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Top Polo And T-Shirt Trends For SS17

| 5 min read

From the beginning, wardrobe staples have been a pillar of the menswear fashion world…i.e, the selection of ‘elevated basics’ that any dude can carry through seasonal twists. Knitted T-shirt trends and Polo shirt trends constitute these all-time, must-have product categories.

For a long time, Manhattan was the epicentre of all creative thought. But as menswear has grown less formal due to the influence of Silicon Valley, designers are looking at California once again for inspiration.

India too has been susceptible to the T-shirt trends. Technopack advisor’s report indicates T-shirts as one of the highest growing products- at 12% CAGR, which is above the average Menswear growth of 9%.

With the majority of the consumers in the median age group of 27 years, these t-shirt trends for a fresh perspective into a category that is most patronised by the young. Knitwear as a category is dominating the casual wear trend – Basic tee, Graphic T-shirts, Polo shirt style, Sweatshirt included. So, here’s how to ace the casual, with SS17 Must-haves for Tees and Polos!

According to Google search trends in India, T-shirt is the clear winner when compared to its jersey counterparts – Polo Shirt and the more recent Sweatshirt. With reference to the graph below:

tshirtpolocomparedgraphThere is a visible Seasonal surge in T-shirt trends during Spring and Summer. Polo shirt styles have seen some slow growth in the last 2 years. However, when compared to the Tee shirt category, its market share is reduced to a quarter.

Stylumia Insights

Stylumia‘s Summer 2016 Top 50 ranked T-shirts, Tees and Polo Shirts show the market share they occupy in the consumer mind. The data collected is applied to reveal Product-wise contribution and Design-wise preference i.e., Plain, printed and striped for Men’s Knit tops.


Google Search trends and Stylumia’s Top product trends align to confirm T-shirts as the dominating product under Menswear Knits for Spring Summer. With regards to Design preference, Printed and Plain –  T-shirts and Polo shirt styles are almost equally trending. Stripes as a feature, largely seen in Polos, occupy a smaller percentage in the range.

Celebrity casuals

There is a clear contrast between Hollywood and Bollywood celebrity preferences for Print and Graphic trends in Knitwear! Justin Bieber and David Beckham were seen wearing their favourite ‘Band Tees’, whereas Bollywood’s take on Graphic was driven by allover Camouflage prints. Viraat Kohli’s ‘State of Mind’ swept the maximum likes with this ‘Slogan Tee’ from Zara! Polo Shirts were less visible, and the one that made it to the Top was spotted on Justin Timberlake, who carries the ‘All White’ look, with ease.

Let’s begin this report with the key contributing product to Knitwear in the Indian Market – the Tee shirt.

In recent times, T-shirts have graduated from being a fashion and functional need to something that consumers get emotionally attached to. Graphic tees carrying Slogans, phrases and designs that are relatable, have become the new age of communication among youth. Below are two trends, exclusive to Printed T-shirts we see trending this SS2017.

Slogan City Graphic Tees

Simple yet punchy Slogans are proving to be a popular and unstoppable force in the modern trend. This has been witnessed in Runways and Social media, through sub cult messages, single word graphics and mood texts earning likes from the masses. As illustrated below:

messagetee90’s Inspired Band Tees

The biggest trend that seems to be influencing not just Graphics but overall design direction this season is the 90s era.

Through social media research, we observe this trend popularised during the Fashion weeks of SS2017 and among Fashion Bloggers internationally. Vintage graphics of Rap, Reggae and Heavy Metal favourites like Nirvana, 2-Pac, ACDC, Guns N Roses, Metallica, Rolling Stones are commonly used, with a distressed treatment. The genderless nature of these graphics also enables this to become a trend for both Men and Women (as captured in Stylumia’s ‘Talking Tees’ Blog – Nov 2016).

bandteesEmerging favourites on Stylumia show H&M’s ‘Nirvana Tee’ ranked #2 and #4 in Nov’16 this week. Urban Outfitters is also set to launch the ‘2Pac Forever’ Collection which features several clothing items in celebration and tribute to the hip-hop icon. As seen on Asos, Justin Beiber’s Purpose Tour graphic tees are an indictor of Tour merch ready just-in-time to meet demand, during pop music events! Other brand references, suggesting the trend are as below:

bandteesbrandMoving on from the Only Tee shirt category, below are Must-have trends that can be seen in Polo shirt designs as well. Despite stemming from the same key theme, the interpretation and acceptance of each trend can be unique for a Collarless and a Collared T-shirt.

Cloudy Pink

We are seeing Designer collections and Social Media influencing the penetration of Pink as a Must-have colour for SS’17. Stylumia in Summer 2016 has already had a small taste of success. Coverage as below from Runways and Instagram:

designersocialpinkBright Fuschias give way to the more pastel tones of Pink in solid and melange jerseys. The following are among Stylumia’s Top 50, seen across knit tops during Summer 16. Simple logo detailing is also preferred, as noted below.

stylumiapinkshortIn line with the Runway, Social and Stylumia insights, Pink in its washed and ‘rip of the bright’ format, is a must-have casual wear colour for SS’17. A colour like this, can be very versatile and be applied to looks ranging from Athleisure jerseys, Slogan tees, Distress knits to Polo Shirt style with variations, very effortlessly. As seen in brands below:


T-shirt trends in India, as verified by Stylumia and search trends, have seen a higher demand than Polo shirts, Henley or Sweatshirts.

SS’17 Knit tops for Men’s also gets influenced by the Two key themes seen in the ‘Must-have Shirt’ Blog – Nostalgia and Military style.

Inspired by the ’90s, Band tour graphics and Fonts for Texts & Slogans on Tee shirts, make them Must-have product t-shirt trends this Spring-Summer. While Navy and Grey are seen are favourites of the Indian Consumer, the demand for White and Black jerseys are on the rise.

Also brought back, as seen in Crewnecks and Collared T-shirts are Vintage-styled contrast detailing, Breton stripes and Zipper details for a Nostalgic Nautical feel. The seasonal color that is a Must-have across all Knit tops for Men’s is pastel Pink, popular in dusty and cloudy hues.

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