Articles,  Fit guide

How a Polo Shirt Should Fit

  This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Learn More.  

A great fitting polo shirt can make you look muscular, slim and classic all at the same time. So here is a detailed guide on how a polo shirt should fit.

But first, let’s clarify how a polo shirt should NOT fit.

Too Tight

A tight fit. This shirt is at least 1 to 2 sizes too small for the wearer. There is fabric pulling across the chest, torso and even the sleeves. The shoulder seam of the shirt also lies before the shoulder bone.

Too Big

This polo is too big overall. The shoulder seam is falling down the arms, the chest and torso have too much extra fabric and the sleeves are too large and long.

How a Polo Shirt Should Fit

A polo shirt should fit similar to a t-shirt or henley which means that it should be snug in the chest and slightly loose through the torso. The shoulder seam should lie at the shoulder end point and the sleeves should come down half the way from the shoulder to the elbow.


Simply put, a polo shirt should be easy to put on with all the buttons unbuttoned. Once on, the polo shirt should sit comfortably around your neck and shoulders with no bunching or creasing.


A well-fitting polo shirt should have the shoulder seam aligned with the end of your shoulder bone. If the seam is before this point, the polo is too small. If the seam extends past your shoulder and down your arm, then the polo shirt is too big.

shoulder fit guide, how a polo shirt should fit


Similar to a well-fitting t-shirt, you want a polo shirt to be fitted in the chest but not tight. The fabric should lay across your chest with no creasing or bunching. If there is too much creasing, the polo shirt is too tight because the fabric is stretching across your body. If there is too much fabric bunching, then the polo shirt is too loose.

chest fit guide of polo shirt, how a polo shirt should fit


The polo shirt should drape effortlessly along your torso. It shouldn’t bunch up against your belly because that will not only make you look overweight, but also make the polo shirt look too tight. You should be able to pinch about 2-3 inches of excess fabric on either side of the polo shirt. Anything more, then the polo shirt will look too loose.

torso fit guide of a polo shirt


The length of a well-fitting polo shirt will depend on how you want to wear the polo shirt; casual or business casual. Simply put, if you are going to wear the polo shirt in a more formal manner, then you are probably going to have to tuck it in. In this case, the length of the shirt doesn’t really matter as long as it is long enough to tuck in and won’t come out as you move about.

For more casual looks where you will probably wear the polo shirt untucked, then you want the polo shirt to be long enough that is covers your belt and ends at the halfway point of your zipper. If it is shorter than this then it will expose your back every time you raise your arms. If it is longer than this then it will throw off the proportions of your outfit.

length guide of a polo shirt , how a polo shirt should fit


A bad fit in the sleeves can ruin the whole look of a polo shirt. Most polo shirts are made with large sleeves to accommodate as many men as possible. However, a loose sleeve looks horrible because it makes your arms look smaller as well as ruin the streamlined look of a well-fitting polo shirt.

Look for polo shirts that have a slimmer sleeve which gently hugs your biceps and end halfway down your upper arm (from your shoulder to elbow). So even if you don’t have muscular biceps, a snug fitting sleeve can make you look more in shape.

sleeve fit guide , how a polo shirt should fit


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this guide on how a polo shirt should fit. We covered all aspects of how a polo shirt should fit so you know exactly what to look for when going out and buying a new one.

Wondering if polo shirts are okay for business casual? Check out our article on Business Casual Polos.