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T-shirts and polos

Five ways to wear: A polo shirt

Five ways to wear: A polo shirt

"Polo shirts are one of those favourite, essential pieces that lie somewhere between smart and casual," says Thread’s style director, Shaunie Brett. "They're great for so many reasons: they're a shirt alternative, they're cool and breathable for summer, they can look good with anything from a suit to swim trunks, and the collar makes them flattering on guys of every shape and size." 

Below, Shaunie shares five outfit ideas from smart to casual.

1. For a casual wedding or a day at the races

The outfit: Polo shirt, suit

Why this works: "Because the polo is plain (without a logo or chest pocket) and in a fairly slim fit, it looks good under a suit jacket. White is the easiest colour of polo shirt to wear as it looks similar to a white Oxford shirt, but black polos also look great with grey and navy suits."

2. For the office on a hot day

The outfit: Polo shirt, smart shorts, lace-up shoes

Why this works: "Everything fits well, the shorts are plain and smart enough to wear to the office, and the shoes and shorts are nicely textured. The same polo shirt and shoes would also work well with chinos or light summer trousers."

Photographed: Orlebar Brown poloPeter Werth shortsPeter Werth suede shoes

3. When you're not quite sure about your plans

The outfit: Polo shirt, chinos, slip-on shoes

Why this works: "This is the ultimate in versatility: it looks smart because the trousers fit well and are in a nice colour, but the shoes make it casual and comfy. You could throw on a jumper or jacket if it's cold to make this a bit smarter, or switch to a desert shoe to go to a nicer dinner out."

4. For a first date

The outfit: Polo shirt, jeans, utility jacket, minimal trainers

Why this works: "This toes the line between thoughtful and casual. The jacket is blazerlike, but not quite as smart, and the polo is shirtlike, but more casual. You could also go for a smarter shoe if the venue (or date) requires it."

5. When all you care about is comfort

The outfit: Polo shirt, jersey shorts, slip-on shoes

Why this works: "Jersey shorts are stretchy and soft, so this is an ideal combination for lounging around on the weekend. The shorts' textured weave makes them more interesting than your average sweat shorts, and the bag makes the outfit look a bit more thoughtful. You could wear this with any trainers or even a boat shoe."