One Thing: The Polo Collared Sweater

Words by: Chris Hogan

The polo collared sweater is an incredibly versatile piece of clothing. It provides the warmth and classic good looks of a crewneck sweater with the versatility of a shirt. These are but some of the qualities that make it another “one thing” you should have in your wardrobe.

Golfers in the early 1900s first popularized this style of pullover and ever since it has retained a certain elegant sportiness. The polo collared sweater comfortably straddles the line between dressy and casual without drifting too far into either area. These days, sweaters have taken the place of sports coats as appropriate dress for events and gathering that are not fancy enough for coat and tie and too formal for jeans and tee. The polo collared sweater is the perfect choice for times such as these.

Because of it’s folded over collar and short but defined three-button placket, the polo collared sweater can easily be dressed up with grey flannels or down with jeans and topsiders. The sweater’s collar also provides a nice frame for the face, giving structure and foundation to the neck without the need of a shirt collar underneath.

This leads to another benefit of the polo collared pullover; unlike most other styles of sweater which are meant to layer over a shirt, it can be worn as a shirt itself. Generally speaking, polo collared sweaters are made of fine gauge material; namely cashmere, merino or lamb’s wool, and cotton. Wearing it as a shirt can give you a relaxed yet elegant, modern look and makes it more comfortable when worn under a sport coat.

Should you be in a layering mood, polo collared sweaters provide a particularly preppy touch when worn over an oxford shirt. If your sweater has a strait hem, leaving the shirt un-tucked adds a little stylish irreverence.