This summer, all your polo shirts should be knitted

Looking for a summer style boost? We’ve buttoned up a selection of seven fine knitted polo shirts for your next menswear move…

With firm roots in the world of athleticwear, the polo found prominence during the 1920s when tennis icon René Lacoste circumvented the sport’s restrictive dress-code of button-down shirts and pleated trousers and instead opted for a breathable short-sleeve alternative constructed from piqué cotton, complete with a soft collar and a trio of buttons. 

Ever since Le Crocodile’s maverick move, this menswear standard has transcended the court and undergone a myriad of reinventions, becoming a wardrobe staple for various crowds, from America’s rich and louche to Fred Perry-donning mods, lawn-mowing dads, and off-duty-style muses such as JFK. 

Of late, fashion circles have embraced the reintroduction of the knitted polo – a riff on the classic that evokes the midcentury country club and The Talented Mr Ripley’s summer aesthetic. Available in a variety of finishes, from silk to cashmere, its draw is that it adds a hit of verve and texture to a look; borders the informality of a t-shirt and the seriousness of an Oxford shirt; and, being typically thicker than its standard counterpart, will be particularly useful for when the British breeze inevitably kicks in this summer… 

New & Lingwood Silk Polo Shirt

In a fetching shade of khaki, New & Lingwood’s latest chic polo shirt reflects the British brand’s exciting new, textured direction. Woven from silk, it’s the ideal soft-to-touch summer garment.

It’s got an almost-vintage feel to it — with the slubby weave giving the material a casual, pre-washed feel. And, adding to the retro flavour, that open neck collar and short, ribbed sleeves offer a final mid-century flourish. 

This summer, all your polo shirts should be knitted

New & Lingwood Silk Polo Shirt

£225.00

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Sunspel Fine Texture Polo Shirt

A classic spin on the traditional polo, Sunspel’s knitted option may not be as silky as New & Lingwood’s above, but its textured composition is spun from staple cotton in Italy to guarantee similar softness. 

It’s fitted with a ribbed hem and cuffs, buttons up a simple flat collar and is cut in a regular fit — rather than the more constrictive ‘slim’. Also available in ‘Oxblood’, ‘Basil’ and ‘Navy’, we’d suggest going for the versatile ‘Ecru’.

This summer, all your polo shirts should be knitted

Sunspel Fine Texture Polo Shirt

£115.00

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A.P.C ‘Jude’ Piqué-Knit Polo Shirt

Fitted across the shoulders, and cut for a close fit through the chest and body, this pastel blue-hued option from A.P.C weaves Riviera style into the menswear staple — using mid-weight piqué jersey to deliver a plum piece of resortwear.

Innovatively, this polo also makes use of linen — incorporating a soupçon of the ultra-breathable material into the weave that’ll withstand even the highest temperatures. Paired with the soft collar, it makes for the perfect travelling tee. 

This summer, all your polo shirts should be knitted

A.P.C ‘Jude’ Piqué-Knit Polo Shirt

£135.00

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Ralph Lauren Textured Polo Shirt

For something a little different, why not lengthen your polo shirt’s sleeves? From masters of the preppy arts, Ralph Lauren, this slightly snugger design adds more material to the polo’s arms; and ups its weight, too.

The timeless take on the traditional style is spun from premium cotton, and adorned with the iconic ‘Polo’ logo on the chest. Finished with genuine mother-of-pearl buttons, it’s an Ivy League-worthy bit of knitted kit. 

This summer, all your polo shirts should be knitted

Ralph Lauren Textured Polo Shirt

£155.00

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SIRPLUS Textured Knit Polo Shirt

It may not necessarily be a polo shirt, but that isn’t going to stop British brand SIRPLUS calling it one. A best-seller for the sustainably-minded outfitters, this waffle-stitch cotton shirt is ready for anything summer throws its way.

It features a reinforced button-down placket with the label’s signature coconut buttons, as well as a chest patch pocket perfect for sunglasses. Cut in a relaxed fit, it has a super-soft feel and year-round appeal and applications. 

This summer, all your polo shirts should be knitted

SIRPLUS Textured Knit Polo Shirt

£125.00

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Orlebar Brown ‘Mallory Silk’ Polo Shirt

Ahoy! There’s a seriously seafaring feel to this polo from Orlebar Brown. Staying true to the brand’s ocean-going roots, the ‘Mallory Silk’ shirt is a nautical navy colour; detailed with suitably maritime white stripes.

And it feels fantastic. Cut from a luxe Italian cotton-silk knit, it’s one of the softest polos on our list. And, thanks to that buttonless placket and open neckline, one of the most lightweight. We particularly like the ribbed chevron hems.

This summer, all your polo shirts should be knitted

Orlebar Brown ‘Mallory Silk’ Polo Shirt

£295.00

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Percival ‘Pablo’ Cuban Knit

Another brand best-seller, Percival’s ‘Pablo’ follows in SIRPLUS’ full-buttoned footsteps to give us a garment that’s more ‘shirt’ than ‘polo. But, with its ribbed construction and bold ‘Forest’ green colour, this has become one of our summer mainstays. 

Crafted in sun-soaked Portugal, it’s guaranteed to stand up to the heat — and has handy poppers in place of fiddly buttons to make it effortless (and elegant) to pull on in a hurry. A best-seller for a reason. 

This summer, all your polo shirts should be knitted

Percival ‘Pablo’ Cuban Knit

£109.00

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This article was taken from the Summer 2022 issue of Gentleman’s Journal. Take a look inside the latest magazine here…

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