Prepare to pull your polo shirt out of retirement this summer

Have no fear, this is the most elegant way to embrace sportswear right now

Harper's Bazaar India

If the last polo shirt you owned was part of your PE kit, then you might be hesitant about the latest Noughties trend to have resurfaced. However, the collared preppy T-shirt—which was seen all over the catwalks for spring/summer—has a fresh take for 2024, one which is all about femininity and polish.

Across the board, preppy style was huge on the catwalks for SS24, but designers weren’t recreating Jack Wills ads from 2008—there was a girly, modern flourish to much of the styling. Nowhere was this truer than at the ever-influential Miu Miu, which showed numerous polo shirts in its collection. These were teamed with flouncy mini skirts and sandals, and were layered with other shirts and jackets.

MSGM meanwhile took the traditionally sporty staple and contrasted it with something much more feminine. The brand sent an oversized, striped golf shirt down the catwalk, which was adorned with beautiful 3D flowers, as well as another which was covered in feminine frills. Chanel teamed a striped polo shirt with bikini bottoms and enormous heels for its cruise show, while Dries Van Noten deconstructed the rugby top and styled it with sequins and huge lashes.

The polo shirt also got an elegant makeover at Givenchy. The brand showed a slick black version with a matching ankle-length skirt, while Wes Gordon at Carolina Herrera styled a simple grey polo with a lacy pink pencil skirt. Emilia Wickstead made her polo shirt part of a summery cashmere two-piece and polo-shirt aficionado Ralph Lauren brought the design back to his catwalk in the form of a gold lamé number teamed with a voluminous tulle evening skirt. Loewe showed them with baggy leather trousers and Gucci paired one with matching shorts.

Whether worn with eveningwear, tailoring or mini skirts, the new take on the polo shirt is all about injecting just a hint of athleisure into your look. We have seen this with A-list and street-style interpretations of the trend too—Hailey Bieber teamed hers with leather and denim, while Sienna Miller paired one with a mini skirt and platform sandals, as did Sabrina Carpenter. Sydney Sweeney layered hers over a checked shirt, Pamela Anderson made hers work with a glittering jersey maxi skirt and Zendaya—on her tennis-inspired Challengers press tour—wore one with a long white skirt and heels.

A mix of smart-casual or masculine-feminine is the best way to make the polo shirt work for 2024. Either dress up your polo with something smart—it will add a nice edge to a tailored suit or layered underneath your knitwear. Or, swap out your white tank top or tee and wear a polo shirt instead with your girliest skirts, it will give a nice contrast and a little bit of edge.

Feature image credits: Loewe, Gucci, Ganni

This article originally appeared in in May, 2024.

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