The term "classic" is thrown about freely in menswear, but the polo shirt really does deserve the label. In the past it’s been a must-have for every man’s casual wardrobe but this season our design team have given the shirt a dressed-up edge through a slim fit, two-tone colour, and contrasts in texture and print. Our Country Road menswear designer David shares his inspiration for the retro-inspired design.
I was inspired by how they wore them in the French Riviera during the late 50s and 60s. They had incredible style, think Jude Law in The Talented Mr Ripley — with a polished shoe, tailored pant and belt — there were some really interesting collars during that period. It’s about taking the right influences and using them in a modern way. So for us it was about the collar, contrast details through print and texture and applying these things into a modern context with new fabrics and a slimmer cut.
The polo is a classic by way of a casual wardrobe piece, but in the urban sphere I think it’s having a resurgence. Guys are moving away from long-sleeve shirts and into short-sleeves and polos. More dressed up with tailored, clean looks. For this season’s polo we’ve taken bits of its heritage - the French Riviera and sports origins, with a retro two-tone and a focus on collars and textured fabrics. We’ve used lots of dobby, micro textures, jacquards, subtle prints, mini stripes and tipping detail on the collars and cuffs. The woven collar on a knit piqué base is a nice play on texture, too.
KEEPING IT MODERN
Fabric is the biggest thing when keeping the look modern. It’s not about loose knits, it’s about cleanness – the style of the print is important. The idea of retro is that you don’t go literal, you’re not after an exact look, we take nuances and subtleties of that, then use classic colours. This season we’ve worked with lots of blues on blues, from powder blue to navy.
HOW TO WEAR
The beauty is you can wear these with a relaxed short and sneaker but it feels really modern
when dressed up with a tailored pant, belted with the cuffs rolled up, a well-cut jacket and polished shoe.