How to Wear a Polo Shirt With Dress Pants

by jacky chou
Updated on

What comes into your mind when you think about business casual clothing? Long and short-sleeved shirts and blazers? If you cannot imagine a polo shirt as part of your business casual, it is time to add them to your wardrobe and learn how to wear a polo shirt with dress pants.

Polo shirts are considered business casual in most workplaces and offer an alternative to your wardrobe that is simple to style and comfortable. With the correct matching and accessories, polo shirts can be impressive official wear. Read on to learn more!

What Is a Polo Shirt?

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The Polo shirt or tennis shirt was initially created by Jean René Lactose, a tennis player. He made it from cotton in a loose-knit, and it had a button-down collar and no tie.

Polo shirts are simple and timeless clothing that stand between formal and casual wear. Therefore, it may be difficult to figure out what to do with them. However, they can act as causal wear without implying the sophistication of official wear.

A polo shirt is a classier option than normal jeans and t-shirts. Its attractive collar, fabric, and buttons can act as official and casual wear.

With that understanding, let's now look at how you can wear a polo with dress pants for a business casual look.

Styling Polo With Dress Pants

Polo shirts are worn in various ways, but polo shirts and dress pants give the most official look. Dress pants are considered business casual if worn with a sweater, super coat, polo shirt, and sport shirt. Pairing a polo shirt with dress pants provides a unique warm-weather formal alternative. The smart polo provides a casual look with comfortable address pants.

To appear official, one must tuck in the polo shirt and wear a classic watch and an attractive belt. A blazer can act as a nice combination. A blazer can make you appear official and serious. From a casual outing with friends to a business casual at the workplace, a blazer, dress pants, and polo shirt can provide the looks.

You can finish the outfit with loafers or dress shoes that align with the pant color or belt. Other shoe styles that you can wear are espadrilles, boat shoes, and sneakers for a relaxed and comfortable vibe. Finally, a stylish weekend bag, snapback, and low-top sneakers can polish the looks.

To appear more attractive, ensure that the clothes are clean and fitting. You must match the polo shirt and address pants with the right shoes and accessories. You are now ready for a meeting, outdoor outing, or an interview.

Here are some tips for ensuring you style polos and dress pants in the most fashionable way

1. Ensure It’s Appropriate

You should wear dress pants and polo shirts in a smart-casual environment. However, the polo shirt may appear too casual in an official or business casual setting. "Smart-casual" describes a dressing style where T-shirts, Jeans, and sneakers appear too casual, and a suit too official.

Smart-casual environments include dinners at mid-level restaurants, parties, nights out, dates, and sporting events. In such events, dress pants and polos would serve you right. However, dress pants and polos may not be perfect for events such as business casuals, official dress codes, and cocktails.  

2. Select Casual Dress Pants

A polo may look too casual to be worn with dress pants. Instead, it would be best to find dress pants that appear more casual. Dress pants are considered formal and are made from different materials.

Dress pants have official elements such as pleats, jetted pockets, and center creases. In addition, dress pants are designed from fabrics such as wool synthetics, crepe, microfiber, and polyester blends. But they have a limited shiny texture and are more rugged and heavy.

Dress pants designed from heavy and non-shiny fabrics are more casual. Choose a pair with an obvious pattern. Polo shirts do not go well with suit pants, and you should avoid them. On the other hand, suit pants appear attractive when worn as a complete suit.

3. Polos With Minimal Branding

Dress pants match with less branded polo. Some logos are oversized and may draw attention away from the outfit. For instance, Polo Ralph Lauren has a considerable logo that may appear too casual when worn with dress pants. A simple polo shirt worn with dress pants appears dressier

4. Choose Color Contrast

Experiment with various colors to make the outfit visually outstanding. The polo shirt and the dress pant should contrast. For instance, beige or brown pants match a purple polo shirt, and gray dress pants can align with a dark blue polo shirt. You can wear bolder colors during summer.

Mixing patterns with solids is another strategy to add contrast to the outfit. For example, if the dress pant is patterned, wear a polo shirt with a solid color. Contrast act as a major point in obtaining a smart-casual look.

5. Tuck in the Polo Shirt

It would be best if you always tucked a polo shirt into the dress pant to attain a smart casual appearance. When you do not tack in the polo shirt, it appears too casual when worn with dress pants. Dress pants are viewed as official dressing.  

Tucked-in polos appear fitting, and they wrap around the body shape. After tucking in, wear a belt. The outfit will look more smart and casual. 

6. Choose Loafers

When wearing dress pants with polo shorts, select loafers as your footwear to give a smart casual aesthetic. In addition, the combination is climate-appropriate due to the loafers' slip-on and ankle-exposing features. You can choose from different loafer styles such as a penny, tassel, and Gucci or horse bit loafers.

Gucci loafers appear dressier due to the metallic attachment on the vamp. Tassel and penny loafer appear more casual. Leather and suede loafers align with the outfit. Choose the no-show socks if you have to wear socks. However, it is appropriate if you do not wear socks. 

7. Sports Coats and Blazers

Polo shorts and dress pants go well with a sports coat and blazers. The good bit about dress pants is that, unlike suit pants, you do not require a matching jacket. You can choose any pattern or color of the jacket because it does not have to match the outfit, unlike the suit pants.

However, I would advise that you select a dress suit, jacket, and polo shirt of similar shade and color while considering some contrast with the polo. For instance, gray dress pants and a navy blue blazer with orange or pink polo.

8. Do Not Wear Sneakers

When wearing dress pants and polo shirts, you should avoid wearing sneakers. Sneakers appear too casual when worn with dress pants. It is okay to wear sneakers with polo shirts because they are considered casual. However, when worn with dress pants, they do not look smart casual.

Remember that wearing a polo shirt and dress pants appears too casual. Therefore, the outfit does not provide the desired smart-casual aesthetic when you add sneakers. Adhering to the provided tips will assist in attaining the smart-casual appearance, but sneakers may affect the results.

Types of Polo Shirts

1. Classic Cotton Polo Shirts

The cotton polo shirts came into existence in the late tenth century. It was the first clothing with button-down collars. The ancient style is critical for each wardrobe, and you can wear it for a smart and casual look. The polo should be fitting to make it appear attractive.

2. Knitted Polo Shirts

The polo shirts are worn on hot and cold days. They are made from wool or cotton and have a soft feeling. The polo match with tapered trousers and suede jacket work well for warmer and cooler months.

3. Short-Sleeved Polo Shirt

Short-sleeved polo reveals your muscles in style. The design matches suit pants, chinos, and jeans. You can wear it with jeans and sneakers for casual events or loafers and a blazer for an official appearance.

4. Long Sleeve Polo Shirt

Most people wear polo shirts in warm or summer months; however, you can wear them during cold ones. Long-sleeved polo is best worn during colder months as they are warmer. You can combine the long-sleeved polo with a leather jacket, sneakers, and chinos for a casual feel. It works well in cold and warm seasons, making it a choice for most people.


Polo and dress pants are one of the most recognized business casual clothing you should add to your wardrobe. After all, you do not have to report to your workplace in a suit. Therefore, it is time to consider other comfortable causal wear that will serve you right.

However, you must remember to choose the right colors and accessories to go with your look. This way, you can be confident to step into your workplace and carry out your duties as expected. What about spending your leisure time with friends and workmates? Polo and address pants serve you right.

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jacky chou


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