From tennis court uniform to the wardrobes of stylish gents across the world, the polo shirt is now considered a modern-day essential.
If you’re the type of guy that prioritises quality over quantity, there are plenty of high-end options to consider this season, with some of the world’s most revered brands and designers elevating this smart-casual staple to a luxury level.
Here, we rundown ten of our favourite premium polos on the market, from classic piqué cotton designs to bold printed styles that are sure to make a statement.
1. Sunspel Riviera Polo Shirt
Originally created for Daniel Craig for his role as James Bond in Casino Royale, the Riviera polo shirt by British label Sunspel combines a tailored cut with a breathable cotton mesh fabric, resulting in a simple top that’s fit for summer.
The minimal detailing, clean-cut lines and soft blue tone only add to the gentlemanly appeal of this easy-to-wear, classic option.
If it’s good enough for Bond…
Available at Sunspel, priced £75.
2. Orlebar Brown Felix Melange Amalfi Polo Shirt
British leisurewear label Orlebar Brown excels when it comes to creating casual pieces with a sophisticated edge, and its Felix polo shirt is no exception.
Soft and lightweight, it’s ideal to throw into your suitcase and wear to the bar on those hot summer evenings, with the soft grey shade guaranteed to slot seamlessly into your existing warm-weather wardrobe.
Available at Orlebar Brown, priced £75.
3. John Smedley Noah Polo Shirt
As a purveyor of some of the world’s finest knitwear, British label John Smedley maintains relevance through the warmer months thanks to its elegant range of polo shirts crafted from high quality cottons.
This timeless black option has a touch of retro about it, with the open neck transporting us straight back to the seventies. However, the slim fit, sharp lines and lack of detailing brings things back to the present day.
Available at John Smedley, priced £125.
4. Reiss Folio Geometric Knitted Polo Shirt
The retro vibe continues with this knitted polo shirt by Reiss – its geometric print and cotton weave nodding to preppy styles of the 1950s.
The understated shades of grey and white add an air of elegance to the design, which is just as breathable as your average piqué polo.
Pair with cropped stone trousers for a light and airy finish.
Available at Reiss, priced £69.
5. James Perse Cotton Jersey Polo Shirt
If you’re after a relaxed polo shirt you can throw on with your favourite jeans, look no further than this rugged option by LA’s James Perse.
Inspired by minimalist architecture, Perse’s designs always stick to a simple and pared-back palette, with this soft green number ideal for introducing a subtle dash of colour to your casual attire.
Available at Mr Porter, priced £95.
6. Maison Kitsuné Cotton-Piqué Polo Shirt
Parisian label Maison Kitsuné adds a touch of fun to the polo shirt this season, embroidering a small tricolour fox – the Japanese translation of Kitsuné – onto its chest.
This slightly off-white number is not only a good all-round option for day-to-day wear, but should also become a talking point thanks to its playful animal addition.
Available at Mr Porter, priced £90.
7. Paul Smith Indigo Cotton-Pique Polo Shirt
Not quite the crystal clear blue of exotic seas, this indigo option by Paul Smith embraces a richer, deeper tone for summer.
Not only will the bold hue highlight your tan, but the polo’s slim, tailored silhouette allows it to effortlessly transition from day to night.
Just add a pair of slim-cut trousers and a tailored blazer for a suave, on-trend look.
Available at Paul Smith, priced £145.
8. Fred Perry x Drake’s Handkerchief Print Polo
Two classic British brands collide in this polo shirt by Fred Perry, designed in partnership with Drake’s of London.
With prints coming from Drake’s extensive pattern archives, the Fred Perry classic sees itself transformed into a fresh statement piece for summer 2015.
To keep the print looking crisp, team with plain, light coloured chinos and white trainers.
Available at END Clothing, priced £75.
9. Lacoste Slim-Fit Polo In Stretch Petit Piqué
A rich burgundy polo shirt can be worn all year round, combined with grey wool trousers in autumn/winter and beige cotton chinos during the warmer months.
This premium option by Lacoste is made from the sporting label’s signature petit piqué for soft and comfortable wear, with its slim cut and small elastane percentage ensuring a perfect fit.
Available at Lacoste, priced £90.
10. Michael Bastian Shawl Collar Polo Shirt
Classic sportswear has always been a strong influence on US designer Michael Bastian, and this polo shirt is a fine example.
Crafted from cotton piqué for breathable comfort, it stands out from the pack due to its contrasting shawl collar, which conjures images of old school baseball jackets.
Available at Mr Porter, priced £175.