The knitted polo shirt has been a beloved menswear mainstay for decades. The elevated version of its sportier piqué cotton cousin, has undergone various evolutions over the years – from the bowling-inspired silhouettes of the 1950s to flamboyant '70s styles.
Now, it's enjoying its latest renaissance. The 2023 version of the knitted polo harnesses some of that old school glamour while keeping things fresh. It's elegant, not stuffy: think Alain Delon in the '60s or The Talented Mr Ripley's Dickie Greenleaf. But the best part of this new era of knitted polo shirts is the pure variety that abounds. The freedom exists to lean into a vintage vibe or Riviera aesthetic, or take things in a different direction altogether by opting for cleaner cuts and contemporary colourways. Whatever your preference, you'll find your perfect piece, with our pick of the best knitted polo shirts for men right now. But first, some styling advice.
How to wear a knitted polo shirt
Thanks to their collared construction and flattering fits, polo shirts lend themselves perfectly to smart-casual dressing. A knitted polo will take you effortlessly from the office to after work drinks. Tuck a long-sleeved version into belted tailored trousers – wide leg for that '50s Hollywood look, or tapered for a cleaner silhouette – and throw on a blazer for an elegant finishing touch. During the summer months, transport yourself to the 1950s Italian Riviera and style a short-sleeved knitted polo with pleated shorts and espadrilles or canvas trainers for a louche, laidback look.
10 best men's knitted polo shirts in 2023
Wax London Oban Polo
Wax London's Oban Polo pays homage to '70s style with its rich caramel hue and textured diamond knit. Its lightweight nature makes it ideal for year-round wear. Take a cue from yesteryear and style this polo with corduroy trousers and Derby shoes.
The Resort Co Knitted Polo Shirt
This pared back polo from The Resort Co exudes effortless summertime elegance. Handcrafted in Portugal from 100% organic cotton, it's a super-soft, breathable base layer that will pair beautifully with linen trousers or chino shorts.
ISTO. Merino Wool Polo
Knitted from 100% extra-fine Merino wool, this long-sleeved polo from ISTO. is a luxuriously soft layer that you'll cherish for years. A flattering slim fit, tailored collar and mother of pearl buttons elevates it to office-appropriate levels: complete the business-casual look with chinos and penny loafers.
Percival Pinstripe Visitors Polo
Add a pop of colour to any outfit with this bold retro-inspired number from London menswear label Percival. We love it for its textured ribbing, sporty stripes and chest pocket detailing. It comes in three colours... We'll take one of each, please.
Aurélien Extrafine Merino Polo
Crafted from exceptionally fine Australian Merino wool, this Italian-made knitted polo from Aurélien fuses the sheen of silk and the softness of cashmere. The result is an ultra-luxurious layer that you won't want to take off.
Closed Polo Style Cardigan
Keep things classic in this elegant button-down polo shirt from Closed. Knitted from a combination of cotton, cashmere and wool, it's insulating yet lightweight. Tuck it into tailored slacks and add a pair of tassel loafers for a look that Mad Men's Don Draper would approve of.
Artknit Studios The Merino Wool Polo
Artknit Studios specialises in beautifully crafted knitwear, so the top notch quality of this merino wool polo shirt should come as no surprise. Wear it as is against your skin or size up and layer it over a tee for a slouchier look.
Arket Cotton Linen Polo Shirt
Arket's minimalist take on the classic knitted polo sees the removal of all buttons for the sleek combination of rib-knitted collar and v-neck. The blend of cotton and linen lends it airy breathability that will keep you nice and cool in the warmer months.
Rag & Bone Harvey Cotton Knit Polo
This cotton knit polo from Rag & Bone is one of those pieces you know you're going to reach for time and again. It's easy to wear and ultra-comfy, so what's not to love? Team it with anything from casual drawstring shorts to smart tailored trousers.
Get the guide to men's shirt styles.