Thursday, January 31, 2013

JGIC Product Review: The Polo

A big "thanks!" to J.Crew Guy In Canada who is graciously reviewing Men's items from J.Crew with us. In this review, he tackles a classic staple in any guy's closet: the Polo.
As a kid growing up there was the one item that was cool; a polo with a popped collar showed who had style.  If you were really preppy you wore a sweater draped over your shoulders and tied around the neck.  I tried it once, but since my name wasn't Skippy or Biff I couldn't quite pull it off; but I did pop the collar.

J.Crew polo shirts are okay; but whether it be the logo or the time I grew up in or possibly the cache, Ralph Lauren and Rene Lacoste are the two I prefer.  There's just something very special in my mind about these two brands of polo shirts.  In all items of clothing I prefer to fly under the radar, no branding showing, no logos, no names to be seen.  But the polo shirt doesn't work that way for me.  I want the guy on horseback swinging his mallet or the smiling croc with it's teeth showing.  Don't mind Gant either with it's US emblem.  Poor J.Crew the only polos I've seen with logos are the factory ones, which maybe just as serviceable don't have that factor X the other guys do.

I have a few J.Crew polos, all well cut, great colours and good qulaity cotton.  But Ralph has something they don't.  His cotton has slightly more texture, least in the cotton pique I have.  The Polo polo also has longer tails, the ones in back slightly longer to really channel that preppy vibe.  And I love the Polo logo, especially when it's made of several colours and not just one.  And the fact that Lacoste is designed in France and many are still made there makes it even more special than one from a factory in China.  Perhaps it's my early years as a university student wanting the big name logo, but living on a student's budget that gives them their edge over their J.Crew cousins.  J.Crew certainly gets the colours right, but the Ralph and Lacoste ones have every so slightly larger collars and the very special logo on the front left side.

Now J.Crew does slub cotton with it's cool texture and look along with pique, lightweight and striped ones and I have one referred to as jaspe, but as good as they are I still want a crocodile on mine or a man on horse back.  Before you get all "he's just into labels" remember where you're reading this.  And for the record I do sort of like my labels.   I have one over-sized croc from Lacoste, but since the logo is black on a black polo it's subtle and not too in your face like the Big Pony from Ralph.

Where J.Crew does well is in fit, high arm holes, trim cuts and well placed buttons.  They wash well and stand up for years.  The slim cut works well without making me look like a sausage.  But both Ralph Lauren and Lacoste offer trim cuts.  And if you have a decent tailor they can slim down your regular polo for that custom fit.  Nothing better than going to the tailor and having an okay polo trimmed into a wow you just came from the gym one.

So like I said, J.Crew polos are fine, but I still would rather pay more and get the guy on the horse of the reptile on mine.
"Thanks!" again to J.Crew Guy In Canada for his take on J.Crew!

I find the debate relating to "logos on polos" an interesting one! I know the men in my life prefer to not have any logo showing, while I know some others who definitely wear them proudly.

As for J.Crew's polos... I own several from the Women's line (and purchase many for my DH, from the Men's line). They usually hold up very well and they fit great. They really are that exceptional piece of clothing that looks timeless.

What are your thoughts on this post? Do you have any men's polos from J.Crew? Are you a fan of the visible logo? Do you pop your polo's collar? If so, please share with us your take. :)

9 comments:

  1. I used to wear polo shirts but I actually don't own any right now. I've owned exactly 5 polo shirts in my life; 3 Ralph Lauren (yes they had the polo player on front), 1 Lacoste (alligator? check) and 1 Fred Perry with the laurel wreath logo. I gave them all up in a sweeping re-structuring of my wardrobe a few years ago, where only a handful of tees survived and almost nothing with logos did. I guess that I was just tired of the free advertising that I was providing for these companies. lol. Mostly, I wanted a more sophisticated, streamlined look and felt that these polos and basically most items with logos did not fit in with that asthetic, IMHO.

    I am happy to hear that JC's polos are good quality though. The men in my life love those things.

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  2. I love the JC factory polos with the little oarsman on them. But, the best polos for men, in my experience, are from Dillards. They are the Roundtree and Yorke Gold Label polos. They always go on sale, too. They are super soft, and you can wash them 50 times and they still look new. Ralph Lauren polos are OK, but they are not as nice as the ones from Dillards. The fabric is stiffer and they don't hold up as well. I still like them, though, but mostly stick to Dillards for my fiance's polo needs.

    The logo/no logo debate is interesting. I don't wear polo shirts but if I did, I think I'd want a Lacoste one. There's something about that little gator!

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  3. Thank you for the review. I do not rock polo shirts, but my husband is a bit George Jetson about his wardrobe and, well, he wears Ralph polos in every shade of the rainbow pretty much as his uniform. I was always tempted to switch it up with some J. Crew polos because let's be real, Ralph Lauren polos are ridiculously expensive. But The Husband is set in his ways, so I haven't even tried. He does like j. Crew T's and pullovers, however. Looking forward to more menswear reviews..

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  4. Thanks for the review. My husband does not like having logos of any kind, and so he actually prefers the unbranded J. Crew polos. He normally wears tall sizes in JC shirts and sweaters, but for the polos, we found the tall size to be ridiculously huge - too wide in the body, too long in the back. The regular size fits him fine and the colour selection is way better. They hold up well to wash and wear, much better than Gap or Banana Republic polos.

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  5. Great reviews as always! I used to wear polos (mainly ralph lauren and lacoste) but not really anymore. My two older JCrew women's polos fit well but I found to be more sheer than RL.

    My husband definitely loves his RL polos and he has a ton. He has some JCrew ones as well and likes them but finds the RL polos longer and to fit him better. He likes Lacoste but they are usually too small on him. It's definitely a brand/logo thing. Normally he doesn't wear logos except RL polos and dress shirts.

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  6. JCGIC, I am in the same boat. Usually hate branding on clothes (and handbags), but for some reason I have a weak spot where polos are concerned! Perhaps because a single embroidered emblem is comparatively understated?

    I currently have 3 Ralph Lauren polos and 1 Lacoste. Lacoste actually fits me best, but they are expensive! I used to have a couple J.Crew ones, but they didn't work as well for my shape - too boxy. I haven't tried any recently. As much as I like the look, I've had to admit that polos just aren't the best for me.

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  7. I like J.Crew's polos specifically b/c I can customize them with my own critter :) I've got a mint one with a little red crab and a pink one with a little yellow/green pineapple. I need to replace an old plain white one, but I haven't decided on the critter yet...maybe a little navy hula girl.

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  8. I won't buy a JC polo without the oarsman logo. Without the logo, you are just wearing a Walmart knock-off. Well, maybe not, but you'd never know. Right?

    I have an Oarsman in every color. Love'em, but they need replacing. No oarsman, means I'll be buying RL polos with the logo.

    Grrrrr

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