Polo neck. Turtleneck. Roll neck. Skivvy. No matter which way you want to spin it, the slim-fitting, rib-knit sweater with a high fold-over collar is definitely experiencing a fashion moment. For reference, we prefer to say ‘polo neck’. Skivvy conjures that era of scratchy, suffocating, high-necked garments we were forced to wear as school uniforms. Shudder.
You can attribute the re-emergence of the polo neck to the retro undercurrent influencing fashion right now, in particular 70s-era platforms, mid-calf A-line shirt dresses, suede boots and the sleek tailored flares that have also returned to favour. The genius of the new-look polo is its luxe clash with other textures at play – think slubby knits, leather, suede and silk. And a must-have is a black polo in form-flattering design – it’s the height of stealth sexiness. A white version is something for the bold and beautiful – Natalia Vodanova pulled it off (not literally) front row for the Dior haute couture show. And we respect her for that.
The late Steve Jobs was, arguably, the most famous polo neck wearer of recent years. High fashion was an influence on his wardrobe staple – his signature black polo was created by Japanese designer Issey Miyake. The story goes that Jobs admired the uniforms Miyake had designed for Sony and wanted the same for Apple. His staff remained unconvinced, but Jobs adopted the look anyway – and it stuck!
TOP FIVE FAMOUS POLO NECK WEARERS
Jackie Kennedy Onassis
THE FINE-KNIT POLO
- The way to keep it modern is also to keep it simple and luxe. Buy a quality fine merino, silk or cashmere-mix black polo and team it with refined gold jewellery
- Wear it as a hero layering piece under a sleeveless silk tank, a long-line gilet, a belted dress, trench or biker jacket
- Carry the 70s mood into the office in a pencil skirt and knee-high boots
- Replace a shirt with a polo under a suit for perfect polish at corporate encounters
- Wearing it body-con style under a loose silk or masculine military-style shirt is a good way to play down the potential ‘siren’ attributes of a tight fit
- Be a beatnik babe a la Audrey Hepburn and tuck one into slim black pants or a short A-line skirt worn with glossy flats
- The new polo is ideal for evening – tuck it seamlessly into a full, calf-length skirt and wear with long jewelled earrings and beaded pumps
- For a casual take, a polo under a parka with skinny jeans and flat Chelsea boots will take you from shopping to sports sidelines with ease (and warmth)
- With a form-fitting polo, consider wearing a long-line foundation garment or ensure your bra fits perfectly to avoid any double-boob issues
- Though we wouldn’t advise dressing matchy matchy as a pair, the polo is definitely en vogue for men too, according to Gucci, Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton. Advise him to slip a fine-gauge polo under a grey, burgundy or navy jacket or wool coat, with slim trousers