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The most useful staple in our summer wardrobe, hands down, is the premium polo shirt. Pair it with your tropical weight wool trousers for business or dinner; toss on over khakis for the weekend. To us the ideal polo shirt has a self-collar (none of that saggy ribbed nonsense) and is an ideal length to wear untucked. We've gone through dozens over the years and here are four of our favourites.

Sunspel Riviera [$105]
We first saw one of these on James Bond in Casino Royale, and if it's good enough for 007 it's good enough for us. Sunspel's polos feel a bit like pique but are actually a tight, lightweight mesh warp-knitted on lace machines. We find the overall length an inch or two too long, something easily remedied by your local tailor. Great sleeve length and nice broad collar. Fit is just a little snug but stretches easily; buy true to size.

Michael Kors [$95]
Let's be clear on this: we detest this man. Michael Kors is a pissy, constipated douchenozzle, jealous and petty towards those more talented than himself (which is frankly almost everyone), prone to wear sunglasses indoors and more committed to getting his chubby face on TV than to developing his craft. But somehow he makes really, really nice polos. Lustrous, smooth cotton fabric that stretches and drapes beautifully, great metal buttons, and solid construction. They run big; size down.

Kent Wang [$65]
We love the great fit of Kent Wang's polos, particularly the perfect length of the sleeves that hit mid-bicep. Great high-quality cotton pique, soft yet strong, with mother-of-pearl buttons. But the star of the show is this polo's utterly unique spread collar, which is more like a dress shirt's double-layer composition—built to stand perfectly and hold its shape. The sleek, pocket-free front also echoes the way we prefer our woven shirts. At $65 a tremendous bargain in the premium segment. Very slim Italian fit; size up.

Original Penguin Jack [$69]
We like Penguin polos so much that this is the only item with a prominent logo we've ever endorsed. Soft, easy to care for, and durable. We like the long placket, wide collar and retro flap pocket. A little overpriced for a shirt more suited to shorts than slacks, but frequently found on sale for around $40. That's more like it. Trim but true to size.

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