Ralph Lauren, Style Icon

In honor of the most recent RL roll out — Polo Tech — here are some important lessons we’ve learned from the man with a plan (and great belts).

08.27.15

1. Invest in a good quality knit — you won’t need to throw it away at the end of the season and in a city like New York, it will, no doubt, come in handy as many times as a bottle of water in the desert does.

1a. Eclipse the smart phone, the smart watch, the smart head and invest in a good quality smart shirt. According to PSFK, Ralph Lauren has just launched One not unlike the most recent roll-out from “PoloTech” – a new shirt that will measure the wearer’s vital activity in REAL TIME.

2. Dare to challenge the overarching conformities: if everyone is wearing skinny pants but you like them flared, you’re in the right. Wear them flared.

2a. Don’t smoke.

3. Consider the Canadian Tuxedo, then with the kind of reckless abandon you might find at 2 a.m. at a mini mart near a bar that serves exactly zero Sour Patch Kids, steal it, call it your own and laugh at the notion that it could have first belonged to anyone else. They say good artists copy and great ones steal but the best ones don’t even let you know there was any form of theft involved.

4. Don’t just wear a denim shirt with jeans — that’s easy and this is a tuxedo. Sport your finest sport. Jacket, that is.

5. Unless you’re not quite feeling like the metropolitan cowboy you have created, which is fine, because you’ve identified three prototypes for the identities you will call your own (American cowboy, American computer wiz, American [motor]cycler,) and in model two what worked for Steve Jobs also works for you. The black turtleneck will never disappoint you unless you disappoint it.

6. On said turtleneck: leave behind one qualm. Thou shalt not hesitate to pair your concealed neck with a pair of ivory pants, regardless of the time of year. If there are rules, they are only the ones you have put in place — no societal structure, especially one contingent on the Gregorian calendar, shall convince you otherwise.

7. Think thematically: one afternoon’s suit (double breasted, nothing less) may very well be another evening’s literal homage to the Old West.

7a. But don’t carry around a gun. Do, however, wear a bullet proof belt.

8. Don’t compromise you. If you never liked taffeta pants, you still don’t like taffeta pants, but everywhere you turn, lo and behold: taffeta pants, don’t give in. You have come this far, you have identified yourself, you have considered what it means to abide by rules that you have set and there is no reason to deviate. Unless, of course, those pants are actually silk faille.

8a. On the rules: If you feel like layering a white shirt under a blue plaid blouse to take a bow after a show that was full of indelible black tie garb, no matter the quality of importance among the people in said room, make like Nike — nay, give Nike a run for its slogan — and just do it.

9. There is no such thing as overdoing what you love: so what if you own fifteen pairs of jeans. Do you wear them all? Case closed.

10. Think about dyeing your hair white. Let this point bubble up from the depths of your internal dialogue at least three times a year.

10a. Retreat to a tropical locale every time your skin begins to feel vaguely pasty.

Everything I know about personal style, I learned from Ralph Lauren.

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  • Ralph Lauren the man (and I suppose his brand, too), is uncompromisingly American. And I love him for that. There’s a sweet ignorance to the American ethos that I feel Lauren embodies in his style.

    I may also add that I love the way many employed under his company share and wear and similar ethos. Mary Randolph Carter rocks:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH554tsEZQs

    • Leandra Medine

      A friend of mine who worked at Calvin Klein moved over to Ralph Lauren and has come to adopt the style of dress down to the camp socks to such a tee that it is impossible to assume he doesn’t have the firmest grip on his own style

      • And I think it takes someone with brilliant style (RL) to realize that “hey! This person’s style is my style,too!” You know it’s good when novelty feels inclusive.

      • Olivia O

        I work at RLC and was given the opportunity to volunteer for runway prep. It was about 2am the night before the show and Mr.Lauren was wearing fringed suede pants – in my opinion, he lives his brand.

        I do think what makes the brand so successful is how much he wants to share that lifestyle with the customer, to the extent that the stores are meant to feel like you’ve been invited into his home. Emma comment about novelty/inclusiveness is really well said.

        I feel like this is the part where I have to say that these are my own personal views and in no way officially represent the views of the company.

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  • Jenn Walls

    This post has provided me with the realization that Ralph Lauren is in fact, my dream man.

  • If I had to retreat to a tropical locale every time my skin was pasty, I would have to live in the Caribbean year round

  • my bubbly zone

    He is my favorite. So cool!

    Valentina

    http://www.mybubblyzone.com/

  • Quinn Halman

    For me, Ralph Lauren and the traditional American Dream go hand in hand with each other. Whether it is Mr. Lauren himself showing the formula hard work + dedication = success. Or perhaps the general all American look his labels put out, without the result looking too contrived. Also, his Oprah-visited ranch is STUNNING

  • He dresses perfectly!

    http://www.FashionSnag.com

  • Allie Fasanella

    Is it controlling to make my future husband abide by the Rule’s of Fashion/Life according to Ralph? I don’t really think so, man.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6pOe8B5LJQ

    • Stephanie

      Ahhh! I’m so happy you shared this clip! One of my favorite Friends episodes.

  • Seriously cracking up at these from behind my desk at work and need to keep it down.

    xxColby
    http://www.fossypants.com

  • Jonathan

    I love this!

  • Ask Socratic

    As Kanye once (recently) said, Ralph is the God.
    I love the point you made in #2 – that’s something I’ve been trying to conquer myself.
    Trends are schemes. You don’t have to buy into all of them just because. Gosh.

    http://www.socratictact.wordpress.com

  • Tiana

    Definitely in love with Ralph Lauren’s style!

    http://www.jivaro.com.au

  • Isabel

    HE IS ADORABLE.

  • Ralph Lauren is the kind of man I want to marry!

    http://tostylewithlove.com/

    Daphne

  • Praise hands emoji, several times over.

    http://charmystique.com/

  • Karel Paragh

    Ralph Lauren is a true legend. Nice article. Regards, Karel Paragh