In Review: The New, Super Lightweight, Perfect-For-Summer J. Crew Factory Performance Polo

In Review: The New, Super Lightweight, Perfect-For-Summer J. Crew Factory Performance Polo

The warmer months of summer and spring are the ideal time to get some great polos into your wardrobe rotation. (The excellent website Dappered recently published a great roundup of many of the the polos options out there.) When it comes to the VERY hot days, though, you’ll want to make sure you are wearing a polo designed for the heat. And, when it comes to that, not all polos are created equal. You’ll want one that is designed to be super light, wick moisture, dry quickly, and so on. Usually, these polos will run you a little bit more money than a standard cotton one — but they are more than worth it. However, the recently released J. Crew Factory Performance Polo ($39.50) looks to be an exciting option at a very good price (especially when on one of the many sales they consistently run). Here is our full review.

Packaging & Experience

Shipping from JCF is $5, though is free over $100. So, for one polo, you’re looking at an extra $5 to the cost. Eh. Shipping also takes quite a few days to arrive, and shows up in the classic J Crew brown paper bag or box. While a shipping label is included (though it’s not on sticker paper, but instead just a piece of paper you need to use tape to affix), a few bucks will be deducted from your return. Is this the worst experience? No. It’s pretty standard “big box retailer” stuff. But it’s far from great and could use improvement. With all the new, younger companies offering free 2-3 day shipping, the “way things used to be” is slowly becoming less and less acceptable. B-

Style & Design

These polos are just about perfectly designed. Nice collar, with a slightly deeper placket, as a chest pocket which is always a nice detail. The colors are solid and classic, and available in white, green, blue, or black. Nice. Polos styled like this would look great on their own with chinos, jeans, shorts — or under a blazer or even a suit. A

Quality & Construction

The website simply says these are “poly,” which likely means that they are 100% polyester. Okay. Not so great. Worse, these things are super thin, wispy,  and see-through. We went with a black for this review, and even it was very see-through. The material is super, super thin. This means that it feels like you’re barely wearing anything — which is absolutely great for a super hot day — but it also makes them super casual. The white one is likely even too see-through to be worn comfortably unless you don’t mind being seen as just about topless. So, beware. I can also see these things either shrinking terribly in a warm wash or dryer, as well as not lasting much more than one season of serious wear and tear. B-

The Fit

(Note: I am 6’1” and 165 lbs. and usually wear a size S or 15” shirt in a slim fit.)

Overall, pretty trim and, unfortunately for me, on the short side as far as most polos we’ve tested go. So, taller guys beware. I went with a size Small, which usually fits me pretty perfectly in J Crew tees and polos. But another inch or so in length, and a touch more room in the best, and I think these things would fit taller, slimmer guys like me perfectly. If you’re shorter than I am, and a slimmer or athletic build, these should be pretty perfect for you. Again, I only wish they were cut a bit longer, like many Banana Republic polos are. A-

Check out the full chart for an even better idea as to how these will fit:

MeasurementsJCF Performance Polo (S)Banana Republic Lux Touch Polo (S)Banana Republic Slim Lux Touch Polo (S)
Armhole6.50"6.50"6.00"
Length26.25"27.00"26.50"
Chest19.00"19.00"18.75"
Waist18.50"18.50"17.75"

Value & Conclusion

J. Crew Factory Performance Polo — $39.50: These polos are well-designed, well-styled, and feel like you’re wearing nothing. They’re also super thin, see-through, flimsy, and unlikely to last a long time. At full price, it’s hard to recommend these things. Perhaps on a great sale, getting one of these for the pool, or unbearably hot days might be a decent idea. Otherwise, we recommend passing. Final Grade: B-

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