Introducing: The button-down Friday Polo

Wednesday, February 12th 2020
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Picking what to offer in this next iteration of the Friday Polo was not a hard decision. So many readers have asked in the past few months for a button-down version of the PS polo. 

That may be because there are more out there at the moment; or it might be because the other PS shirts are all button downs, and readers like that collar style. 

Either way, the only difficulty was deciding on colours. 

Though there again, the decision was partly made for me. 

I've wanted for a long time to offer a light-blue version of the Friday Polo. It's the most universal and versatile colour of shirt, after all. 

But the blues that Caccioppoli offered in the distinctive comfy piqué cotton we use were always too strong. Not the classic men's colour, and not that useful outside of strong sun. 

Finally, last year, they introduced a really pale blue that was perfect. That's it shown under a lightweight green tweed jacket above and below. 

So for colours we went with this pale blue, navy (always the most popular) and white. It felt like a good classic range for button downs. 

Apart from the collar, these Friday Polos are the same as the classic style, introduced here on Permanent Style in 2015 as a casual alternative under tailoring. 

The shirt is long, with fronts and tails the same as a dress shirt - not a polo shirt. 

The collar is made with a proper, reinforced stand collar, so it sits up proud under a jacket (rather than collapsing under the lapels). 

And that material is a heavy piqué that can be worn year-round, not just in summer.

There are also both aesthetic and functional elements of handwork - so hand-sewn buttons and buttonholes, but also a hand-inserted sleeve and hand-rounded collar, to give the Friday Polo the same functionality as a good Neapolitan bespoke shirt.

It is designed to be, and has become for many people, the perfect thing to wear in a casual office to look well-put-together but in no way corporate.

Oh, and by the way - for any copycats out there - the Friday Polo is not a generic name for a shirt in this style. It is a very specific name and design, put together by myself and shirtmaker Luca Avitabile. 

I had to ask one Korean brand to stop referring to their version as a ‘Friday Polo’ last year, and their response was that they thought the name was just what English people called a polo shirt. 

I’m pretty sure I believe them. Either way, they’ve now stopped using the name. Even though they’re still selling the same design, in the same colours, in much cheaper cloth. 

There are more details about the Friday Polos, their making in Naples and the cloth on the shop site here.

Meanwhile from a style point of view, I’ve pictured the navy polo (above) with tobacco-linen trousers, to show how nice a colour it can be with similarly strong tones in the summer. See also cream and most greens. 

And below - in order to show the opposite use - the white polo is underneath the shawl cardigan we sold recently with Anderson & Sheppard, and brown whipcord trousers. Much more for chilly Spring mornings.

That trouser material is 9518503 from the Holland & Sherry Dakota bunch - probably the best range of whipcords or cavalry twills. The charcoal is great too. Both are 13.5oz. 

The green checked jacket was part of the Drake’s collaboration we did a couple of years ago, using Escorial wool - details here.

That’s worn with trousers in Fox mid-grey flannel (CBT5/A1285/22, 13/14oz), while the linen trousers are the bottom half of my Dege & Skinner suit

The button-down Friday Polo is available on the PS shop page here. (Although some has already gone to the waiting list, who had an alert about the availability yesterday.)

There are details on sizing and other points there too. We will do the normal-collar Friday Polo again, but not until the Autumn. 

Do shout if you have any other questions. 

Thanks, Simon

Photography: Alex Natt

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Thorn

The shirt actually puts me in mind of one of my favourite shirts from the mid-sixties, the Sabre Saturday Shirt. Same style, similar name, though not the quality.

Victor

Hi Simon,

This may have been asked before, but is it possible to shorten the sleeves from the cuff on a pique polo?

Victor

Thanks!

Chancellor

Personally, I wish the sleeves were a little longer. The Friday Polos have sleeve a little too short for me. The extra 3 cm on the oxfords and demin shirt bring them to being much better for me (if still not quite perfect–but that can’t be expected in a standard sizing).

JB

Simon, on size, I was wondering about the possibility to offer the polos without the pre-washing or a tad bigger/longer. To give a bit of context, I ordered some polos from Luca in the past to get colors not available in your shop at the time, and since his versions are slimmer I asked them to be made to your size chart.

When delivered they were almost a full size larger, and after some back and forth emails, we realized they didn’t take the pre-washing into account. So I threw them in a 60 cycle and they came out great, better than any of the ones I got from your shop actually, just had that extra sleeve length and volume needed.
Not sure why they’re bigger than the ones I got from you, might be down industrial vs home washing.

Nicolas Stromback

Hi Simon,

Would you consider making a full buttoned version of this? I always found pullover shirts like these difficult to use in the summer months, simply because I cant get them off properly when having built up sweat during the day. And so, I started to order pique shirts in a normal shirt design instead, and voilá problem solved. And, I find it goes better with a sportcoat, since you dont have that interruption midchest where the collar ends.

Nicolas Stromback

Interesting. In what way have you found that they dont sit right on the body? I havent noticed anything like this myself, rather the opposite. The ones with placket I have a RTW and I never could get that collar or gap in the placket to sit right. May try to have one made with Luca at some point though.

Pete

I’m with NS on this. I have a ton of pique cotton button through shirts with button down collars and don’t recognise your concerns Simon about stretching at all. Maybe it’s down to the quality of the fabric used.

This short placket version looks a bit of a mongrel to me I’m afraid.

Matt H

I think a full-buttoned version would rather defeat the purpose of this polo. There are plenty of options available if you want a sport shirt that buttons all the way down while being of a more casual cloth.

The placket here is a perfect length to just about fill the length of the opening between the lapels.
I’m not someone who always likes absolutely everything that Simon does, but he is on to a winner with all of his shirt offerings.

By the way, Simon, you didn’t state it explicitly (that I can see), but you imply that you have some sort of copyright on the ‘Friday polo’ name. Is that right? I’m just curious as you were able to get the Korean company to cease using it.

JB

Unless I’m mistaken, the very first version of the Friday polo actually featured a button through version too, but they were vastly less popular and therefore not renewed. So there’s probably a bit of experience and science backing the pop over style too.

Chuck

Hi Simon,

Not sure to go for a small or medium, if I purchase the wrong size can I return it for replacement?

Please provide address where to return it to.

Cheers,

Chuck

Paul Boileau

I also had some pique cotton shirts made up fully buttoned. I think I prefer the polo placket- too many buttons! The collar still needs some work on my version as its a little too floppy to sit nicely under a jacket. Simon I feel your pain. We did manage to source UK made pique cotton in other colours including natural (ecru); light pink and yellow which is a nice change of pace to those I’ve seen offered by the usual vendors.

Joel

Which would you say is the most versatile color in this polo Simon? Seems like all three are super versatile. Also, any picks if just the pale blue with no jacket?

Joel Cloninger

I think what I meant to say was do you have a picture of just the pale blue without a jacket?

Thanks!

Mike

Would you consider making a lambswool and thus cheaper version of the shawl collar cardigan?

James

So…uh…can we get a link to that cheaper Korean alternative…asking for a friend…

Just Kidding of course! The shirts looks amazing and will be perfect as Spring gets closer.

Winot

Hello Simon – will Luca be able to offer a bespoke version to existing customers?

Stephen

The new button down version looks good and better ( in my opinion) than similar polo styles at a higher, let alone lower, price point.
Are there any plans for a summer PS pop up shop this year?
Also are there any shops stock the new PS Friday polo to try on for size ? I seem to recall something in the past.

Anonymous

Hi Simon,

I would love to see a white button-down lightweight Friday Polo.

Neil Tang

I see. A navy button-down in the lightweight cotton would certainly be welcomed. It would be more versatile when worn without a jacket and the lightweight cotton would see more wear in tropical and warmer climates. I’m looking forward to it in summer.

Scott

The Drakes jacket looks fantastic! Do you know who Drakes used to make it?

Evan Everhart

Hi Simon,

Exceptional! I’ve got plenty of polos, but have been interested in one of yrs for a bit now…..This one, in the style of a classic popover definitely has me interested. I’ll have to check the price point and my budget, but I love the idea.

Derek

Hi Simon, I have a sizing question. I’m probably between a S and M and recently acquired the Dartmoor in a medium, which fits my chest/shoulders great, but is probably a tad loose in the waist and arms. I’m normally a 38 in tailoring, for what it’s worth.

Was wondering your thoughts on if I should size down to small (a little worried about yoke length) or size up to medium (a little worried about waist and arms being a tad roomy.

Love the Dartmoor by the way, enjoying just wearing that stand alone and can’t wait to do so when things get warmer here in Seattle.

Derek

Received my size M today — fits perfectly. Thanks!

Felix

Unrelated to the polo (which I think doesn’t look strong with the checked tweed jacket) – How’s it going with the tattoo, do you still like it?

Russell Vrede

Simon, as a regular PS reader and appreciator of all the site does, I really recommend you alter the wording “ for any Asian copycats out there…”
It’s borderline offensive.

VSF

Good grief Simon! You spoke correctly concerning Asian copycats because they’re all from Asia! Please do not pander to the politically correct barbarians and stand your ground.

VSF

That’s a distinction without a difference in my view, but of course if you want to change the wording that’s your call. Personally I took no offense, not even a borderline one. You were very clear in what you meant. Certainly you’re correct that knee jerk reactions are best avoided with consideration of another’s perspective the better course.

JB

Given my Friday polos are in heavy rotation every week, this is a nice addition.
Do they also feature the enforced placket introduced in the last run? I’ve yet to give they a go, so I figure this is a good opportunity.

Caleb C

Simon,
I am interested to know if you have found yourself wearing the button down Friday polo or the original cutaway collar Friday polo more.

Or does one favor a particular setting more than the other?

Jason

Nice to see PS plowing an elegant furrow.
Yesterday I received ‘The Mr Porter Post’ and felt positively ill.
They are promoting psychedelic nonsense, the return of the mullet and lessons of how to tie-dye at home !
This is a sure sign that the menswear business is on hiatus and their response is to try and make us look ridiculous.

VSF

A return of psychedelic, tie dye, and worst of all the mullet? Say it’s not so, please. If Mr. Porter is recommending any one of those hideous things, let alone all three, they’ve descended into fashion depravity.

HO

Hi Simon
Having recently purchased the Friday polo and wore it, it looks well designed and the collar sits upright above a tailored jacket, for those people with shorter torso a third button on the placket will be required to avoid exposing the chest when the second is unfasten and those with a longer torso can go with a two button on the placket as the length of their torso can help eliminate the gap.

Your thoughts?

Naco

Simon,

I will like to commission a bespoke on the Button Down Friday Polo do you know if that is possible with Luca?

Ben

Possible to have the light blue in the lightweight version of Friday polo late in this year?

HO

Hi Simon,

May I know why my payment receipt invoice is not included in the shipping box. I will need it to reclaim my VAT.

Cheers

CWE

Hi Simon, received the navy BD polo in Navy and impressed with the cloth and workmanship. This is a versatile shirt and glad you worked on a BD version. Hopefully other colors (i.e. green and brown) will be produced down the line.

Andy

Simon, will there be another run of these, given how quickly they sold out in various sizes?

Andy

Are you running a waiting list for the 2nd run?

Alex K

Is there an option to try different color/ sizes in a store in London? Looking at photos a bit hard to decide…

Alex K

Great thank you

Paul D

I hope you will restock these in large again. I came to this site just a little too late. This polo looks to be something special.

Anonymous

Simon, could you please let us know approximately when do you expect the restock to occur? Thank you.

Pyc

Hi Simon,

On a lighter note, on the subject of maker’s marks:

“in the first century AD, imitation Roman pottery was produced in Belgium. Although, owing to their ignorance of Latin, infringers’ marks were often simply meaningless collections of letters, they still deceived the still more ignorant Britons who imported the pots.”

From ‘IP rights: a critical history’ by C May and SK Sell.

Cheers

Anonymous

Has the Spring 2020 Friday polo fabric changed at all from your 2015 launch?

If I wish to order through a shirtmaker I would just say Caccioppoli navy blue Friday polo? Is there a fabric # reference?

Anonymous

If we buy a PS product from a country that doesn’t require VAT, but ship it to the UK or Italy, we still have to incur VAT?

R Abbott

My off the rack shirt size is 15-33. Does this translate to a small?

R Abbott

I’ll try measuring but I don’t have a good track record and and I’d rather save you the return shipping if I can help it.

Not sure if they’re equivalent, but I have a permanent style Oxford in size small that fits well. For Luca Faloni, I take a small for their polos and medium for their cable knit sweaters (I prefer slightly more fitted for shirts and polos and a bit more room for sweaters). My chest circumference is just over 37 inches.

Anonymous

Simon, what do you think of “popover” shirts such as those made by Drake’s or Ascot Chang for The Armoury? Thanks!

Anonymous

But not something you personally wear? Don’t think I’ve seen pictures of you wearing one.

Peter

Simon – what size do you wear in this? Thank you. Debating between M and L and I think you’re a little taller than me but I’m a little broader in the shoulder. It’s pique, so it will have some give, right?

Peter

Thanks – medium worked well for me too. A little snug though, particularly in the sleeve, and I’m no Arnold Schwarzenegger. The material is heavier than I expected too, but then again you did say it could be worn year round. If you restock the lightweight version that might be better for summer.

Stanley

Hi Simon

May i know is it the same size of the existing friday polo? as i bought one Friday Polo –
Light Grey / Small last year (Tue, 18 Jun 2019)

May i know if they are the same size or not, because if i have not remember wrong, the chest of size S should be 96cm, instead of 102cm, correct me if wrong

Stanley

i mean previous size table, i dont really recall it is 96cm or 102cm,

but i do have a impression on chest 96cm, thats why i wondering

Joseph

Hi Simon, I hope all is (relatively) well where you are.

Might I ask for a suggestion? I’m torn between sizes M and S for this polo. Comparing them to ones I own, the M would fit perfectly everywhere but be too long in the arms. If I size down to S, it’s the sleeve length that’s perfect with the shoulder width just about tolerable, but the narrower shoulders would pull the sleeves higher and make them shorter than on my other shirts.

Where would you suggest I compromise: sleeves too long, or too short?

P.S. I’m leaning towards the M, though I’d be even more at ease with it if the cuffs have two buttons for adjustable opening width.

Joseph

Your wisdom is much appreciated as always, Simon.

You mean there isn’t any stock for the button-down variant right now? Oh I’m such a goof, I should’ve asked first, haha. I was going off of the product page for it (none of the sizes and colors have greyed out the Add button.) Thanks for the head’s up, and I’ll certainly be emailing to be put on the waiting list.

Joseph

Wonderful, I’ll take the plunge with the Medium. Thanks again!

Joseph

Simon! I took delivery today of the size medium in white that I ordered, and my fears with the sizing were wholly unnecessary. They fit me exquisitely.

Such a wonderful piece of craftsmanship with subtle pleasures to be discovered in nearly every inch. I’m sure it’ll become a favorite for years to come, especially since I’ve always wanted a long-sleeved polo.

I’m still somewhat giddy, haha. Anyway, much thanks to you and to Luca for dreaming up and making this undeniable classic a reality.

Anonymous

What makes the collar stand up? Is it fused or partly fused? Or is it lined?

Arndt

Hi Simon,
Absolutely love the Friday Polo and about to buy the button down version too.
However, more pressing given the temperatures would be a short sleeve polo.
Is there any chance the Friday Polo will be available again with a short sleeve?

Best
Arndt

Daniel

Hi Simon,
Luca also has Friday Polos on his website. What is the difference between them?
Is the make the same, he just has some more colours (and does not offer button-down version currently)?

Rupesh Bhindi

Hi Simon,

Could you advise on the measurements for the height of the collar back and front as this would give an idea with my other bespoke shirts.

Thanks

Rupesh

Eric

Out of interest, what are the weft and warp?

Eric

Right, thanks. I didn’t realise that. Perhaps because I’m pretty sure I’ve also seen some ‘jersey’ and ‘pique’ cottons that did have a warp and weft.

The reason I’m asking is because I want to choose a decent fabric to have something similar made as your sizing doesn’t work for me.

Eric

Got it, thanks

David

Hi Simon,
The Friday Polo looks fantastic with the button down collar. Do you have any plans to make a lightweight version of the same, available this year? many thanks

Michael

Hi Simon,
I have checked the measurements against a polo which I own and the chest size is 110 cm with a 47cm yoke . I also have an oxford shirt with chest size 112cm with 46.5 cm yoke.The medium friday polo is 108 cm in chest. I think that L will be too large. What do you think? Or should i get L and then take in the waist and some from chest?