What Is A Polo Shirt?

Last Updated on September 20, 2023 by Chase Reiner

A polo shirt is a short-sleeved, collared shirt made from knit cotton fabric. It typically features a placket with buttons and a ribbed collar and cuffs. Polo shirts are known for their casual yet sporty appearance, often worn in both casual and semi-formal settings.

Features Of A Polo Shirt

The History Behind The Polo Shirt

It was originally created as a garment for British soldiers stationed in India during colonial rule at what is now known as Madras (the modern city). It became popular among Westerners living there too because it was lightweight and comfortable to withstand the heat.

The Beginning Of A Polo Shirt Brand

Ralph Lauren was born in 1939, and at age 15 he sold his first dress shirt to one of his teachers for $50. He then created what would become known as Ralph Lauren’s original preppy style: The polo shirt that played with everything from color combinations to plaid patterns on ties and sweaters. It wasn’t until 1972 that Ralph came out with the iconic blue-and-white striped rugby shirt, which is now arguably their most popular item. Polo shirts were originally just called “the country club uniform” by girls who wanted them because they looked like the boys’ uniforms but had different colors – Ralph’s daughter went on television wearing a Polo TShirt and the name stuck.

The Polo Shirt Today: Ralph Lauren has gone through a number of different eras, from their preppy beginnings to the “Ralph Loves New York” campaign in 2005 featuring actor Adrian Grenier who would go on to start his own clothing line (Jeremy Scott) and now designing for women’s collections with new A-list star Emma Stone as its face. Through it all, they’ve kept polo shirts at the center of their brand – offering them in every iteration from classic white cotton versions to graphic prints that are popular among teens today, or printed silk options perfect for evening events.”

Features Of A Polo Shirt

* The most important feature of a Polo shirt is the collar. It usually has button-up, short-sleeved or long sleeves and it can be either preppy plaid patterned shirts or solid colors to match formal wear for semi-formal occasions.”

* “The other very popular style of the polo shirt is what’s called an ‘Athletic Fit.’ These are shorter in length and have wider armholes that make them great to use as undershirts during sports such as golfing, sailing, tennis, etc. They come with two buttons on each side (rather than one) so they don’t ride up when you’re moving around doing physical activity!

* The polo shirt is a type of outerwear that was originally designed for sports, but has become an essential part of any man’s wardrobe and can be worn as formal attire or casual wear.”

* A short-sleeve button-up shirt with the collar turned up, usually found in a variety of plaids and stripes (sometimes called “polo shirts”), traditionally made from cotton material with two chest pockets.”

* The sleek design and simple lines make it perfect for layering under sweaters without compromising its look. * It also looks good tucked into pants during winter to add some extra warmth around the waistline!”

Types Of Polo Shirt

1. Pique Polo Shirts:

Pique polo shirts are arguably the most iconic type of polo shirts. They are known for their distinctive, waffle-like weave which adds texture and enables better airflow, making them ideal for warmer climates. Pique shirts are typically made of cotton, making them highly breathable and comfortable to wear.

2. Jersey-Knit Polo Shirts:

Sporting a similar design to the T-Shirt, the Jersey-Knit polo is crafted from the same material as the traditional athletic jersey. It provides a smooth, clean look and feel with less structure than pique or interlock polos. It’s an ideal choice for an informal or casually styled environment.

3. Interlock Polo Shirts:

Interlock polo shirts are made from a knitting technique that results in a fabric with a relatively flat, smooth surface. Due to the high-quality material and snug fit, interlock polos are generally more formal and can substitute for a dress shirt in some business casual settings.

4. Performance or Tech Polo Shirts:

Tech polo shirts use modern fabric technology to deliver comfort and functionality. These shirts are made from moisture-wicking materials designed to keep you dry. They are often used in golf, tennis, and other sports, making them a perfect choice for outdoor and athletic activities.

5. Silk or Silk-blend Polo Shirts:

Silk polo shirts are notable for their sophisticated sheen and luxury feel. While they offer less breathability, their high-quality nature makes them perfect for special occasions or formal events. However, care must be taken as silk shirts are known to be delicate and require gentle cleaning.

6. Long-Sleeved Polo Shirts:

Contrary to traditional polo shirts, long-sleeved polos cover the full length of the arm. These models remain true to the classic elements with their collars and button-up neckline, but also benefit from added warmth. They are perfect for chillier days or formal occasions when styled correctly.

7. Two-tone & Colour Blocked Polo Shirts:

Two-tone and colour blocked polos use contrasting colours to create a striking appearance. Typically, these styles would have the body in one colour, and the collar and sleeve cuffs in a different colour. They can add a fun and vibrant twist to the classic polo shirt look.

Type of Polo ShirtKey FeaturesBest for
Pique PoloWaffle-weave, Breathable, Casual.Warm weather, Casual outings.
Jersey-Knit PoloSmooth texture, Less structured.Informal settings, Daily wear.
Interlock PoloFlat surface, Snug fit, Formal.Business casual setting.
Tech PoloMoisture-wicking materials, Functional.Sports, Outdoor activities.
Silk PoloSheen, Luxurious, Less breathable.Special occasions, Formal events.
Long-Sleeved PoloFull arm coverage, Warm.Cold weather, Semi-formal occasions.
Two-tone PoloContrasting colours, Vibrant.Fun casual outings, Making a style statement.

Top Brands Of Polo Shirt In The USA

  1. Polo Ralph Lauren” 
  2.  “Nautica” 
  3.  “Club Monaco”

Their styles are recognizable by the signature embroidered logo on the chest. Here are some more brands to follow for Polo: 

* “Gap Inc. with a popular line of polos that features their iconic, vertical stripe pattern and come in many different colors (white, navy blue, sky blue) as well as prints such as bright pink or floral print.”

* Bellfield: A British lifestyle brand which has become famous for its high-quality cotton shirts. They use a variety of fabrics to create an array of designs from plain stripes to bold geometric patterns.”

Some brands even offer custom embroidery options so you can put your own personal touch or custom-designed logo on your shirt.

What Is The Difference Between A Shirt And A Polo Shirt?

AspectShirtPolo Shirt
Collar StyleMay have various collar styles (e.g., spread, button-down, point)Has a ribbed, often flat-knit collar
ClosureTypically button-up or snap-button frontFeatures a partial buttoned placket
SleevesCan have long sleeves or short sleevesUsually short sleeves, sometimes long
FabricVarious fabrics like cotton, linen, silkMade from knit cotton or blended fabric
FormalityRanges from formal (dress shirt) to casualGenerally considered casual attire
OccasionsWorn for formal occasions, work, or casual settingsMore casual, suitable for leisure, sports, or casual events
Styling OptionsVersatile for layering, ties, and different outfitsOften worn alone or with minimal layering
Fit and SilhouetteCan have various fits (slim, regular, etc.)Typically has a relaxed, comfortable fit
TuckingCan be worn tucked in or untuckedOften worn untucked, but can be tucked in
Cuff StyleButtoned cuffs are commonRibbed cuffs, typically without buttons
Sports and BrandingNot associated with specific sports; varied brandingOriginated in sports like tennis and golf; often sportier branding
PopularityUbiquitous in various styles and occasionsPopular as a comfortable, casual choice

Is Polo T-Shirt Formal?

Yes, in some states and countries is, polo shirts are considered formal attire or casual wear.

Are Polo Shirts In Fashion?

It is a timeless classic that never goes out of style!

What Colors Can Be Found On A Polo Shirt?

You will typically find plaids and stripes of different color combos to make up the pattern for your polo shirt. It is usually made from cotton material with two chest pockets.” Some popular colors in polo are – black, navy blue, light blue/sky blue.”

Is Polo Shirts In Style?

Polo shirts are a timeless classic that never goes out of trend.

What Is The Difference Between Polo And Golf Shirt?

A polo has buttons on the collar whereas a golf shirt does not have any buttoning on its collar. A golf shirt also tends to be much more casual wear than an everyday apparel item like what you would find with your standard polo.”

How Do I Wash My Polo Shirt?

You want to make sure you follow these steps: Turn the garment inside out; Machine or hand-wash cold water with gentle detergent; Dry flat away from direct heat before wearing again.



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