How To Style A Polo Top Like A Street Style Star

Preppy and playful.

How to style a polo top
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Sure, recent films like Saltburn and Challengers may have helped put all manner of preppy style on everyone’s radar, but Miuccia Prada undoubtedly solidified it as a full-blown movement. The veteran designer leaned full-tilt into the aesthetic for Miu Miu’s Spring/Summer 2024 show, reviving the humble boat shoe and serving an onslaught of polo tops — in boxy silhouettes and neutral hues — proclaiming it as the top du jour for the season. “They were featured in 40 of the 62 looks shown and creatively styled over and under blazers, bombers, oxfords, knits, and ruffled jackets,” editorial stylist Calvy Click tells TZR of the latter hero item.

And it wasn’t just Prada who welcomed polo tops into her collection — plenty of other household names got in on the action. One such designer was Jonathan Anderson, the creative director of Spanish fashion house Loewe. “While Miu Miu’s styling of the traditional top gave it fresh appeal, Loewe was creative with what a polo could be, opening their men’s show with a crystal-coated, long-sleeved knit version and shrunken, faded looks for the women’s collection,” Click explains. Massimo Giorgetti, who is at the helm of MSGM, also experimented with the country club-esque top. His approach? Roomy striped iterations emblazoned with ladylike floral embellishments.

Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

The celeb pack is also responsible for the polo top going mainstream in 2024. Last summer, Rihanna and Hailey Bieber made headlines after donning the same blue and red striped Loewe sweater within just two days of each other. Bieber is clearly a proponent of the preppy staple as she also rocked Miu Miu’s maroon iteration this past March. And last October, Taylor Swift put her stamp on the look, wearing a long Stella McCartney embroidered top in lieu of a dress.

thecelebrityfinder/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images
MEGA/GC Images/Getty Images

Whether a polo top reminds you of a required school uniform (raises hand) or is just a smidge too preppy for your liking, stylist Natalie Scicolone offers her expertise when it comes to giving it a modern-day look. “Think outside the box when pairing bottoms with your polo,” she tells TZR. “For instance, opt for an oversized polo with a miniskirt, styled just so the bottom of the skirt peaks out from the polo.” Another idea: Couple your shirt with a relaxed trouser or baggy jeans.

If you’re eager for more styling tops, check out how six street style stars are wearing their polo tops, below.

Transitional Essential

When you’re scratching your head about how to dress for a kinda-chilly 60-degree day, layer a short-sleeve polo underneath a lightweight knee-length jacket. Then, try Scicolone’s styling advice and go for a miniskirt on the bottom.

On The Go

You needn’t be near a college prep school or country club to sport a polo top. It turns out the look is great for a casual days full of errands and appointments. Give the shirt a laid-back feel with an oversized denim jacket, straight-leg black trousers, and leather boots.

Game Day

You could, of course, wear your trusty white polo top to watch a tennis match (be it a friend’s or a professional tournament). To keep the outfit from skewing overly sporty, consider pairing your shirt with a feminine pleated skirt and classic trench coat. For your shoes, a white sneaker or mesh ballet flat would both look excellent — we’ll leave that decision up to you.

Beat The Heat

Sweltering summer days are inching closer and closer. Tip: When the temps are in the high 80s, reach for roomy, skin-baring separates — say, perhaps, a boxy polo top and short shorts. On the accessories front, black leather Mary Jane-style shoes will add a dose of polish.

Contrasting Vibes

Rather than an outsized polo, go the opposite direction with a form-fitting silhouette like this striped style from Saks Potts. Juxtapose the collegiate look with slouchy athletic bottoms. Lastly, elevated ballet flats and dainty gold necklaces are key to tying everything together.

A Modern Groutfit

Groutfits sometimes get a bad rap. But as influencer Courtnee Crews shows here, the gray-on-gray outfit formula can be oh-so polished. The trick? Opt for luxe pieces, like a cashmere polo and tailored wool pants. Inject some color into the neutral ensemble with striking accessories — think a sunny yellow bag and fiery red sandals.