NeoPrep Revival: Polo RL Spring 2019

Shaggy Dog season is upon us in most of the country. It’s certainly here for the Lauren family, as one member was in J. Press this weekend stocking up on brushed Shetlands. And that’s our springboard from winter to spring, as we take a look at the recently unveiled Spring 2019 Polo collection. Neo-prep is indeed back with a vengeance, with every kind of hybrid mashup — say, a tennis sweater rendered in camo with patches and embroidery. Here are some highlights, and you can see the full slideshow here. — CC

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51 Comments on "NeoPrep Revival: Polo RL Spring 2019"

  1. Oh God, no.

  2. EVAN EVERHART | November 19, 2018 at 1:03 pm |

    The incessant usage of patches, logos, and the last suit of Lord above knows what mongrel pattern are quite twee and saccharinely nauseating….I do however very much like the shirts – sans the Winchester style OCBDs, which are rather anathema to me. Also, please note the odiously miss-matched patterning of the sport coat in the 2nd to last photograph. Once again, the shirts, are Beautiful, and the adult foot-ware. If I dug darted jackets or pleated trousers, I might even find some of the ones shown to be interesting, if they were long enough…..Hmmm…..Anyway, someone needs to tell Uncle Ralphie to shorten his neckties (and lengthen his coats and the rise of his trousers!), or whichever of his imps are responsible for the over-sight of such things. Fun to watch and read the snippets! Yay! 😀

  3. EVAN EVERHART | November 19, 2018 at 1:04 pm |

    Last photograph; Little Lord Fauntleroy! 😉

  4. EVAN EVERHART | November 19, 2018 at 1:12 pm |

    Christian,

    You should get a contributor to write a periodic series of articles entitled “The Cantankerous Trad”, or some such. It could be all about their grousing and griping about how things have changed, or standards have dropped, and eye-balling current fashion trends which are anathema and disgusting to Tradsville & Ivy League afficianados at large, as well as the best local or national locations to procure Trad-ish/Ivy League style clothing. Kind of like an eye on the street column in some men’s magazines/journals, but with the “flavor” of the Ivy League/Tradsville.

  5. EVAN EVERHART | November 19, 2018 at 1:14 pm |

    I’m only half joking.

  6. BC has already turned in a piece like that! I’ll run it soon.

    Many think the comments section is our regular cantankerous commentary column.

  7. Nice alliteration CC.

    The RL 2019 lineup is not quite as preposterous as the fellow in the mini skirt with high standards but it is pretty bad. I wonder if Mr. Lauren feels the need to prove himself in some way still.
    I considered his serious clothes to be great.

    Will

  8. Old School Tie | November 19, 2018 at 2:11 pm |

    Too much scribble on everything and the collar bars/giant safety pins are getting a little wearisome.

  9. I’d call this lookbook “Rugby’s Revenge.”

    Like the late spin-off brand, there’s much here that goes beyond what I’d wear but I appreciate the boldness (contrast this to J.Crew, which appears these days to be a slightly more cluttered Uniqlo).

    I would 100% wear the madras jacket in the leading image. Great, “muddy” colors.

    I’m going to be in the minority, but I have to admit that the wheat colored suit covered by doodles of motorcycles and… other things (?) brings a smile to my face. It’s certainly not the thing I’d turn up to a wedding in, but for a cocktail party…

  10. Someone without an identity of their own has been watching way too many Wes Anderson movies.

  11. Sigh. Each ensemble looks terribly cluttered — like the interiors shown here several days ago — except in the second to last photograph, but he needs to fix his lapel/collar.

  12. Henry Contestwinner | November 19, 2018 at 2:53 pm |

    Most of these items are of such monumental hideousness that a dog would be hesitant to relieve itself on them.

  13. Almost forgot—not pictured here, but in the Vogue slideshow linked, there’s also a very nice Blackwatch tartan tuxedo jacket.

  14. Old School Tie | November 19, 2018 at 3:18 pm |

    The short jackets are also dreadfully wearisome….

  15. The guy in the pink shirt, grey pants, and badged seersucker jacket looks the most normal to me, even with his Cosmo Kramer haircut.

  16. Good afternoon, all.

    Long time lurker, but first time posting.

    If our beloved aesthetic is to survive, it must be adapted and re-envisioned for a new generation. This has always been the case, as my Gen-X combined and interpreted it differently than, say, my older brothers Boomers.

    I for one LOVE these neo- prep posts. Not because I would or could wear these combinations, but it freshens things up a bit so we aren’t so stodgy, like trapped in some period costume party.

    Thanks, Christian!

  17. Okay, I know that I’m pretty much out of it, but WHO?? wears this, when, and to what? To paraphrase, it looks like a wino bum’s idea of what rich kids look like.

  18. Jesse Livermore | November 19, 2018 at 4:37 pm |

    Mother of mercy

  19. Shockingly bad taste.

  20. WTH?!! This goes well beyond GTH!

  21. Gobbitch. Jacket in second pic from bottom doesn’t fall halfway down his butt. Not to mention everything is WAY too tight. Clown outfits. Puhleeeasse.

  22. I stopped by the Rhinelander yesterday and the serious clothes were terrific, as usual.

  23. Eric’s right that this has Rugby’s essence all over it. Even the age of the models shown is indicative of catering to Rugby’s old core demographic (17-25).

    @ljmd. Maybe Fred is working for Ralph again. Lol

    @Evan. Stop.

  24. A lot of these pieces (the clothing, not the comments!) make me laugh. But on an actually relevant topic….are we expecting pleated slacks to make another comeback? Every pair here that aren’t jeans have them. I also agree with “Old School Tie” that ultra-short jackets are wearisome. They look like there was no better choice than your baby brother’s blazer…4 sizes too small.

  25. Yikes !

  26. Richard Meyer | November 20, 2018 at 5:31 am |

    To quote the late Nancy Reagan just say “NO”

  27. From idle rich to sullen youth…

  28. Vern Trotter | November 20, 2018 at 9:09 am |

    This stuff should all just be ignored. It will vanish soon enough. Maybe they are left over from the Halloween parade, waiting to walk again in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. However, they usually have better stuff for their balloon walk.

    The end is in sight for Ralph. Sad.

  29. As The Trad (remember him?) and others have pointed out, the early days of Rugby inspired hopeful optimism. It seemed there was real potential for something great–a throwback to old, classic Ivy. Then, something (awful) happened. I’m not sure exactly what; I am sure there are plenty of inside stories that would tell the tale.

    My local Rugby shop included a few custom options, including oxford shirts by New England Shirt Company. There were beautiful wool challis prints and even (woven, not printed!) Irish Poplin ties. Somebody with an eye for detail had been paying attention to the old J. Press brochures.

    Here’s an example of one of their many 3-button undarted sack options–a patch-patch/flap blazer:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/WOW-Ralph-Lauren-RUGBY-Blazer-42R-NAVY-Wool-Patch-Pocket-Classic-Trad/142990466224?hash=item214ae55cb0:g:xo8AAOSwRYNb0nqv:rk:9:pf:0

    They offered at least a dozen or so variations on the classic Brooks #1 Repp, as well as a fantastic (and reasonably priced) toggle coat. And a polo coat a college student could afford. Great belts (engine turned buckles) too. Flap pocketed wool flannel pants that call to mind the LL Bean Town & Field pant.

    What happened? It’s likely we’ll never know. Within a year or so, giant logos appeared out of nowhere. Everything looked more tapered and shorter (jackets). A fast downward spiral. So much potential.

  30. Charlottesville | November 20, 2018 at 9:59 am |

    Like Eric, I like the colors in the Madras sport coat at the top, but the cut seems snug from what I can see. I keep hoping to find something similar at J. Press some spring. The seersucker coat could also be nice if the patch were removed, and some of the other fabrics, shirts and ties are fine. Otherwise, too tight, too short and too silly. However, I am not surprised that what Christian describes as the “serious clothes” at the Madison Ave. flagship are solid. I always enjoy looking in when in New York, and usually find something there either to add to my closet, or covet while waiting for the January sale. Hope everyone has a delightful Thanksgiving.

  31. With the exceptions of patches, silk screening and jacket length these clothing items are 1970s Ralph Lauren.
    The trousers: extended waist band-check, double forward pleats-check, real watch pocket with button flap-check. I wouldn’t be surprised to find either D-rings or button tabs on the side of the waist. These trousers where also available with belt loops.

    The jackets with patch & flap pockets, also bellows & flap pockets. All these jackets would be excellent without the shitty length and patches.

    The last image, who wouldn’t want that herring bone suit without the silk screening and a decent coat length?

  32. Really, I’m serious and would like an answer, if known: who wears this stuff in the real world?

  33. Charlottesville | November 20, 2018 at 11:55 am |

    NCJack – A guy in an office near mine wears things that are similar, and I frequently see slightly less silly versions on others in this area. I assume that one would see more of it in larger cities. While it would be unusual to see the entire look shown in pics 3 through 6 above on a real-world person, many of the elements are found on people in their 20s and early 30s. I find most of it contrived, uncomfortable-looking and unattractive, like the perpetual 3-day stubble, tattoos, and above-the-ankle pants with long-wings and no socks that tend to go with it. However, for some reason there is an audience for this stuff. Unfortunately, so many men seem to have given up entirely and look, if possible, even worse in gym-wear, baggy shorts or cargo pants, t-shirts, flip flops or puffy sneakers, and hoodies. There are, fortunately, some exceptions, such as the esteemed followers of this site.

  34. University Stripe | November 20, 2018 at 1:06 pm |

    One has to wonder what anyone dressing this way hopes to convey. It certainly isn’t an appreciation for the timeless, the well worn, or the traditional. So what is it?

    Perhaps they truly believe this is how the Skull & Bones Class of 2018 dresses in its secret meetings? Or is it a blatant insult to the Old Money set–I now have what was yours, and look how I wear it?

    Of course, the joke is on the buyer, and so is the credit card debt.

  35. Many of these individual pieces look fine and approximate tradness (even if they’re a bit unorthodox). They could easily serve a popularizing “trad-lite” function, as RL often has.

    But the incoherence and busyness just isn’t pleasing; I can’t think who’d want it.

    Given a choice, who would prefer to wear that jacket with white trousers, or that nice tennis sweater with raggedy patched-up jeans, or a fair isle with stupid decals sewn all over it?

  36. Old School Tie | November 20, 2018 at 3:50 pm |

    My personal theory re: short coat length (and it is debatable whether or not this is simply the curtailing of the skirt rather than the jacket as a whole) and how it relates to the Ivy look, is that it simulates that prep school look where you all outgrew your blazers each year. The final iteration would be the blazer you got one or even two years before being packed off to university. Of course your clothes were a tad small, a tad worn and possibly modified in some way. I brought my school overcoat, blazer (sans badge) and shirts with me as did plenty of others. Obviously, as time passed we purchased correctly fitting clothes again. This, this look tries, I think, to emulate that. I am reminded of the iconic RL image of the chap sitting cross-legged on the lawn, blazer, chinos and baseball cap, all beneath his umbrella – definitely a recent Old Boy back for school sports day. For the nostalgic among us or most probably those who have never experienced it at all.

  37. @Old School Tie

    You seem to have given this a lot of thought. My idea is possibly less thought out but closer to reality. It is my contention that a great and growing number of people are half wits.

    Will

  38. Sacksuit- I agree with your assessment about the growing number of people.

  39. Charlottesville, I purchased a madras sport coat this past Spring from O’Connell’s. Very trad. Three button, natural shoulder, hooked center vent. You might look there.

  40. I wore the socks today that the guy in the madras overcoat is wearing. They are exactly same except that mine were purchased at Rugby around 2012. I call them the ‘Finding Nemo’s.”

  41. I cannot un-see this. If only I could.

  42. “Unfortunately, so many men seem to have given up entirely and look, if possible, even worse in gym-wear, baggy shorts or cargo pants, t-shirts, flip flops or puffy sneakers, and hoodies. ”

    The correct sociological term for this phenomenon is slobification.

  43. Usually, the actual collection is more toned down for two reasons: 1) the pieces are not thrown together in maximally discordant combinations and 2) the most extreme pieces make it into the lookbook while normal ones do not. Some pf the silhouettes and materials look quite good – the dark madras is particularly interesting. I’m not a fan of pleats, but I wonder if Ralph is trying to show that he can push a trend that commentators are always promising will reappear but has yet to materialize. Regardless, I think the general improvement in Polo’s outlook on prep relative to some recent seasons bodes well for our options. By the way, does anyone know of a fabric similar to the one used for their standard twill suits?

  44. Old School Tie | November 21, 2018 at 7:36 am |

    Alright, it is moronic, there is no excuse, those jackets go with men in jeggings at half mast and no socks. They are halfwits. We are in the grip of a classic pincer movement – rappers on one side and halfwits on the other

  45. Charlottesville | November 21, 2018 at 10:33 am |

    John Carlos – Good advice. I will check them out this spring. I have a Press madras 3-button sack sport coat in shades of navy, light blue, faded red and a bit of yellow, but would love to find one with the rusty-brown and olive tones shown above.

    Roger – “Slobification” is the perfect term for far too prevalent a look.

    Sacksuit and Old School Tie – I fear you are both correct.

    POLOptomist – There is no doubt much truth in what you say, as supported by Christian’s praise of the “serious clothes” at the Rhinelander. Great nom de net, by the way.

  46. @Shuman:

    Re: “If our beloved aesthetic is to survive, it must be adapted and re-envisioned for a new generation.

    The only changes that have occured in “our beloved aesthetic” since 1961, when I was initiated, have been in the length of collar points, the width of lapels, and the width of ties.

  47. MacMcConnell | November 21, 2018 at 3:23 pm |

    POLOptomist
    Ralph Lauren has always done both plain & pleated front trousers. O’Connells does both, as far as I know Books Bros. has.

  48. MacMcConnell | November 21, 2018 at 4:39 pm |

    In a World that a supposedly scientific journal like Nature opines that gender has nothing to do with the sex one is born with and Channel has a new like of men’s cosmetics call BOY, why does this surprise anyone? 😉

    https://www.chanel.com/us/makeup/makeup-for-men/

  49. MacMcConnell | November 21, 2018 at 4:40 pm |

    line, not like, sorry

  50. elder prep | March 13, 2019 at 2:44 pm |

    What is shown above is not only astonoshingly poor taste but also poor design. Who else but street kids would wear this. That RL has his name connected to this is tragic.

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