Polo Shirt Buying Guide


Or Just Call It A Tennis Shirt

Couple Wearing Polo Shirts

Polo Brands

Polos for organizational identity programs are referred to in the industry as sport, knit or golf shirts and are often classified according to fabric content.  Some are made using natural fibers while others are 100% synthetic or some combination of both.  Better quality shirts have side seams, side vents or gussets providing multi panel construction, delivering a better shape retention than basic tubular construction (think t-shirts).  A high percentage of quality shirts come in coordinated men and women sizes, offering a well-dressed and consistent organizational appearance.

100% Cotton

Since the fabric comes from a naturally occurring fiber, one can expect they are soft, comfortable to wear and provide ease of care .  Combed cotton is the most basic, unrefined and least costly cotton.  Pique polo shirts with combed cotton tend to be heavier presenting a disadvantage in warmer weather while also losing their inherent softness after multiple launderings.

Pima cotton is a finer more refined cotton fiber and tends to have fewer imperfections and impediments, offering a softer and more enduring quality fabrication.  Over the years, Pima cotton shirt weight offerings has lowered from 7 to 5 ounces, making the shirt more comfortable in warmer temperatures.  Comparable cotton labels also include Egyptian and Supima.


Performance polo's are all about comfort and style under extreme conditions. They are popular with golfers, athletes and employees that want to maintain a business casual appearance when active in warm weather.  They also tend to release stains better than cotton.  Polyester polos can be referred to as moisture management and moisture wicking because of their ability to disperse moisture away from the body during hot, humid and perspiring conditions.  As is the case with most shirts, higher prices generally yield better grade fabrics.

A polyester material shortcoming is its tendency to retain odor after multiple washings.  Now, many polyester fabrics are manufactured with an anti-microbial treatment to address this potential issue.  To be sure, ideally a shirt description will state whether this treatment exists within the fabric content.  After time though, this built in safeguard may breakdown.  Should odor find its way into the fabric, adding baking soda and regular table salt to the wash can release the odor from the material.

Cotton / Poly Blends

The polyester content of a cotton poly blend provides an inherent moisture wicking feature not requiring an anti microbial treatment.  Some blends list an enhanced fabric design, elevating this moisture management capability.  

The luxury fabric composition in this class is the Pima Cotton / Polyester blend providing an extra soft feel while offering a material composition that will disperse moisture when presented with warmer conditions. Composite descriptions include Micropima by IZOD and Vantage, Pima-tek by Devon & Jones and PimaCool by Port Authority.  As is the case with most shirts, higher prices generally yield better grade fabrics and features.

Check out all the brands we offer under the Polo Shirt section of the "Staff & Event Apparel" area of our website.

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