From the halls of Harvard and Yale to fraternity keggers, polo shirts are inexorably linked with contemporary collegiate style. This makes them a staple in crew uniforms.
Look for a shirt that is made of high quality fabric. Blended fabrics offer good durability and stain resistance at a low price point. Avoid shirts with contrasting logos as they will look dated a few years from now.
For a simple, classic look that works anywhere from the office to the field, go with basic plackets. These use less fabric and stitching for a more cost-effective option, while still giving the shirt a tailored appearance. Interfacing in the placket and buttons that are cross-stitched create a more finished, professional look as well.
Originally, polo shirts emerged from the game of tennis, which was traditionally played in a get-up known as “tennis whites.” This included flannel pants and dress shirts (with rolled up sleeves), a style that is a bit more formal and a little less practical for an active sport like tennis.
The most common type of polo is made from pique, which is a densely-woven, tightly-woven cotton that offers some substance and structure to the shirt. This style is breathable, and a good choice for hot weather. Polo shirts made with a pique weave tend to be more expensive than others. However, a pique fabric provides superior wearability and a more refined appearance.
A set-in placket is the style of placket used in most polo jacket uniforms. It features a collar that is formed by a separate piece of fabric, often a ribbed knit. Some styles use a self-fabric collar, which uses the fabric that is on the body of the shirt for the collar.
The placket has two to three buttons and can be worn buttoned or unbuttoned. Some shirts have special placket details such as a grosgrain ribbon, contrasting stitching or an angled bottom seam. Ladies shirts may have an elongated placket or snaps instead of buttons.
Polos have a polished and comfortable appearance that makes them ideal for work uniforms. Embroidery adds a smart touch that helps your company or group stand out in the crowd. Logo placement is usually on the left chest although it can be positioned on the right side if a pocket is located on the left. Individual names can also be embroidered on the front if desired.
Set-On Attached Plackets
Shirts with set-on attached plackets use more fabric than the basic placket because the interfacing is sewn separately and then added to the body of the shirt. This gives the shirt a more tailored appearance and is used in higher-end polos.
Sales and service uniforms are a step up from casual wear and need to look polished. Consider outfitting your sales team in customized polo shirts embroidered with the company logo paired with dress pants and leather shoes.
Work polos can be adorned with a logo across the front of the shirt, or on the left or right sleeve if a pocket is included on the garment. Logos can also be embroidered under the collar or on the back of the shirt. Some brands have different requirements and restrictions for logo placement, so check with the brand to determine their logo placement options.
The buttons on a polo jacket can be made from a wide range of materials and dyed to match the shirt. They may also be embroidered to create a fashion-forward look. Some shirts feature a pocket on the chest, but many sartorial purists think that a polo should never have a pocket unless it’s secured with a button to stay closed.
Some polo shirts have a collar that is a separate piece of fabric from the body of the shirt, usually a ribbed knit. Other polo styles have what is called a “self fabric” collar, which is a neckline that is made from the same fabric as the body of the shirt.
Polo shirts, when embroidered with your company logo, are perfect for dressing up casual events such as trade shows or county fairs. They also look professional and are ideal for helping your company stand out from the competition at corporate events and public meetings.