Lightweight vs. heavyweight polo shirts: what are the differences?

Paulina Kulczycki

Polo shirts are a dime a dozen. After all, they are one of the most popular tops in menswear. And not without reason: the polo shirt is not only multifunctional and sporty, it is also a smart combination of business and casual. Depending on the styling, you can wear them to more formal or informal occasions without losing comfort and practicality. But what are the differences and features when it comes to lightweight vs. heavyweight polo shirts? Certainly more than just the weight of the fabric! At SANVT, we explain at what point a polo shirt is considered heavyweight and the advantages of this premium product compared to lightweight polo shirts.

Lightweight vs. heavyweight polo shirts

Nowadays, polo shirts can be found in a wide variety of shapes, colours, materials and therefore qualities (a detailed description of the best materials for polo shirts can be found here). A polo shirt is therefore not always smart per se. Take a turquoise jersey polo shirt with emblems on the chest, for example: this looks rather tacky, cheap and reminiscent of the dreaded dad look. Not exactly a look to strive for, if you ask us.

At SANVT, we prefer minimalist, timeless designs in classic colours that are both elegant and casual at the same time without a lot of frills. Our motto is less is more – without forgetting the love for detail, of course. In terms of material, we favour piqué made from sustainable premium cotton. If you’ve never heard of piqué, or if only the Catalan football player comes to mind, you can find out more about the high-quality material here.

But beyond the material, the density and weight of the fabric is crucial to the quality of the polo shirt. So what are the differences when it comes to lightweight vs. heavyweight polo shirts?

Lightweight vs. heavyweight polo shirts: the differences at a glance

  • Lightweight polo shirts are usually made of a thinner jersey fabric, polyester or Lyocell
  • Heavyweight polo shirts are made of premium piqué and dense cotton fabrics
  • Lightweight polo shirts have a GSM of 160-200 g/m²
  • Heavyweight polo shirts have a GSM of 200-250 g/m²
  • Lightweight polo shirts are only suitable for casual, informal styling on warm days
  • Heavyweight polo shirts made of high quality and breathable materials are suitable for all kinds of occasions throughout the year

Chris Fraas wears the Polo Shirt by SANVT. Thanks to its breathability, the heavyweight fabric works even in summer.

Lightweight polo shirts

Lightweight polo shirts are the perfect basis for stylish casual looks in spring and summer. With a GSM up to 200 g/m², light polo shirts are made of airy and, ideally, sustainable fabrics such as organic jersey, cotton or lyocell. We strongly advise against synthetic fibres such as polyester and recommend muted colours and timeless designs without prints, stripes or decorative elements. Combined with jeans or shorts, you get an uncomplicated and casual look for warm, sunny days. However, thin fabrics are more prone to holes and other damage caused by regular wear and washing. This means that lightweight polo shirts are not quite as robust and durable as heavyweight polo shirts.

Heavyweight polo shirts

Unlike lightweight polo shirts, which are only suitable for casual wear, a classy, heavy and high-quality polo shirt with a GSM of over 200 g/m² is an all-rounder that works both in a business meeting (with a pair of chinos) and at a formal family party (with a pair of cloth trousers), as well as in the park with friends (with a pair of sweatpants). Provided the material is sustainable and breathable, a heavyweight polo shirt can carry you through all seasons and weather conditions. A heavyweight polo shirt made of organic cotton piqué, for example, is extremely durable and comfortable to wear. It also allows the skin to breathe and hugs the body softly. With a heavyweight polo shirt, you get a premium product that lasts a long time and can be combined in a variety of ways.

Andrea Iacomini in the Perfect Polo Shirt from SANVT, made from a heavyweight fabric that works all year long.

The perfect polo shirt from SANVT

Seeing lightweight vs. heavyweight polo shirts in comparison, probably makes you assume that we at SANVT have chosen a heavyweight polo shirt made of piqué when designing our collection. And you’re right! Handcrafted in Portugal and made from the finest organic cotton, the innovative knit pattern of the specially developed 220 g/m² piqué fabric ensures comfortable softness as well as enhanced breathability and superior durability. And of course, the Perfect Polo Shirt by SANVT comes in a minimalist design with love for detail: while the sporty cut with side vents ensures maximum freedom of movement, the seamless button placket à la French Placket – with buttons made of genuine mother-of-pearl – adds a subtle, luxurious touch.

We’ve also extended the classic sizing system to guarantee the perfect fit and length. Your polo shirt will fit you like a glove!

The perfect polo shirt by SANVT: crafted from high-quality, breathable 220 g/m² piqué (organic cotton).

Lightweight vs. heavyweight polo shirts: conclusion

A classy, high-quality and heavyweight polo shirt with a GSM value of over 200 is a durable and versatile essential that no wardrobe should be missing. Especially when it comes from sustainable and fair production, it is a guarantee for a true premium product! When it comes to the question of whether we recommend lightweight vs. heavyweight polo shirts, this of course depends entirely on the model, design, material and quality. In general, however, heavy, natural materials are definitely more resistant and sophisticated – especially when it comes to a sporty classic like the polo shirt.

Read more about the history of the polo shirt and find out what this iconic garment has to do with polo and tennis.