Is a Polo Shirt Business Casual or an Alternative to Tees?

Is a Polo Shirt Business Casual?

The question “Is a polo shirt business casual?” comes to the mind of many individuals working in professional settings. The polo shirt, among the other traditional favorite phenotypes, is one item of clothing that often remains the focus of this dispute. The polo shirt has come from sports from the very beginning, especially tennis, badminton, and polo (hence the name), and since it has gained popularity out of its athletic roots and is regarded in both street and semi-formal styling. 

Now let’s understand the occasions amongst which polo shirts for men can be worn:


Understanding Business Casual


We should first discuss what is business casual clothing, and then we can get to the point is the polo shirt a business casual outfit or not? With business casual attire, there's a gray area between formal business uniforms, consisting of suits, ties, and dress shoes, compared to casual garments like jeans or t-shirts. It projects a professional image and, at the same time, allows for comfort and for some individual expression.

Within business casual attire, one usually finds different wardrobe items, such as tailored trousers, chinos, blouses, skirts, dresses, knitwear and even polo shirts. The essence of this is to maintain a harmonious equilibrium between the professional look and the influx of comfort, stepping up your game to match the different offices and your various tasks. 


The Polo Shirt: A Must-Have Invention for Your Closet

Being practical and comfortable, the polo shirt is designed to be a part of athletes’ uniforms, namely tennis and polo. The polo shirt first emerged as a part of the sports equipment, but over time it grew to be a piece of general-use clothing, which is commonly applied for casual occasions thanks to its practical and matchless look.

Is a Polo Shirt Business Casual or an Alternative to Tees?

Polo shirt is an informal-formal blend which is because of its exceptional element. Work polo shirts are comfortable with their small collars and short sleeves, and a buttoned placket adds an ingredient of refinement and class bringing it up from just the ordinary casual items. This may as well manifest the whole point of versatility in a polo shirt enough for it to work just right for all such occasions and dress codes.


Shaping the Polo Shirt for the Bizcasual Look

When you are determining based on whether a polo shirt complies with the business casual outfits or not the main thing to look after is how you can carry it in your workplace. While the inherent casualness of the polo shirt might seem at odds with the formality of a workplace, most people carry it really well in their work setting. There are several factors to consider when incorporating it into a business casual wardrobe: 


Fit and Quality: 

The make of a polo shirt really differs because it contributes to the overall significance by judging the whole of the attire. Choose a well-fitting polo shirt instead of a shirt that is tight or loose tailoring as this way your arms will be visible above half of the shirt's sleeves and will create a nice line with your body in that case. Furthermore, select proven percentage cotton or quality 'peak' cotton only because of the durability and breathability they offer.


Color and Pattern: 

Though navy, white, and colorless combinations are the old-faithful alternatives for smart casual attire for men, don't be afraid to display confidence by slightly introducing bold colors and the faintest patterns to your preferential look. Through this awesome mix of stripes, checks, and color blocking you can ensure personality shines out without sacrificing the right sense of professionalism.


Pairing with Bottoms: 

When styling a polo shirt for a business casual environment, think of doing so with tailored trousers, chinos, and dress pants. Because of such a combination, you can look professional yet relaxed simultaneously. Never prefer jeans or shorts, which are too familiar, while there is a dress code in your company, which could result in your termination.



The polo shirt can become more stylish if layering is used as an intelligent technique to vary it for various situations. The business casual garment can be suitable for the season, as a sweater or blazer could be layered on the polo shirt for a more formal look. This gives an edge to your appearance at the same time while keeping a business resemblance.



Accessories such as cufflinks, business watches, or ties are an easy-to-adopt way of turning a plain polo shirt ensemble into a dress code meeting one. Adding on a leather belt, a good watch (with the style), or a classic pair of sunglasses to put the seal on your look could be considered. On the other hand, this kind of less is more approach is also applicable to clothes. So, limit the number of jewelry or ties to a pittance to maintain the tenderness of the simplicity of a polo shirt.



The selection of footwear could significantly change the appearance of the entire outfit. The match of the shoes with the polo shirt is essential to have a stylish outfit. Choose footwear that represents the class of the polo shirt while maintaining the casual but informal style such as loafers, boat shoes, or simply classic white sneakers. Make sure to choose footwear that matches the location and type of activity in particular.


Occasion and Setting: 

Last, but not least, if you are going to be wearing a polo shirt, consider the setting or the context where the polo shirt will be worn. Although it can be appropriate for most formal business casual environments, you can attend an event and expect a formal dress code. It implies that, when attending official occasions, you should always select your wardrobe in accordance with the dress code and the estimation of your job.


Navigating Dress Codes


Basically, it is needed to take into account the particular dress code rules and regulations of your workplace before deciding which polo shirts can stylishly complement your office style. 

When you are sure whether you're meeting the dress code or not, it is better to go straight to your company's dress code policy or ask HR or management for guidance. Following the appropriate guidelines does not imply you have to transfer your own personality and style to the outfits. Therefore, you must fall somewhere in between the established standards and your unique touch. Gray Horse Basics provides premium quality polo shirts with an excellent fit that can be styled uniquely.




In conclusion, a polo shirt, in reality, may well be classified as appropriate business casual attire, as long as it is styled with precision and keeping in the norms of the work area. Clothing Represents our inner self and professionalism. It displays our personality and seriousness towards work. You must choose your clothes wisely, and for that, we’re here to help you. To see the new range, click here!
Back to blog