The Best Polo Shirts for Men

The Masters means it's time to shop for polo shirts.

It’s Masters Weekend, and, for me, that signifies the real start to spring.  Sure, if you want to go all pagan on me and call it by the phases of the moon that’s fine, but I’ll mark my arbitrary line of demarcation with a golf tournament.  Of course, I think the start of summer is Memorial Day, so I guess my spring is only a month and half long, but whatever.  Spring is just the appetizer for the main course that is summer anyway, and everyone knows it.

Whatever you want to call it, warmer weather and short sleeves are fast approaching, and that means it’s time to pick up a few of those eternal summer staples known simply as polo shirts.  The unfortunate news is that almost every clothing manufacturer under the sun has a polo shirt.  So which ones are good and which ones are bad?  Obviously, the best shirt for you is the one that fits your body and your budget best, but here are Tailor & Barber’s top five.

5. Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers gets our pick for fifth for two reasons, variety of color and fit selection.  With a wide array of color choices in both their original fit and slim fit varieties.  I own quite a few of these, and they should be higher on this list except the Brooks Brothers website organization is atrocious.  Each fit should be accessible with a single click, but, sadly, that isn’t the case which makes shopping online difficult at times.

4. Vineyard Vines

When I found out that Vineyard Vines had introduced slim fit versions of some of their best shirts I was thrilled.  I love their patterns and colors, but always found the shirts a little boxy.  With a choice now between their classic fit and the new slim fit, everyone can enjoy these great shirts.  I just wish the slim fit polos came in more colors, but I’m sure they will soon.

3. Southern Tide

A relative newcomer to the clothing business, Southern Tide is a great entrepreneurial story linked to youth, college and southern charm.  With a nice fit, great color selection and excellent shirt length these shirts are prime for summer.

2. Lacoste

It’s pretty hard to choose against the iconic Lacoste when discussing polo shirts.  In fact, the Lacoste polo is the one that started it all in 1926.  Lacoste boasts a very large selection of polos in both slim fit and the original L.12.12 fit.  There are enough options here to make this shirt your “uniform”.

1. Polo Ralph Lauren

I might be criticised here as taking the “easy way out”, but the polo shirts from Ralph Lauren really are the best.  You can find your perfect fit with three choices: classic, custom and slim.  If have trouble figuring out which fit is best for you, check out the fit guide here.  The color selection is massive and only augmented by the Create Your Own option.  This is my personal go-to polo shirt.  I know it’s well known and ubiquitous, but there is a reason for that, it’s simply the best one out there.

I hope this countdown helps you make some summer wardrobe decisions.  Let me know what you think, what polos you think I left off, and what your favorites are.


Tailor & Barber