Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Debate – Round 1: T-Shirt vs. Polo Shirt

In the first of a series of style debates we pit similar items of clothing that battle to be the centre of man’s wardrobe. In the opening blog, we pit the T-Shirt against the Polo Shirt.

Both are garments with the ability to polarise – the t-shirt has garnered negative press thanks to its relaxed, often overtly casual connotations, whilst the polo has been hijacked by everyone from the lads on tour to the stuffy man (reads politician), looking to relax his public appearance for the BBQ.

Thanks to the massive emphasis by certain high street brands, the t-shirt is now strewn with various crude proclamations – a select few being “bang tidy,” “geek” and “swagger.” If are to believe that our clothes are a representation of ourselves, then this has essentially turned us into walking billboards, proclaiming misogyny and arrogance. The very nature of the t-shirt is that it is understated, a garment on which to form the base of an outfit

The best form of the t-shirt comes close fitting and in white. So white in fact that every time it comes out of the laundry it should look like it’s from the shop. Suddenly, instead of the laughable baffle that has adorned our chests we’re showing off the pectorals that we’ve worked so hard over the winter months to perfect.

Similarly, the polo shirt suffered when a teenager first thought it was a good idea to buy 5 in neon pink, adorn “Zante “10” on the back and add various obscene nicknames to it. Fred Perry once claimed that the polo shirt should always be worn buttoned up with the collar down – no high like the aforementioned 18 – 30s holidaymaker on ecstasy.

Once this bad press has been addressed, we can in fact begin to grapple with which garment is greater. Having smartened up the t-shirt somewhat and recaptured a little of the polo’s lost dignity, it becomes increasingly hard to determine which should be triumphant. In the end however, it all comes down to time of day.

Imagine the scenario – a couple (for reasons concerning responsible drinking) of drinks in the pub garden with some friends on a Saturday afternoon. In this situation, it would be logical to opt for a t-shirt. The lack of collar and cuffed sleeve makes for a cooler afternoon and, should it become a little nippy, will look great underneath a fine gauge cardigan.

Now imagine the same scenario – but in the evening. For some reason unbeknownst to us, the rules of the sartorial game change and people feel more obligated to dress up. We reckon it’s due to one man on a first date dressing up to impress, unwittingly causing the entire masculine population to follow suit from fear of missing out.

The polo shirt, for the same reasons as the t-shirt triumphs at day, is the master of ceremonies during the evening. Warmer on those summer evenings, with a more tailored silhouette, with the same cardigan, the wearer is elevated in the eyes of that fair maiden, compared to the oaf who’s spilled half his lager down his top.

Admittedly this is very much subject to opinion and we at Gatsby encourage you to challenge us upon it – these are by no means inscribed into the hallowed sartorial handbook (there isn’t actually one).

We will say this though – a muted colour and good fit will allow the rest of your outfit to catch the eye of others. When it comes to t-shirts white is unbeatable, whilst polo shirts look good in most colours, except white. Never white, unless you’re playing tennis. In fact no; not even then.


  1. Clearly either is acceptable as long as the cut and fit is right for the person wearing it. T-Shirts for me have to be plain. And wearing five year old faded polo shirts is also a crime....

  2. We like your thinking, the correct fit is vital. Too sloppy and you can end up looking like a groupee from The Happy Mondays. However, too tight and you could be mistaken for the third member of Right Said Fred.

  3. When looking for the best yachting shirts in 2017, comfort should be one of the most important considerations. After all, you would surely not want to be in a situation wherein you would want to immediately get rid of your shirt because of the comfort that it provides. One thing that makes this shirt very comfortable is the fact that it is made from 100% cotton pique. It also has the right fit, provided that you choose the size that is right for your body. The Best Polo Shirt is well-stitched, which can provide you with the assurance that it can be used longer.

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