The Polo Shirt

polo shirt

At Langaro, we strive for style built on an understanding of the basics; for both men and women. To own a sartorial Noddy badge, we feel one needs to know and own the foundation garments on which a successful look is built. This article forms the first in a series on the Top 10 wardrobe essentials for men.

If your favourite t-shirt has an iron-on that reads ‘Iceman’ there’s a big chance that you need to rethink your approach to a certain wardrobe staple.” So says American style guru and editor-in-chief Daniel Peres in his book Details, Men’s Style Guide. This informative guide filled with tips and pics has become a sartorial bible here at Langaro HQ where the chapter on casual shirts has elevated the humble t-shirt from casual must-have to essential lust-have.

Duncan Pape, our resident style consultant concurs with Mr Peres to such an extent that tees have become his standard work wear look. Not surprisingly as t-shirts hold prime retail space in any mans’ closet. The trick though, is so “beef up your arsenal” (another of Mr Peres’ quirky statements) with styles which lean toward smart. Enter the polo shirt.

The polo shirt should be able to hold its own court. Loose knits tucked into chinos like a golf caddy are out. So too are the oversized varieties reserved for Hip Hop music videos or names emblazoned across the back. Unless you’re a polo player, of course.

So what is the 411 on a stylish polo shirt?

* Bold: The popularity of a polo shirt translates into versatility. From pristine white to a myriad of vivid colours, you could wear one with anything from tailored shorts to classic denim jeans.

* Stripes: The classic striped polo should be revered. It will hold its own when worn with flat front chinos and a blazer.

* Contrast: A subdued coloured shirt with a contrasting collar takes dapper to next level.

* Print: Small monogram or repeat prints are huge this season. Don’t be afraid to play.

What is the perfect fit?

Like Goldilocks who’s porridge preference was neither too hot nor too cold, the polo shirt is equally pedantic. Skintight screams too many protein shakes, dude! while anything which skims your knees belongs in aforementioned music video. The right fit should touch your body from shoulder to waist without pulling or clinging. Sleeves also need fit like that porridge tasted; just right.

As for the collar which was originally designed to be turned up to block the sun. Tread lightly here and think event appropriate. Popped up at the beach is perfectly acceptable, to a casual dinner not so much.

Where would we wear a polo shirt?

Duncan recommends South African men try the following:

* Pair a blazer and lace ups to a Champagne festival, cocktail party, the polo or a gallery opening.

* With sneakers and front trousers to a casual birthday dinner or a box at the cricket.

* With shorts and sneakers – or smart sandals – to the beach or a wine tasting lunch in the country.

Now for the million dollar question. Where would one find a quality polo shirt? The answer is simple; from the Langaro style boutique, of course. Our new collection from Le Temps des Cerises will have you kitted out and ready for any event without any much effort. All you’ll need to do is pop your collar at the right occasion.