The iconic polo shirt has been a beloved part of many people’s wardrobes for decades. The first polo was created in the late 1920s by the now equally iconic brand Lacoste and has since become the standard uniform for Tennis and of course Polo players everywhere.
Whether its Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, on the court at Wimbledon, or the countless other brands (including our very own Tapered Menswear) who have adopted the polo- the popularity doesn’t show signs of waning. In fact the polo only seems to be growing in popularity.
That’s in part because polo shirts are one of the most versatile wardrobe staples out there. With their button-up collar and short sleeves, not only are they perfect for sports people, polos are also THE casual must have item for any man.
And yet, despite being an absolute staple, many men still find choosing the right fitting polo shirt for their body shape a tricky task.
The problem with most polo shirts is that they are often bought off-the-rack and for the most part, are made with the typical slim ‘average’ male body shape in mind. While many slim men also struggle to find the right polo shirt, this is down to not knowing how exactly a polo should look.
And for those men with a completely different body shape altogether, such as bodybuilders, this whole process can feel a lot more frustrating. Do you go for a polo that is completely form fitting? Or do you need more movement within the fabric?
It's no wonder that a lot of men give up with searching for ‘the one’. While the fit however, can sometimes be down to personal preference, a polo shirt always looks best when it is fitted well and suited to your body shape- which obviously helps it to be worn with confidence too!
That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide. You’ve got the questions. We’ve got the answers. So if you are on the hunt for best form fitting polos or even own one that doesn’t quite fit but has the potential to, keep reading to find out how to get the best form fitting polo shirt for you.
Should a Polo Be Form Fitting?
The history of the polo shirt as sportswear has shown us that it is often meant to be worn with some looseness and movement within the fabric in order for the person wearing it to move around with ease. This is usually the case in games such as tennis, whereby the player has space to swing their arms comfortably without restriction.
The cotton in the shirt combined with some movement, helps to keep the player cool, which in turn makes it an attractive piece of clothing for many active people. While they do have some movement in them, the standard polo shirt in sport however, isn’t worn oversized either.
In essence, the majority of polo shirt wearers tend to pick polos that fit well enough to their body that they can move while still staying streamlined. An excess of material is only going to slow you down after-all.
And yet, while, polo shirts are still very much popular in sports today, the polo as we know it has gone further and collided with the world of style. For a more casual, stylish look therefore, many men prefer their polo shirt to be form fitting to their body, so that they can wear them with jeans and even layer them under jackets for an ultra-casual look.
Seeing as the polo has now become more of a style piece, it makes sense that men with all types of body shapes are now embracing them. The ideas of how they should look has somewhat changed in recent times though.
For example a man with a bulkier build, will look much different in a traditional polo compared to a tennis player who wears theirs when playing the game. A bodybuilder will need a polo that is much more form fitting to their body shape, as would anyone else who doesn’t fit into the original criteria.
We for one love that the polo shirt has become a piece of clothing that every man can wear! In 2022, the polo shirt is a sleek and stylish alternative to the T-Shirt that certainly ticks all the boxes in casual fashion. But how should a form-fitting polo shirt actually look when worn?
Usually, a good polo shirt will be more form fitting in areas such as the shoulders. The shoulder seam should sit on top of the shoulders to avoid that ‘pulling-down’ effect of having sleeves that are slightly too big. The polo itself should also be fitted snug on the chest but with some room for movement around the waist.
Although, it’s always a good idea to make sure that you don’t have an excess of material hanging from your polo as this can just make your shirt look ill-fitting on you.
Should Polos Be Tight or Loose?
A polo shirt should be neither too tight or too loose. Go too tight and you’ll look and feel uncomfortable. Go too loose and you’ll look drowned in your clothes. Men can tell if their polo shirt is too tight but can’t always tell if it is too loose.
If it’s too tight, you’ll undoubtedly feel restricted in your movement. Whereas a loose polo is a little more difficult to distinguish, especially if you feel comfortable in it. You can tell if your polo is too loose by checking how it hangs on your body.
If the seam from the sleeves slips below the shoulders and overshadows your biceps then the likelihood is that the particular fit is wrong for you. Likewise if the polo looks like its wearing your rather than the other way around, then you’ve got the wrong fit.
If you have a shirt that is too loose, there will likely be an overflow of material billowing from your waist, which is only going to make you look shapeless and hide your body. A middle ground, where the polo shirt is form fitting to your body, is always going to work better for you.
At the end of the day, you want a polo that is stylish and sleek, so to get it right you’re going to want to go for one that has been constructed with some shaping or tapering, particularly around the waist area.
The problem with off-the-rack polo shirts is that they are intended for the ‘average’ slim guy build, which is a huge pain point for men who don’t fall into this category. They are also made in the most standard, traditional way, which won’t benefit you if you are looking for a polo with that shape already built in.
Looking specifically therefore for polo shirts that come with tapering, is a much more efficient way of shopping for one and a method that will undoubtedly save you ££ overall.
If you are shopping for a new polo shirt, don’t be afraid to try on various fits and styles until you find one that suits you the best. If you’re not sure, you can also ask for advice from a professional or a friend.
How Can I Make My Polo Shirt More Form Fitting?
Maybe you’ve already got a polo shirt at home that is ill-fitting on you, well luckily there are a few things you can do to get it fitting better. Note that a polo shirt that is too small for you can’t be altered. If however, the problem is all down to the polo being on the larger side, then you can definitely have it altered.
One of the best things about polo shirts is that they are usually made in soft cotton fabrics, which make them perfect candidates for alterations thanks to how easily the material can be manipulated.
The main thing you can do to fix an existing ill-fitting polo shirt is to have it professionally altered by a tailor. While certainly an investment, a tailor can work with the current shirt and your body shape to get it looking much more form fitting.
They can add in that necessary shape to the torso of the shirt, as well as get rid of any excess material around the waist that is likely to cause that annoying billowing effect.
The Best Form Fitting Polo Shirts
Now you know how a polo shirt should look on your body, its time to put the theory into practice and look for your new polo. Call us biased, but we believe that our Tapered Menswear Polo Shirts are the best form fitting ones out there.
Blending contemporary style practises with the classic DNA of the polo shirt, Tapered Menswear offers a polo shirt that compliments every contour of your body. With our polos, you’ll never have to worry about that ill-fitting loose look. Our polos are cut with a v-taper shape so that you don’t have that unnecessary amount of fabric pooling at the waist.
Instead the fit is cut close to the body and narrows in at the waist for the ultimate shape. It’s the perfect polo for those with a bulkier or more athletic build. Fitted at the shoulders, biceps and chest too, the polo sits well on the body, so that you can get the most confident wear out our polo, while flattering those areas. As an added bonus, we have no logo plastered on the front - let your form do the talking.
As with any polo shirt, comfort is paramount. Our polos are made with 100% super soft heavy-weight cotton that stretches and moulds to your shape. You’ll never feel uncomfortable, but your polo will always stay in shape.
If you’re ready to switch up your polo game for good, then check out the Tapered Menswear range.