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If you're looking for new ways to rock your rainbow-esque array of polo shirts, look no further. Whether your shirts are the real thing -- Ralph Lauren's famous Polo brand with the little horse and polo player on the chest -- or just snazzy collared knit shirts in the same cut, all you need is the advice of a professional stylist to take your polo shirts from sporty to chic.
The Classic Prepster
Polo shirts are the epitome of the classic, clean-cut preppy look, according to Amy Lyons Kemler, a professional wardrobe consultant and owner of the Hamden, Connecticut-based Fresh Start Wardrobe Consulting. Watch any '80s teen flick, and you'll see gals and guys sporting polos with sweaters tied around their necks. Well, while the '80s are cool again, no one's advocating the return of that sweater thing. To keep that preppy vibe but bring it into the new millennium, Lyons Kemler says to pair that polo with some pearls, and cover your bottom half with a cute skirt or pants in a bold solid color. The collar? Sure, flip it up. That look hasn't gone out of style. If it's chilly out, remember that polo shirts come with long sleeves, too.
If you have a slightly over-sized polo shirt or one that is long and slim, belt it. "Choose a cool, funky, skinny, classic, bright color -- you name the type of belt you want to wear with this -- and go forth with your day," Lyons Kemler says. "This will elevate the polo from OK to wow." Finish off the look with a pair of slim-cut pants -- jeans or khakis will do the trick.
A polo shirt can get glam? You bet your bangles. But, as Lyons Kemler advises, the shirt should be made from a material other than the typical cotton knit. "One made of a fine knit or even silk will elevate the status of the polo shirt," she says. "Add some cool jewelry and tuck it into a beautiful frilly skirt -- think outside the box."
Classic With a Twist
If you have a slim-fitting polo in a fine-knit fabric that is a muted color -- that is, a bit more elegant than your usual golf shirt -- pair it with a classic pencil skirt and a pair of heels, suggests Lyons Kemler. "Another option is wearing that same polo with beautifully tailored high-waisted women's trousers," she says. "Think Katharine Hepburn and channel her look."
To capture glamor at its utmost, Lyons Kemler suggests modifying actress Sharon Stone's 1998 (yes, 1998!) Oscars look. "She was absolutely stunningly classic, amazingly sexy and, best of all, she was wearing her then-husband's gorgeous white elegant shirt overlapped, not buttoned, collar up and open quite low, tucked into an absolutely stunning, shiny silk taffeta long, straight skirt," she says. Simply replace the white shirt with your elegant polo. Instant chic. "Best of all is looking different than every other woman in the room," says Lyons Kemler.