The Versitile Polo(s)

It’s been said that ‘if you want a shirt sleeved shirt, roll up your sleeves’.  That doesn’t work for me.  Living in the South, where heat and humidity and a consideration for about seven months a year, short sleeves are a must.  That said, I like a polo that can be tucked or untucked, can go from the office to the golf course, from a dinner date to the bar, and from the pool to a cookout.  There are specific polo shirts for almost all of those – very technical ‘dry fit’ stuff for the golf course (and bleeding over to just about everything else) to some very trendy options for the bars.  My money is on something versatile. I want to put it to work.

Fit is important with a polo shirt as well.  Up until a few years ago, it was difficult to find something that fit well across the board – the chest, sleeves, and length.  Cutter & Buck had excellent fabric, but the sleeves were too long.  Lacoste has a great look, but it is cut short, and is extremely full.  Brooks Brothers original fit polo shirts are cut like a parachute, but they have fully redeemed themselves with their Slim Fit versions (see below).

There are good options for those that like a good fitting, versatile polo shirt – here’s a round up:

1. Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece Slim Fit Polo: They knocked it out of the park with this cut.  Not too slim, the sleeves are just right, and it comes in a ton of different colors.
2. Fred Perry Polo Shirt: One of my favorites in my closet.  The fabric is very thin – but sturdy.  It holds it shape very well.
3. Southern Tide Heathered Polo: Very comfortable shirt.  I lean towards these when playing golf because they have a little bit of flexibility.  The tuna logo is a nice, whimsical touch.
4. Anchored Style Sailors’ Navy Polo: Up and comers here – they came out of the gate with a tailored fit polo.  Good instincts.
5. Polo by Ralph Lauren Classic Fit Mesh Polo: The Mothership.  They have had the same cut for as long as I can remember.  It’s funny that everyone is going back to their cut.
6. Kent Wang Polo: A logo-less option.  The spread collar is a very nice touch – classes it up quite a bit.

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15 Comments

  1. john
    06/15/2011 / 8:39 AM

    I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. My go to polo shirt is the Brooks Brothers Original Fit sized medium. It fits me perfectly. Khakis are by far the most elusive item to find well sized.

  2. Hilton
    06/15/2011 / 10:08 AM

    The Vineyard Vines polo is good quality for the money (surprisingly).

  3. Casey
    06/15/2011 / 10:19 AM

    I am with John on this one, I think the Brooks Bro’s Original Fit is perfect for me. BBrp’s polo is the 2nd best fitting polo shirt to the Southern Tide polo.

    I just got my first southern tide polo and have fell in love with it. For hot summer days down here in the south, ST’s polo is very light and doesnt show those arm pit sweat stains at all. It’s color holds its shape really well and you dont need to iron it. BBros, for me, always have to be ironed, but fit great.

    As much as I have loved RL’s polo in the past, I feel myself moving away from it. There is just better quality out there, and better fits.

  4. Anonymous
    06/15/2011 / 10:31 AM

    In reference to PRL’s classic fit mesh polo:

    “They have had the same cut for as long as I can remember.”

    I have been wearing RL’s classic fit mesh polos for years, and have to respectfully disagree here. In recent years they have absolutely trimmed up the cut of these shirts. I have some old ones in the back of my closet in size Large that are just as big as today’s X-Large. Some of the old ones I have that are in great shape aren’t worn because they are just too big now. However, I have always loved these shirts for the variety of color and the great stripe patterns.

  5. Retro
    06/15/2011 / 11:23 AM

    A gentleman does not wear anything called “slim fit”.

  6. Trevor
    06/15/2011 / 11:48 AM

    Southern Tide makes the best fitting polo hands down! Not only do they fit exceptionally well, they are extremely soft!

  7. Logan
    06/15/2011 / 12:18 PM

    Southern Tide and Brooks Brothers are my two favorites, but I’d have to say Southern Tide is by far my favorite. The softness and stretch are great!

  8. Daniel
    06/15/2011 / 3:29 PM

    I’m with anonymous on the Polo shirt. Polo has gone downhill in my opinion in offering their classic fits. They even switched their pants from Andrew pants and the like to newer, slim fit options. If they want to carry this, that’s fine but they should not turn their back on what got them to where they are. Another peave of mine about Polo now is the disparity there is between different factories. For instance, shirts made in India are fairly close to what the size used to be, while shirts from China are a good bit smaller.

    If anyone is on the lookout for a nice, affordable polo shirt, I suggest trying out the Roundtree & Yorke (Dillard’s brand) Gold Label shirts. Good fit and quality, along with a great price and no logo.

  9. Mike
    06/15/2011 / 4:08 PM

    Southern Tide is by far the best polo on the market. I have worn the majority of these shirts and nothing beats Southern Tide. So comfortable and soft and a perfect fit make this polo the only brand I will ever buy.

  10. Tyler Khan
    06/15/2011 / 4:09 PM

    And why is that Retro? The fit of a shirt, in my opinion, has nothing to do with whether a man possesses gentlemanly qualities or not.

  11. 06/15/2011 / 8:27 PM

    The relaunched Boast polos are actually quite good. While I agree a gentleman doesn’t wear anything dubbed “slim fit” what is one to do when shirts become blousier and blousier? Brooks a nice fit but still have a thing for the ubiquitous Lacoste. Slim fit of course….

    Our shirts aren’t slim fit as we only make one style. I suppose our normal is a slim elsewhere. Semantics.

  12. 06/16/2011 / 12:55 PM

    “A gentleman does not wear anything called “slim fit”.”

    Give me a break. Let me guess, you also don’t wear “dungarees” or “short trousers” during the summer because “they are for children”?

    I don’t wear anything called “slim fit” because I’m not “slim,” but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t if I could.

  13. Tyler
    06/16/2011 / 9:49 PM

    Southern Tide is exceptionally well-made, consistent, and comfortable. From the Skipjack polo to button-downs, khakis, shorts, and boxers, they are hard to beat. Everything is soft, functional, and made to be enjoyed while worn. There is excellent attention to detail in each article of clothing produced; something you will not find with Ralph Lauren, Vineyard Vines, Lacoste, etc. Southern Tide reinvented the polo from the yarn up. The only other shirt that I have ever worn that is a close second favorite is Brooks Brothers. Keep in mind that BB has been in business since 1818 and ST has only been around since 2006. ST has definitely made it to the upper echelon of timeless classic American clothing.

  14. Question
    06/17/2011 / 12:59 AM

    Southern Tide spam?

  15. jess e
    06/21/2011 / 12:20 PM

    have you check out Nike Grandslam polo. totally revamped and super nice.

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