Polo shirts have been around for a while now, and for a long time, they were associated with almost exclusively golf clubs or *ahem*, older men.
Though the tee style has been discovered by the younger generations recently, the Polo was often on the sidelines due to worries of being unable to pull off or looking tacky (think hotel bell boys or parking valets).
Well, this summer, thanks to the movie star Tom Cruise, the star of Top Gun, Jack Reacher and Mission Impossible, the Polo tee is gaining much more steam and is now on the top shopping lists for guys.
The action hero
Top Gun: Maverick movie was one of the biggest summer hits this year, and its main star Tom Cruise has again wowed audiences as Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.
It hasn’t gone unnoticed that Mr. Cruise is still in top shape and has top guns (pun intended) even 36 years after the movie originally came out. Of course, that’s not without rigorous exercise and a specially tailored diet.
One of the ways people have noticed his gym gains was not only the movie itself but all the different Polo t-shirts he’s been sporting on his worldwide tour promoting the movie. And if Tom Cruise wears Polos, who are we to say no!
A Polo t-shirt is something between a regular tee and a button-down shirt. Polos have a collar and a button placket down the collar bone with a few buttons. The Polo tee also can come in a fitted and relaxed fit and an array of colors.
Initially, this style was designed for tennis players and was also picked up by golfers and Polo players (hence the name).
The Polos Tom Cruise has been parading around were definitely pretty tight around his biceps and hugged his torso just enough without being too much.
One of the big differences between Polo tees and other styles is the fabric. While they’re also made from cotton (usually with a touch of Spandex), the knit of the tee is different.
Two main knits are “pique” and “jersey,” with pique being the dominant one. What’s a pique, you ask? It’s a tight and textured waffle weave that gives sturdiness and heaviness. The jersey fabric is lighter and has a smooth surface.
Besides cotton, you can find Polo tees from linen, cashmere and cotton-polyester blends. You can click here to find some affordable options: freshcleantees.com/products/foundation-polo-3-pack
For winter, you may also find wool polos that look pretty retro.
Lastly, you can, of course, find polos for synthetic fabrics, but you don’t want them as they have zero breathability and look cheap.
During his press tour, Tom Cruise has been sporting quite a few different Polo varieties.
In London, he wore a unique ensemble of black trousers and a black velour polo (we told you they exist). While it’s a tricky choice to pull off for most of us mortals, Tom was looking extremely confident.
The actor was wearing a classic light Polo tee with jeans during his time in South Korea and a navy one there too.
Fashion sleuths have reminded us that he always was fond of Polo tees from the beginning of his career and even wore one in his movie Risky business.
It’s possible that he was inspired by Hollywood stars like James Dean and Clint Eastwood, who also loved Polos.
Yes, Tom Cruise looks good in a Polo, and we’re sure he has a team of stylists helping him create his outfits. But unless you have a stylist too, you may want to look at these few tips about picking the best one.
First, you want to pay attention to the length of the Polo and its sleeves.
Keep in mind that the bottom of the tee should not hit more than below your belt and be not higher than the hip. This way, you can both tuck it or wear it untucked.
You don’t want an oversized polo, but a super tight one might also not be a good idea – opt for the golden middle. You may allow some tightness around the chest and arms.
Lastly, the sleeves should go down around half of your biceps and not be too loose. However, if you’re in good shape – don’t worry about getting a little tighter fit!
A few more things
To look your best in a Polo, keep a few other things in mind.
- A polo is always worn without an undershirt.
- Never pop the collar.
- Avoid big logos on the pockets and opt for one with a smaller logo. However, we have to mention that a larger logo is not such a big faux pas as on other styles.
- Forget long-sleeved polos. Yes, they exist, and some may look okayish, but generally, they look just off, and it’s best to stay clear.
- Wear the tee tucked and untucked depending on the occasion. Tuck your shirt if you’re wearing a blazer on top or if it’s too long.
- Wear it with a blazer. Choose a soft, relaxed, unstructured blazer or jacket such as cotton and linen and leave rigid ones for other occasions. Polos are casual!
- Sportswear polos and lifestyle polos are not the same. The tees for tennis or golf are commonly made from synthetic materials for easy movement, but change it to a cotton tee before the drinks!
- Don’t be afraid of colors. Yes, black or navy are safe choices, but the beauty of a Polo is that it’s allowed to be bold. If you want to stand out, you can also try striped or dual-color Polos. How about red, purple, green, or mustard yellow?
- Button-down one button. Keep in mind that at least one button of your Polo should be buttoned to avoid looking sloppy. So, unless you’re at the beach, keep things tight!
- Wear a Polo with chinos, denim, tailored shorts as bottoms and boat shoes, loafers, and moccasins. You can accessorize with a cap or hat and some tortoise shell sunnies for effect!