How To Wear A Blazer With A Polo Shirt: 17 Refined Outfits
Wearing a polo shirt with a blazer can look great, if you get it right. Here's how to nail the look, including 17 outfits you can steal.
You’ll find it somewhere close to the epicentre of the smart-casual dress code, relaxed and refined in equal measure. Wearing a polo shirt with a blazer is a great way to bring tailoring into your everyday wardrobe, an uncomplicated combo that nevertheless looks considered and confident.
Slackening dress codes make it easier to pull off than ever before, but it’s also true that polos and blazers were bedfellows long before the style was co-opted by streetwear subcultures and dads on holiday.
Depending on where you look in the garment’s lineage, the polo shirt has roots in both polo (as the name lets on) and tennis. They were created as alternatives to the cumbersome and uncomfortable dress shirts that players originally wore in each sport. Players and patrons alike then began to wear them with blazers in their well-to-do clubhouses after the games had finished.
But even if polo shirts have long felt at home in formal occasions and formal outfits, it is – obviously – a more casual option than a dress shirt or an Oxford. Easier and breezier, the vibe is usually one of laid-back summer in the Hamptons, on the Cote d’Azure or coming back to campus in September.
Not that it can’t work in winter. A tonal combo of a polo, blazer and overcoat is a great way to layer when it’s cold outside.
It’s also an ageless look. Flattering for young and mature alike, it also flexes easily if your look is preppy, minimal or business-casual. So if you’re wondering how to wear a blazer with a polo shirt, let us show you some options.
When to wear a polo shirt with a blazer
Whenever you like, obviously, but styling a polo shirt with a blazer is textbook smart-casual dressing. Which means the outfit works perfectly for the office, dinner dates and those dressy occasions where a full suit feels too much.
It works with jeans, chinos, pleated trousers and shorts, too, so you can flex the look according to both the season and the occasion.
The type of blazer to wear with a polo shirt
Pretty much all blazers can be worn with polo shirts if the styling is right. Unstructured jackets look the most natural, their soft shoulders and unlined bodies working with the sporty origins of the polo.
Textured blazers (think corduroy and tweed) can also work, harking back to preppy outfits of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Smarter jackets can be the ones that require the most thought, because the contrast between a traditionally tailored blazer and a T-shirt that most of us associate with sportswear is stark. This is especially true of double-breasted styles.
The simplest way to style one is going tonal with a polo that’s the same colour as the jacket. If you can make it a plush, knitted polo with an attractive collar then all the better.
The type of polo shirt to wear with a blazer
Your polo needs to be on the refined side of things. Muted and neutral colours tend to work better than bolder designs, although with the right styling pastels and stripes can work, too.
Pique cotton polos work for preppy outfits (think Ralph Lauren, GANT, Lacoste and the like), but avoid any oversized branding or embroidery.
Long-sleeve or button-through knitted polos are perhaps the ones that look most natural with tailoring. They’re fitted and soft, with merino and cashmere styles sitting comfortably next to a wool blazer.
Polo shirt with a blazer outfits
Navy unstructured blazer with green zip polo shirt
Slouchy Italian elegance is always a good idea in summer. This is about as unstructured as blazers come, draping like jersey cotton from the shoulders. Under that kind of fit, a polo shirt makes complete sense, and this one matches the blazer’s easygoing fit and fabric.
Pairing with some linen shorts hits the perfect smart-casual note, and you’ll still look slick if temperatures climb and you take off the jacket.
They used to say that blue and green should never be seen, but this outfit is a fine example of why that was always nonsense. Combined with off-white, it’s an evergreen, ever-flattering palette.
Light green blazer with dark green polo shirt
It’s easy to think that a classic pique polo shirt is too casual for tailoring but with the right styling, it looks great.
This one isn’t even tucked but it works because of other casual elements in the outfit, including the rolled-up, drawstring utility trousers and skater-style slip-on shoes.
The other clever thing here is the tonal green, using different shades for the blazer and polo shirt. Especially with lighter trousers, keeping the polo darker than the blazer gives you some depth and will also look better if you need to take the jacket off.
Grey blazer with black polo shirt
Leave it to the Italians to show the rest of us how to look tailored but relaxed at the same time.
Proportion is everything here. The blazer is long in the body, exaggerating the tuck of the polo shirt. At the same time, the wide lapels match the loose-cut pleated trousers.
Underneath it all, the open-collar polo shirt gives just a hint of the well-to-do playboy without detracting from the elegance of the whole look.
Flashing some chest can work with a blazer-and-polo combo, but it works best on relaxed tailoring like in this outfit.
Navy polo shirt with olive green blazer
Wearing a polo and blazer can, with the right styling, make you look like an academic or a yacht owner. This slim-fit old money look lands somewhere between the two (in a good way).
The blazer’s texture brings its olive green colour to life and it’s matched by a vibrant shade of navy.
Both colours pop in part thanks to the off-white trousers – a bold look any day of the week, but it’s tempered in this outfit by some clever layering.
The white crew neck peeking through the neck of the polo shirt helps to ground the look and its three-part colour palette.
Black unstructured blazer with white knitted polo shirt
If Tony Soprano had gone into menswear instead of, er, waste management consultancy, he might have dressed something like this. The 50s-style knitted ribbed polo shirt would get the approval of many a made man.
Worn with separates, it’s entirely respectable, buttoned to the top and perfectly complementing with the generously cut blazer.
The off-white colour and subtle piping also helps to soften the look. Black, grey and white can be a severe combination but switching the white out for something slightly creamier is flattering.
Sockless loafers complete this throwback take on the mid-century dandy.
Beige blazer with white polo shirt
If you want to channel late-80s, early-90s Richard Gere (and who wouldn’t?), try a blazer-and-polo combo with some light-wash denim.
In this daring, ketchup-baiting example, everything is pared back to a creamy palette that’s set off perfectly by the brown suede loafers at the base of the outfit.
It’s a lesser-spotted traditional blazer, scoring sartorial bonus points for clashing intentionally with the jeans. It’s a hard trick to pull off, but it works here thanks to the beige palette and because there isn’t too much shine to the jacket’s fabric.
The tonal combo of blazer and polo is also an easy win that works with darker colours, too.
Black double-breasted blazer with grey knit polo shirt
Wearing a double-breasted blazer with a polo is trickier than single-breasted because they tend to look more formal and angular (especially when they’re adorned with metallic buttons like this naval-inspired example).
To make it work, you have to go plush with the polo. In this case it’s a knitted, buttonless number styled with a peacocking pop of the collar that matches the dramatic lapel of the jacket.
It’s another example of a formal blazer working well with jeans but again the tonal palette is key. Try this with a contrasting style of legwear and it becomes more difficult to hold together.
Grey checked blazer with black zip-neck polo shirt
A grey blazer worn over an all-black outfit will always look slick, calling back to 60s elegance – especially when there’s a check involved.
The classic combo is given a sporty update in this outfit with a zip-neck polo and statement sneakers that take the place of a more traditional Chelsea boot or loafer.
As is so often the case, contrast is king. Wearing a jacket this formal with sneakers that casual was unthinkable in our lifetime, but menswear hit the self-destruct button on outdated dress codes and now, you can have fun putting the pieces together in new ways.
Beige mini check blazer with beige polo shirt
There’s something of the Brideshead Revisited vibe with this outfit, calling back to elegant 1920s summers with a satin and ivory palette, and those high-waisted pleated trousers.
The check of the jacket and matching belt echo the sentiment, while the open collar polo and sneakers cross the century to bring the look into the 2020s.
A note on fit, too. The days of strait-jacket tailoring are well behind us. There’s plenty on volume here in both the jacket and the trousers – another throwback to tailoring from the first half of the 20th century, but a fit that also feels current.
Olive green blazer with beige polo shirt
Bright and natural colour palettes are a no-brainer for summertime style. This look tones down the bold white trousers with an earthy upper half.
The sage green jacket and beige polo work harmoniously while the dark brown loafers ground the look with a little contrast.
This is another example of how a traditionally cut, smart blazer can work with this more casual combination. The polo is equally elegant and cut from a soft cotton.
Khaki blazer with off-white knitted polo shirt
One part preppy, one part quiet luxury, this look is a hybrid of American and Italian style codes. The unstructured jacket works perfectly with the two most casual elements of the look – namely the cap and sneakers – but it also looks good with the open collar polo and pristine white jeans.
The palette is 50 shades of beige. It won’t flatter the lightest of skin tones but on the right guy, it’s layered, clever and sensual.
Cream blazer with taupe polo shirt
Another masterclass in creamy tonal dressing, this combination of brown, beige and off-white tones is a great example of considered smart-casual attire.
It shows how simple chinos and a polo can look like capital-M menswear when you throw a jacket over the top and think carefully about your colour scheme.
There are some clever styling touches in there too. Notice how the cuffs of the long-sleeve polo showing at the wrists match the break in the trousers at the ankles.
Little details like that elevate a look beyond the sum of its parts.
Light blue seersucker blazer with navy blue polo shirt
A seersucker blazer is a naturally relaxed style of jacket, the slightly crinkled fabric offering a laid-back mood as well as much-needed ventilation in summer. This one is cut long in the body and those proportions are handsomely exaggerated by the tucked-in polo.
An all-blue palette works for any season but the light blue blazer here gives this look a summer evening vibe.
Placing a lighter-coloured layer over a dark navy polo and trousers offers some contrast while the unbuttoned polo catches the out-of-office dress code.
Grey-brown check blazer with tan zip-neck polo shirt
The golden rule for wearing textured, checked blazers with polo shirts is that the contrast has to come with the polo. By which we mean it has to be a simple block colour and minimalist in style.
This example adds a sporty touch with the zip neckline, but it’s very clean compared with the show-off jacket.
The same goes for the pants and sneakers: everything else is a pared-back supporting player letting the blazer do its thing.
Blue mini check blazer with navy blue polo shirt
Another colourway, but the same rules applies here as the previous outfit: when you’re wearing a statement check blazer (with anything, not just a polo shirt), keep the rest of your look quiet for maximum impact.
This time the palette is blues and whites, giving an Italian take on nautical style.
Soft open-collar polo shirts have been everywhere for the past few summers and this is where they look their best – complementing smart-casual tailoring.
Navy blazer with green polo shirt
A sage green polo is one of those underrated menswear pieces that you’ll get a lot of mileage from. Working with basically any colour you’ll find hanging in your wardrobe, it’s a particularly nice companion to rich blues, as this outfit will attest.
Another tip: if you’re unsure if your polo shirt is smart enough for the blazer or outfit in general, button it up to the top and then make a call. That’s as smart as it’s ever going to look.
Brown check double-breasted blazer with long-sleeve blue polo shirt
Wearing a double-breasted blazer with a polo shirt needn’t be that hard. As this look shows, if your jacket is buttoned up, there’s not much of the polo on display, so it’s just about making sure your collar is crisp and your colour complements the overall look.
In this case it’s used as an impactful colour-pop on, vibing with a lively pocket square on an otherwise white and beige outfit.
The same trick would work on a dark outfit with a contrast polo underneath.