Glossary: Anatomy of a Polo Shirt

When you read the Queensboro website, you find lots of weird words like “double needle stitched” and “placket.” Today, we solve the mystery for you, giving you the anatomy of a polo shirt. While each style of shirt is different, polo style shirts share many common traits.

Anatomy of a Polo Shirt

Collar: The collar is as much a defining part of the polo shirt as any other feature. The collar lies flat, but can be turned up at the back to keep the sun off the neck (this is especially important for tennis players, and the polo shirt was originally designed by a tennis player). Traditional polo shirt collars are a rib-knit; however, now some polo shirts have self-fabric colors, which are made from the same fabric/knit as the rest of the shirt.

Placket: The placket is the area of the garment where one piece fastens to another. On a polo shirt, this is below the collar, where the shirt buttons.

Buttons: Women’s style polo shirts often do not have buttons, but instead have a collar and a small v-neck. Men’s polo shirts have buttons on the right side, typically two or three (hence, a “two-button placket”).

Cuff: The end of the sleeve is known as the cuff. Some polos have rib knit cuffs, while others have self-fabric cuffs.

Tape: In fabric terms, “tape” is a narrow, woven piece of fabric. The best polo shirts have a “fully taped neck.” This strip of fabric appears on the inside of the neck, helping to maintain the structure of the shirt, while making it more comfortable by covering the seam between the collar and the shirt. It also helps to absorb perspiration. There is often tape along the inner side vents as well, to help keep the shirt from coming un-tucked.

Side Seam: Some t-shirts are “body knit,” which means that they are knit as a tube, and do not require side seams. Side seams help give polo shirts a more fitted shape.

Side vent: The side vents are at the bottom of the shirt. Usually they are taped along the hem, though sometimes they are double-needled stitched. On athletic shirts and performance shirts, there is usually a small piece of tape on the outside of the shirt at the top of the vent, which aids in keeping the shirt tucked in.

Extended Tail: You will notice that on many polo shirts, the back of the shirt is longer than the front of the shirt. This helps keep the shirt from coming un-tucked.

Hem: You will see the term “double needle stitched” used occasionally. This means that the hem is stitched with a double row of needles, and hence two rows of thread, running parallel to each other. A double needle stitched hem is less likely to unravel, and also give the shirt a more finished look.