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T-shirts and polos

Making the case for: A long-sleeved polo shirt

Making the case for: A long-sleeved polo shirt

"The best-selling types of tops on Thread are plain t-shirts and plain and check shirts. However, while we recommend these staples time and again, there's also a sleeper favourite among Thread's stylists: the long-sleeved polo.

"I, for one, like this type of shirt because it achieves a stylist's triumvirate: it's comfortable, versatile and smart. Recently reinvented in sleek, simple designs—which are far from the rugby shirts you wore as a teen—the long-sleeved polo is like a more comfortable version of your work shirt. The best of the bunch work well under blazers or on their own with jeans, chinos or formal trousers.

"Of course I'm not talking about every long-sleeved polo. If you want to get one to replace a shirt, look for:

  • A plain, solid, neutral colour
  • No (or very small) logo
  • Natural fabric such as cotton or wool (for instance, there's little nicer than a merino long-sleeved polo worn with a suit; the soft, attractive fabric yields the perfect marriage between shirt and fine-knit jumper)
  • A fit like your favourite shirt's

"And once you've found the polo of your (well, technically, my) dreams, you've got lots of ways to wear it. Go for jeans or chinos and minimal trainers for an easy weekend outfit, or if you want to err a bit trendier, wear one with a bomber and sweatpants. Or try one of my favourite outfits: a long-sleeved polo with smart trousers and a textured blazer.

"If you look at guys who always top best-dressed lists—or even your pals who are just a bit more stylish than the rest—the main thing they've mastered is the ability to look smart without having put in a ton of effort. A long-sleeved polo is a nice route to that end. Wear one instead of a shirt and you'll make a bit more of an impact than the rest of the guys at the party. Like the polo itself, you'll look refined and pulled-together—but still a little laid-back."

Thread senior stylist Alice Watt