We’re Calling It: Knit Polos Are the Menswear Trend of the Summer

sweater polo
Courtesy of Buck Mason

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If ever there was a garment that exuded “Frank Sinatra in Palm Springs” energy, it would have to be a sweater polo. The best sweater polos are as cool as they are comfortable, and they’re surprisingly versatile.

Often called knit polos, sweater polos are knitted like sweaters but usually feature short sleeves and a short button placket and a collar. They’re great alternatives to traditional cotton pique polos, which have more of a sporty look given their roots in tennis. They’re great layering pieces, too; you can wear a knit polo with a light jacket on cooler summer mornings and ditch the jacket by midday, while some full-placket options can be worn over a T-shirt or tank.

In terms of style, men’s knit polos are dressy enough for most workplaces but laid-back enough to wear when going out for drinks. You can wear them with a blazer to dress down your tailoring at a casual summer wedding or use them to dress up your favorite denim jacket. And they look just as good with shorts and jeans as they do with tailored trousers.

Sweater polos are the perfect companion for the dressing-like-an-old-man trend that’s stuck around for the past few years. From the New Balance 990 to the unexpected resurgence of the sweater vest, dressing like your dad (or his dad) is a surprisingly great way to look stylish this summer. Read on for our top picks for the best sweater polos to wear in 2022.

  

1. Buck Mason Avalon Knit Polo

BEST OVERALL

L.A.-based Buck Mason brings a laidback SoCal sensibility to everything it does, including this knit polo. These men’s polo shirts are cut from soft, lightweight cotton with a relaxed slub texture. The solid, neutral colors are easy to wear with jeans, shorts or work pants. If you want a sweater polo but nothing too preppy or retro, then this is the one to get.

Read More: Our Favorite Polo Shirts for Men

sweater polo Courtesy of Buck Mason
  

2. Dandy Del Mar Sebastian Shirt

BEACH READY

A lot of brands make clothes that can transition from work to travel to the weekend. But Dandy Del Mar is all about leisure; these clothes are designed to be worn on, near or in a body of water. This lightweight polo has a relaxed Johnny collar, and it’s made in Portugal from 100% cotton. We recently featured this piece in our style finds feature, and it’s a laid-back piece of resort wear that’s perfect for summer.

sweater polo Courtesy of Dandy Del Mar

  

3. Billy Reid Jersey Sweater Polo

MOST LIGHTWEIGHT

This sweater polo from Billy Reid is a summer-ready knit that takes inspiration from the flecked look of Donegal wool. It’s available in black, gray or blue, and it’s made from a breathable blend of cotton and nylon. The lightweight construction means you can wear it on all but the hottest days. So many of the best knit polos have a retro grandfather-going-bowling vibe, but like the Buck Mason polo featured above, Billy Reid’s sweater polo has a more modern style.

knit polos Courtesy of Billy Reid
  

4. The Tie Bar Tipped Cotton Sweater Navy Polo

BEST VALUE

The Tie Bar offers some of the best values for neckties, but if you’re not aware of the brand’s shirts, then you’re missing out. This polo clocks in at less than $50, and it’s made from mercerized cotton (meaning it has a more lustrous finish and greater durability than regular cotton). It has a stylish, subtly preppy contrast tipping on the sleeves, collar and chest pocket, and it comes in a wide range of colors.

sweater polo Courtesy of The Tie Bar
  

5. Banana Republic Solare Sweater Polo

BEST FABRIC

Banana Republic’s take on the sweater polo looks and feels luxurious, but it clocks in at a mall brand price. It’s constructed from a blend of silk and linen, and the ribbed texture adds visual appeal without the need for a loud print. The sweater polo comes in vibrant colors like pink, green and yellow, or a more muted blue.

sweater polo Courtesy of Banana Republic
  

6. Missoni Green Cotton Polo

BEST PATTERN

There are few brands whose designs are as immediately identifiable as Missoni’s. The Italian label’s distinctive and colorful zig-zag knits are the perfect antidote to all-black-everything. This sweater polo is made from cotton, with a touch of nylon for stretch and shape.

sweater polo Courtesy of Missoni
  

7. Todd Snyder Cotton Silk Polo

BEST DESIGNER 

Pull on this laidback polo and you’ll be instantly transported to a cabana on an island. Or at least it’ll feel that way. It’s made from a blend of soft cotton and silk, and the striped pattern on the collar and sleeves makes for an eye-catching style. It has a Johnny collar, meaning there are no buttons on the placket.

sweater polo Courtesy of Todd Snyder
  

8. Urban Outfitters Polo Sweater

BEST COLORS

This sweater polo from Urban Outfitters is an affordable way to sample this style. It has a lightweight knit and a full placket, making it a breathable option for warmer weather. There’s also a pocket that’s ideal for stashing your sunglasses. Plus it comes in a wide range of colors.

sweater polo Courtesy of Urban Outfitters
  

9. J.Crew Short-Sleeve Polo Cardigan Sweater Polo

BEST FULL PLACKET 

Every season, J.Crew comes with a bunch of stylish sweater polos, and this year is no different. This short-sleeve sweater has a stylish windowpane design and a full placket, meaning it buttons all the way to the bottom of the sweater. That makes it easy to wear over a T-shirt, or you can button it all the way up for a more put-together look.

sweater polo Courtesy of J Crew
  

10. A.P.C. JERRY Long-Sleeve Knit Polo

BEST LONG-SLEEVE

French label A.P.C. has mastered the art of making minimalist menswear essentials, and these long-sleeve knit polos are the perfect neutral piece to wear with everything. It’s made from 100% merino wool and has a two-button placket. For those weird-weather days when you don’t want to bring a jacket, throw on this knit polo and roll the sleeves up and down as needed.

sweater polo Courtesy of END Clothing
  

11. COS Knitted Polo Shirt

MOST MODERN

COS packs a high-end design ethos into mall-brand pricing. Though they cost more than H&M (their parent brand), they’re still an affordable option for stylish, minimalist pieces. This knitted polo shirt has a subtle pattern with a contrasting placket and sleeves. The hidden buttons on the placket create a sleek look.

sweater polo Courtesy of COS
  

12. Cotton-Linen Polo-Collar Sweater

MOST BREATHABLE

Leave it to the king of the polo shirt to make the perfect sweater polo. Ralph Lauren’s take on the knit polo is crafted from a soft, breathable blend of cotton and linen, making this the breeziest option on our list. There’s also a handy pocket featuring the Polo logo.

sweater polo Courtesy of Ralph Lauren
  

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