Get your own personal stylist to help you find clothes you love. All online, completely free

Sign In

T-shirts and polos

What exactly is: A polo shirt?

What exactly is: A polo shirt?

In a nutshell

A happy medium between a t-shirt and a shirt, this style can look equally good with a suit or with jeans.

Backstory 

Until René Lacoste came along, tennis players were forced to play in stiff shirts rolled up at the sleeves, trousers and ties. But Lacoste, a champion player, pushed the sport forward with the first polo shirt, which he debuted at the 1926 U.S. Open. The design was optimised for play: the short sleeves wouldn't unroll; the piqué cotton was breathable; a soft, unrestrictive collar would allow the player to move comfortably around the court; and the split hem kept the shirt tucked in. 

How to wear one well

"Smarter than a t-shirt but more comfortable than a shirt, a polo shirt works with so many of your clothes—from your favourite pair of chino shorts to smart trousers and minimal trainers," says Thread stylist Alice Watt. "Just avoid big logos or garish colours, which make a polo less versatile. Simple white, grey and navy polos will be your best bets."