When the temperature starts to rise, you can’t help but start practicing the “sun’s out, guns out” mantra with your favorite tees. We urge you to take a closer look at the T-shirt’s smarter, better-dressed cousin – the polo shirt. What shoes to wear with a polo shirt, though?
When done right, a polo can take your boring, basic outfits up a notch and make them much more sophisticated, polished, and put-together. Whether you’re going to work, grabbing brunch with friends, or going on a date, you’re guaranteed to attract attention and turn heads.
When done wrong, though, a polo shirt can make you look outdated and out of style. We know you’re trying to snag the perfect knit polo shirt Brad Pitt wore at Wimbledon the other day, but you’re no Brad Pitt – you need to make sure you’re up to par with some of the biggest stylists out there and we’re here to help.
We’re bringing you all you need to know about what to look for when you’re out there in the wild shopping for the best shoes to wear with a polo shirt. Read more down below!
What’s the best way to style a polo shirt without looking like you’ve raided your dad’s closet?
No wardrobe’s complete without at least one, but preferably two or three polo shirts. They’re a great way to up your style game without too much trouble – they’re as wearable and versatile as T-shirts, yet much more sophisticated because of the face-framing, charm-enhancing collar.
Not to mention that polo shirts can make you appear more handsome in a host of situations.
Whether you style them with shorts and Birkenstocks on the weekend, with denim and simple, sleek sneakers at the bar, or with a blazer at an outdoor wedding, there’s no question about a polo shirt’s power to make you look like you know what you’re doing.
With that out of the way, though, you do need to make sure you wear your polo shirt the right way. First off, don’t wear your polo with an undershirt – you might end up looking a little bulky or, God forbid, show the outline of the undershirt from underneath.
Furthermore, never, ever pop the collar. Popping the collar might have been the move when you were trying to channel your inner Elvis at a Halloween party, but that’s not something you want to do when you’re going for the old-money, quiet luxury aesthetic.
And finally, wear proper footwear with your polo to ensure you end up with a cohesive ensemble. We’ve prepared a few of our favorites to get you started.
What shoes to wear with a polo shirt for a timeless, effortless ‘fit?
Whether you’re dancing the night away on a rooftop bar, chilling by the pool, or throwing a BBQ party for your friends and family, we can think of numerous ways you can style your favorite polo shirt.
From sleek, simple sneakers and laidback slides to formal Oxfords and work-appropriate Chelsea boots, here’s what shoes to wear with a polo shirt.
1. White sneakers
White sneakers are the backbone of every good summer outfit, there’s no question about that. Whether you sport them with a suit set to work or a pair of cargo trousers combined with a simple, white tee, you’re guaranteed to look like you know what’s up.
Lightweight, wearable, and breathable, white sneakers are a wardrobe must-have, especially when you’re trying to figure out what shoes to wear with a polo shirt. We suggest going for high-quality, hard-wearing sneakers because you’ll be wearing them for years to come.
Adidas Stan Smith, Nike Air Force 1, and Veja V-10 sneakers are celeb-approved staples, but you can go for whichever white sneakers work for you.
2. Statement sneakers
White sneakers are a safe way for you to rock your polos without worrying about doing too much or too little – they’re always a good option.
What do you do when you don’t want to go the safe route, though? When you want to surprise people with your creativity and how you rock 2023’s hottest T-shirt trend?
Well, you turn to statement sneakers. We’ve seen them everywhere for the past few years. The biggest celebs seem to be obsessed with chunky, maximalist sneakers that attract attention.
We suggest going for something extravagant such as Vans Vault X Nicole McLaughlin Slip-On VR3 LX sneakers or something simple with a twist, such as Adidas X Clarks X Ronnie Fieg 8th Street Samba.
Dress shoes are a must when you’re attending a wedding, prepping for the biggest meeting of your life, or getting ready to propose to your soulmate.
Depending on what you’re into, simple, structured khakis combined with a knitted polo and a pair of Oxfords sound like a dream come true – there’s no way she’s saying no to that.
Our favorite Oxfords at the moment are Velasca Milano Feracaval Suede Wingtip Oxfords, Allen Edmonds “Carlyle” Plain Toe Oxfords, and Johnston & Murphy “Melton” Oxfords, but there’s nothing stopping you from biting the bullet and breaking the bank on the official Gucci website.
Oxfords, Derbies, Brogues – dress shoes are the way to go when deciding on what shoes to wear with a polo shirt. Polo shirts are typically styled with relaxed, laidback pieces, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress them up by going for high-quality fabrics and matching footwear.
Todd Snyder’s Italian Cotton Silk Tipped Riviera Sweater Polo, for example, would work wonderfully with a pair of dress shoes that elevate the entire ensemble with ease. We’d go for J.Crew Ludlow Derbys Shoes, Banana Republic Mesi Cap-Toe Derby Dress Shoes, or Alden Mocc Toe Derby Blucher Shoes.
We can’t forget about Brogues because they’re the type of footwear that screams “I come from old money!” We don’t know whether that’s something you’re on the hunt for, but we’re more than happy to suggest some of our favorite Brogues you can combine with a polo.
Brogues are heftier than your average dress shoes because they were made to keep bog water from flooding your feet when strolling through the English countryside. You can’t go more “old money” than that.
Whether you opt for Thom Browne Longwing Brogue Oxfords, Mr. P. “Jacques Eton” Regenerated Suede Brogues, or Grant Stone Longwing Shoes, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that you adore them as much as we do.
Okay, you need a pair of penny loafers whether you’re planning on wearing them with a polo or not. Loafers are a workwear wardrobe must-have because they go with pretty much everything you own and elevate every outfit you come up with.
Wearing them with a polo might be the easiest ‘fit ever – throw on your favorite trousers or shorts, combine them with a matching polo, and add a pair of penny loafers.
With a matching belt and a couple of accessories, you’re good to go. Gucci Cara Snaffle Loafer and Duke + Dexter Togetsu Bridge Penny Loafer are on our “What to wear to Wimbledon” wishlist, but you’re free to opt for whichever loafers you like.
Espadrilles are a no-brainer, right?
When days get longer and temperatures get hotter, you know you need to get your favorite espadrilles out of hiding. Whether you go for the classic, chic Tom Ford Barnes Espadrilles or the printed Toms Alpargata Rope Espadrilles, you can make them work.
No need to rack your brain figuring out what shoes to wear with a polo shirt. Espadrilles are the way to go, no matter what your style might be.
8. Sandals or slides
We can’t forget about Birkenstocks, or God-forbid, Crocs. Crocs, whether you love or hate them, might not be the worst footwear for when you’re running errands or grabbing something to eat.
When you keep the rest of the outfit simple and smart, you have nothing to worry about. Birkenstocks, on the other hand, seem to have had a glow-up and we’re more than happy to wear them to a BBQ party or a stroll around the city. What do you think?
9. Chelsea boots
Now, polo shirts can be worn year-round when you know how to style them the right way.
Needless to say, you can throw on a structured blazer on top when going to work or a cashmere sweater for drinks after work. Or, you can opt for a trench coat for more coverage when days get shorter and chillier.
Other than that, remember to go for a pair of Chelsea boots to complete to look and you’re good to go. Our favorite Chelsea boots at the moment are R.M. Williams Comfort Craftsman Boots and Blundstone 500 Series Boots.
10. Chukka boots
Not a fan of Chelsea boots? Chukkas might be the right ones for you, especially if you’re one who takes a more relaxed, casual approach to fashion.
Clarks Bushacre 2 Chukka Boot and J.Crew 1990 MacAlister Boot are worth checking out, but we’re sure you can get Chukkas anywhere these days. Good luck!