Sorry tank tops, the preppy polo shirt will dominate in 2024
When Miuccia Prada decides that something is back, the rest of the fashion industry tends to fall in line. Miu Miu is probably the fashion show that currently has the biggest impact on the trend cycle, and in the spring/summer 2024 collection, the preppy polo shirt was at the heart of the collection. Models dressed like the smart boys of freshman week 2008, with blue polo shirts paired with baggy shorts, collegiate blazers, and flip-flops or boat shoes.

The 1990s revival has been going on for some time, but only recently have moodboards shifted from Paris Hilton's style to college style, as sloppy as it is preppy. This week sees the release of the highly anticipated Saltburn, set in Oxford in 2007, with Jacob Elordi wearing numerous polo shirts with pointed collars. Miu Miu's models might look like they're on their way to class after a heavy night at Walkabout in 2008, but elsewhere this preppy mood was a bit more country-club chic.

Dries van Noten's polo shirts were very preppy, with wide horizontal stripes and an Ivy League color palette, but it was the styling that gave this everyday cotton sweater a street-style feel. A blue and moss green rugby shirt was paired with a transparent skirt embellished with sequins, a black tailored coat, and patterned heels and socks. In Milan, the focus was on Sabato de Sarno's debut collection for Gucci, which focused on simple garments. His Gucci polo shirts were made of fine crocheted knit, with red and green striped details on the collar and cuffs - matching micro knit shorts only added to the Gossip Girl effect.

You know a trend is really important (and about to appear in many celebrity paparazzi photos) when it is adopted by The Row, and for spring/summer 2024, the brand offered a softer take on the polo shirt, with a pink open-collared shirt paired with a midi-skirt and a waterproof coat. With no logos, stripes, or buttons, The Row distances the polo shirt from its snobby past and shows that it can be a useful alternative to the white crew neck or ribbed tank top that have dominated in recent years.

If you want a more polished look that won't make you wonder if you've taken up lacrosse, pair the polo shirt with a tailored gray, blue, or black blazer. In the November issue, Laura Hawkins, British Vogue's associate editor for Europe, paired a burgundy-striped polo dress from Miu Miu with a gray boxy blazer. "If your style falls somewhere between sporty and dressy, I suggest the polo shirt and tailored blazer pairing," Hawkins explains about her new love for the polo shirt. "A bit preppy and very refined, I'll wear the Miu Miu version all season long, paired with mules for a cocktail bar and retro sneakers at the desk."

If you need further proof that polo shirts are about to take the place of tank tops as the T-shirts of 2024, take a look at the celebrities who have worn them recently. Hailey Bieber and Rihanna were early adopters of the trend. Earlier this year, both wore Loewe's cropped striped polo shirt with baggy jeans as a tonic to any stuffy country club connotations. Taylor Swift, on the other hand, looked like she was ready to enroll in the fall semester somewhere fancy with her horsey attire that she sported in October. She dressed as Serena van der Woodsen in an oversized Stella McCartney polo shirt (complete with horse logo), knee-high brown leather boots, and a tennis necklace.

Whether you want to be as stylish as Taylor or have a more casual look, there's no doubt you'll be seeing a lot more of the polo shirt in 2024.

February 08, 2024