Thanks for the question, Matthew... are you a plant? We are doing the polo thing in a big way right now. Minus the ponies.
Since you asked – all four of our true polo shirts have the same design details and shape:
• A cut-and-sew collar (so the collar stands up and has the right amount of bloom/roll)
• A slightly deeper placket (3-button) with thick Trocas shell buttons
• Straight (vs. banded) sleeves for an easier look
• A front pocket (we love em)
• And an old-school tennis tail. If you, like me, tuck yours in, it makes it easier to stay that way.
(Side story: Rene Lacoste's original polo – as in that Lacoste – had a tennis tail.)
And now for the fabrics:
Pima Pique Polo – Pima cotton from Peru is unbelievably soft... kind of like the cashmere of cotton. Prime Peruvian pima pique. I like a midsize weave (not too open, not too tight). It gives it a texture that's rugged... refined... light... airy... all at the same time. It breathes really well. Our friend Keith Mitchell (who nearly clinched the tournament at Quail Hollow last weekend) has been wearing this one on the PGA Tour this season.
Oxford Pique Polo – The differences between our piques are pretty subtle. This one comes from Italy instead of Peru, it's not true pima cotton, and it's a slight twist on a solid color. These are yarn-dyed — each yarn is ever so slightly different, and knit with a mix of colored + white yarns, which gives an "oxford" or heathered appearance. It's not totally uniform, and we love that about it. Functionally, though, it does the same thing as the pima pique.
navy oxford pique, berry oxford pique, Arthur Ashe in a pique that isn't ours (but wouldn't that be cool?)
Jersey Polo – This is like the softest t-shirt you own, but in polo form. We use a washed, garment-dyed 180g jersey cotton for the solid colors – which gives it a sun-faded look, and a softer, broken-in feeling right from the get-go. We've also got some special make-up stripes that we created ourselves. (That Watermelon/Dutch Blue is awesome.)
lemon/dusty blue stripe jersey, dusty blue/navy stripe jersey, Jack Nicholson listening to records
Terry Polo – This one's for channeling Sean Connery in Goldfinger or fulfilling all your vintage sports star dreams. Our terry cloth comes from Japan, and the texture is less "beach towel," more "baby washcloth." Plush central. It definitely leans more casual than the rest. You're probably not gonna pair this with a sport jacket, but it looks great poolside or with a pair of shorts. Major cool factor.
white terry, grey terry, and surf guitarist Dick Dale terry
And here's a bonus – we also make a polo sweater, called the Rally, which acts just like a polo shirt. It's a bit of a throwback – think Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby in Ford v Ferrari – and very, very cool. It's made of Italian high-twist cotton yarn in a sweater knit that breathes almost like a pique, and it comes in both solids and surfer-inspired stripes. That one's a little different from the others in that the collar is different (although it still stands up,) it's got banding at the sleeve, with no tennis tail, and it can even go untucked with those side vents. It's a tad more refined – looks great with dress trousers – but in a funny way, can go almost as casual as the others.
You're exactly right about a polo being a summer staple – couldn't have said it better. For sports, for dates or the office, for hanging around the house... it can go almost anywhere. And it's great for casualizing a jacket. Thanks for the kind words, Matthew, and hope you like yours even more knowing a few more details.