The polo shirt may have been a staple in the wardrobes of stylish gentlemen for decades, but it doesn’t come without its fair share of sartorial sins. The style you choose – and what you choose to wear it with – is essential. Pop the collar, wear it with flip-flops or tuck it into the belt on your long-slung jeans and that’s the end of your (very short-lived) stylish life as you knew it.
These three men are the trifecta of gentlemanly style. Always ahead of the curve and always true to their own (very good) personal style, Dean, Newman and McQueen are still teaching men to dress decades after they left the earth. Without a popped collar in sight, these men should be your sartorial guiding light this season and every one that comes after that.
Always one to be ahead of the curve, Dean rocked Terry Towelling long before it was on anyone else’s radars. The key here is to stick to classic colours and make sure the rest of your outfit is clean and simple; you can’t go wrong with navy and it’s guaranteed to go with almost everything else in your wardrobe. James Dean’s style was quintessentially American with a European edge, and here he proves that he’d fit in just as well on the Riviera as he would the streets of sunny Manhattan.
Proving that the polo need not only be reserved for casual circumstances, Newman dresses it up perfectly. The perfect look for summer lunchtime dates or a more casual office environment, matching your polo to your blazer is the perfect in-between. The trick here is to make sure that you’re not trying to blend the colours too heavily, so if your blazer is navy, go for a white or light grey polo rather than something of the same colour, ensuring that your pairing looks purposeful.
Always one to turn any situation into a style game, McQueen proved time and time again that he was a cut above the rest, even in seemingly the most simple of situations. One of the cardinal sins of gaining style icon status – and one that McQueen very much lived by – is to never let the clothes wear you. Steve McQueen could wear almost anything he wanted and because of his innate swagger and confidence, pulled everything he wanted to wear off. Make like him and wear the classics with confidence. And remember, never pop that collar.