I Was Obsessed With This Shirt in High School and Haven't Worn It Since . . . Until Now
Confession: I used to be pretty darn preppy in middle and high school. We're talking polo shirts with popped collars preppy (don't judge me). While I didn't layer my polos like some of my so-hip friends (though I'm embarrassed to say that I did consider it), I pretty much wore American Eagle, Abercrombie, and Hollister everything and yes, I finished most of these looks off with butterfly clips, a pukka shell necklace, and heavy eyeliner (yikes, I know . . . #TBT).
Cut to my 30-year-old self where hints of my preppy past remain, but overall, my vibe is classic, feminine, and often tailored. I love smart staples, from button downs to shirtdresses and chinos, leaving my polo shirt fandom in the past . . . until now. Popping up (see what I did there?) on many a designer runway over the past few seasons, the preppy hero piece is officially back and, not-so shockingly, I'm super into it.
New-season polo shirts come with a heavy dose of nostalgia (like the majority of trends these days), referencing varsity stripes, zip closures, and ribbed fabrics á la the '70s with '90s touches like shrunken fits and frilled detailing proving major, too. And while pastel hues and neon shades are big (just as they were in my middle and high school days), splashy patterns, modern stripes, and cool colorblocking makes 2019 versions feel ultrafresh for Summer and a stylish choice in place of simple t-shirts or structured shirts and blouses.
When styling a polo shirt with a modern spin, I'll be ditching my beloved denim miniskirt from high school (and most definitely won't be popping my collar) and swapping in smart midi skirts, vintage-wash jeans, and high-rise trousers for both work and weekends — I might even layer one with a slip dress and barely there sandals because, let's face it, Summer fashion is all about fun, and what's more playful than a total throwback look?
If you're here for the polo shirt resurgence like I am, shop my favorites ahead, from superaffordable finds (including versions from Abercrombie and American Eagle!) all the way to designer styles that walked the runway.