12 Best Men’s Polo Shirts for Summer

For more than a century, this classic athletic shirt has been spiffing up the active man
June 18, 2019Words by Jon Gugala

The polo shirt, a staple in every man’s closet, was originally created for active noblemen. Like many heritage English styles (see: the Chelsea boot), its roots were in the ruling class. Polo players first wore it for long days on horseback, the polo shirt’s design of a lightweight fabric, short sleeves, a partial button-down placket, and a folding collar was quickly adopted by other sportsmen. Seven-time Grand Slam champ Rene Lacoste brought polo shirts to the tennis courts in the 1920s, while those walking the links adapted it into what is now the quintessential golf shirt. But even if you’re not participating in a gentleman’s sport, there’s a lot to love about the classic polo. Here, we’ve got 12 of our favorites to dress up any dude, effortlessly. 
 



Wellen Hemp Polo


Wellen Hemp Polo Shirt


Leave it to the folks at Wellen to dial in the perfect blend of hemp and cotton for its Hemp Polo. Soft against the skin and still durable enough for a week at sea (the heritage of the material), it’s as appropriate at the barbecue as it is for a casual date night. We love the comfortable fit, which allows some movement without making you look like a sail. Bonus: Thanks to its unique fabric, its dyes come off the line faded to perfection, so even on your first wear, no one will know you just clipped the tag.


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Proof 72-Hour Merino Polo


Proof 72-Hour Merino Polo Shirt


Don’t call it a comeback—Proof’s uber-popular 72-Hour Merino Tee is now available in a more dressed-up package. The 72-Hour Merino Polo sources fine, itch-free New Zealand wool, which is considered by many to be the best in the world. Cut into a relaxed shape with a casual two-button snap placket, it’s easy to dress up or down based on the occasion. Of course, it has all the benefits of this magic material, including its hallmark odor-resisting, moisture-managing, temperature-regulating properties. Reinforced by nylon, you can machine wash this with no worries wherever your journey takes you.


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Flint and Tinder Supima Air Knit Polo


Flint and Tinder Supima Air Knit Polo Shirt


Flint and Tinder makes what we believe is the softest, best-fitting shirt you’ll ever wear, hands down. Why, exactly? The Flint and Tinder Supima Air Knit Polo starts with 100-percent Supima cotton, which is buttery-smooth against the skin with a satin-like feel (but with none of the shine). Baby jersey knit, the breezy weave makes this fabric ideal for hot summer days. It’s also cut and sewn right here in the U.S. for classic Made-in-America quality. Available in a ton of colors, you can’t go wrong with a black or white polo to anchor your warm-weather wardrobe.


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Relwen Solid Pique Slot-Button Polo


Relwen Solid Pique Slot-Button Polo Shirt


Relwen is all about creating pieces that connect the present with the past of classic American workwear. Their Solid Pique Slot-Button Polo shows this commitment in the detail. A long four-button placket, along with a woven collar facing, suggests the heritage sporting shirt could have been seen around the tennis courts and polo grounds of the past century. The slim fit and lengthened tail make this perfect for the office or even a casual summer wedding. It’s pre-washed to ensure that the shirt that goes into the laundry fits the same when it comes out.


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Howlin Mr.Fantasy Polo


Howlin Mr.Fantasy Polo Shirt


Small-batch yields better results whether it comes to bourbon whiskey or the Howlin Mr.Fantasy polo. Carefully crafted in boutique factories around Belgium, slip one on and the Old World craftsmanship is immediately on display. The cotton and polyester blend is light as a feather, and yet its subtle texture separates it from the standard sport shirt. When headed abroad for the summer or a long weekend with the in-laws, this is an easy—and easy-wearing—choice.


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OAS Terry Towel Polo Shirt


OAS Terry Towel Polo Shirt


Like that bathrobe from the five-star hotel you still wish you’d slipped into your suitcase, the OAS Terry Towel Polo is just as luxurious (albeit much less incriminating). Made from 100-percent terry towel fabric, this polo shirt is cut for the casual man. Buttonless and super absorbent, it’s intended to be slipped on minutes out of the shower, pool, river, lake, or ocean. The patch chest pocket is the perfect size to slip in a pair of sunglasses so you’re never without on your way to the tiki bar.


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Howling Six Blade Knife Polo Shirt


Howlin Six Blade Knife Polo Shirt


Belgium doesn’t just make great beers. The Howlin Six Blade Knife puts Belgian craftsmanship in the spotlight, as this shirt’s origins can be traced to one of many small-batch shops across the country. The cotton and polyester blended fabric is super soft and wonderfully breathable, with a chest patch pocket lets you keep your sunnies within reach. We love the striped material, which hearkens back to the classic French sailing pattern.


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Faherty Brand Sunwashed Polo Shirt


Faherty Brand Sunwashed Polo Shirt


The slub-textured Sunwashed Polo by Faherty Brand epitomizes the sun-faded ethos of this beach-adjacent brand. Each shirt is individually dyed for a custom, washed-out look that suggests long days under blue skies. We love its all-cotton fabric, which feels soft and broken-in from the first wear.


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Faherty Brand Indigo Polo Shirt


Faherty Brand Indigo Polo Shirt


Individual care in each shirt is what sets the Faherty Brand Indigo Polo apart from others. Each is garment-dyed individually to ensure a bespoke feel and finish. The slub cotton is a classic summer fabric, while the striped pattern itself was worn by French sailors and later championed by everyone from Picasso to James Dean. Thanks to a careful pre-wash, this arrives comfortable and broke-in for the summer ahead.  


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Outerknown Match Polo Shirt


Outerknown Match Polo Shirt


It’s no surprise that Kelly Slater’s Outerknown knows how to craft surf-adjacent menswear staples. The Match Polo seems born from the sea, and its airy fabric, made from a blend of pesticide-free cotton and hemp, is the perfect post-surf companion. We loved the corozo-button placket, as it’s a subtle touch that sets this shirt—and its wearer—apart in a sea of polos.


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lululemon Metal Vent Tech Polo Shirt


lululemon Metal Vent Tech Polo Shirt


lululemon is a master at blending tech and fashion, and nowhere is this better seen than with the Metal Vent Tech Polo. The four-way-stretch synthetic fabric is woven with silver, which ensures that your shirt is the last place odor-causing bacteria can grow. We also loved its seamless body construction, which makes it a chafe-free choice for the golf course or just around town. Moisture-wicking and super good-looking, there’s no wrong way to wear this brand’s classic casual sport shirt.


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Free Fly Flex Polo Shirt


Free Fly Flex Polo Shirt


The Free Fly Flex Polo is the classic American staple upgraded to the 21st century. Features like the three-button placket and easy folding collar won’t start any revolutions, but the bamboo fabric and four-way stretch update both its feel and performance possibilities. Moisture-wicking? Check. Naturally insulating? Oh, yes. This is the traditional menswear staple better.


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>>Next: Best Men’s Slip-on Shoes for Summer
 


 

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