The Best Men’s Polos for Spring and Summer

by   |  in Casual Style

Today’s modern men’s polos aren’t like the ones you wore back in middle school, high school, and maybe even college. I want to help you rethink how you wear polo shirts and the brands you turn to for that summer staple.

The polo shirt tends to get a bad rep. Too preppy, not versatile, too stuffy, etc. Yet, modern polos are made the right way, for the right time (any time at all this spring and summer, in fact).

Polo shirts were once worn only during actual polo matches, so it’s tough to stray too far from that athletic past. But nowadays, men’s polos have a dash of edginess mixed with a touch of the familiar and classic.

asian man wearing grey polo with multi colored stripes

Our favorite polos are refreshing in their approach, use of versatile fabric, and ability to upgrade any outfit.

But you’ve got to find a polo that fits the right way:

  • Fitted and “slim” (based on your body type), not too baggy or long
  • Not overly tight or short (make sure the shirt isn’t pulling across the chest or giving your armpit a wedgie)
  • Sleeves should hug (not strangle) your biceps
  • Should fit somewhat similar to the polo on that dancing fool 😉
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Want To Dress Better This Summer?

Effortless Outfits is our easy-to-follow shopping and styling guide for sharp-looking warm weather clothes. Consider your spring / summer wardrobe taken care of!

Here are some of our favorite men’s polo shirts to recommend

Start with our picks to upgrade your shirt collection this summer.

Spier & Mackay Polos

Our formal / smart casual go-to brand, Spier & Mackay, currently has three different men’s polo styles:

  • Pique weave with a standard shirt collar
  • Pique weave with a button down collar
  • Knit polo with ribbed hem
flatlay of spier and mackay polo
Spier & Mackay Polos
Starting at $30

An updated take on the classic cotton pique is softer and smoother than ever before, creating a cool, comfortable piece that is perfect for a sunny day.

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I personally like the button down collar version (which looks great on its own, or under a linen or cotton sport coat) and the knit polo with ribbed hem. I have a few ribbed hem polos from various brands and I love to wear them in the summer.

They look sharp, with modern styling but maintaining its slight retro vibe… and the ribbed hem (similar to your favorite crewneck sweatshirt) ensures the polo will end at the hip, exactly where it should end.

Flint and Tinder Supima AirKnit Polo

Flint and Tinder has been a favorite brand here at EG for a while now. Solid, rugged basics and essentials you can depend on (case in point: the F&T 10-Year Pullover)

flatlay image of flint and tinder polo
Flint and Tinder Supima AirKnit Polo
$58

"...long-staple Supima cotton knit with a new advanced technique called 'Baby Jersey' that creates a luxurious and airy fabric." –Huckberry 

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The Flint and Tinder AirKnit polo uses Supima cotton—stronger, softer fibers compared to regular cotton—for that ultra luxurious handfeel. AirKnit refers to the baby jersey knit used to construct the fabric, which makes the entire shirt lightweight and airy, perfect for a hot day.

Alex Mill Standard Polo in Slub Cotton

Alex Mill’s slub cotton polo has all the comfort of your favorite tee, but with a slightly more “smart casual” vibe. These have a straight hem with a split side seam for a bit of ease when moving around.

flatlay image of a polo shirt from alex mill
Alex Mill Standard Polo in Slub Cotton
$60

All the comfort of their esteemed slub cotton t-shirt fabric but cut in a polo body.

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It’s also not too long, which can be a problem with most old-school, traditional polos. Think of this polo like a grab-and-go upgrade over your old T-shirt: it’s every bit as cool, but with more polish.

J.Crew Garment Dyed Slub Polos

If you haven’t noticed a trend yet, I’m steering you towards mostly slub polos. That’s because they’re super comfortable to wear (like a T-shirt) but looks much more polished than a basic tee.

flatlay of j.crew garment dyed polo
J.Crew Garment Dyed Slub Polos
$39.50

These supersoft polos are made from garment-dyed slub cotton, which means each one will have a rich, perfectly imperfect color that will softly fade over time.

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The slub cotton polo from J.Crew is extra soft, and the garment dyed color is much more saturated, yet will fade over time (on purpose) like your favorite old T-shirt.

Just keep an eye out before the first few washes, since garment dyed clothing tends to transfer a bit of color if you’re not careful.

Uniqlo Men AIRism Pique Short-Sleeve Polo Shirt

This Uniqlo polo mixes a handful of the best qualities of the previously mentioned polo shirts in this article.

AIRism is similar to Flint and Tinder’s AirKnit, in that it’s very lightweight and breathable. It’s a pique weave (not slub), which is your typical weave style for most polo shirts. And It has a button down collar, just like our favorite Spier and Mackay polo.

flaylay of Uniqlo AIRISM PIQUE SHORT-SLEEVE POLO
Uniqlo Men AIRism Pique Short-Sleeve Polo Shirt
$29.90

This polo from Uniqlo features a streamlined, lean silhouette that redefines the shoulders and chest.

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Overall, you’re getting a more polished silhouette with these Uniqlo polos compared to the slub cotton variety, but without losing any airiness or comfort.

If you’re looking to dress it up a bit more (tucked into trousers and / or worn with a sport coat), I’d still suggest Spier’s button-down collar polo over this one.

Todd Snyder Terry Button Down Polo

Looking for something a bit different? Want a polo you can wear at the beach or pool or during your visit to a far-flung tropical locale? This terry button down polo is perfect for you.

flaylay of todd snyder terry button down
Todd Snyder Terry Button Down Polo
$148

The button-down version has a slightly boxier fit than their traditional polo body, so this can be worn as a shirt or layered over a tank top. The terry material is perfect for the beach, as the shirt can double as a towel.

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Made from terry cloth fabric that buttons up like a regular shirt, you’re basically wearing a cozy towel.

You could technically hop out of the pool, throw this on, and go grab lunch al fresco at the poolside cafe. It’s also a boxier cut, so you could layer a T-shirt underneath if you’d like.

This is a fun, vacation-appropriate, and poolside-worthy polo if I’ve ever seen one.

Polo Ralph Lauren Custom Fit Pique Polo

And of course, we have the classic Ralph Lauren pique polo, specifically in the Custom Fit styling. Custom Fit is RL’s slimmer cut, and considering how generously cut regular RL polos are, the Custom Fit version will fit you just right.

flatlay image of polo ralph lauren pique polo
Polo Ralph Lauren Custom Fit Pique Polo
Starting at $67.13

Polo Ralph Lauren's roomiest silhouette, cut for a lower armhole and a fuller sleeve that falls closer to the elbow.

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I often have to size way down if I’m buying a regular fit RL polo, but with Custom Fit, you can buy your size and know you’ll be getting a well cut, slim (but not too slim) polo.

I’m a huge fan of Ralph Lauren’s polos. They’re the OGs! And with the Custom Fit silhouette, you’re not drowning in too much fabric.

Which polo style is your favorite?

Consider your overall style day to day.

If you’re more inclined to wear tailored chinos and a sport coat, I’d suggest sticking with a more structured polo, like the button-down versions from Spier & Mackay.

If you tend to go more casual, say, shorts and canvas sneakers… you can choose from one of the slub cotton varieties I profiled above.

And if you’re a mixed bag, it wouldn’t hurt to get a couple of each. I own many of these polos and I love them all. So you really can’t go wrong, no matter which ones you choose.

logo of effortless outfits style guide

Want To Dress Better This Summer?

Effortless Outfits is our easy-to-follow shopping and styling guide for sharp-looking warm weather clothes. Consider your spring / summer wardrobe taken care of!