fabric and styling inspiration for the parachute polo

Every child can use a great polo shirt. They’re part of many school uniforms, but they also work well with so many other items. They’re also dressier than a basic T-shirt. Plus, they offer so many design options. Here are a few examples and ideas for your Parachute Polo + Sweatpants pattern.




  1. A tropical-printed polo for summer.
  2. A solid-color polo is a great basic, but I think I’d like this shirt even better with a contrast collar, like an oxford blue.
  3. Awning stripes are perfect for summer, and I love the contrast with the white.
  4. Terry cloth lobsters. But just the terry cloth or just the lobsters would be fine if you can’t do both.
  5. Color blocking, of course. And we’ve got you covered with a complete tutorial, by the way.
  6. More color blocking for good measure.
  7. A printed polo is good, but what about a printed polo with a contrast collar?
  8. Stripes with a contrast collar would be good, too.
  9. What about color-blocking with stripes?
  10. The wide stripes would be great on their own, but with the butter yellow collar they’re even better.
  11. Wide stripes at the hem are a great idea.
  12. I love the button detail on the collar, which takes this to a new level and would be an easy add to the pattern.

But let’s not stop there! You know you can just add a skirt to the bottom of the Parachute Polo to make a dress, right? You might want to give the sides a bit more shaping and flare the dress a bit at the hips, but otherwise this is a really easy change to make. Most of the inspiration from this group is taken from Ralph Lauren, and as a former designer for Mr. Lauren I’m proud to say that he is still the king of the polo shirt. (Giant logos aside–I don’t understand that direction at all.)




  1. I think this skirt is actually two pieces cut on bias with a chevron center seam, but it might be fun to try a circle skirt instead.
  2. Love the chest stripe. Again, you could easily achieve this with simple color blocking.
  3. The really full, bias-cut ruffle on a dropped waist skirt is just darling. And don’t forget to add matching bloomers using our Tea Party Sundress or Seashore Sundress pattern!
  4. If you’re feeling really fancy, try a pleated version. I think the best way to handle these knife pleats would be to edgestitch each pleat, so this version isn’t for the faint of heart.
  5. These tiered ruffles are darling and would be really easy to do. The ruffles are separated from each other by a band of fabric. I love the stripes at the dropped waist. In this case, it emphasizes the Adidas logo and branding, but a ribbon or group of ribbons would be really pretty.
  6. More tiny ruffles. This is so cute, and I don’t even like ruffles!
  7. So simple and sweet. If you use a pique you could get a soft pleat without necessitating the edgestitching of the knife pleats of number 4, I think.


And if you turn back to the original pattern, I think we should also talk about it’s possibility of a rugby shirt. Right? I mean, the woven collar is perfect for this. And of course we’ve got the long sleeves, too, so you’re well on your way.


rugby shirt


Now you just have to decide which team to support. But I’m afraid I won’t be much help there.

And last but certainly not least, I think many of you are clever enough to combine the Parachute Polo with the Lullaby Layette or the Tea Party Playsuit to create a polo romper. I just added a bunch of ideas to the Customizing with Oliver + S Pinterest board if you want more inspiration in this area.


polo romper


So? What’s it going to be first? Start with a basic polo and then get fancy, maybe?


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  1. Of course! The Tea Party bottom! When I saw you pinning all the rompers I was racking my brain trying to figure out the best way to achieve the look.

    I am crazy excited to get started on this one, come on mailman! #teampaper4life

  2. Jill J

    Love this new pattern! And I too don’t understand the huge polo logo’s I’ve seen lately!

  3. Andi

    Can you help educate me on why the pattern has a one piece collar instead of a two piece? I don’t know much about the difference. Thank you so much.

  4. Sure, Andi. A two-piece collar has a stand and a collar. It’s more challenging to sew and bulkier because of all the seams. Whereas a regular one-piece collar is just the collar without the stand. Our collar is sort of a modified two-piece collar, so it has the appearance of a two-piece collar because we’ve combined the stand and the collar. I hope that helps!

  5. I’m looking forward to making an A line dress out of it 🙂

  6. Diane Lyons

    I absolutely LOVE the idea of adding a skirt to the polo top! Thank you for offering so many ideas and inspirations for our projects! I love these posts!

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