It’s Time to Wrap Your Torso in the Plush Embrace of a Terry Cloth Polo

If you’re headed to the beach, no one’s going to fault you for pulling up in a tank top or a faded white tee. But why not live a little? Summer’s all too fleeting, and the opportunity to flex your elite warm weather taste is a terrible thing to waste. Standing apart from the shoulder-bearing masses is a worthy goal. Copping a shirt that’ll help you do it while keeping you cozy and dry after the tide’s come in? That’s what we call a no-brainer. So if you don’t own a terry cloth polo shirt yet, consider this an excuse to rectify that mistake, STAT.

At first glance, the terry cloth polo is deceptively formal, the kind of shirt you’d stress getting sullied by salt water and little kids kicking sand. But you don’t need to look all that closely to notice it’s basically a towel posing as something more dressed-up. In other words, it’s exactly the type of stylish, beach-ready joint you can rock everywhere right now, no matter how far from the boardwalk you stray. And if you’re tired of peeling off a soaked dress shirt at the end of your daily commute, its sponge-like quality will serve you equally well. Swap out the swimsuit and sandals for linen trousers and loafers and make like Bond trying to dull the memories of his career before getting begrudgingly yanked back into Her Majesty’s service.

Some of the best on the market come in classic, solid hues, but there’s also an entire rainbow’s-worth of colors to choose from, along with plenty of exuberant prints and patterns. (If you want one that leans a little retro tennis star, buy a version with tipping by the collar and cuffs.) The only other thing you really need to worry about, besides for re-upping on SPF? Convincing your torso to reacquaint itself with one of their pique counterparts when September rolls around.

Orlebar Brown Jarrett Striped Cotton-Terry Polo Shirt

Abercrombie & Fitch terry button-through polo shirt

$50$35

Abercrombie & Fitch

Todd Snyder terry cloth cabana shirt

OAS terry field polo shirt