The polo shirt is one of the most versatile, comfortable, and stylish garments a fat man, or any man for that matter, can own.
Polo shirts are great for walking the line between casual and formal. That means they’re also perfect in situations where you’re not sure just how formal you need to be.
Going to brunch with the girlfriend’s parents? Having lunch with a potential business partner?
You don’t want to roll in with just a t-shirt but you also don’t want to go over the top with an outfit that’s too dressy. This is exactly where the polo shirt shines and the combination of collar and short sleeves is an ideal balance of casual and formal.
Still, when it comes to fashion, the rules can be different for fat guys.
That’s not to say a fat dude can’t pull off the polo shirt, because they absolutely can, but you do need to consider a few things to find the best match for a bigger body.
We’re going to go over everything you need to know but if you’re in a hurry and just want to see which polos made the list for fat guys you can check out our favorites across 10 different categories here:
- Best Overall: Harbor Bay by DXL Big and Tall Polo
- Best on Blended Polo On A Budget: IZOD Big and Tall Stretch Polo Shirt
- Best on Cotton Polo On A Budget: Port Authority Men’s Pique Knit Polo
- Best With A Pocket: Land’s End Men’s Short Sleeve Super Soft Polo
- Best Pocket Polo On A Budget: Hanes Short-Sleeve Jersey Pocket Polo (Pack of 2)
- Best Striped Polo Shirt: Nautica Men’s Big and Tall 100% Cotton Stripe Soft Polo Shirt
- Best For Sports: Three Sixty Six Polo Golf Shirts
- Best Long Sleeve Polo: Harbor Bay Honeycomb Pique Polo Shirt
- Biggest Size Options: KingSize Piqué Polo Shirt
- Most Unique Color Choices: Nautica Performance Polo Shirt
Let’s get into it!
What Should Fat Guys Look For In A Polo Shirt?
There’s honestly a ton of variation when it comes to polo shirts. From giant logos and stiff collars to pockets and sleeve length, there can be an almost weird amount of variables to consider.
But our goal is always to keep things simple- not overwhelm you with options.
So let’s break down the basics of what makes a polo shirt great for fat guys. This is also the criteria we used when deciding what made the list…and what didn’t.
Sleeves…Or No Sleeves?
When most people think of a polo shirt, they imagine short sleeves. Honestly, I feel that polo shirts are meant to be short sleeved and once you start adding sleeves we might be talking about a different garment altogether.
But you know, I’m here to please.
So if you showed up looking for a long sleeve polo that works for fat dudes you’ll be happy to know that I did add one to the list and you can see it here. But besides that option, everything else on this list is focused on short-sleeved polos.
Sleeve Fit and Length
One of my favorite things about polo shirts are the sleeves but they can also be one of the trickiest things to get right, especially for fat guys.
Polo shirts usually have a tighter sleeve with extra stitching that gives the shirt a classic look. This can also lead to a tighter cuff on the sleeve which I know sounds bad to a big guy, after all, tight clothing is pretty much our sworn enemy.
But tightness on the sleeve can actually improve the look of the arm on fat guys- even if you don’t have much muscle. A sleeve with a tighter circumference makes the bicep look bigger, again even if it’s just fat.
Trust me on this, I know.
You’re not going to need to do anything to achieve a tighter sleeve since that’s just the way many polo shirts are made. Some style pros will suggest that you keep enough room to easily slide a finger between your skin and the sleeve. That sounds good but that’s not always possible for fat guys.
The takeaway here is to focus on a proper fit in terms of width or length while getting a sleeve length that reaches somewhere below the middle arm. Don’t worry about the sleeve cuff being tight since this will usually work in your favor assuming the polo shirt fits well everywhere else.
How you wear your polo shirt will really depend on the situation but it’s probably safe to say that most guys are going to go for the untucked look.
If that’s your preferred style, then you can safely get a polo shirt that falls towards the bottom half of your zipper.
Again, you’ll hear style pros suggest going for a length that lands towards the top or middle of the zipper. That might work for slim dudes but I’ve got a big belly that’s always ready to make an appearance any time I lift my arms. By going for a little bit longer length, I can make sure that my belly stays under my shirt where it belongs!
If you’re going for the tucked look, then you need to for an even longer length in the front. Just make sure that the rest of your polo shirt doesn’t end up looking too baggy in the process.
Just about any polo shirt on this list will work as both tucked or untucked but if you go tucked, consider picking out a size that’s labeled as tall- even if you aren’t exactly tall. Tall sizing will leave plenty of room for fat guys to tuck in their shirt and belly without the fit getting too tight.
Material is a big deal for fat guys. Of course, we want something comfortable, just like anyone else, but we also need to manage sweat.
That means we’ll be looking for breathable materials that help keep big bodies cool.
Cotton makes a good choice for this and so are blends that offer a great balance of value, quality and breathability. You’ll see a good mix of both on this list but we’ll be especially focused on cotton options.
Slim Fit, Custom Fit, or Classic Fit?
Right out of the gate, most fat guys will agree that slim fit doesn’t make a lot of sense for us.
That leaves custom fit and classic fit.
At first glance, custom fit might sound perfect. After all, it’s custom, right?
But according to The Gentleman’s Gazzette, “Custom fit is right in the middle of classic and slim fit polo shirts. It has higher armholes than the classic fit with a shorter sleeve length. It also features a trimmer fit against the torso, with a slightly shorter front and back hem than the classic but longer than the slim fit.”
So it’s really in between the classic and slim fit but that’s still not a good choice for most fat guys which means the majority of polo shirts on this list will fall into the classic fit category.
Pocket…Or No Pocket?
The short answer?
Going with or without a pocket is completely up to you and while different style gurus will have varied opinions there’s no tried and true answer.
However, the general guideline is that if you’re looking for something more formal then drop the pocket. For a more casual look, there’s no problem with the pocket.
The guys at Art Of Manliness point out, “A pocket on the breast of a polo can add a bit of visual interest” and I’d tend to agree. They warn against pockets that sag but if you’re buying quality, like the polos on this list then saggy pockets generally aren’t a problem.
Some of the brands we’ll look at will offer a lot more than just your traditional 3XL, 4XL, etc.
Of course, many will go much higher up to 9XL but on top of that you can also choose between Big, Tall, or Big and Tall add ons for each size.
So instead of just 4XL, you can choose from the following:
- 4XL – This is your standard fit for a 4XL. If you’ve never had issues with 4XL in other brands you don’t need to worry about the rest.
- 4XL Big – Big sizing is usually for guys under 6′ 3″ and offers more room without increasing the length of sleeves of the overall shirt. This will be perfect for guys that are “in-between” sizes. In other words, if 4XL is only slightly tight but 5XL is too large then a 4XL Big could be perfect.
- 4XL Tall – Just what it sounds like, Tall styles are all-around longer. As an example, the standard 4XL polo shirt from Harbor Bay (our best overall pick) has a sleeve length of around 36″ (measured from the back of the neck) while the tall version has a sleeve length of around 38″. If you’re a fat guy over 6’4″ it’s a good idea to look at tall options but depending on your build it may not be a requirement.
- 4XL Tall and Big – The tall and big combo is a mix of both. You’ll get the extra room and extra length without having to size up to something that may be too large and baggy.
That’s a lot of sizing options which is perfect for fat guys!
Again, not every brand will offer this much variety but many do so if you’ve had sizing problems in the past (and what fat guys hasn’t) consider focusing on brands that offer these extra layers of sizing. I’ll be sure to note the options that offer this kind of sizing variety but check out our first two picks (scroll down a bit) if this sounds like something you need.
Best Polo Shirts For Fat Guys
Now that we’ve got the background information out of the way, let’s talk start looking at our favorite polo shirts for fat dudes starting with the best overall!
Best Overall: Harbor Bay by DXL Big and Tall Polo Shirt
- Big and tall sizing up to 8XL
- 27 color options to pick from
- Made from 100% cotton for extra breathability and less sweat
We’re big fans of the Harbor Bay brand and it’s really hard to go wrong with them. They exclusively make clothing for big, tall, and fat guys so it’s no surprise that we’ve featured them on several of our lists including the best khakis for fat guys.
With these polo shirts, you’ve got more colors than you can shake a stick at, sizing options that go as high as 8XL, and breathable cotton that won’t leave you sweaty.
What more could you ask for?
Well, honestly not much.
These fat-friendly polo shirts are simple, which a lot of guys will strongly prefer. There’s no oversized logo and no pocket. Just a classic two-button polo that’s designed for big dudes.
When it comes to sizing, I’ve already mentioned that you’ve got choices up to 8XL but Harbor Bay offers a lot more than just a number. You can also pick between big, tall, or big/tall as we explain in the sizing section above.
That’s a lot of sizing which is why Harbor Bay was the clear winner for the best overall spot. On top of that, you can take your pick of 27 different colors.
Unfortunately, the stock can vary so you won’t always be able to find the exact color and style combo you’re looking for but you should be able to get pretty close.
Made from 100% cotton, these polos are comfortable and breathable but I’d still suggest avoiding some of the lighter colors if you sweat a lot. Because these are made from 100% cotton, the collar is soft and comfortable too.
Overall, these polo shirts from Harbor Bay make a great all-around option. They work for some light outdoor activity, brunch, or just walking around the city. It’s not super fancy but you’re not going to look like a slouch either.
You can check out more reviews, see all the color options and check the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best on Blended Polo On A Budget: IZOD Big and Tall Stretch Polo Shirt
- Big and tall sizing up to 6XL
- 27 color options to pick from
- Cotton and polyester makes this polo light weight and comfortable
Another great fat-friendly polo shirt option comes from the folks at IZOD. While they may not specialize in big and tall clothing like our best overall pick, they still offer sizing up to 6XL with the same variety of big, tall, or standard sizing.
That means fat guys of almost every height should be able to find a good match.
These IZOD polo shirts also have a slightly more formal look compared to the Harbor Bay option which makes them good if you’re going for a tucked-in style. The logo on these is small but still enough to break up the solid color design and adds a little style to an otherwise simple look.
I also love that these are made from a blend of cotton and polyester so not only are they lighter than a pure cotton design but they also have some stretch to them. You wouldn’t want to go crazy with the stretch and opt for a smaller size or anything but it can make these polos more comfortable if you’re wearing them for a day on the course or anything else outdoors.
You also have a wide range of colors to pick from and IZOD focuses more on light, brighter, and pastel shades which really are the classic polo colors. But color isn’t the only variation here and if you pay close attention you’ll notice that some have two buttons while others have three.
For most guys, the difference in buttons won’t be a big deal. Still, make sure to pay attention to the color and button combination so you get the style you want.
As if all that wasn’t enough already, these polos are also pretty darn easy on the budget!
You can read reviews from other fat guys, check out the available colors, and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best on Cotton Polo On A Budget: Port Authority Men’s Pique Knit Polo
- Sizes up to 6XL
- 23 colors to select from
- 100% comfortable combed cotton
Most budget options in the polo shirt world are made of polyester or made of a blend as with our IZOD pick. So if you want to go full cotton and stay on a budget, it can be a little more difficult to pull off.
That’s where this stylish three-button polo from Port Authority comes into the picture.
Made from combed cotton, which is a softer and generally more comfortable type of cotton with impurities removed, these shirts look good and feel great without breaking the bank. With sizing up to 6XL, they also fit well which is of course important for anyone but especially fat guys.
Like many polo shirts, these run a little long so they can be tucked in. Even if you don’t tuck these in, that extra length will work well for dudes with big bellies that stick out (like mine).
Besides a favorable price point, these polo shirts also have a little extra length to the sleeve which can be great for guys with longer arms or who just prefer sleeves to run a little longer.
With solid sizing options, a ton of colors, and plenty of 5-star reviews backing these up it’s hard to go wrong here.
You can read more and see today’s price for your size on Amazon by clicking here.
Best With A Pocket: Land’s End Men’s Short Sleeve Super Soft Polo Shirt
- Size options up to 4XL
- Great range of unique colors
- Stylish 3 button design and a tight pocket add to the style of this polo.
Pockets and polo shirts can be a bit of a mixed bag. Some guys love the pocket, other guys avoid them but the reality is most dudes probably aren’t that worried about it.
But wherever you usually fall on the polo pocket spectrum, these fat-friendly polo shirts from Land’s End may make you pro-pocket. While they don’t have a button to secure the pocket and prevent sagging, the design is tight enough that you shouldn’t suffer from saggy pocket problems.
In most cases, a pocket makes a shirt look a little more casual but the three-button design combined with a comfortable but raised collar helps class this polo shirt up a bit and it should work for just about any occasion.
When it comes to sizing, fat guys aren’t going to have quite as many options as our previous choices. You can still get sizes up to 4XL but you’re not going to see the big, tall, or big/tall variations that we saw from Harbor Bay or IZOD.
These shirts do run a little long, which can be common in polos, and that may be a downside if you’re under 5′ 6″ or so. But most fat guys, even those on a shorter side, won’t have a problem and will actually see the longer length as a benefit.
After all, a big belly needs a lot shirt to stay under control!
What really helps this polo shirt stand out from the rest is the use of Supima cotton instead of traditional options. According to Supima, “Supima cotton is a superior type of cotton grown in the USA. It represents less than 1% of cotton grown in the world. What makes Supima unique to other cottons is the extra-long staple fiber that gives the cotton its premium properties: Strength, Softness and Color retention.”
Yeah, I know there’s a lot of hype in the world of fabrics since you need to have some way to distinguish yourself from the competition but these shirts are the real deal and the additional softness is noticeable.
I can’t speak on the color retention since that takes a lot longer to really “test” but I do notice a difference in softness. As fat guys, soft is always good since chafing is a constant enemy.
You can read reviews, take a look at all the colors and check the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best Pocket Polo On A Budget: Hanes Short-Sleeve Jersey Pocket Polo (Pack of 2)
- Size options up to 4XL
- 50/50 cotton and polyester blend is the best of both worlds
- More than 9,000 five star reviews on Amazon
This might not be the polo you wear when you dress to impress but this simple, stylish, and budget-friendly two-pack of pocketed polos from Hanes make a great choice for outdoor activities, running errands, or just hanging out at the house.
You’ll find all your standard colors and sizes up to 4XL. There aren’t any breakout sizes for tall or husky guys, but if you usually fall into standard sizing within 4XL you shouldn’t have a problem.
A blend of 50% cotton and 50% polyester keeps these polos light and easy on the budget.
Overall, there’s not much to say about these budget polos and that’s kind of the point. No frills here, just a durable polo shirt that gets the job done at a great price.
You can read some of the 9,000 plus five-star reviews, take a look at the colors and see the latest price for a 2-pack on Amazon by clicking here.
Best Striped Polo Shirt: Nautica Men’s Big and Tall Short Sleeve 100% Cotton Stripe Soft Polo Shirt
- Size options up to 6XL
- Great range of unique colors
- Stylish 3 button design
So far, every polo we’ve looked at has used the same classic solid color design and there’s a good reason for that…it works!
But some fat guys might want to mix things up a bit and go something a little different like a nice striped polo. Honestly, striped polos are a classic all on their own but too many fat guys avoid stripes because of the false perception that they make big dudes look bigger…and not in a good way.
I’ve written pretty extensively on why there’s no problem with fat guys wearing stripes and you can read the full article here. The short version is that horizontal stripes have been scientifically proven to make fat guys look taller and leaner and not fatter.
Of course, I’m fat and proud so I’m not super worried about what makes me look leaner but I still want to look good like anyone else!
With that out of the way, let’s get back to this awesome striped polo from Nautica. My favorite color combination is the blue and black stripes which will go with just about anything, including a nice pair of jeans.
They have enough sizing options to work for most fat guys with choices up to 6XL however they don’t have the same split sizing as our best overall pick from Harbor Bay. Still, most fat guys will still find what they need.
This polo shirt is also made from breathable, comfortable, and 100% cotton that most big dudes will find super comfortable.
You can read reviews from other big and tall folks, check out all the color choices, and see today’s price for your size on Amazon by clicking here.
Best For Sports: Three Sixty Six Polo Golf Shirts
- Sizes run up to 4XL
- More than 3,000 five star reviews
- 29 different color choices to pick from
No offense to anyone but as a fat man, I feel that golf is the perfect sport. I get to cruise around in a golf cart and drink beer while competing against my buddies.
Yeah, that sounds great to me!
The only thing I don’t love are the outfits. They can be a little silly but I don’t want to offend the super-serious golf guys by showing in jeans in a t-shirt so I like to rock a nice comfortable sport polo.
The problem with sport polos is that they’re often slim fit or a similar design that just doesn’t make sense for fat guys but this polyester polo from Three Sixty Six is a perfect balance of sporty but comfortable.
Skinny guys say that these polos run baggy but it’s perfect for my body. While I wish there were more sizes to pick from, a loose cut 4XL is at least a good starting point.
When it comes to colors, you have 29 to choose from and most of them are some variation of a blended heather design. This is my preferred fabric if I’m doing anything outdoors since the light/dark blend does a better job hiding stains than a solid color design.
These shirts are a polyester blend that works well for sports or other outdoor activities. While polyester doesn’t give these shirts a formal enough look to work for any kind of formal event, that’s not really the purpose here.
Overall, these make a great polo shirt option for the golf course or just running errands on a hot day. You can take a look at all 29 colors, read more reviews and peek at the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best For Long Sleeve Polo: Harbor Bay Honeycomb Pique Polo Shirt
- Big and tall sizes up to 6XL
- Comfortable fit from a company that specializes in clothing for big guys
- 6 color choices to pick from
When it comes to polo shirts, most folks first think of short sleeves…but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Even though I think adding sleeves to the definition of a polo shirt can make things a little confusing, I also didn’t think this list would be complete without at least one long-sleeve option.
It should be no surprise that Harbor Bay make the list again since these guys are committed to making quality, fat-friendly clothing. Similar to their sleeveless option, you’ll find a simple 2 button design with a soft, subtle collar on this long sleeve polo.
While there may not be quite as many color options here, the ones that are available are clean and stylish. I especially like the heather options but it’s worth noting that unlike the solid colors, any blended colors are made from a cotton/polyester blend.
As with most Harbor Bay shirts, fat guys will be happy to find plenty of sizing options but also between sizes like 6XL tall, big or big/tall. That means fat guys of all heights can get the proper fit they deserve!
You can take a closer look at colors, sizing, and the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Biggest Size Options: KingSize Piqué Polo Shirt
- Biggest size options up to 9XL
- Comfortable 100% cotton
- 18 color choices with several unique options
KingSize is another brand that shows up a lot on our lists. They make quality clothing for big guys and we featured them several times on our list of the best tank tops for fat guys.
Not only do they have great styles to pick from but they also offer sizing even bigger than many big and tall brands. With big and tall sizing up to 9XL, these stylish three-button polo shirts are no different.
Just keep in mind, these shirts are BIG.
That’s perfect for fat guys but be careful assuming that a big belly and a little height will put you into the tall category. However, if you’ve got a big belly and you want a polo shirt that you can tuck in without having to worry about it coming out then this makes a great choice.
What I really like about this line from KingSize are the color and style options. You’ve got some of the usual solid color designs you’d expect in any polo but they’ve also thrown in some marble designs that I haven’t seen anywhere else.
Not everyone will love them, but it’s always good to have choices.
You can check out some of the more interesting marble designs and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Most Unique Color Choices: Nautica Performance Polo Shirt
- Sizing up to 6XL
- Cleaning, quality design
- Best variety of unique pastel colors
These polo shirts from Nautica not only look crisp and clean but they also have fat-friendly sizes up to 6XL with a few Tall sizes mixed in as well.
These are premium shirts, which come with premium pricing, but if you need to dress to impress these make a great choice. I love the small touches on these shirts, especially the colored accents behind the buttons. It also comes together to give these shirts a super clean look.
But what really put them on the list is the variety of unique color options to pick from. They have several pastel choices that are just a little different from what you normally see. It’s hard to really describe color with words alone so I’ll let you check out the selection and see what I mean.
There you go!
Not only is that just about everything you need to know about picking out great polo shirts for fat guys but also my favorite choices. There can be a surprising amount of variety when it comes to polo shirts and even though the basic design doesn’t change finding the right clothing is always a little harder for fat guys.
I hope this helped you find the right shirt and I’d love to hear which one you went with!