How Should a Polo Fit Be?

A polo fit should be looser than dress shirts but tighter than T-shirts, with structured lines and refined details.

Polo shirt sleeves should reach to cuff at the elbow; anything shorter will make them appear too short and anything longer may bring to mind memories of wearing your dad’s clothing.

Fabric should skim over your body without being skin-tight or too loose, to emphasize flattering parts of your physique while concealing less-than-attractive ones.


A good polo shirt should fit snugly across both chest and shoulders. Ideally, shoulder seams should straddle the end point of your shoulders – any lower could limit movement or cause an unsightly deep V-neck to form. Sleeves should hug arms gently without over-squeezing – one rule of thumb suggests having top buttons halfway up your bicep as an indication.

A collar should have some stiffness so as to look refined rather than floppy or sagging, while leaving one or two buttons unbuttoned adds an elegant touch that frames your face nicely.

Length is of equal importance with your polo: it should be long enough so you can comfortably tuck it in, yet not so long it droops past your belt line. Furthermore, it should sit either at or just below the bottom of your ribcage for optimal tuck-in tidiness when worn as an independent shirt; anything too long or short may throw off proportions and cause you to appear shorter or taller than reality; additionally you want the hem length just long enough so pinch an inch or two on either side if desired.


A great polo should fit comfortably and float easily over your shoulders. A shirt that is too tight can create a boxy appearance while too loose can look sloppy and unstructured; to ensure an optimal fit, shoulder seams should line up with shoulder bones while sleeves should lightly hugging arms ending about halfway down biceps – these criteria should provide the ideal matchup!

Polo shirts typically offer smaller size ranges than dress shirts and come in an array of cuts, styles and colors. Experiment with different brands until you find ones that best complement your body shape and proportions. Don’t forget to test the shoulders by inserting one or two fingers between your collar and neck – but not more as this would restrict movement of head and shoulders.

Too short shirts can make you look shorter and can be tricky to tuck in. When worn untucked, your polo should reach your pockets without showing your belly button or excess fabric, while its bottom hem should also be levelled for an even appearance and avoid muffin tops or tails. Furthermore, look for one with either basic or set-in attached button plackets to give a tailored appearance.


No matter the occasion, the polo shirt is an indispensable wardrobe essential. When worn correctly it will enhance your physique while looking professional; when worn poorly it could leave you looking scruffy or disorganized. Fit is key here; shoulders, sleeves and collar all need to be in perfect harmony for maximum effect.

A polo should rest comfortably against your shoulder bone and hug your arms comfortably without restricting them too tightly. In addition, sleeves must hit midway down your bicep for optimal security without feeling restricted or tight.

A polo should have an opening wide enough for you to button it all the way up without it collapsing around your neck, without collapsing too easily around your throat. Furthermore, the collar should remain upright and not flatten or pop up too high – this way it frames your face well and doesn’t collapse around it either. When worn with jackets it may also help if collar stays (Criquet polos come equipped with them) are worn to help stop your shirt rumpled under your jacket’s lapels without collapsing underneath their lapels rumpled into rumpled chaos!

Ilaria Urbinati, who styles GQ regulars like Rami Malek and Tom Hiddleston for GQ magazine, believes a well-fitted polo should fit snug in the chest and sleeves while tapering slightly at armholes towards waistline. But don’t despair; tailoring can often provide the solution and can cost as little as PS10-PS20 per shirt!


A polo should have an ideal neck fit, with a collar that’s stiff enough to look refined but not so tight that it clings and shows every line of your face when raising it. Furthermore, its shape should have some standing support instead of sinking flat into your chest; otherwise it may restrict movement or cause unseemly ripples along its placket (where buttons are sewn in), while on the other hand one that’s too big could look baggy and boxy.

Sleeves should rest gently around your arms and rest at the middle of your biceps; too long sleeves will drape down behind you and throw off proportions, as will being too long to tuck into pants without bunching up.

Finally, when worn beneath a jacket or suit jacket, your polo should feature an elegant and subdued logo in terms of size and taste. Oversized logos may clash with structured fabrics like suits or sport coats and cause you to look out of place; for the best results, your logo should complement rather than contrast with its color – something your tailor should be able to address if necessary.

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