Are Polo Shirts Business Casual? This and More of Your Top Polo Questions Answered …
Let’s dive into a few popular questions that polo wearers might ask themselves:
Q: Are polo shirts business casual?
A: Especially if you’re new to an office job, you may be asking yourself (or your new company’s HR manager) this question come your first Casual Friday.
The short answer here — it depends on your company’s dress-code policy, and it’s likely spelled out in your employee handbook. While polos have become a widely accepted option on dress-down days in U.S. work environments that lean a little more formal, and are even considered everyday attire in many less-formal work environments, there is no across-the-board rule for this, and the answer varies from workplace to workplace.
We recommend checking your employee manual or asking your HR director before wearing a polo to work — or just sport a button-down on your first Casual Friday and see what your fellow employees are wearing. If you see a few polos around the office, you’re likely safe to wear yours on subsequent dress-down days.
Q: Should I wear my polo tucked or untucked?
A: The rule of thumb for whether a shirt can be worn untucked or not: If the shirt has a flat bottom hem all the way around (as all of Fish Hippie’s polos do), it was made to be worn either tucked or untucked. With these even-hem shirts, your decision on whether or not to tuck depends on personal preference and the environment you’re in. If you’re at a backyard barbecue with friends or a casual lunch date with your significant other, by all means, untuck away. On the other hand, whether to tuck in your polo on a Casual Friday at the office will depend on the level of casual your office rules call for. If the environment leans more formal, opt for the tucked-in polo with a nice belt, which provides for a dressier look.
There are also a couple clear scenarios in which we recommend either tucking or untucking. If your shirt’s bottom hem isn’t even all the way around and has a visible tail or tails, it’s meant to be tucked in. (You could untuck one of these, but you’ll look a bit juvenile in many eyes, or like the guy at the formal party who’s had a few too many drinks.) And if you’re wearing shorts, just skip the tuck, as you’ve already committed to a casual look.
Q: Where did the name “polo” come from, anyway?
A: As the name implies, polo shirts were first worn by polo players — originally in India in the mid 1800s. There, they also caught on with members of the British military stationed in India, and around the 1920s, polo shirts made their way back to Great Britain itself. They eventually became popular among members of the British ruling class, especially when playing horse-related sports.
Q: Can I wear my polo out to dinner?
A: Much like with the “polo at the office” question above, this answer depends on the environment you’ll be in. In most restaurants, wearing a polo to dinner is absolutely fine — but in more formal dining environments, you’d be well advised to check the restaurant’s dress code before you go. The restaurants that discourage more casual attire such as polos tend to make this clear on their website, etc., and making a quick call before heading that way is never a bad idea if you’re not certain what the dress code is.
Looking for the perfect mix of comfort and style in your polo? Check out Fish Hippie’s line of polos for a range of options that will fit the bill no matter where the day’s casual adventures take you.