As time has gone by, Ralph Lauren has expanded their line of Polo shirts beyond the original fit and material to many different variants. This blog post will run through the various sizing options and materials and give suggestions to which version you should purchase.
There are now three distinct fits. These are Classic, Custom Slim, and Slim. Below I've included a picture of how each fits as well as how they are different.
Description: This is the original fit that started it all. This is the loosest fit of the three and is a bit dated. It has a wide boxy and long body along with long and wide sleeves that are almost elbow length. This fit is only suitable if you are pretty out of shape, or are so muscular that you literally need the wide boxy fit and wider arms to not look "sausage-y".
Pro Tip: You will most likely want to use a "half-tuck" method like the model in the picture to make the shirt look less long. It will also look "parachute-y" or "blouse-y" if you tuck the shirt in unless you have a large waist. If you need to wear this fit, stick to mostly dark colors to avoid the "man boobs" look and pair with lighter colored chinos or jeans.
Description: This is the fit that I recommend for most people. It is slimmer and shorter through the body with a shorter arm length. Compared to the Classic fit, the same size is 1.5" trimmer in the body, 1.5" shorter length and a shorter modern sleeve length.
Pro Tip: Because of its shorter and trimmer body you can "half tuck", tuck or leave the shirt un-tucked depending on how dressy you want to look. This fit shows your body a bit more, so stick to darker colors as a general rule unless you work out/diet frequently.
Description: This fit is reserved for guys who do not work out and have a "heroin chic" body type. If you work out buy the Custom Slim fit instead. This fit is an additional 1.5" trimmer in the body compared to the Custom Slim fit as well as 0.5" shorter.
Pro Tip: Make sure you wear skinny jeans if you buy this fit as normal fit pants may look too baggy while being worn at the same time.
There are two different fabric options but both are cotton variants. These options are cotton Mesh and cotton Interlock. Cotton Mesh is the original fabric for the Polo and it is what most people wear. Cotton Interlock is a newer option that feels lighter, is smoother to the touch, and has a tiny bit of stretch. Personally I think cotton Interlock is the way to go compared to the cotton Mesh.
The other stylistic/fit differences between the fabrics is the Interlock only comes with the same multicolor pony for each color instead of a sold colored pony for the Mesh and the Interlock is not available in the Slim fit.
My overall recommendation for most men is the Custom Slim Fit with Interlock Fabric as seen below. If you are a bit overweight go with the Classic fit in either fabric and darker color.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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