Regarding work attire, the term “business casual” can mean different things to different employers. For some companies, business casual attire may mean dressing down from a suit and tie while maintaining a professional appearance. For others, it may be as simple as wearing nice jeans and a polo shirt.
Polo shirts are considered to be fairly casual attire and are often worn in sports such as golf or tennis. However, they can also be worn in a business setting. Many employers would consider a polo shirt to be appropriate business casual attire.
If you are unsure about what is considered to be business casual attire at your workplace, it is always best to err on the side of caution and dress slightly more formally than you think may be necessary. In this article, we’ll go over all the dos and don’ts of wearing polos to work, job interviews, and business casual events.
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Best Types of Polos for Business Casual Job Interviews
Now that you know that polo shirts can be worn in a business casual setting, you must keep in mind that not all polos are created equal.
The best types of polos for job interviews include both short and long-sleeved polo shirts, pique polos, slim-fit, golf, and woolen polos. Polo shirts are generally super versatile so you can choose a style that suits your workplace.
Short sleeve polos
A short sleeve polo is the most versatile type of polo shirt. It can be worn with dress pants, khakis, or even jeans. If you want to dress it up, consider wearing a light sweater or jacket over the top. This is a great option if the weather is too warm for a long-sleeved shirt.
Pique polos are made from a thicker, textured fabric. They’re ideal for job interviews because they look more formal than other types of polos. If you choose to wear a pique polo, make sure it’s not too fitted and that the fabric is breathable.
If you want to work in the tech industry or a start-up, and you have a trim frame, a slim-fit polo might be a good choice. These polos are tighter-fitting and often made from stretchy fabrics. They can be worn with dress pants or jeans. Just make sure the polo is not too tight and that you’re comfortable in it.
A long sleeve polo is a great choice for interviews in cooler weather. It can be worn with a vest underneath or on its own. If you choose to wear a long sleeve polo, make sure it fits well and isn’t too loose, otherwise, you run the risk of looking too casual for a workplace.
While not the most traditional choice, golf polos can be worn to job interviews. They’re usually made from breathable fabrics and have a relaxed fit. If you choose to wear a golf polo, make sure it’s not too loose and that the collar is lying flat.
Woolen polos are a great choice for interviews in the fall or winter. They will keep you warm while still looking professional. If you choose to wear a woolen polo, ensure it fits well and isn’t too baggy. If it’s cold out, you can wear a vest underneath.
When choosing a polo shirt for a job interview, it’s important to consider the type of fabric, the fit, and the color. Choose a shirt that is made from a breathable fabric and that fits well. Avoid shirts that are too loose or too tight. And finally, choose a color that is professional and appropriate for the job you’re interviewing for.
Worst Polos to Wear for Business Casual
When it comes to business casual attire, there are certain polo shirts that you should avoid. These include:
- Polo shirts with logos: While polo shirts with logos can be perfectly acceptable in some settings, they are inappropriate for business casual environments. If you’re not sure whether or not a polo shirt with a logo is appropriate, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and choose a different shirt.
- Muscle shirt-like polos: A slim-fit polo is one thing, but a polo that clings to your skin is another. Muscle shirt-like polos are not appropriate for business casual settings. They are too casual and will make you look unprofessional.
- Polo shirts with distressed details: Distressed details, such as holes or frayed hems, are inappropriate for business casual environments. For example, a polo shirt with a hole in the shoulder would not be considered business casual. Unless you are working in an environment where distressed details are acceptable, it’s best to avoid them.
- Polo shirts that are too short or too long: Polo shirts that are too short or too long can be distracting and make you look unprofessional. If a polo shirt is too short, it may show your stomach when you raise your arms. If it’s too long, it may look like you’re wearing a dress. Choose a polo shirt that falls at or below the hip.
Tips for Dressing Up a Polo Shirt
If a polo shirt is your best option for your upcoming job interview, and you have no time to go shopping, there are some things you can do to dress it up.
Here are some tips:
- Choose a darker color: Darker colors are generally more formal than light colors. This is because they don’t show dirt and stains as easily. They also tend to be more slimming. So, if you have a choice between a black polo shirt and a white one, choose the black shirt.
- Opt for a fitted style: A fitted polo shirt will look more polished than a baggy one. If you don’t have time to go shopping, try tucking in your polo shirt to give it a more tailored look.
- Add a blazer: Adding a blazer to your outfit will dress it up instantly. This is a great option if your interview is last-minute, and you don’t have time to change. In fact, if you button your blazer, it’s possible that the interviewer won’t notice your polo at all.
- Wear dress pants or a skirt: Wearing dress pants or a skirt will make your outfit look more polished than if you wear jeans or shorts. If you don’t have time to go shopping, try raiding your closet for a pair of dress pants that you can wear with your polo shirt.
Do Polo Shirts Need To Be Tucked In for Business Casual?
This question is typically based on preference, and it often depends on the type of polo shirt you’re wearing. However, you need to remember that “business casual” still means business.
Polo shirts need to be tucked in for business casual. You can choose a polo shirt with dress pants or khakis, since this will give you a more polished and professional look.
If you’re wearing your polo shirt with jeans, that’s fine – as long as the jeans are not ripped or distressed, this can still be considered business casual attire.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. If you work in a more creative field or have a more casual office environment, you may be able to get away with wearing an untucked polo shirt. However, if you are ever in doubt, it is always best to tuck your shirt in.
Can I Wear Jeans and a Polo Shirt for a Business Casual Job Interview?
The answer to this question depends on the company’s dress code and the job you’re interviewing for. In general, it’s best to err on the side of caution and dress more formally for a job interview. This means wearing dress pants or a skirt and a blouse or shirt.
You can wear jeans and a polo shirt for a business casual job interview if the company’s dress code is relaxed, but it’s usually best to play it safe and wear something smart. It’s typically better to be overdressed than underdressed for a job interview.
If you’re unsure about the dress code, it’s always best to ask the person who scheduled your interview. This way, you can be sure that you’re dressing appropriately for the occasion.
You can also do research into the company culture to see what kind of attire other employees wear on a daily basis. However, keep in mind that employees dress more formally for job interviews, so don’t take their everyday attire as an indication of what is acceptable.
In general, it’s best to avoid wearing jeans and a polo shirt to a job interview unless you are certain that it is acceptable.
Can a Polo Shirt Be Considered Business Professional?
Polo shirts are usually not considered business professional. This is because they are typically made from cotton or other casual fabrics. However, there are some exceptions. For example, a polo shirt made from silk or another dressy fabric could be considered business professional.
It’s also important to consider the fit and style of the polo shirt. A fitted polo shirt with a collar and button-down placket could be considered business professional.
On the other hand, a baggy polo shirt with a logo would not be considered business professional.
What Colors and Patterns Are Appropriate for Polo Shirts?
When choosing a polo shirt for business casual settings, it is important to select a shirt that is conservative in both color and pattern. Solid colors are always a safe bet, but you can also choose shirts with simple stripes or other patterns. Avoid anything too loud or flashy, as this is not considered appropriate business casual attire.
Some good colors to choose for your polo shirt include:
- Light blue
These colors can be easily dressed up or down, making them versatile options for your wardrobe.
How Should Polo Shirts Fit?
When it comes to the fit of your polo shirt, you will want to ensure that it is not too tight or too loose. The shirt should fit snugly around your chest and shoulders, but you should still be able to breathe comfortably.
If the shirt is too tight, it will be uncomfortable to wear and may give off the wrong impression to your colleagues. If the shirt is too loose, it will look sloppy and unprofessional.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, while polos are generally considered more casual attire than business casual attire, many exceptions depend on the company culture and the job you’re interviewing for.
So when reaching for your polo shirt for your next job interview, consider the company culture, the dress code, and the fit and style of your shirt. With a few adjustments, you can easily transform your polo into an appropriate outfit for a job interview.