The Polo Neck and Blazer Mindset

Polo Neck Perfect for Chess

We see a classic and elegant combination of navy blazer and burgundy polo neck (US: turtleneck) from Dunhill above. Note that the polo neck is perfect for chess — keeping the neck warm and preventing it from stiffening from stooping over the board over a long period; it also means that there are no tie-dangling issues getting in the way of play (though a bow tie could also prevent this).

Polo neck sweaters have a long history in northern climes, because of the practicality of the funnel neck for keeping the wearer warm. Polo necks are most closely associated with the beatnik (black) and the submariner (white) in terms of archetypal wearers. (You can still get hold of a genuine British submariner polo neck.)

Colour Combinations

But you don't have to attend the Newport Jazz Festival or descend to 'crush depth' in an Astute-class submarine to enjoy the tie-free elegance of a polo neck. And you can add a bit more variety. Assuming we are wearing beige cavalry twill or grey flannel trousers with our blazer, burgundy is an excellent choice.

A cream roll neck may also be a good option as demonstrated by Roger Moore here.

Might I also suggest, navy blazer wearers, that a third classic choice would be yellow. This one depends on your own colouring. I have to wait until I get a bit of colour on my cheeks in Spring to consider this option, but the yellow polo neck and navy blazer combination is a golf and country club stalwart. The one below is a 2-ply made in Scotland number from dear friends Paul Stuart.

Whatever the colour of polo neck you choose, the wearing of a navy blazer and a polo neck will almost certainly put you in a certain mindset. For instance, you will want to listen to jazz on vinyl from the Three Blind Mice label, particularly Misty by the  Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio. You will also crave a a Bone Dry Martini made with a chicken bone dissolved in phosphoric acid at the White Lyon in Hoxton, London. That's the power of the polo neck.


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