If I had a dollar for every poor-fitting polo I’ve seen, I’d have my own moneybin! So let’s make sure you look amazing while wearing your polo shirt. As I always say, these rules apply to any man, no matter your age or body type.
Collar & Neck Opening
The size of the collar isn’t something you need to be concerned with as they’re pretty standard across all brands. Just make sure they’re not too small.
However, do pay close attention to the buttons – specifically, you want to make sure the buttons end no further than the top of your armpits. Anything past that, like the image below, is too long and will look like a super deep v-neck when un-buttoned – not good.
Wearing a polo shirt with the top 1-2 buttons left unbuttoned will help frame your face better and make it look great. So when trying on a polo shirt for the first time, make sure to unfasten the top 2 buttons, regardless of whether it’s a 2, 3 or 4 button polo, to see how the neck opening sits on your body. You don’t want the collar/opening to lay completely flat on your chest like this:
You want it to stand up a little bit and have some structure like the image below. But the inverse of that, is you don’t want it so stiff that even when unbuttoned, it doesn’t spread out a little bit.
All of images of the different ways to wear a polo shirt in my Essential Polo Shirt Video & article have the perfect neck opening and button placement.
The sleeves should hit around mid-bicep and lightly hug your arms. Some polos have a ribbed band at the end of the sleeve where it’ll hug a little tighter, which is fine, as well. Regardless of this, the sleeves shouldn’t be too tight where it looks like your biceps are being strangled. You also don’t want there to be bunch of slack or room around the bicep, either. That just looks cheap and tacky and makes your arms look really small in the worst way possible. If the polo fits well everywhere else, have your tailor slim them down to fit your arms better.
Like I say in all my shirting articles, the perfect fitting polo will be when you can pinch (not pull) between 1 to 2 inches of fabric on either side of your stomach. This goes for EVERY SINGLE BODY TYPE. A lot of my larger clients fight me on this… until they see how awesome it looks. The “Like This” image above has the right amount of fabric to pinch.
The shirt should end somewhere between upper to mid crotch. I would rather it be closer to mid-crotch than upper-crotch because this avoids showing stomach when reaching up for things and allows it to be lightly tucked into the front of your belt/pants to break up your proportions – if you want.
Luckily, most designers are getting rid of tails, because I don’t really like them anyways. But if you have a polo shirt that has a tail, make sure the back part is no more than 2 inches longer than the front. Even then, I’d advise you to get a polo without a tail, because 99.9% it doesn’t look so great.
Best Polo Shirts For Men
See my Polo Shirt Essential Article for my favorite polos that every man should own.