Under Cover: The Versatile Polo Shirt

Look casual yet put together with a polo shirt under a blazer

I think it’s time to reexamine the polo shirt. It’s a classic piece that doesn’t get nearly enough play – at least around these parts. Part of the reason I think I’ve personally not worn them as much is their relative ubiquity.

Let’s face it, the polo shirt is pretty much the de facto summer uniform for the guy who doesn’t like to get dressed up, but has to get dressed up for something. Not that there’s anything wrong with a simple khaki chinos and polo shirt outfit. It’s about as classic as you can get.

One way to take a fresh look at the polo shirt is to think outside the box a little bit. Here’s one way to do it by throwing a blazer on top.

polo shirt under blazer

polo shirt under blazer

| WEARING | Blazer c/o Tommy Hilfiger, JackThreads polo shirt, Saks Fifth Avenue pants, Oliver Peoples sunglasses, IWC watch, L. Jonas bracelet, Loafers c/o Allen Edmonds | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

One of the problems with wearing a polo shirt under a blazer is the shirt’s collar. It’s more an extension of the shirt’s fabric than it is an actual “collar.” In other words, it’s not that strong and isn’t going to stand up under a blazer like a regular button-up’s collar. Use it to your advantage.

The unstructured nature of a polo shirt’s collar lends itself to a more easygoing look. Under a blazer, it has the effect of dressing it down, looking more casual and relaxed.

I actually really like this as a summer option. The polo shirt’s short sleeves feel a lot better under a blazer during the summer than a long-sleeved button-up.

polo shirt under blazer

One downfall – or actually one thing to simply pay attention to – is that flimsier collars may bunch up under the blazer. Just be aware of that and be sure to take a quick look in the mirror to fix any issues if you take your blazer on and off.

polo shirt under blazer

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style


Chime In

  • Arnav Sengupta

    I remember polo shirts and blazer not being your thing, you said so earlier in one of your videos/articles I believe

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      Maybe! I’m digging it this summer, however.

      • https://thegreentailor.com/ benjaminsaccaggi

        what’s the use of a mind if you can’t change it eh? Didn’t think the soft collar would work with a blazer at all, but I like your images

  • Tony Gorga

    Nice, classic look man. When did you pick up the IWC?

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      Thanks, brother. We have some ongoing projects with IWC so I’ve been test driving the Portofino chrono for the past month. Great timepiece, beautiful dial. Have to say it’s one of my favorites from them.

      • Tony Gorga

        Oh very cool. I’ll suppose I’ll look for a post on it down the pipe, then!

        • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

          Yup. We’ve done some work together on IG already, but we have some bigger things in the works later on this year and into next.

  • Nguy

    One tailor house in my town is developing polo shirts with long, buttoned shirt sleeves; and quite firm cutaway collar.

    So far they only prototyped with brown pique cotton, and only offer through bespoke service, so there aren’t many pictures though.

    • Peter

      In case you need a RTW alternative, The Armoury offers a nice range of polos with those characteristics. Ralph Lauren also does a few pieces like that.

      • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

        Great spot.

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      Sounds interesting. Have photos to share?

    • https://thegreentailor.com/ benjaminsaccaggi

      This sounds like an interesting new avenue for smart / casual, just googled some images and I think it could definitely work to up the polo shirt’s snaz

  • http://indianstylestealer.weebly.com/write-for-us.html Aliys Shaikh

    The look is absolutely sweet, edgy, stylish and chic.

    Write For Us – Style

  • Nathaniel Curra-Spurger

    What are the pants he’s wearing? I could use some summer attire like that.