Polos, Hold the Logo

When it comes to shirts these days, the logo is king—Abercrombie stamps its funny-looking moose on everything, Lacoste’s crocodile is going like gangbusters again, and, if you wish, Polo has a horsey that’s big enough to see from across the street. Fortunately for those who prefer to be less conspicuous about their brand allegiances, there are many fine options, which we’ve put to the test here.

Photographs by Davies + Starr

Old Navy, $19.50
Best Value
With bold colors and a decent fit, this is an excellent buy. Cotton is a bit coarse, and the collar lacks refinement, but on the touch-football field or in the bar afterward, who’s gonna notice? (150 W. 34th St., nr. Broadway; 212-594-0049)

Uniqlo, $29.50
Like much of the wares at this Japanese chain, the polo is more interesting than what you can get at the Gap and less sophisticated than J.Crew. The cotton feel is so-so, but the colors are fresh and bright. (546 Broadway, nr. Spring St.; 917-237-8800)

Banana Republic, $39.50
The best feature is the distinctive internal chest pocket. The colors are nice, with a slightly washed vintage tone, and the 100 percent cotton is soft, if a little thick. Not the best option for steamy weather. (626 Fifth Ave., at 50th St.; 212-974-2350)

Steven Alan, $88
The man who dressed down the dress shirt makes a surprisingly elegant and proper polo. Soft, thin cotton and stripes in a pleasing earthy palette. Watch the fit, though; a beer gut will not be flattered. (103 Franklin St., nr. Church St.; 212-343-0692)

Trovata, $89
Yo, Danny Partridge! The polos from this Orange County preppy-revivalist house come in an array of nice stripes, with the white rugbylike collar that is so 1975. Fit is pretty tight. (Available in April at Odin, 328 E. 11th St., nr. Second Ave.; 212-475-0666)

Troglodyte Homunculus, $120
A polo so well turned out that you could wear it under a suit. Excellent collar, inventive color combinations, snug fit; an overall winner that will look good for years and is worth the high price. (Seize sur Vingt, 243 Elizabeth St., nr. Prince St.; 212-343-0476)

Oliver Spencer, $125
This is more like something you’d wear to the office. Good collar, a slim fit, and fine details; possible drawback is that the seams are on the outside, which may be too much of a fashion statement for some. (750 Greenwich St., at 11th St.; 212-337-3095)

Paul Stuart, $137.50
High-grade, nice cotton, shiny and strong, sharp colors. Very roomy fit, sleeves nearly reach your elbow. The risk here is that you put it on, look at yourself in the mirror, and say, “Hello, Dad.” (350 Madison Ave., at 45th St.; 212-682-0320)

Polos, Hold the Logo