Menswear expert Chris Modoo shares his essential guide to polo season style

By Rachel Ingram | 18 Jun 2019 | Style

Don't chukka on just anything; these simple style rules will ensure you remain the best in show
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It might surprise you to learn that, when it comes to style, polo is one of the more welcoming equestrian sports. There is no official dress code, no rules and no strict regulations. So be mindful of the forecast and dress appropriately for the day – you won’t find short skirts flapping and hats flying off heads here, as you do so often at Cheltenham, Aintree and Ascot. Here, London’s leading men's fashion expert gives Tempus his top tips for dressing for the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club’s International Day on 27 July – one of the most exciting and elegant events of the season. Read on…


When you’re dressing for corporate hospitality, the key is the blazer. It’s such an easy thing for a man to wear. After a few years of having a bad reputation, the gold- or -brass-button blazer is having a moment and will see you through virtually all your corporate summer occasions. You can do any colour of trousers with this because it’s such a neutral. I think a white jean or a white cotton drill is very “polo” because it echoes the polo jean of the players.

[Photography: © Oliver Brown]


The most casual look for spectators is a polo shirt and chinos – avoid branded shirts with the polo logo on because that’s just too obvious. The best way to wear chinos, especially on a hot day, is to roll them and have them a bit shorter, with no socks. It’s just a little bit more interesting than the slightly too-long chino that puddles around a man’s shoes. Then, I’d wear a simple driving loafer, which brings a bit of colour to the outfit.

[Photography: © Oliver Brown]


On a hot day linen is the most comfortable cloth because it breathes and is very cool on the skin. An easy way to wear would be to stick a beautiful linen shirt under your blazer. If you’re new to linen, pair it with a light pair of wool trousers. If you’re nervous about creasing, a textured linen like herringbone is a bit more sympathetic. It will always crumple gently rather than leave those horrible, sharp creases.

In the hottest weather, the most comfortable material is seersucker. This is a traditional cloth which comes from the days of the Raj. It’s usually cotton, or sometimes cotton blended, and has a shrunken warp and shrunken weft which has a raised surface, so it doesn’t actually touch the skin. It’s so, so comfortable and quite sophisticated – but I don’t like seersucker suits because I think it’s a bit “Andy Pandy”, so just wear a little bit as part of an outfit.

[Photography: © Oliver Brown]


Polo is glamorous so it’s all about good accessories, such as an expensive watch and a pocket square. A good pocket square really lifts a jacket –it looks a bit more dressed up, a bit more considered, without much effort. I’d always say that if you don’t have to have a tie, I wouldn’t wear a tie. Instead, you can wear a double-cuff shirt with really cool cufflinks and an open neck – I think that looks really good. If you do wear a tie, I’d be inclined to wear something quite simple. A spot or club-stripe tie always looks very smart.

When it comes to hats, opt for a simple, classic panama. As for shoes, I’d go for a chukka boot, which takes its name from the sport. A good sort of reverse-calf Chelsea boot or a lace-up boot is also a really easy way of dressing for the polo.

[Photography: © Oliver Brown]