A man’s wardrobe isn’t complete without at least three or four polo shirts as it’s one of the most versatile and cozy garments. However, there are several things that we should take into account while hunting for a polo shirt. If you are looking for the best polo shirts in 2023 but you’re not sure which material you should choose and where to buy them, this guide might help you.
Best Polo Shirts for Men in 2023
First of all, let’s start with an essential factor, which is material quality.
Which material is the best for Polo Shirts?
Excepting a Rugby shirt (this shirt has a very small collar or none at all, rubber button, and strong material quality) polo shirt can be classified into six types. Undoubtedly, a polo shirt quality is also defined by the knit or fabric.
- PURE COTTON: Is is the most common type of polo shirt that you can find on the market nowadays. Cotton is a breathable and quite durable material that can also absorb moisture nicely. All cotton isn’t the same; therefore, a polo shirt with short-staple cotton fades colors much quickly and causes pilling. As you’re thinking, shirts with longer-staple cotton are more durable and comfortable. However, they might also fade colors eventually, especially if we talk about the darker shades.
- POLYESTER: polo shirts made with polyester looks cheaper, and they restrict breathability. They aren’t comfortable at all as you’ll end up sweating heavily.
- SILK: Shiny, light, and comfortable silk may look like a perfect choice for polo, but it’s not the truth. Especially if we talk about pure silk, it loses its color with high temperature and sweating; that’s why a blend of silk with cotton or linen is generally found in polo shirts.
- LINEN: linen is widely popular for all kinds of knitwear, but pure linen is also not recommended for polo because it’s pretty rougher than cotton. However, just like cotton, it can also add a sophisticated look with its wrinkle property, but you may want it in blend form.
- PERFORMANCE: Specially designed for athletes, performance polos come with odor reduction properties and UV protection. Usually, they are made from blends or lightweight synthetics. These types of polo are only recommended for exercise or playing.
- BLENDED: polos made of blended fabrics are cheaper and offer higher durability and stain resistance features. These types of polo are used mainly by corporate or stores for uniforms. On the flip side, blended polos aren’t much comfortable compared to cotton and also cause sweating.
Types of polo shirt knit and weave
Knitting is the method of interloping yarns to create a fabric of textile. However, there are many types of knitting and weaving, but only two kinds of knitting are the most relevant if we talk about polos.
- PIQUÉ KNIT: pique (piqué) knit has a three-dimension that looks just like the Marcella pique fabric, but that’s woven, so don’t confuse it. The best thing about pique knit is, it makes the fabric breathable and flexible; therefore, most popular shirt knit. A bigger knit provides more breathability, while a smaller knit is the option if you want less weight.
- JERSEY KNIT: this knit is often used to make less expensive polo shirts, but sometimes it can also be used to create high-quality polos. It provides a different look than pique; therefore, it depends on your taste; Jersey knit ins’ not that good in terms of breathability; however, it provides a smoother surface, just like a fine sweater.
After the material quality, let’s talk about some other features and details of polo shirts.
- Soft Collars: nowadays, you’ll find polo shirts with soft collars their edge curl often, which don’t look good. On the other hand, sewn collars with interlining hold the shape better; you should go for it.
- Shirt Collars: These collars are also made of the same material as the polo shirt, but they are tailor-made and interline to improve the strength and looks. You can find different types of shirt collars such as button-down, classic or cutaway. These shirts aren’t meant to be worn with neckwear; therefore, you should choose an appropriate collar that should look good when worn unbuttoned.
Should we choose a polo with a pocket or not? Usually, pockets don’t have much use, and they look bad either as they slack; therefore, it would be best to choose a polo without a pocket.
There are predominantly three types of plackets you can find in the polo shirts.
- Solly Plackets: it is the most common type of plackets found in most polo shirts, especially in inexpensive shirts. It is also called a ‘hidden placket’ because you can only see the seam at the bottom. It is the cheapest method because it doesn’t require much sewing and fabric.
- Set-in Plackets: It is also a slightly similar type of placket to the solly, but it used more stitching on the button-hole side of the placket, which looks more modish and tailored.
- Set-on Plackets: this type of placket is primarily found in the most expensive polo shirts. It uses more fabric and stitching because it’s sewn, separated from the shirt, and attached thereafter. The set-on placket provides the cleanest and rectangular looks due to its hidden interfacing.
Expensive polo shirts should have read Mother-of-Pearl buttons. If we talk about inexpensive shirts, they offer plastic buttons. Well, it’s not a big deal because you can always have your own sewn on. How many buttons do you want? It might be a question. For a classic look, you should choose a polo with 2 or 3 buttons. There is no rule for polo buttons; that’s why you can find some polo with 5 buttons while some of them don’t offer a single button at all.
Best Value Polo Shirts in 2023 – Our Recommendations
1. Amazon Essentials (Best Value Pique Polo Shirt for Men)
Size: XS – XXL | Available Colors: 50+
If you’re looking for affordable and quality polo shirts, you can consider the Amazon Essentials. These polo shirts are made of 100% cotton pique fabric that ensures maximum comfort and breathability.
Amazon Essentials is offering polo shirts with slim-fit and regular-fit; you can choose at your convenience. Moreover, you can select from tons of beautiful colors. Sizing is available from XS to XXL.
With the two-button closure and soft collar, these shirts provide a classic look. You can wear them for day-to-day work or play; these are exceptionally versatile and cozy shirts. If we consider the price and quality, Amazon Essentials are the best pique cotton polos shirts for the money.
2. Amazon Essentials (Men’s Regular-Fit Pocket Jersey Polo for Budget)
Size: XS – XXL | Available Colors: 20+
These shirts are also from the Amazon Essentials brand. If you are looking for cleaner-looking polos, you can go for them because they are made of 100% cotton jersey. However, these are slightly less breathable than pique polo.
Unlike previous polo shirts, these offer a pocket, interlining collar, and stripe patterns if you don’t like boring plain shirts. The price range is almost the same; the significant difference is in the knitting. These shirts are the best option if we talk about the cotton jersey polo, especially they come at a very affordable price.
3. Jerzees (Men’s Spotshield Stain Resistant Polo Shirts)
Size: S – 5XL | Available Colors: 20+
Jerzees promises their polo shirts are water and most oil-based repellent; that’s why they are stain-resistant as well. The material is the mixing of 50% cotton and 50% polyester and made with jersey knit. The welt knit collar prevents curling which provides a cleaner and smart look. Moreover, they are pre-shrunk, so they ensure a perfect fitting.
The only problem with this type of fabric is breathability, which causes more sweating in hot weather or when doing some rigorous physical activity. However, in terms of durability and looks, these shirts won’t disappoint you. If you’re looking for some inexpensive polo shirts for daily work, Jerzees could be a viable option. The best thing about these shirts is that they are available up to 5XL from S size and in several attractive colors.
4. D & Jones (Another Budget Polo Shirt with Great Quality)
Size: XS – 6XL | Available Colors: 20+
Backed with all classic features D & Jones polo shirt is another inexpensive option. This shirt is pique knitted with 100% cotton; therefore, it provides higher comfort and proper breathability. This shirt is offering ‘tennis tail,’ soft collar, and three-button closure.
It doesn’t matter what your size is; this shirt will get you covered as it’s available up to 6XL. Moreover, you can find your favorite color from several options.
5. IZOD (Budget Performance Polo Shirt for Men)
Size: S – XXL | Available Colors: 30+
IZOD performance polo shirt is a mixture of 60% cotton and 40% polyester, and it’s stretchable as well; therefore, it’s ideal for running, playing, or exercise. This shirt is breathable, lightweight, and comes with moisture-wicking properties. However, keep in mind, it’s not comfortable as the 100% pique cotton, but for this price range, it’s pretty good.
This shirt is available up to XXL size along with lots of captivating colors. The only problem with this shirt is, as some users reported, it slightly shrinks after washing.
Overall, if you’re a very active person, it could be a good option, while for maximum comfort, you should choose 100% cotton pique shirts as we have listed above.
6. Calvin Klein (Premium Quality Polo with Lightweight Fabric)
Size: XS – 5XL | Available Colors: 35+
Calvin Klein is a well-known brand, and its product quality is undoubtedly excellent. This polo shirt is built with durable 100% cotton fabric, which is lightweight and incredibly cozy. The material is slightly stretchable, which makes it ideal for sportswear.
Calvin Klein shirt is offering 2-3 button closure. It’s available in many great colors and up to 5XL size. The only problem with this shirt is, it has a cloth tag on the neck, which could be itchy.
This polo shirt’s quality is fantastic as it’s spun with ultra-fine yarns for ventilation and breathability. However, it’s a slightly expensive shirt than our previous options.
7. Nautica (Premium Quality Performance Pique Polo for Men)
Size: S – 3XL | Available Colors: 4
Looking for something sporty polo shirt, Nautica might be a good consideration. Nautica doesn’t require much introduction; it’s also a very popular brand. The material quality is fantastic; it’s 60% cotton and 40% polyester as it’s a performance shirt. It’s made with pique knit. Therefore, it ensures proper ventilation and comfort.
The fabric has moisture-wicking properties that keep you dry and comfortable. Overall, if you’re looking for a quality polo shirt for performance, you can choose Nautica. Nautica is offering plain shirts with 100% cotton pique fabric; you can also check it out.
8. Fred Perry (Best Slim-Fit 100% Cotton Pique Polo Shirt for Men)
Size: S – XL | Available Colors: 5
Fred Perry twin tipped polo shirt is made of 100% cotton and pique knit. The material quality is brilliant, but it’s expensive compared to other brands. You can use this Fred Perry shirt anywhere as it’s very comfortable and breathable.
This shirt is available in only a few colors and sizes, so you can check whether it fits you or not.
9. Tommy Hilfiger (Best Casual Cotton Polo Shirt for Men)
Size: XS – 3XL | Available Colors: 90+
Tommy Hilfiger is another option if you don’t like plain shirts. This casual polo shirt is available in lots of fantastic styles and colors. It’s offering premium quality 100% cotton material that ensures ventilation and comfort.
This Flag Pride polo shirt is compatible with machine wash so that you can wear it directly from the dryer. Overall, if you’re looking for higher quality polo for casual wear, Tommy Hilfiger is the answer.
10. Lacoste (Overall Best Polo Shirt for Men)
Size: S – 4XL | Available Colors: 25+
The credit of the most significant change in the polo shirt design goes to the Lacoste. The Lacoste first offered the short sleeve, long back, and unstarched collar with pique cotton fabric, which is still the backbone of a polo shirt.
Lacoste brand is a legend in the polo shirt industry, and obviously, they are pretty expensive. Unlike all the above shirts, the Lacoste polo offers concealed two-button placket, which provides a sleek tailored finish. Moreover, the fabric is a blend of 94% cotton and 6% elastane, which ensures maximum comfort and allows stretching.
The fabric is pique knitted for breathability and ventilation. The availability of colors in the Lacoste polo shirt is just marvelous, and it’s available in all sizes as well.
Choosing a polo shirt depends on your requirements. We have listed several polo shirts above; if we talk about the value for the money product, Amazon Essentials is probably the best option. It’s offering 100% cotton pique/jersey fabric along with several sizes, colors, and classic design.
However, if you don’t compromise on the quality, you can check our premium recommendations, such as Lacoste, Calvin Klein, or Tommy Hilfiger. Thank you very much for reading!
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