It’s depressing to see what men wear on hot days. Baggy shorts, ill-fitting polo shirts and logo-plastered T-shirts. But then it’s also hard to find smart, tailored clothes suitable for high temperatures. One often overlooked option is a long-sleeved polo shirt, such as the one pictured above from John Smedley. Al Bazar in Milan also does a great sportier option with Guy Rover, both retailing for just over £100.

A long-sleeved polo shirt is cooler than most shirts, with its open weave, but is smart enough to wear under casual, unlined jackets. Without a jacket, the sleeves can be rolled up just like a shirt to be more casual and cooler. Models like those from Smedley and Al Bazar are more fitted than a normal polo shirt, making them more suited to tailored trousers or shorts. The same goes for their finer fibres and even finish around the bottom.

T-shirts suit few men. A collar is more flattering on the neck and lengthens the torso. Long sleeves are smarter, cleaner and more stylish – as anyone who has seen colleagues in short-sleeved shirts will attest. Wear them with slim-fitting chinos and an unstructured cashmere blazer. Or tailored shorts. For chinos, I particularly recommend Incotex’s lightweight line, as stocked by Trunk Clothiers.
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I love the versatility of long sleeved shirts, even in the summer. For one thing it’s nice to have full length in cool of the evening.
For another, there is nothing sexier than long sleeved dress shirt, sleeves rolled-up. (Not sure Simon will agree.) Or pushed-up in case of long sleeved cotton knits.
Short sleeved dress shirts are ridiculous.

Traditionally Styled

Good advice. I have fallen victim to the dread t-shirt, old shorts, and minimal footwear, but having grown up in 100F+ summers does make feeling stylish quite difficult. I do believe we should try to move past the slobwear of our youth, even though it is brutally hot. Good day!


Is it right to say “t-shirts suit few men”? Quite a lot of young men who choose a decent quality single-colour t-shirt (white or navy blue for instance) can look very good and even wear a well-fitting unlined jacket over the top if necessary. A bit ’90s I grant you, but youth can get away with more.

As far as I can see the lack of a collar is only really a problem for those with a thinnish neck (like me!).

Personally I agree that a full shirt looks better because I prefer the details of buttons and a collar, but I think the t-shirt represents for many men the right thing to wear if one is keeping it simple and practical for the weather/activities. For some people a £125 polo shirt is just an extravagance, especially when you need a few of them to rotate over the summer.

BTW, John Smedley’s line (online at least) is all short-sleeved polo shirts.


Yes, you’re right about the Leander. Somehow I didn’t recognise it because it was orange. Out of interest, what would you wear under a Polo like that? I thought maybe a cotton vest (vest in the English sense).

Marin Licina

Lovely to see this just two days after my made-to-measure white long-sleeve polo arrived. My plan is to either wear it on it’s own on warm days or under a sport coat on days when I’m unsure about the temperatures.

Oh, and Simon, what do you think of different types of polo material / weave? I have a near-silky bunch which I see as a bit more dressy and piqué ones which I wear to more casual occasions.


Thanks for the post! LLBean’s pima cotton l/s polo is a good cheaper alternative.


Do you know of a long sleeved polo with buttoned cuffs? I’d like to find one, but don’t know where to look.

By the way, you have been a great inspiration to me and i have finally started my own blog which hopefully will grow more interesting with time.
Find it here:

how to wear chinos

Such a good guide! thanks for taking time to post this!


To tuck or not?



The long-sleeved polo-shirt deserves the attention you give it. Something of the kind, though made of wool and not callled a polo shirt, is featured in Hardy Amies’ “ABC of men’s fashion”, so was around 50 years ago. Pity it was ever dropped or forgotten.



I would like to know am I able to wear the navy PS long sleeve polo shirt tucked in, Khaki chino and chocolate brown suede loafer in summer? (without a sport jacket because I don’t have one.) I feel like it is a little bit too old-fashioned as I am only in my early 20s. Is there a way to wear the long sleeved polo shirts in a smart but looks more suitable to my age? How would you normally wear your long sleeved polos in summer time, if without a jacket? Sorry it may be a little bit confusing, but please provide me with some professional insights. Thanks Simon.



Simon! I was thinking of buying a long sleeve cotton polo from Marks@Spencer which has been made using cotton.
Do you think it would be a good purchase?


Simon! Need your suggestion on this.
Would long sleeves polo look out of place in summer in tropical countries?
I am thinking that because of the knitted construction even though I would be feeling cool but it could come across to others as out of place?


Simon! Would a popover shirt like this in linen or cotton look good untucked as shown in the image?
I am thinking this can be a good replacement to a long sleeve polo in summer


I wonder if a Henley rolled up, would look good with dress pants. I mean, it’s virtually a polo without a collar…


I have shared a link for long sleeve polo. Whenever you have time, if you could just give it a look and share your opinion on whether it looks good for summer then it would be very helpful because polo is a difficult buy as a lot of things need to be taken into consideration and so I was unsure?


I have not always been a fan of half sleeves polo with jeans and even you have mentioned in one of your comments that you find that look lazy. Would a long sleeve polo also look better with workwear chinos rather then denim according to you?