The item in this review was provided at a discount for review by Ministry of Supply.
When I saw the launch of the Ministry of Supply Composite Slim Fit Polo, I was intrigued by the performance claims made with such a low merino content (15%). Since I was having trouble finding the perfect polo, I took a chance and gave it a try.
The fabric is a jersey-knit 85% polyester/15% merino wool blend with four-way stretch. It is machine washable on cold and can be dried on low (although I would still recommend hanging dry).
The first thing that struck me about this fabric was how “natural” it looks. It doesn’t have the sheen of polyester and it drapes like a light cotton polo. It is the first mostly synthetic polo that I’ve seen that doesn’t have that technical look. Ministry of Supply claims they achieve this through “wool micro-fibrils”. While this helps the look and makes the fabric extremely soft to the touch, it does give the polo a bit of a fuzzy look when viewed at the right angle and the right light.
The fit of this polo is more slim than the Apollo 3 Polo. However, I did find the same size worked for me for both, especially since this one is more casual. If you ever plan to tumble dry, I would size up, as Ministry of Supply does note that the fabric can shrink (I didn’t see it with cold machine washing and hanging to dry). The length was also a bit shorter — perfect for wearing untucked (I found it a little short to keep tucked in, possibly another reason to size up).
The open collar also lends to the casual nature of the shirt. With only one button at the collar, it is intended that you leave the collar un-buttoned. The placket is shorter than a typical 3-button polo though, so I never felt like the collar was too open. The sewn-in collar stays also help to keep the collar looking sharp. Overall, the collar performs well and doesn’t look floppy or out of place like many other performance polo collars.
I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of this polo. The 15% merino content definitely performed above what was expected in the odor department. I can trust that I will get at least two wears, more if I’m not sweating a lot. Even when I wore the polo with a backpack and jacket and took a brisk (sweaty) walk from my train to hotel, I was able to get a second wear. Even better, since the fabric is light and drys quickly (with no wrinkles), it would be easy to give the polo a wash in a hotel sink and count on it being dry the next day. While it will never beat a 100% merino polo, it certainly performs admirably.
Even in pretty sweaty situations, I found the moisture wicking and drying properties to be excellent. I never felt very sweaty and the fabric never felt heavy with moisture.
This polo is worth consideration for a more casual look. The combination of the jersey-knit fabric, open collar, and slim fit keep it casual while still looking sharp. The odor resistant properties are there, even though the merino content is low. At $85, I think this will be a hard polo to beat.