The best knit polos are as cool as they are comfortable, and they’re a trend that shows no sign of stopping. Often called sweater polos, these shirts are knitted like sweaters but usually feature short sleeves, a shorter 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 and golf.
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. These shirts are also great layering pieces; 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.
They also come in a wide range of cuts, colors and prints. A striped full-placket polo might call to mind Tony Soprano or Frank Sinatra (in the best possible way), while a solid-colored polo exudes a sophisticated and minimalist look. In short, there’s no limit to the style possibilities of a knit polo. There’s also (almost) no limit to their seasonality. The best knit polos were one of the top summer menswear trends, but they’re also shaping up to be one of the top men’s fall fashion trends in 2022 as well. Wear a short sleeve, full-placket polo over a tank top when the sun is blazing, or pair a long sleeve cashmere polo with a warm work jacket in the cooler months.
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 dad shoe trend 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 to see our top picks for the best sweater polos of 2022.
1. Bonobos Sweater Polo
We recently previewed the Bonobos fall line, and it includes some of the best knit polos we’ve ever seen. Seriously, we want them all. Keep an eye on this page; we’ll add more options as they’re released. For now, we’re wearing this brown knit polo with two-tone black and white tipping. Perfect for the office or date night, it will pair perfectly with chinos and loafers for a dressed-up but still fun outfit.
2. Percival Impressionist Jacquard Knit Polo
Percival is a British brand on our radar, and if they were low-key before, they won’t be for long. That’s because Chris Evans sported this exact shirt on the red carpet, and Percival has had a hard time keeping it in stock since. It’s back (for now), so pick it up in your size while you can. It’s cut from 100% cotton, making it easy to care for. It’s not cheap, but it’s pretty affordable as far as celeb-approved sweaters go.
3. Todd Snyder Full Placket Aqua Polo
BEST STYLE FLEX
Show up to the pool party or barbecue wearing this striped polo, and we promise you’ll inspire envious looks and admiring glances all day long. If you want to show off, wear this full placket polo open chest. This shirt is made from a luxurious blend of silk and cotton and deserves to be worn on the Italian coast. Todd Snyder’s sweater polos are selling out fast, so grab one in your size before it’s gone.
We recently wrote about the Talented Mr. Ripley Italian Riviera fashion moment menswear is having, and this aqua polo is the perfect way to get in on the Ripleycore trend.
4. Dandy Del Mar Sebastian Shirt
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. (Keep in mind the fabric of this shirt is on the thicker side.) 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. In addition to the green polo shirt pictured below, this shirt is also available in brown, blue and ivory.
5. COS Slim-Fit Silk-Blend Polo Shirt
BEST LONG SLEEVE
COS offers the streamlined look of high-end brands like APC and Theory, minus the high-end price tag. If your style skews minimalist, COS is a brand you should have on your radar. This shirt is made from mulberry silk and cotton and has long sleeves for cold-weather layering. It’s available in light blue, black or navy.
6. Mr. P. Honeycomb-Knit Organic Cotton Polo Shirt
BEST JOHNNY COLLAR
Mr. Porter has spent a long time curating the best luxury menswear, so it’s no surprise they were good at making luxury menswear when they first launched their in-house brand Mr. P. It has pretty much all of your wardrobe needs covered, including footwear, but we’re particularly fond of this knit cotton polo shirt. It comes in a range of vibrant colors and has a Johnny collar (meaning no buttons).
7. Ben Sherman Mod Knit Polo
BEST FULL PLACKET
Ben Sherman perfectly embodies the British mod look, but this shirt could easily fit in with the Mediterranean look we’ve been fond of or the Tony Soprano look. It’s all down to how you style it, and despite the boldness of the print, this shirt is surprisingly easy to style with closet staples like chinos and jeans. Swap the sneakers for loafers for a fully mod look.
8. J. Crew Cashmere Collared Sweater-Polo
J. Crew has a solid selection of cashmere knits and a penchant for polos, so it’s no surprise they put the two together for this long-sleeve cashmere polo. The only problem is that it comes in seven colors, so you’ll have trouble picking just one. We’re partial to the rich jewel tone of “Old Forest,” but ask us again tomorrow.
9. John Smedley Merino Knit Polo
British knitwear maker John Smedley has outfitted every actor to play James Bond, and the brand has been in the business since 1784. This shirt is made in England from luxurious merino wool, cutting down on the itch factor that can come from wool. It has a flattering, bicep-hugging fit.
10. Fred Perry Knitted Polo
Fred Perry is another British brand that has been making perfect polos for a long time. This knitted polo has a patterned design on the cuffs that matches the logo on the chest. The polo is made from 100% cotton.
11. Uniqlo Extra Fine Merino Knitted Long-Sleeve Polo Shirt
Uniqlo’s take on the knitted polo shirt is as affordable as it is stylish. It’s available in a range of muted colors, and the long sleeves will keep you warm as fall rolls around. It’s made from 100% merino wool, and for just $50, you could add several of these to your closet.
12. Missoni Green Cotton Polo
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.
13. Banana Republic Solare Sweater Polo
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, yellow, or a more muted blue. Banana Republic has a ton of great summer fashions for men this year, and this colorful polo is one of our favorites.
14. PJ Paul JonesMen’s Knit Polo
PJ Paul Jones is an Amazon storefront, and the brand’s knit polo comes in over a dozen retro styles. We especially like the textured chocolate-brown knit polo pictured below, but there are also striped polos and color block options in all shades and styles.
15. Urban Outfitters Polo Sweater
BEST IVORY POLO
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.
16. J.Crew Short-Sleeve Polo Cardigan Sweater Polo
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 up for a more put-together look.
17. A.P.C. JERRY Long-Sleeve Knit Polo
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.
18. Cotton-Linen Polo-Collar Sweater
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.
Updates: This article was last updated on August 23, at which time we selected a new “Best Overall” knit polo, the newly released Brown Tip Knit Polo from Bonobos. We added new long-sleeve knit polos for the Fall ’22 fashion season from COS, Percival, Mr. P, Uniqlo, J. Crew, John Smedley and Fred Perry. We also updated pricing throughout the article and removed out-of-stock products.
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