Wearing Polo Shirts with Suits and Sport Coats

There’s nothing wrong with the tried-and-true combination of khakis and a polo shirt. It’s as essential to the American summer as hot dogs and fireworks.

But know that polo shirts can go just as well with suits and sport coats as they do with shorts and flip-flops. They also present a more novel, casual way to wear tailored clothing during the warmest months of the year.

For a full suit, it’s startlingly simple. Just wear your polo (either short or long sleeve, though the exposed cuff of a long sleeve is a nice touch) in place of the shirt. Whether to tuck or untuck is personal preference, but leaving it untucked is a nice way to capitalize on its casual cool. And if you’re feeling it, go ahead and toss in a pocket square for a little panache.

Polo shirts in louder, brighter colors provide a great contrast to lighter-colored summer suits. And though the union of polo shirt and suit is inherently casual, you can create a sleeker, more formal look by combining a dark polo shirt with a dark suit in a traditional color, such as navy or grey.

The polo shirt’s simplicity makes it a foolproof choice for wear with patterned sport coats, which in turn add extra interest to the classic ensemble of chinos and a sport coat. You can also try wearing a suit jacket as a separate with your polo shirt and chinos: just try to select a pair of pants that will draw a contrast to the suit jacket.