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The Guy Who Spent $1,000 in Search of the Perfect Polo

Asim Momin has made gonzo comparison shopping his online gimmick, and this time around, he topped four figures to see if there was any difference between a variety of polos that ran the gamut from fast fashion to high fashion

Twenty-five-year-old software developer Asim Momin has done a lot for the men of the Male Fashion Advice (MFA) subreddit. For starters, in 2020, he spent $700 to figure out which sweats/joggers were the best of the bunch. “The idea was actually my girlfriend’s. She saw the stack of joggers I had in my closet while I was trying to come up with ideas for a YouTube video,” Momin tells me. “She said, ‘Why don’t you just compare all these joggers and share your results on the video since that’s what everyone’s wearing right now?’” 

Later that year, he put $600 on his credit card to settle the long-running MFA debate over which T-shirt stands tallest. “I get messages almost every week thanking me for writing it up and saying that they ended up picking something on my list,” Momin told my colleague Quinn Myers back in December 2020

With two categories of menswear basics down, Momin most recently set his sights on polo shirts. “I just genuinely wanted to know for myself where I should be spending my money,” he says.

Since pique cotton polos are the most common type of polo shirt, Momin kept his analysis relegated to those with the woven, waffle-textured material known for its breathability and flex. In terms of brands, by browsing blogs, Reddit posts, YouTube videos and fashion magazines, Momin narrowed his polo shirts down to what he felt were the six most popular at a variety of pierce points: Sunspel ($64 on sale), Kent Wang ($75), Uniqlo ($20), Lacoste ($90), Ralph Lauren ($95) and Loro Piana ($525).

For him, the ideal polo gets four things right — fit, fabric, collar and overall construction. “For fit, I want the polo to drape well, hug my arms and fit in the chest but leave room around the stomach,” he explains. “I’m looking for the sleeves to end mid-bicep and the length to hit mid-crotch.” He adds that he prefers a split hem at the bottom of the polo since he has larger thighs. “In terms of quality, I look for a solid, structured collar and attention to detail throughout,” he says. 

Given this criteria, he ultimately chose the Sunspel polo as the winner. “It was made in 2006 for Daniel Craig to wear in Casino Royale, but Sunspel has been around since the 1800s. Sunspel oozes heritage and innovation throughout the years,” Momin writes in his Reddit post. “There’s just something about wearing James Bond’s polo that gives you a little extra pep in your step. I love the fabric, especially on days where you have to look put together and the temperatures are in the upper 90s. The fit, fabric and construction were all solid and all lived up to my expectations.”

Still, it was hardly unanimous. “This video taught me that it’s really hard to mess up a polo. As long as the polo has the features you prefer, you really can’t go wrong,” he continues, admitting that the Sunspel was “followed very closely [emphasis mine] by Kent Wang, Loro Piana, Lacoste, Ralph Lauren and then Uniqlo in that order.” “At the end of the day,” he concludes, “pique feels near identical throughout the spectrum. So long as you like the fit and construction, there’s no reason to spend close to [$525 for an option like the Loro Piana]. This is one of those cases where you’re paying for the prestige of the brand rather than the quality they’re putting out.”

Per usual, Momin walked the walk so every other MFA subscriber could run — or in this case, pop the exact right collar