Thoroughbred: DeSousa’s passion for riding has influenced his style choices.

Why are you so fond of wearing polo shirts?

The utilitarian T-shirt became an outfit of choice for all occasions a couple of years ago when I quit as a strategist of an advertising firm and decided to become a consultant. As far as I can think back, I only remember wearing collared T-shirts. My dad introduced me to riding and he would make me wear polo shirts then. I think the only time that I ever wear V-neck or round-neck T-shirts is to bed. My dad dressed in what made him happy and that’s exactly what I have learnt to do now.

How does your daily schedule lend itself to wearing polo shirts all day?

I work in a creative field and I don’t need to be dressed formally. I made a conscious decision to dress comfortable at all times. I like polo shirts for the flexibility that they provide, seamlessly going from the field to a client meeting and to a night out with friends.

Utilitarian: (above) DeSousa prefers polo shirts in soft fabrics and solid colours; and his Hackett polo belt.

After work, I often stop by at the Mahalaxmi Race Course, where I love (to) ride. I don’t play polo, but while riding I’m comfortable in polo shirts, jodhpurs and knee-high leather boots.

Why is a polo shirt most comfortable while riding or for outdoor activities?

On the field, it serves a more utilitarian purpose. The fabric (of these polo shirts) is comfortable and keeps you cool, the stiff collar can be turned up to avoid neck burn and the fit is great. I even own a (polo) T-shirt with rivets under the arms that prevent sweat accumulation.

What do you keep in mind while shopping for T-shirts?

As a rule, I avoid loose-fitting clothes and shirts. Fitted T-shirts force you to hold yourself better. There’s no room to hide anything and so you take care of yourself. Even your posture is different.

Blue detail: Fred Perry polo shirt with a narrow contrast collar.

How do your accessorize your polos?

When I’m wearing polos in colours such as black, grey, navy or white, I add colour to my look with argyle-patterned socks and multicoloured polo belts. These belts were originally worn by cowboys in Argentina. I found them at Hackett while I was travelling.

How do you take your polo shirt from work to an evening out?

I always have a semi-formal linen-wool jacket in my car that I pair with polo shirts in solid colours, a dark pair of denims or khakis, and tan brogues for a client meeting. In the evenings, I switch the semi-formal jacket for a sporty one, the brogues for loafers, and I’m ready to hit the bars. This is how the fashion aspect of the polo shirt came about. I suddenly realized how convenient it is.


We went shopping with DeSousa to understand how to choose a polo shirt

Avant-garde: Hugo Boss’ zippered polo.

Photographs by Abhijit Bhatlekar / Mint