It’s no secret that polos are wardrobe staples. Named after the notoriously exclusive game of the same name, the shirt was historically reserved for the affluent. Originating in Argentina in the late-19th century, the shirt was designed for players who required a new sort of athletic top to deal with the hot climate.

First made out of oxford shirting material, the button-down collared shirt slowly transformed, evolving with each sport that embraced it. Next was tennis, where shirting fabric was swapped in favor of breathable piqué cotton. Then, eventually, technical fabrics were introduced, including polyester, as the polo made its way into golf pro shops.

Despite being synonymous with “the game of kings,” since 1972, the polo shirt has symbolized affordable luxury courtesy of one man: Ralph Lauren. It was Lauren—whose love for Ivy League style and Prep (the polo was adopted as an integral component of Ivy style early on) pushed him to not only embrace the garment, but name an entire diffusion label after it. With the spread of American sportswear, largely fueled by Ralph Lauren, polos spread from Japan to Italy. Soon enough, the polo went mainstream.

Today, every brand under the sun tries its hand at a polo. The reason is simple: it works for everyone. Casual elegance is difficult to pin down, but the polo is just about as close to a definition as one can get. Easily dressed up or down, polos are perfect transitional pieces. From the classier side of streetwear to straight up luxury, they are available in every shape, material, color and pattern you can think of—meaning there’s a version that works for everyone.

If you’re on the fence about wearing something that simply feels too “uptight” or “preppy,” trust us, the new polo is everything but. To prove it to you, we went ahead and rounded up the best polos for men right now.

Tags: prep-style, preppy-style, ivy-style, polo-shirts, noah, rowing-blazers, supreme, thom-browne, raf-simons, fred-perry, ralph-lauren, polo-ralph-lauren