Polo T Shirts – How to care for your favourite polo t shirt

Written by: Andy Hoyle | April 12, 2010.

This summer the heavily pushed trend is going to be the smart polo t shirt, with shorts, jeans or trousers. This smart casual summer look can be found in every fashion magazine from GQ to FHM and has already been seen on TV and the internet, sported by the most fashionable celebrities around. With this key summer look in mind you need to know how to care for your polo t shirt and keep it looking smart all summer long. Polo t shirts are usually made from 100% cotton pique, meaning they are fairly easy to maintain, but care has to be taken with expensive designer t shirts. The most popular mens designer polo t shirts out there at the moment have to be Lyle and Scott and Ralph Lauren. The Ralph Lauren polo t shirts have been a key piece of people’s wardrobes since 1972.
The key to keeping your polo t shirt looking smart and tidy is how you care for it, how you efficiently wash and dry your favourite piece of clothing, and then if needs be how to iron and store your t shirt to keep it fresh and ready for when you need to look your best.

The first step to keeping your polo t shirt looking like new is which cycle you use on your washing machine. Every polo t shirt or brand is different, which is why care must be taken to check the washing instructions for each garment. Most t shirts will be washed on around 30-50 degrees, with washing powder and softener and with similar colours. No one wants to turn their favourite white t shirt pink when washed with a red sock! Once you have checked the care label and followed the instructions, sit back and wait for your washing machine to finish doing it’s magic.

Once your machine has finished next step is the drying of your garment. It is advisable to steer clear of the tumble dryer and direct heat (radiators), even if the care label says it is ok, as this will make the cotton tighten and shrink ever so slightly. The best practise is to hang on the washing line, pegging the very bottom of the polo t shirt to avoid obvious crease marks, or use a clothes horse. When hanging your t shirt to dry try to ensure that it is flat and in shape, this will avoid large creases that will need ironing out. If you do wish to tumble dry your t shirt, and the care label states you can, do so on the correct heat, but also ensure that the washing machine has done its job and removed any stains and dirt, as tumble drying may fuse the particles of the stain together, making it harder to remove next time.

After your polo t shirt has dried the next step is pretty optional, and all depends on how you want to wear your t shirt. Ironing your polo can be done as a matter of course, or only if necessary to remove any creases. The ironing procedure is slightly different to a smart shirt, and is done all in one go, rather than in sections. First start with the collar, inside and out, making sure that you iron the tips of the collar to avoid curling up at the ends. Next, lay it out flat on the board and start with your sleeves, shoulder to cuff. Your placket needs straightening before going over, be careful of the buttons as too much heat or pressure may mark the upper layer of cotton. Then, move from the placket towards the shoulders, covering every part, once you have the top part ironed pick it up and gently lay it over the edge of the ironing board and iron the bottom half moving towards the hem. The front is now done so turn it over and repeat the entire process starting with your sleeves. To view a video of this process click here
This process will only take a couple of minutes, but will just remove any creases and ensure that you and your polo t shirt are ready for anything.
Storing your polo t shirt really is personal preference, many prefer hanging on a plastic coat hanger as it keeps the creases out, but if you are a master at folding items and avoiding the creases then fold away.

These few simple steps may seem very picky, but they will help you to keep your wardrobe smart and presentable and ready to rock this summer’s key looks.

FAQ – Just a few helpful tips to keep you going.

How do you keep the collar on a polo shirt from curling under at the points?
I iron it, but somehow throughout the day it tends to curl under?!?! so frustrating! and sloppy…

Spray starch is a bit wimpy for this job so you can make your own starch instead.
Go to the grocery store’s laundry aisle and pick up a box of ARGO starch. A “medium” starch should work well without your collar feeling like cardboard. Follow the directions on the package, but only dip the collar of your shirt in the solution.
Wring out the excess starch and lay your shirt face down on a towel to dry (overnight should do it) and make sure you smooth out the collar points.
The next time you wear your shirt, the points will be nice and straight and they won’t curl up on you!

How Do You Wash Polo Shirts Without Shrinking Them???
Every time i put them in the wash they shrink in length
Please Help!!!!!!!!

Wash them in cold water with a cold rinse cycle on delicate. Do not put them in the dryer, hang them up to dry instead. Especially if they are 100% cotton. Cotton (any cotton) will shrink in the dryer or when washed/rinsed in hot/warm water. My husband had this problem when he used to do his own laundry. Now I do it & his polo shirts no longer untuck themselves as they haven’t shrunk.

I like my designer label (lacoste, fred perry etc) polo shirts which tend to be 100% cotton.With my washer washing at 30 deg on a quick wash with non bio washing powder makes the t-shirts clean, fresh and stay the same size.But they just don’t seem as crisp as they do when they are straight off the shelf of the shop!? Mostly the collar and button area just doesn’t stay flat and curls and sometimes looks a bit crumpled! How do I get that crisp brand new feel to my polo shirts!

Every item of clothing will wear after a few cycles in the washer, but I have discovered that if you turn your clothes inside out before you wash and if you hang dry them instead of drying them in the dryer, they will look new a whooooole lot longer.



Not for me!