Polo equals preppy. That pretty much sums up how the collared shirts are universally viewed. If the collar’s popped, well, that just reinforces the stereotype. But for Spring 2018, designers decided to change the polo shirt’s image by giving it some extreme makeovers.
Jonathan Anderson layered his polo shirts at Loewe so we were left with two collars instead of one. The polos at Y/Project came with nipple clamps, in dress form with a surrealist collar and sporting a drawstring hem. Celine, prone to exaggeration, kept things big and bold with polos boasting fantastical prints.
Carven pulled out all the stops with its polo expo. They were sleeveless with a gathered waist, cropped and occasionally morphed into quilted jackets. Balenciaga offered up a neon green version, textured and flaunting a peplum accent. It wasn’t really surprising to see polo shirts on preppy powerhouse Lacoste’s runway. We were a bit shocked to see how they were styled — with the neckline twisted off the shoulder, especially when it came to the dresses.
While polo shirts were presented as part of the spring collections, you don’t have to wait until the weather heats back up to rock them. They’re actually great layering pieces (just size up if they’re going on top) and there are even sweater versions for an extra barrier against the chill. For guidance, just look to street style stars. Layer a turtleneck underneath a sweater polo and add a patterned crop top over top just because. Top off an all-yellow ensemble with a grass green polo for maximum color saturation. For you sporty athleisure types, slip on a basic white polo shirt under a vibrant nylon jacket. Work in cropped trousers and dark boots so you don’t look like you’re headed to a tennis match.
There are actually quite a few avant-garde options already out there, featuring everything from asymmetrical plackets to sheer bodices and even sequins. You can also pick up a classic polo shirt and adjust it so that iconic collar sits off-center or off-shoulder. Check out the best polo shirts for women available right now in the slideshow below and beat other fashion-conscious folk to the punch.