking of picking up another one.

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