Preppy, on the cheap
July 1, 2011 9:33 AM   Subscribe

For the preppy askmefiers: After I've stained my umpteenth Ralph Lauren Polo shirt, I've decided to start buying cheaper polos. However, I love the look and feel of the shirt (even without the pony), and would like something similar. Any suggestions on sources/stores/brands/ styles?

1. Needs to be under $40 MSRP.
2. Should be similar fit (not too baggy like a golf shirt, not too tight/short like J Crew/Lacoste or 'slim').
3. Has to be pique/mesh 100% cotton. None of that jersey stuff.
4. Shouldn't have a logo.
5. Doesn't have to durable, but should hold up to washings
6. Two buttons.
7. Doesn't need long flap.
posted by sandmanwv to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You absolutely can't go wrong with J. Crew polos. I've gotten them from outlet stores (if you're in the US) for around $16. They're great.
posted by lobbyist at 9:41 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Uniqlo, if you're lucky enough to live by one.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:44 AM on July 1, 2011

posted by proj at 9:49 AM on July 1, 2011

I am currently wearing an Old Navy men's polo, which I got for something like 9 bucks. I think I have at least eight of them. They're nice and long (but not tunic-y) and several of them have stood up for five years or so.
posted by Madamina at 10:01 AM on July 1, 2011

ll bean has a number of polo types with a plethora of choices. (Web page doesn't seem to show all the options the catalog has, but that may be because spring polo season is over..)

However, I can't speak as to which you'd prefer, just want to point out they have a great selection and meet your price criteria.
posted by k5.user at 10:02 AM on July 1, 2011

Not what you're asking, but I have found Shout Advanced Ultra Gel to be very effective at removing stains on my polo style shirts. If I had to throw away every polo shirt I stained, I'd go through about 3 a week.

To answer the question: I'm a big fan of the Cherokee and Merona brands of polo shirts that you can find at Target. Cheap, fairly durable. I've had a few for several years now, and they still look pretty good thanks to the Shout Gel.
posted by ralan at 10:03 AM on July 1, 2011

Best answer: Check out Lands' End's new polo shirts. I liked the old ones, but the new ones are even better. Switched when I decided $75 was a bit too much to be a pony's billboard. LE's are normally $30 but apparently now on sale for $20.
posted by CruiseSavvy at 10:14 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

I used to wear Banana Republic's until I upgraded to the Brooks Brother's / Men's warehouse shirt & tie thing.

The shirts would last me roughly two years with a 5 shirt rotation during the work week, intermixed with mroe formal wear when necessary.

Note: The Talls are separate.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:23 AM on July 1, 2011

You can get real Polo shirts for under $40 at discount stores.
posted by orthogonality at 10:25 AM on July 1, 2011

If you can stretch to $65 - These come reccomended. Otherwise, Uniqlo or H&M both have passable polo's for change as apparently do lands end.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 10:35 AM on July 1, 2011

This was not your question, but . . . I'm pretty surprised they become permanently stained -- usually better quality clothing drops stains in the wash. My husband has 2 Ralph Lauren button downs that are 20 years old, we couldn't kill them if we tried. He had to "outgrow" them. I suspect my eldest will be wearing them in a couple years.
posted by MeiraV at 11:17 AM on July 1, 2011

Not a huge fan of H&M's polos. Very cheap-feeling.

I've been liking the Banana and J Crew ones that I own though.
posted by schmod at 11:20 AM on July 1, 2011

I switched from Polo to LLBean a couple of years ago when I needed to start wearing "big boy" size (XXL) and the Polo XXL felt a little too "single X L" for my taste. I've still got a couple I bought then and they're still completely presentable, something like three years later. At Bean's prices, you can afford to replace them even if you do get an unwashable stain on them...
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 11:32 AM on July 1, 2011

Seconding the Land's End shirts and adding a vote for Eddie Bauer. My husband is very happy with both of them compared to the Ralph Lauren and Cutter & Buck his mom buys him. Our experience is that Old Navy shirts don't last the way the LE and EB polos do.

(Note: my husband is in Tall sizes and sneaks by with an XXL instead of XLT in Old Navy.)
posted by immlass at 11:54 AM on July 1, 2011

Seconding MeiraV - try Oxyclean before you write it off entirely. I thrift a lot, and I see RLP stuff all the time, you could give that a try. Also try ebay, where even brand new expensive clothing shows up for cheap (right now there are about 40,000 result for "Ralph Lauren Polo shirts) and you can set up a search to email you when your size/style/color is listed
posted by crabintheocean at 12:32 PM on July 1, 2011

Land's End has a new line called Canvas. Their polo's are on sale right now.
posted by cazoo at 12:51 PM on July 1, 2011

Best answer: (1) Lands' End Canvas -- check for coupon codes, first. Trimmer cut than the usual Lands' End (which are also fine). J. Crew ones are nice, possibly a bit finer and thinner fabric. Old Navy is not consistent in polo quality. Eddie Bauer's are thick. Gap worth a try.

(2) Dude, you gotta learn to do laundry -- blast it with the spray OxiClean when you get home

(3) Be wary of logo polos on eBay; lots are going to be fakes from China, like these
posted by kmennie at 1:38 PM on July 1, 2011

They have more than 2 buttons, but what about Uniqlo?
posted by onegoodthing at 7:00 PM on July 1, 2011

I have trouble with grease stains on my polos and t's. I put a drop of Dawn or Joy lemon dishwashing liquid on the stains for a bit before I wash and it helps a lot. It also helps if you have major hard water too.
posted by PJMoore at 8:06 AM on July 3, 2011

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