A information to piqué cotton polo shirts – Everlasting Model

By Manish Puri

While the current solar in London has introduced a sugar rush of pleasure for the hotter days that lie forward, it additionally brings a extra troubling, recurring query: how do I often costume for summer season?

It shouldn’t be troublesome to reply. In any case, this can be my forty-third summer season of carrying garments. However, it evokes the identical anti-Pavlovian, short-term amnesia I’d undergo upon returning to highschool after summer season holidays, the place I’d spend the primary fortnight attempting to recall how you can maintain a pencil.

Happily, I do know that whereas I regain my summer- bearings, I can all the time flip to a piqué polo shirt.

Whether or not layered underneath a jumper whereas the climate makes its thoughts up (Toshiro Mifune, above), tucked right into a pair of tailor-made trousers (Sidney Poitier, under) or spilling over a pair of shorts whereas making tennis racquets levitate (Paul Newman, additional under), a piqué polo may be relied on to see you thru the summer season.

My hope is that this text serves to spotlight among the finest choices available on the market.

However earlier than we get into the manufacturers, allow me a short apart on what a piqué knit is and what ‘finest’ seems to be like.

Piqué cloth is a double weave knit (two warp and two weft threads). It’s this twin layer that offers piqué its signature waffle or quilt texture on one aspect, and a clean end on the opposite. And it’s the house between these layers that encourages air circulation, making it breathable.

Most different cotton polos are often product of jersey (a smoother, single knit cloth), which is stretchier. However a piqué polo tends to be extra sturdy, extra absorbent of dye and higher at concealing sweat.

So, what are we in search of in a piqué cotton polo? In any case, there’s no scarcity of choices on the market.

To reply that query (and with my apologies to the diamond commerce) permit me to introduce you to my three Cs of piqué polo buying.

Composition – The most affordable polos could use a cotton-synthetic mix and plastic buttons. Almost all of the polos on this information are 100% cotton (the one exception is famous).

– At increased worth factors they’re prone to be product of extra-long staple cotton (akin to Sea Island) with mom of pearl buttons.

Development – Excessive-quality building factors may embody a set-on placket, strengthened vents, hand-sewn buttons, flat felled seams and ribbed hems.

– Most polos can be made utilizing a cut-and-sew approach, however at the next worth level some polo are totally original. This additionally makes them really feel extra like knitwear.

– The place the polos are made could have a big impression on value (and presumably on high quality).

Collar – The most affordable polos have a tendency to come back with easy ribbed collars that always curl up over time.

– At increased worth factors the collars could also be constructed in the identical method as a shirt collar (with a collar band and even interlining) which makes them extra appropriate with tailoring.

You’ll discover reference (and extra element) to every of the three Cs all through this information, however it’s vital to notice that an costly polo gained’t mechanically have all of the higher-end options. For instance, Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label polo (£300) comes with a easy ribbed collar.

What does often occur at the next worth is that the polos are usually finer, sleeker and dressier – which some may think about antithetical to the essence of a piqué polo.

As is so typically the case, the selection will come down to non-public fashion and utilization; would you like your polo relaxed and sporty, or would you like one thing finer and smarter?

With reference to collars and utilization, while it’s undeniably simpler to put on a shirt-collar polo with tailoring (and let’s put aside any arguments over whether or not one ought to put on a jacket with brief sleeves within the first place) it’s actually not inconceivable to put on a softer smaller collar in the event you’re blessed with the mischievous charisma of Yasuto Kamoshita (above). No? Me neither.

With that we’re prepared to try the manufacturers, that are introduced in ascending worth order. For context on sizing, I’m a fairly normal 38” chest and tried on a medium in most locations.

I’ve targeted on ten however have supplied hyperlinks to an alternate ten which have similarities to the featured ones. As well as, you possibly can store over 40 designers (together with Altea, Brunello Cucinelli, Canali, Loro Piana, Rubinacci and Tom Ford) at Mr Porter with this customised search hyperlink.

As all the time with these guides, my analysis will solely take us up to now and due to this fact I’m grateful to anybody that may add their expertise with these or every other piqué polo shirts under the road.

I hope you discover one thing to piqué your curiosity (sorry, Simon, I held off on that joke so long as I might).

Trunk Clothiers (£75)

I really need you to learn the entire information. Proper to the tip. I’ve featured some nice polos that I consider are undoubtedly value your time. With that mentioned, it’s with some reluctance that I inform you that the primary shirt on this information (the Moxon polo from Trunk) can also be among the best all-round choices.

The small print are on par with a lot of the different polos right here: a crisp cotton, mom of pearl buttons, strengthened vents and a mushy shirt collar with interlining that offers it a little bit of pep. Certain, it doesn’t have the collar expanse of the Rubato, the airiness of the Sunspel or the dreamy texture of the Brioni however, for the value, it’s exhausting to search out fault.

What appealed to me most (and that is totally private) was the match. Trunk’s medium is 2-3 cm slimmer within the chest than a lot of the manufacturers featured however nonetheless 2-3 cm larger than Orlebar Brown (which is simply too slim for my tastes).

After all, one may have the ability to obtain an analogous match by sizing down on different manufacturers – and I efficiently did this with Anderson & Sheppard – however typically problems with consolation across the shoulders and armhole begin to floor. For my physique at the least, the Moxon hit a candy spot of form with none compromise in consolation.

Different Choices: At an analogous worth and elegance, William Crabtree inventory a pair of traditional piqué polo shirts in navy and white (£75) which can be constituted of Californian Supima cotton

Rubato (1000 SEK)

What I get pleasure from most about Rubato’s designs (and this isn’t restricted to their tennis shirt) is that while they’re rooted in easy and simple class, once they select to emphasize a element, they’re pleased to be daring.

The chest pocket on their tennis shirt is there to truly, , put stuff in and the two-piece collar is wider than a Florentine steak – measuring round 8cm in level size in comparison with 6cm on the Trunk mannequin.

The match is Rubato’s Ivy Match, which is beneficiant (in comparison with each their very own Commonplace Match and the opposite polos on this information) and straight lower by the physique. The shirt is completed with tennis tails, which is the place the rear hem is longer than the entrance. It is a element lifted from René Lacoste’s authentic polos and helps the shirt keep tucked in while sprinting, leaping and lunging for the ball (or, in my case, jogging in a useless try to catch the final night time bus).

The buttons are plastic, however I believe this underlines the performance. While it will undoubtedly look good with a pair of denims, I believe nothing would make the Rubato crew happier than to listen to you’d additionally performed a couple of units in it.

Different choices: I can’t vouch for the standard however in the event you wished to carry traditional tennis fashion to your wardrobe there’s a web site known as Golden Age of Tennis that makes reproductions of traditional shirts, just like the Fila pinstripe worn by Björn Bjorg when he gained Wimbledon.

Lacoste (£89)

Acknowledging the instrumental function that the French tennis participant René Lacoste had in growing the trendy polo shirt, I wished to try what his eponymous model needed to supply at the moment.

The Traditional match is constituted of a honeycombed petit-piqué cotton with mom of pearl buttons, and I discovered it to be comfy and nicely becoming. The collar is the usual ribbed collar that was initially designed to flip up, keep up and bestow a tennis participant’s neck with safety from the solar. While it may not be essentially the most sartorially refined selection, it does praise the sporty nature of the piqué and there are far dearer polos than this within the information that also insist on a ribbed collar.

Nevertheless, to my thoughts, the most effective motive for choosing a Lacoste polo over every other featured right here is the color choices – I counted 45 completely different colors on-line with 14 shades of blue alone! In case you can’t discover what you need right here, you’re unlikely to search out it in every other model.

Lacoste additionally carry a Paris match (£110) that intrigued me, billed, as it’s, utilizing phrases that I fancy would describe many a PS reader: “discrete” and “elegant”. You would argue that the tone-on-tone crocodile emblem and hidden-button placket assist to attain the discrete half.

Nevertheless, the 6% elastane that’s woven with the cotton seldom confers class, provided that its main obligation appears to be clinging onto contours of the physique that ought to solely be clung onto when a mate wants to realize some buy. Oh, and the collar is pathetic.

Different choices: If it’s one other tennis-inspired heritage polo you want then you need to look no additional than the M12 from Fred Perry (£85).

Luca Faloni (£105)

There wasn’t a lot I didn’t like about Luca Faloni’s Italian-made brief sleeve piqué polo shirts. They match nicely (though they’re one of many straighter and roomier choices within the physique so that you may want a measurement smaller), the colors had been unexciting however versatile and the ending was good with mom of pearl buttons, connected utilizing the crow’s foot sew that’s used to point hand stitching.

The one factor I’d say is the shirts didn’t really feel very piqué-y, which you would argue is sort of a big disadvantage for an article on piqué shirts. The knit simply wasn’t open or gauzy and so the end of the shirts was comparatively clean and verging on jersey.

Given the styling and the value level I’d say the Luca Faloni choice is right for somebody that likes the Lacoste or Ralph Lauren choices however desires one thing with out a emblem and a much less sporty end.

Different choices: The Riviera from Kenneth Area is equally priced (£130) and styled with a flat knitted collar. Out there in navy and white on The Service provider Fox.

Sunspel (£115)

Perpetually often called the ‘James Bond polo’ after being featured in On line casino Royale, the Riviera shirt is Sunspel’s best-selling polo. It’s not technically constituted of a piqué cotton (though they do promote these for £115 as nicely) however slightly a mushy cotton mesh known as High quality 75 (Q75).

Developed by Sunspel within the Nineteen Fifties, the loops of the Q75 mesh are knitted at an angle which supplies them a singular diagonal form and permits extra room for air to flow into. That gauziness was instantly obvious once I held the Riviera to the sunshine, and it helped the polo really feel supremely comfy – this was undoubtedly considered one of my favourites on the physique and shoulders.

As a hirsute fellow, I’d warning that any chest hair is prone to navigate its approach by the mesh because the day progresses so (if that bothers you) you may need to persist with darker colors or polos with a tighter knit.

The Riviera does have a mushy tailor-made collar, however it’s a little meagre – actually when in comparison with The Armoury or Rubato fashions featured – which, for my part, makes it much less elegant.

The Riviera was one of many few polos I discovered with a small chest pocket which ought to (nearly) maintain a pair of sun shades relying in your exercise ranges; in the event you’re planning on chasing a MacGuffin by a crowded Moroccan souk then it will be clever to place them in a case; but when your solely exertion is transferring from resort room to resort pool then they need to be safe.

Different choices: An choice that has a number of texture however isn’t technically a piqué is a collaboration between Warehouse & Co and the Japanese artist Yusuke Hanai. Their polo is knit utilizing a conventional Japanese sample known as Kanoko and contains a conventional Herashi collar (that nearly seems to be like an extended level). There aren’t many of those kicking round however Clutch Café and Son of a Stag at the moment have very restricted inventory (£149).

Orlebar Brown (£125)

Orlebar Brown has a wide variety of polo shirts with names plucked from what I can solely assume have to be a register of superyacht homeowners: Horton, Fitzgerald and Gaston. Nevertheless, it’s their Sebastian mannequin that is available in a reassuringly sturdy piqué cotton which, while unlikely to win any awards for refinement and softness, feels prefer it might sit forgotten on the backside of a suitcase for a fortnight and nonetheless come out able to put on.

The shirts have had each millimetre of extra liposuctioned out of them and they also match trimmer than every other polo on this information. In order for you a extra relaxed fashion, I counsel both sizing up or trying elsewhere. In step with the tapered match, the sleeves are very brief with little triangle cutaways within the cuff to disclose much more bicep – we get it Sebastian, you prefer to work out.

The buttons (together with two which can be positioned oddly onto the sleeve cuffs above the cutaways) are product of nylon and the aspect of the shirt has a model tag stitched into the seam. The latter isn’t a difficulty in the event you prefer to tuck your polos in as I do, though I believe the Sebastian would work nicely untucked as its tapered waist and curved hems prevents it from trying an excessive amount of like a nightdress.

Most notably the polos function a two-piece collar of first rate top and proportion that ought to maintain its personal underneath a light-weight jacket. I additionally cherished the deeper placket, which supplies the wearer extra scope for breeze and to tease.

Different choices: Fellow swimwear model Vilebrequin inventory a spread of piqué polos (£95 to £125) that are available in vibrant, beach-ready colors and a equally trim match.

The Armoury ($250)

Let’s lower to the chase on this one: the Armoury’s polo shirts (made for them in a mid-weight piqué by Hong Kong tailors Ascot Chang) are the most effective on this information for carrying with a tailor-made jacket as a result of they’ve been expressly designed to do this.

The development features a full collar band and light-weight interlining (as you’d discover in a great shirt) which provides help and top to the collar, making certain it doesn’t get bullied into submission by a jacket over the course of a summer season night.

The form of the collar is a large unfold, which is exclusive amongst the polos on this information. In case you’re not a fan of that form, The Armoury does supply a short-sleeve button down model, however the compromise is that you simply solely get to choose from two colors (navy and white) whereas the unfold is available in sixteen colors (the forest inexperienced above seems to be notably lush). Alternatively, you would purchase a one piece collar mannequin from Ascot Chang instantly.

Given the formal nature of the collar you gained’t be shocked to listen to that The Armoury polo just isn’t designed to be worn untucked, with a size that’s a number of centimetres longer than a lot of the different polos on this information. Though, as with most Armoury merchandise, they are often made to order in the event you want a shorter model.

Many of the polos on this information have a three-button placket however The Armoury has opted for simply two. While this may be a shade extra conservative, it does have a simplicity and neatness which may make Mies van der Rohe smile – having designed the venetian blinds of his Seagram constructing to solely have three functioning positions: open, half drawn and totally drawn.

Different choices: Kent Wang sells some glorious worth polos ($75) with mom of pearl buttons and a diffusion collar with built-in collar band. The match may be very slim so measurement up.

Anderson & Sheppard (£245)

Of the polo shirts on the prime finish of the value vary (above £200) the Anderson & Sheppard mannequin was the one I favored most, for the easy motive that it regarded and felt like a great piqué polo and never an overtly ‘luxe’ facsimile.

The cotton was a little bit softer and finer within the hand than among the dryer cotton polos from Trunk and Orlebar Brown, however nonetheless had a delightful honeycomb texture. The knit just isn’t as compact as different manufacturers, so the polos had a little bit pure stretch when on the physique which improved consolation.

I attempted each the medium and small sizes and located the small had a sharper look all spherical. Clean over the shoulders with a snug taper into the waist. The grip across the bicep with the smaller measurement was a little bit cosy however to not the purpose of restriction. The collar is knitted with a mushy collar band holding it up.

Whereas this all sounds very good, the query stays: what’s pushing the value that a lot increased than among the different manufacturers? The important thing issue is the A&S polo is fully-fashioned like a bit of knitwear – a course of which takes considerably extra time than normal reducing and stitching. The advantages of this extra laborious (and costly) course of are neater, lighter and extra comfy seams (which don’t must be over-locked to forestall fraying), a greater match and fewer wastage within the manufacturing course of.

Different choices: Fedeli inventory two pique fashions: North (€175) and Wind (€200). The previous is their traditional piece-dyed mannequin and the latter is a lighter-weight replace with a ribbed collar and shallower vents within the hem.

Ralph Lauren (£300)

I’d wager that the majority PS readers have at one time or one other had a Ralph Lauren mesh polo shirt (or at the least a ‘Rolph Lauren’ picked up on vacation at considered one of their 100% authorised back-alley market stalls). And while they continue to be extremely common – priced between £95 and £155, obtainable in 4 suits (Unique, Traditional, Customized Slim and Slim) and 30-plus colors – I wished to try the luxurious Purple Label model for the PS reader.

The very first thing you’ll discover is the brand; it’s larger and, shorn of the ball-thwacking dynamism of the traditional, seems to be a little bit unhappy – just like the polo participant is trudging off the pitch with a French baguette lodged underneath his armpit.

As you’d anticipate it’s the detailing that separates the Purple Label model from the Polo. Whereas the Polo variations are made in China, the Purple Label polos are made in Italy and completed with mom of pearl buttons. The vents are taped inside for additional power. The match (Customized Slim) is slimmer than the Traditional mesh polo however not as tight because the Slim model.

The shirts are constituted of Pima cotton (which is an extra-long staple cotton) that has been double-mercerised. This offers it a smoother and shinier look, that may be a little bit of a double-edged sword – on the one hand the polos have a silkier, extra dressy enchantment than others on this checklist however, on the opposite, I discovered it lends a faint whiff of “soccer shirt” to them.

I additionally discovered that the material, while clean to the hand, did itch very barely on my shoulders, however maybe this could be resolved with a wash (of the shirt not me).

Different choices: You may want to try Hugo Boss who’ve a good choice (£89 to £189). Observe that among the designs are questionable – the polos with the phrase ‘BOSS’ taped onto the shoulders seem like one thing David Brent would put on to the corporate picnic.

Brioni (£680)

While personally I wouldn’t have the ability to (or essentially need to) spend £680 on a polo shirt, I used to be fascinated to see what one regarded and felt like. For the sake of the readers after all. And, I’ve to say, with the ability to spend thirty minutes within the gorgeous Brioni retailer housed in a listed four-storey Georgian constructing in Mayfair was nearly well worth the worth of the garment alone!

Past retail prices, there are two issues that push the value of the Brioni up: composition and building. The polo shirts are composed of 100% Sea Island cotton which is an extra-long, extra-fine and extra-rare cotton (estimated to make up solely 0.0004% of the world’s cotton provides) grown within the Caribbean. The polo is hand-made in Italy with mom of pearl buttons.

If the artwork of summer season dressing is about stopping the easy from changing into the tasteless then pairing a richly textured polo like this (in a color just like the dusty pink above) with a pair of high-twist trousers and mushy loafers could be a chic solution to step out on a sizzling summer season’s night time.

The polo suits massive to measurement and has a beneficiant shirt collar which, while not as strengthened because the Orlebar Brown or Armoury collars, would work comfortable with a tailor-made jacket with occasional readjustment. The one element that didn’t enchantment to me was the pointless inclusion of a tremendous, gray distinction sew on the hem, sleeves and placket.

Different choices: One other Sea Island polo with ribbed sleeve cuffs and hem is the Roth from John Smedley (£155) which is totally original – primarily a piqué model of their Adrian mannequin featured on PS beforehand.

The Index

The index is designed to gather the important thing info of every of the polo shirts. To assist comparability we’ve proven the chest and physique size measurements for a measurement medium (or equal) – measurements taken from the manufacturers. Costs are appropriate as of time of writing.

Model Mannequin (measurement) Worth Collar Buttons Chest (cm) Size (cm) Notable particulars
Trunk Clothiers Moxon (M) £75 Tender collar Three 50 71 Trimmer match than all fashions besides Orlebar Brown
Rubato Tennis Shirt (M) 1000 SEK Two-piece collar Two 55 71 Giant chest pocket and tennis tails


Traditional match (M) £89 Ribbed Two 52 72 Array of color choices
Luca Faloni Brief sleeve piqué polo (M) £105 Ribbed Two 53.5 70.5 Refined piqué texture
Sunspel Riviera (M) £115 Tender collar Two 51.5 72 Chest pocket and gauzy fashion
Orlebar Brown Sebastian (M) £125 Two-piece collar Three 47 73 Slim match and deep placket
The Armoury Brief sleeve polo (M) $250 Full collar band and interlining Two 53 75 Structured collar and longer size
Anderson & Sheppard Tender cotton polo (M) £245 Tender collar Three 53 70 Totally original
Ralph Lauren Purple Label – Customized Slim match (M) £300 Ribbed Three 53 73 Double mercerised cotton
Brioni Sea Island cotton polo (40) £680 Shirt collar Three 54 72.5 Sea Island cotton, plush texture and hand-tailored

Manish is @the_daily_mirror on Instagram

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