20 Comments on "HBO Ralph Lauren Documentary Airs November 12"

  1. whiskeydent | October 24, 2019 at 4:42 pm |

    I have a leather jacket that’s very similar to the one Ralph’s wearing in the photo. The parts of his that are visible appear identical to mine and the distressed leather is the same too.

    Mine came from the original Banana Republic, which was a really cool catalog operation before getting sold and morphing into a crappy mall store.

    Gulp, I just realized the jacket turns 34 this year. At least I lost the weight and can fit in it again.

  2. “Very Ralph” is used as a compliment by Polo employees when a customer with a lot of style enters the store.

  3. All who have overpaid https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/a5cf750e-1b25-44fb-8afb-67fadcde5b54 for Ralph’s overpriced softgoods, you helped to support his manufactured lifestyle.

  4. Excuse my language but, BC, fuck you care?



  5. I saw him at the Pebble Beach Concours in the late 90s early 2000s.
    He was wearing a double breasted blue blazer with about as non Ivy a
    cut as one may find. Very padded shoulders with six/button two closure.
    Canary yellow slacks too. He was with his wife. I had also seen him about
    two decades earlier at Bloomingdales in New York checking out his (wide)
    tie display. At the time the Polo Empire was still limited to ties.

  6. OneTimeAccount | October 25, 2019 at 1:35 am |

    Phoniest of phonies, this guy.

  7. Old School Tie | October 25, 2019 at 3:56 am |

    Now, now, gentlemen. Decorum, please. We have to suppose that if you attended a prep school or went to an Ivy League college, then what you personally wore whilst there is, by definition, “preppy” or “Ivy”. It is not the clothes themselves, it is what you do in them that counts, how you wear them, where and with whom. That is how you can add the word “style” to both of those aforementioned terms.

  8. In a sense, every guy–including the sons of New England industrialists–who ever wore flannel, tweed, and repp ties were “phonies.” Go back far enough, and you’ll find that somebody’s great grandfather was either a ditch-digger, fisherman, or an office clerk (or equivalent), who, industrious and hard-working and ambitious, made enough money to by a lot of property and start the American version of a dynasty. Isn’t the American version of an aristocracy, since it’s borrowed entirely from the (actual, genuine) European aristocracies, 100% “phony” insofar as it’s derived, borrowed, and plagiarized?

    The word “Ivy” itself is a brilliant bit of marketing–a presentation of a lifestyle. (Presumably, the lifestyle of men who attended one of eight “elite” schools in the Northeast). It’s no less spurious than the oft-condemned “trad” or frequently denounced “preppy.”

    The only people who wake up in the morning with what amounts to a birthright to the style in question are members of British peerage. Hell, even the ‘quintessentially American’ OCBD was stolen. When all is said and done, we’ve always been a bunch of pirates, bandits, buccaneers, and plunderers. That’s the source of a certain kind of pride, but it calls into question any talk of “authentic” vs. “phony.”

  9. Apropos —
    Harley of Scotland has made Ralph’s (better?) sweaters for years. For a long while, the only way you could get the softer yet still shaggy crewneck was by way of PoloRL. Harley now offers them direct to customer:



  10. Hard to argue with S.E.

  11. SE

    I agree.



  12. He is the reason why 99% of people who have seen oxford cloth have seen oxford cloth.

    As Tocqueville pointed out, America is a country without a real aristocracy, but that is, overall, a point in its favor.

    Wear what you will because you like it, not to conform to the expectations of others or to fit into a group or to try to join one.

    The last fifteen years have seen the postmodern debasement of everything, including ivy style, into a caricature of itself and interpreted in categories totally foreign to those who wore it before the internet age. In a sense Ralph Lauren’s marketing and clothing was a precursor to some of this. But when you look at his catalogs from the 80s, you can see his genuine contributions in cut and fit/finish–making the style more modern–albeit amidst so much else that was tasteless and made him rich. The appearance of mass lux for a mass market.

  13. I’d just like to get paid for my work. I’ve been working for Ralph Lauren for three weeks only to learn today which is pay day we have to work two more weeks to get paid. I’m broke.

  14. Ms. Lee

    Okay, I’ll bite. Doing what?


  15. Okay, Brother Ralph has made and marketed a WHOLE bunch of garish, over-logoed weirdness, and priced it way too high. And guess what? It was jumped on in flinty, frugal New England and “courtly gentleman” South just like the rest of the country. And he got rich. Big deal, and more power to him.

    But, like Bro. Bruce said, “He is the reason why 99% of the people who have seen oxford cloth have seen oxford cloth.” Add flannel trousers, navy blazers, repp ties and woolens in general to that. Through the lean years of boxy power suits and Euro-garbage, RL kept the classic flame lit, though perhaps a bit dimly at times.

  16. Phil Healey | October 26, 2019 at 3:36 am |

    In the 50s and early 60s, mainstream department stores in Los Angeles sold Oxford cloth button down shirts by Sero, Hathaway, Arrow, Van Heusen to customers who had never heard of Ivy League style, but who knew what Oxford cloth was.

  17. Phil,

    You are quite right. My comment, more accurately phrased, would be that he kept oxford cloth from dying out after the 60s ivy style faded nationally, and most people born after that time have seen it because of him. Instead of it receding altogether save for a few enclaves, ralph made a (caricatured) version of the look available to every kid in every mall or suburb, and by the time the kids and grandkids of the people who wore the real, old ivy kit were in school, many of them were wearing ralph’s wares. And (some of) the older generation themselves too for casual items. Of course, what the older generation had bought themselves was what the older (press, hilton, feinstein, andover shop) salesmen and retailers had sold to them as the correct kit, and one can certainly look upon early 20th c. efforts–even brooks–simply to do a more tasteful version of the same thing. to give one example, if the older retailers had pushed some other sweater than the shetland, it would’ve likely attained a similar place. ralph hyper-stylized a version of the style at the same time as he paradoxically democratized it and made it a mass luxury product, in a way that would seem quintessentially american were it not for mass lux in britain and now seemingly everywhere going down the same path. it is no wonder londoners hate us for ruining their streets. paris is more resistant but with its own lux trash as well.

  18. of course, there’s a lot to be said for preferring the ersatz sometimes, especially for sentimental reasons

  19. George Hollingsworth | November 30, 2019 at 9:44 pm |

    A few years ago I went to a party where one of the guests was wearing a white dress shirt with a huge, four or five-inch tall black RL polo rider emblem embroidered on the left side. I knew it was over then.

  20. Dicky Greenleaf II | April 4, 2020 at 7:13 pm |

    The only reason this style continues to flourish at all levels and worldwide is because of this guy.

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