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Maria's Not-So-Preppy Polo Shirt

For those who don't do sports.
Helmut Lang Sponge Polo Tee, $320, available at Shopbop.

Helmut Lang Sponge Polo Tee, $320, available at Shopbop.

Growing up, I wore a school uniform for the majority of my educational career. Instead of the average kid's wardrobe, I spent most of my days wearing pleated skirts, V-neck sweaters, collared shirts and cable-knit knee-high socks. So when it comes to shopping for tops, I always find myself most comfortable in a button-down blouse or a simple tee. The polo shirt — a style that's been popping up on the runways more and more — reminds me of the excitement that came with switching my fall/winter uniform to spring/summer, which meant I swapped my shirt-and-sweater combo for, you guessed it, a lightweight polo shirt.

These days, I would rather wear a polo shirt that's more fit for a creative working space than a strict and stuffy classroom. And the polos I've seen as of late lean more towards the sporty, retro route (in other words, not for me.) However, Helmut Lang applied its minimalism magic on the polo top. It's made from neoprene, so there's more structure to it than your typical cotton-knit polo. Plus, the spongy material and sleek V-neckline make the style look more modern than preppy. I'd pair it with an A-line skirt, heeled ankle boots and a long tailored vest for a sharp-but-ladylike look. Or I can go the casual route with black trousers and sneakers. That's about as sporty as I'll get.

Helmut Lang Sponge Polo Tee, $320, available at Shopbop.

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