How To Wear a Polo With a Suit

It’s time to re-invent the way you wear your polo shirt. This classic menswear essential is the formal cousin of the t-shirt and made for the man who wants to be both comfy and classy. It’s the perfect piece to rock from day to night and the default top to avoid being “overdressed” at Sunday brunch. For years we have reserved our polo shirts for events like hosting weekend BBQs or on the course for a round of 18 holes. But it’s time to take our beloved collared staple to the next level.

What better way to do that than with your favourite suit? Now, before you think that we’re condoning your favourite Nike Golf shirt with a double-breasted jacket, we partnered with the good people at Tip Top Tailors to give you a couple tips on rocking this look right.

The key to achieving perfection in a polo-suit lies in the polo’s collar (which ironically shouldn’t be lying anywhere). Perk up! In a standard suit, your shirt is meant to elongate the neck and frame your face. A flat Nike Golf neckline isn’t matching the structure of your suit or doing your mug any favours, so step it up and ensure that your polo of choice is ringed with a collar that sits up as well as your favourite oxford. An alternative to bring structure to your outfit is opting for a polo with a button-down collar. It does a similar job but the buttons tend to hold everything in place and leaves the wilting for the golf course.

Now below the belt, to tuck or not to tuck, that is the question. Thankfully, the answer is ambiguous enough to suit your needs; it’s dependant on the event and your preference (but, we have a strong preference). First things first, let’s remember that we’re wearing a suit, which calls for an air of formality, and for that reason errs on the side of ‘always tuck’. It will ultimately make your legs look longer than they are, and who doesn’t want an illusionary inch or two? That said, if you’re too cool for school, I will accept a French tuck (think David Beckham).

When it comes to accessorizing, this is your opportunity to dial down on the formality of the overall look. While it’s still encouraged to rock a pocket square every time you throw on a blazer, instead of going for silk, why not opt for a laidback floral cotton square? As for belts, feel free to leave it in the drawer, or if you still need that visual support, try a braided belt. Lastly, shoes are again, one of those sartorial choices that depend on the occasion. You’re probably aware that we’re strong proponents of the suit and sneaker combo at Mr. Cavaliere, and these slip-ons are no exception. But, if you’re rocking this chic-casual combo for work or to a dinner date, a structured loafer like a penny or horsebit will elevate the ensemble again.

If you’re still reserved about the role of a polo in your suiting this season, recall that there’s something about a polo that just feels like summer. Not only is your polo going to be a comfier option on those humid summer days (not that we’re complaining, bring on the heat waves), but it’s short sleeved and way breezier than a dress shirt would be. And there’s nothing that broadcasts that you’re a busy man with a jam-packed summer of fun than dressing for multiple occasions at once.

Words by Jonathan Cavaliere

Photography by Vincent Ko

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