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1. The evolution of polo shirts: Classic meets modern

Best polo shirts for men: Six top picks [2024]

Nothing screams classic and timeless louder than the quintessential polo shirt. Not only does it deftly straddle the line between casual and formal, but it's also morphed into a style staple for men across the globe. 

Whether you're making an impression at a business meeting, hitting the golf course, or simply out for a relaxed brunch date, a well-fitted polo shirt can make all the difference. 

As we dive headlong into 2024, we bring you our top picks of the best polo shirts for men, highlighting the blend of classic designs with modern twists and sustainability considerations.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • The classic polo shirt, known for its collared neckline and button placket, is experiencing a resurgence by blending traditional and modern styles. Designers are introducing bold colors, fresh patterns, and sustainable materials to revamp this timeless men's staple.

  • This year's hot polo shirt trends include a burst of bold colors, a variety of prints and patterns, contrast collars, and a nod to classic styles. These trends showcase a dynamic shift from traditional monochromatic polos to more vibrant and patterned designs.

  • When selecting a polo shirt, fabric plays a crucial role. Options range from traditional pure cotton and piqué cotton to durable polyester and eco-friendly bamboo.

  • Key considerations for creating custom polos include material choice, color psychology, and ensuring wearability and market appeal.

  • The best polo shirt options for men in 2024 include Gildan 64800, Russel JE508M, Stedman ST3000, Stanley/Stella STPU331, Stanley/Stella STPU332, and Econscious EC2500.

The evolution of polo shirts: Classic meets modern

Polo shirts enjoy a resurgence as they seamlessly blend classic and modern elements. Originally designed for polo players, the ribbed-knit polo shirts are known for their collared necklines, short sleeves, and a two or three-button placket, typically in classic colors like navy, white, black, and grey. Today, they've evolved with fashion's tide, incorporating bold colors, fresh patterns, and innovative cuts from both established and emerging designers, including the fashion mogul Ralph Lauren.

Modern variations introduce features like contrast collars and extended hems while embracing sustainable materials. Perfect for various occasions, from casual brunches to office meetings, these refreshed polo shirts maintain their inherent versatility and adaptability, contributing to their enduring popularity and role in defining contemporary men's style.

The hottest men's polo shirt trends in 2024

This year, we're seeing some exciting trends in the polo shirt industry that beautifully blend classic styles with modern twists. Here are some polo trends that have been making waves recently: 

The burst of bold colors

Gone are the days of neutral colors in polo shirts. In 2024, it’s all about bold color choices to make standout fashion statements. Think electric blues, fiery reds, and vibrant yellows that instantly lift your personal style.

Prints galore 

This year, we are witnessing a surge in the popularity of prints and patterns, offering men a fun alternative to plain shirts. Whether it's traditional polka dots or modern geometric prints, they're your go-to for a trendy and dynamic look. 

Contrast collar 

Another fashion trend that's gaining traction this season is the contrast collar polo. That's right, polo shirts with collars that are a different color or pattern than the body of the shirt. It’s a subtle detail that gives your outfit an additional layer of interest.

The classic revival

While we encourage experimenting with trends, the classics never go out of style. The timeless, well-fitted polo with monochromatic patterns pairs well with chunky watches or trendy sports footwear and can effortlessly jazz up the look.

Types of fabric for polo shirts

Picking the right fabric for your polo shirts is crucial. Not all fabrics are made equal - some are built for durability, while others for comfort or style. It's all about what you want most from your polo shirt, so let's break this down.

  1. Pure cotton: This is a common and traditional choice for polos. It's breathable, durable, and soft on the skin. Plus, cotton polo shirts can transition from a casual daytime look to a more dressy evening one.

  2. Piqué cotton: A textured weave often used in classic polo shirts, this material isn’t as smooth as regular cotton but offers greater breathability and a unique tactile aspect.

  3. Polyester: Incredibly durable, highly wrinkle-resistant, and faster drying than cotton, polyester polo shirts are perfect for sports or intense physical activity. They're lightweight and offer excellent comfort.

  4. Cotton-polyester blend: This fabric offers the middle ground between comfort and functionality, combining the soft feel of cotton with the durability and moisture-wicking properties of polyester.

  5. Bamboo: A unique blend of breathability, moisture-wicking capabilities, and softness, bamboo fabric is a luxurious and sustainable option for eco-conscious consumers that's quickly gaining popularity.

How to choose the right fabric for your polo shirt?


Choosing the right material for your polo shirt is essential for both comfort and suitability for the occasion or activity. Here's how to select the ideal fabric for your polo shirt based on various factors:

Consider the occasion

If you're looking for a casual polo for daily use, cotton will be great. It's soft, breathable, and offers a natural feel. Piqué cotton, with its textured look, is quite popular for casual polos. For sports or outdoor activities, opt for a moisture-wicking polo shirt made of polyester or performance fabrics.

Assess comfort and breathability

In warmer conditions, breathability is key. Lightweight cotton, bamboo, or moisture-wicking synthetic materials are ideal to keep you cool. For sensitive skin, look for natural fibers like cotton or bamboo, which are generally softer and less likely to cause irritation.

Durability and maintenance

For a low-maintenance option, consider polyester or cotton-polyester blends. These materials resist wrinkles and shrinkage, making them easier to care for than pure cotton. Polyester and blends are also more durable, retaining their shape and color over time, even with frequent washing.

Personal style and fit

The weight and texture of the fabric can influence the fit of the polo shirt. Lighter fabrics are more relaxed, while heavier materials offer a more structured fit. Consider the look you're going for. Piqué cotton has a more textured appearance, while smooth cotton or synthetics offer a cleaner, sharper look.

Sustainable fashion: Eco-friendly polo shirt options

If sustainability is a priority for you, look for eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, bamboo, or recycled polyester. These fabrics have a lower environmental impact compared to conventional materials. Econscious EC2500 is a fine example of an eco-conscious polo shirt, as it is crafted from 100% certified organic cotton and embodies the 'kind-to-earth' ethos we all should embrace. With this choice, you will not only get a stylish polo, but you'll also be contributing to a healthier planet.

Tips for designing personalized polo shirts

Imagine wearing a polo shirt that not only reflects the trendsetter in you but also showcases your personal style. Designing polo shirts is a unique visionary pursuit, so here are some useful tips that can help you nail the look you want. 

Start with a clear vision

A clear, well-defined concept is the first step. Visualize the end product, the color schemes, patterns, logos, or text you wish to incorporate. What message do you want to convey through your shirt? Are you sticking with a vintage or contemporary look? Or perhaps a fun, quirky design? Decide on these elements before moving forward. 

Pick your style carefully

What might look impressive on a t-shirt doesn't necessarily work on a polo shirt. For example, large design placements that cover the entire chest aren’t as effective on polos due to their button-down style. Instead, opt for smaller logos or designs on the left chest area, sleeves, or collar. 

Choose the right material

Remember, the fabric you choose has implications on the wearer's comfort, the longevity of the shirt, and the overall look. Understand the properties of different fabrics and choose accordingly. For instance, cotton is a breathable and soft material, ideal for casual, everyday wear. Synthetic fibers, meanwhile, are usually used for sports polos as they're sweat-absorbent and dry quickly. 

Use the color psychology

Color is an influential part of design; it can evoke emotions and communicate ideas. Hence, while choosing the color palette, consider color psychology. For instance, choose reds if you want to project energy and passion, blue for trust and reliability, or green for calmness and growth. 

Keep the wearability in mind

Your design should not compromise the wearability of the polo. The most beautifully designed polo will lose its charm if it feels chunky or annoying to the wearer. Also, complex or layered designs can make the shirt heavier and less breathable. 

Make your design market-friendly 

If you're designing to sell, create a shirt that resonates with your target market. Research current trends, demographics, and consumer preferences. But remember, don’t completely lose your own style in trying to please everyone. 

Finally, craft your design 

Once you have honed in on your vision, material, color, and style, put the design together. You can use Gelato’s platform to make this process easier. Whether you want the best performance polo shirt, a long-sleeve polo shirt, or the iconic mesh polo shirt, you can design, review, and adjust until you’re satisfied with the result.

Here are our top six picks for men's polo shirts for 2024

We've handpicked six stellar pieces from Gelato's catalog, each thoughtfully designed to echo classic styles and incorporate modern twists.  Let's dive right in and explore these top picks: 

Gildan 64800


A nod to the timeless polo design, this shirt brings a modern edge to the classic. Its sleek cut and subtle detailing make it ideal for both casual and semi-formal settings. What sets it apart is its breathable fabric, perfect for those who want comfort without compromising style. The Gildan 64800 is the best lightweight polo shirt and a testament to how classic styles are resurging with a contemporary flair.

Russel JE508M


Sustainability is the buzzword in fashion, and this polo is at the forefront. Made with eco-conscious materials, it offers both style and a clear conscience. Its soft texture and durable fabric ensure that you're investing in a shirt that looks good and does good. The JE508M is a great example of how the fashion industry is embracing environmentally responsible practices.

Stedman ST3000


The Stedman ST3000 is where design meets innovation. With a sleek silhouette and a range of color options, this polo is a canvas for personal expression. Its high-quality fabric provides a great base for customization, making it a favorite for those looking to add a personal touch to their wardrobe or business. Whether it's a logo, a graphic, or a custom color, the ST3000 is your go-to for a bespoke polo experience.

Stanley/Stella STPU331


For the urban man, the Stanley/Stella STPU331 is a must-have. Its minimalist design, combined with superior comfort, makes it ideal for the city dweller. It's the perfect blend of casual and chic, making it suitable for various occasions. The STPU331 is a fine example of how polo shirts are evolving to suit the needs of the modern man.

Stanley/Stella STPU332


Now, if we talk about making a statement, Stanley/Stella STPU332 does just that with its bold colors and distinctive design elements. This shirt is designed for those who aren't afraid to stand out and make their mark. Whether you're heading to a casual brunch or a creative meeting, the STPU332 will ensure you're noticed.

Econscious EC2500


In a world increasingly conscious of its carbon footprint, this polo stands out with its 100% organic cotton. It's not just about looking good; it's about feeling good in what you wear. The EC2500 is perfect for the eco-warrior who wants to make a sustainable fashion statement.

Leverage Gelato's platform to create personalized polo shirts

As we explore the fascinating world of men's polo shirts, it's thrilling to see how personalization takes center stage. This is where Gelato's print on demand platform becomes your go-to resource.

Whether you're exploring a business opportunity or dreaming of an individual style statement, Gelato's platform gives you the flexibility and power to do so effectively and efficiently. So why wait? Sign up for Gelato and translate your unique designs into trendy polo shirts for men!


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