The perfect polo

There are many polo shirts available to the fashion conscious equestrian and, in this online feature, we give you our top tips for picking the perfect polo. If you ever wondered what a placket was and what fabric mixes mean…this is the feature for you…

Does it fit? No, we’re not just talking about whether the polo shirt is in your size, but whether its cut or fit is right for you. If you prefer a looser fit, then opt for a unisex top, classic fit, regular fit or one that isn’t fitted. If you like a slightly tighter top, look for terms like ‘slim fit’ and ‘feminine cut’. Another good way to check is to look at the studio shots online. If, when the polo shirt is flat it goes in around the waist, it’s going to be fitted. Fitted tops can be very flattering but, if you’re not comfortable wearing something that emphasises your shape, you could opt for something that isn’t fitted.

In the mix? Polo shirts can be made from different fabrics, here’s a summary:

  • Cotton pique - medium weight cotton fabric with raised ribbing
  • Jersey fabric - soft, flexible and stretchy, jersey fabric can be made from cotton or a mix
  • Cotton - one of the most popular fabrics, can be used on its own or with other elements, such as elastane. It is soft, strong and breathable
  • Elastane/Spandex/Lycra - you won’t see many t-shirts made from 100% elastane, but many have a small percentage of elastane or something similar. This allows the garment to stretch and move with the wearer.
  • Technical fabrics - some polo shirts, especially the ones designed for performance, can be made from technical fabrics. These usually have additional qualities, such as wicking moisture away from the body or helping to keep you cool.
  • What’s a placket? Quite simply, it’s the opening that runs down from the neck. On most polo shirts there’s a button placket, but it can be zip.

Other features? Whilst most polo shirts are very similar, some do have extra features, such as side splits that make it more comfortable for riding, dropped back hem to cover the bottom, and different sleeve styles (sleeveless, short sleeves, capped sleeves, long sleeves) - all designed to help make your time wearing the polo shirt more comfortable.