If you feel stuck in your standard suiting methods, why not wear a polo shirt with your suit?

You may have seen this look on some men already and wondered how they can so easily pull it off.

The answer lies mainly in opting for the right colors and textures.

Can You Wear a Polo Shirt for a Suit

Yes, you can definitely wear a polo shirt with a suit! There are really only two main questions about this practice.

how to wear a polo shirt with a suit

The first one is where you can wear this combination.

Try this look out within any setting where business casual is accepted. It means an informal office setting or perhaps a nice dinner out.

The remaining question involves a more detailed answer: what should you consider when substituting your standard dress shirt with a polo?

The Polo Shirt Design

Since a polo shirt is a rather unexpected twist to any suit, keeping this look subtle is generally a good idea.

This means sticking with a shirt with a clean design. Avoid logos, especially large ones that are eye-grabbing.

avoid polo shirts with flashy logos

For the best approach, coordinate your shirt color with your suit; a complementary shade blends well.

Solid colors are also an excellent way to keep this look reasonably subdued. Gravitate toward neutral colors to keep it up the balance with your suit.

But for informal occasions, you can create a fun contrast with a bold polo shirt. This is flashy, though, so use color only for casual settings.

The Suit Style

When incorporating a polo shirt into your suiting wardrobe, the style of suit you pair it with matters significantly.

Start with a suit that’s a casual design. Pay attention to fabrics and other details that indicate a less dressy suit.

For example, your suit should have notch lapels, the most casual style of suit lapel. Patch pockets are another solidly casual touch on a suit that works well with a casual shirt like a polo.

The cut and the fit of the suit also matter.

That said, slim-fit cut suits look best with a polo shirt. It creates a beautiful balance between the relaxed nature of the shirt and the suit.

Best Polo Shirt Colors to Wear with Suits

A nice color combination can elevate your suit and polo shirt to a dressier combination, where most observers may not even realize you’ve ditched your dress shirt.

And, of course, the type of suit makes all the difference.

Blue Windowpane Suit with Navy Polo T-Shirt

A print on a suit makes it more casual, so this is always an inviting background for a polo shirt.

Blue windowpane suit, blue polo t-shirt and white sneakers

This classic print is large and exudes sophistication. A monochromatic pairing of a polo shirt here keeps this style informal and allows the suit to be the star of the show.

Stay on brand with plain white trainers and the no-show sock look.

Burgundy Double-Breasted Suit with Burgundy Polo T-Shirt

Double down on the monochromatic look with a deep, bold shade of burgundy polo, suit, and loafers.

burgundy double-breasted suit and polo T-shirt

A burgundy suit is a truly unique and creative color that will truly set you apart from the rest of the crowd.

Most double-breasted suits would be too dressy to match with a polo shirt, but the color here helps make it more informal.

Brown Suit with Navy Polo Sweater

Brown and navy are a powerful combination. The formal navy elevates a casual brown suit at the risk of feeling rather bland.

brown suit, navy polo shirt, and brown sneakers

Adding some texture with a knit fabric for your polo shirt adds a level of sophistication that’s as unexpected as it is delightful and unique.

These two pieces perfectly combine for a relaxed, informal, smart-casual outfit. Wide suit lapels make this style even more laidback.

Brown Plaid Suit with White Polo T-Shirt

A plaid print suit can easily feel busy, so anchor that with a calming white polo t-shirt. It leans into the casual vibe of the suit but also helps give it a clean canvas upon which to sit.

white parka, brown plaid suit, off-white polo shirt, and dark brown boots

It also helps elevate its formality slightly because of the dressy nature of a white shirt. Accessories like a white pocket square can help complete this fashion.

Modernize this ensemble with a pair of boots. Chelsea boots, in particular, will help make this outfit quite smart.

Dark Green Suit with Blue Polo T-Shirt

Olive green suits have a similar effect to brown suits, though they are less common.

dark green suit, navy polo t-shirt, and brown suede loafers

Pairing one with a navy polo shirt is an unexpected twist to this already unexpected suit. These shades together form an exciting color palette.

Black Double-Breasted Suit with Brown Polo T-Shirt

A black double-breasted suit is quite formal at first glance. But you can take this suit and make it your own new category that’s a more relaxed version of formal.

black suit with brown polo shirt and loafers

Brown and black aren’t often paired together, which is a shame.

Brown can be a lovely way to soften the harsh, often unforgiving, tones of black. A brown polo shirt is the perfect garment to make this suit feel less stiff.

Grey Houndstooth Suit with Burgundy Polo T-Shirt

Even a casual suit can be debonair! Start with a light-colored suit to establish its informality.

grey houndstooth suit, burgundy polo shirt, and brown derby shoes

A houndstooth check adds a gorgeous personalization to your grey suit.

Where most would add a neutral color for the shirt, this is where you should differ; a dark, rich polo shirt makes the entire suit pop. Burgundy or eggplant are unexpected colors that will help ground your suit.

Infuse a certain formality to this outfit with Oxford or derby dress shoes. This will seal your ensemble’s status as firmly dapper.

Navy on Navy

Give your navy suit more to do than just accompany you to board meetings. Loosen it up with a polo shirt!

navy suit, navy polo t-shirt, and brown dress boots

Keep it tonal for a muted, casual effect. This will turn your usually formal navy suit on its ear, giving you more opportunities to pull it out of the closet and wear it to a wider variety of events.

Your shoes will be the defining feature of how dressy your suit will be, so be clear in your casual intentions with lace-up boots.

These will add an urban flair to your suit and create an exciting contrast.

Light Grey Suit with Navy Polo T-Shirt

Looking for a classy casual outfit for summer? Light grey and navy are killer colors when paired together; they are both preppy and breezy.

light grey seersucker suit, navy polo t-shirt, and brown suede loafers

A light grey suit feels very casual and is ideal for summer events; a navy polo shirt grounds the suit and prevents it from becoming super relaxed.

Loafers are the ideal match for this carefree look. The style of loafer you choose can subtly dress this outfit up a bit or make it even more comfortable.

Navy Blue Suit and White Polo T-Shirt

A navy or medium blue suit, paired with a white polo T-shirt, gives dressy vibes. It’s also clean and super modern.

navy blue suit, white polo t-shirt, and grey sneakers

You can accessorize with a pocket square to infuse some sophistication or leave your outfit unadorned to embrace an effortless, casual feel.

In the same fashion, you can pair it with brown loafers for a more dressy look, or keep it casual with neutral-colored sneakers.

Grey on Grey

A medium or light grey monochromatic outfit is very sleek and gives you an almost futuristic feeling.

grey suit, grey polo shirt, and white sneakers

Grey is a neutral color that can be easily influenced by how you pair it.

Want to keep this look from becoming too bland or overwhelmingly grey? Soften things up with a pair of plain white sneakers.

Blue Suit with a Black Polo Shirt

A blue suit and black polo outfit balances professionalism with a relaxed vibe.

blue suit, black polo t-shirt, and white sneakers

You can experiment with different blue suit shades, from sky blue for a summer vibe to dark blue for versatility.

Substitute white sneakers with brown or navy loafers for a more classic and timeless look.

Grey Flannel Suit with Brown Polo T-Shirt

Casual suits aren’t always about color; texture plays a significant role in how we see suits, as well.

grey flannel suit, brown polo shirt, and brown suede Chelseas

Pair your medium grey flannel suit with a light brown or tan polo shirt. The effect is a very chic and relaxed smart-casual style. It’s an unusual color pairing that’s surprisingly pleasing.

Suede Chelsea boots highlight this outfit’s sophistication, and the texture contrast helps cement this ensemble’s casual nature.

Additional Styling Tips

The above are only a few examples of color combinations you can make with your suit and polo shirt.

There are endless combinations of textures and colors! However, you can branch out on your own and try other variations.

Before you do that, here are a few crucial points to keep in mind.

To Tuck or Not to Tuck

Wearing your polo tucked in is a standard way to go with a suit. It portrays a buttoned-up style and is more suitable for work settings.

tucked-in vs. untucked polo shirt with suit

An untucked polo usually signals you’re out for fun on a day of socializing. It highlights the informality of your outfit, and it is hard to match that vibe with a suit.

I always prefer my polo shirt tucked in when I wear it with a suit, but I’ve seen many people prefer it the other way.

It’s certainly not a standard, but if you prefer to wear the polo untucked, I’d say go for it.

Suit & Polo Texture

Texture plays a prominent role in how any outfit is perceived. Smooth textures, sometimes even shiny ones, are usually considered dressy.

wool suit and cotton polo shirt fabrics

This is why most formal suits generally use wool blends and silks.

Cotton polo shirts are also on the dressier end of the polo shirt spectrum because they are smooth.

But any visible or bumpy texture, like tweed or knits, is more informal.


A gorgeous way to create a smart-casual effect is through layering your suit or polo shirt.

layering suit and polo shirt with a parka coat

Add a crewneck or cardigan sweater over your polo shirt to achieve a truly cozy feeling. This is also another superb way to play with more color in your outfit.

When the temperatures drop, you can also add a coat over your suit and polo shirt.

Standard coat styles, such as a peacoat or covert coat, still look great. But even more casual coats, like parkas, are perfectly acceptable in this scenario.


Certain accessories can bring out the joy of wearing a polo shirt under your suit jacket! For example, adding a pocket square is a fun contrast to the casual feel of your shirt.

wearing a pocket square

However, it also helps to justify your polo shirt as a more dressy garment than it often seems.

The right belt will also make a huge difference. If you want a dressy style, keep your usual leather dress belt.

But for more casual suits, you can experiment with other belts, perhaps a canvas one.

Beyond Suits

As fabulous as a suit and polo shirt can be, there are many other ways to style a polo shirt.

For example, wearing a polo shirt with separates is a great alternative to the suit. A polo shirt looks perfect when worn with a pair of neutral-colored chinos and a casual blazer.

wearing a blazer with a polo shirt

These items together are the go-to for most business casual outfits, and for good reason.

To explore more ways how to pair your polo shirt with a blazer, read this article.

Alexander Stoicoff

Author: Alexander Stoicoff

Hi, I’m Alex, and I’ve studied and specialized in styling in Rome. Through my writing, I want to help men dress well and learn the purpose and significance of suits and other formal attire. My final goal is to make men more confident in their wardrobe choice and life in general.