RL Style Guide

 
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What are some versatile styles that will be adequate for the ski season’s varying temperatures?
It’s no secret that ski-season weather can be temperamental. Luckily, there are ample options that offer the necessary versatility. Outerwear with removable layers is a skiwear essential. When worn together, insulated pieces provide warmth, while also retaining breathability. When worn separately, a water-resistant outer shell will still protect from the elements. Down vests are lightweight, can be layered under jackets during cooler months and can also be worn as outerwear during warmer weather.
What is the Recco® Avalanche Rescue System that is built into some RLX apparel?
Developed by Magnus Granhed, Recco® is a two-part system that consists of a detector used by rescue teams and a reflector worn by skiers. Using a directional signal, the reflectors integrated into our Recco®-enabled outerwear direct rescuers to the exact location of the wearer. While the system does not prevent avalanches nor guarantee survival in the event of one, it does allow rescue teams to pinpoint a person’s location. The reflector is permanently attached to many of our performance items and does not require batteries or training for usage.
What is a rugged pant alternative to denim?
While denim is consistently the go-to for rugged pants, there are other stylish options that can substitute for your classic blue jean look. A canvas pant in tan or brown provides the same color scheme as a more refined chino pant, and so can be dressed up, yet it also offers incredible strength and durability for activities requiring workwear. Corduroys are another alternative that can be dressed up or down with ease.
What are some fresh outerwear alternatives to a classic trench coat?
This season, the trench coat is reinvented in new fabrics for a fresh take on classic style. A trench in rich brown suede epitomizes luxurious outerwear, while a sweater coat in cashmere provides a more casual alternative. If you’re not the trench coat type, a traditional pea coat can also be dressed up or down—and will carry you through fall into the colder months.
What are some ways to dress up my polo shirts?
Incredibly versatile, the polo shirt can be dressed up or dressed down to suit the occasion. Most commonly worn on casual days, it can be dressed up in a number of ways. First, consider the color of the polo. Darker colors tend to be smarter and more appropriate for formal events. Pair the shirt with a blazer and dress pants for a simple yet elegant look. For another take on the formal look, opt for smartly tailored chinos and lace-up brogues—an appropriate option for a Friday at the office or lunch at the country club.
Can I wear socks with my loafers and boat shoes?
Preppy style dictates that it is completely acceptable to wear your shoes without socks. In fact, we encourage it for the most part. While we cannot advocate the look of socks with boat shoes, thin socks with a classic loafer is always appropriate and timeless. For a fun and casual style, try a colorful pair to add variety and personality.
Does wearing knits underneath my suit render it casual for professional settings?
It is completely acceptable to wear knits underneath a suit without crossing the casual line. Start with a knit in a color that will complement the suiting look. To maintain a streamlined silhouette, layer with sweaters in lightweight fabrics, such as cashmere and cotton, that won’t add bulk. Not only will adding knits to your outfit give you the opportunity to create new looks, it can also add polish while keeping you warm.
Do the colors of my accessories have to match?
When putting together an outfit, it is important to consider every factor in order to dress appropriately. The rule for belts and shoes, especially for formal events, is that they should always match. So when wearing black shoes, they must be paired with a black belt. Because there are various shades of brown, a few shades darker or lighter can be considered, but they should generally be in the same color category.
What are some great looks for the cruise season?
When packing for a warm-weather getaway, shorts, polos and T-shirts are essential—but you must also think beyond the basics. Crisp white pants, striped shirts and boldly colored sweaters are all versatile pieces to have on hand. Lightweight fabrics, like linen and Pima cotton, are staples that wear well for both active and relaxed occasions. And a linen blazer is de rigueur for evening. Day or night, colors such as light blue and chartreuse are always fitting.
How do I choose the proper tie width to match my shirt collar?
Dress shirt collars usually dictate the type of tie and, quite often, the tie knot you should choose. A wider-spread shirt collar requires a larger necktie, while a smaller, straighter collar calls for a thinner tie. Black Label dress shirts have a trim-fitting silhouette, and by using wider ties with your new shirts, you will fail to capture the harmony between the shape of the shirt and collar, and the lines of the tie. Black Label has an array of slim, narrow ties that go perfectly with our shirts, as they are meant to complement each other. Always keep in mind: The size of tie should always correspond with the spread of the collar opening.
I love my pea coat, but I have been told it is not appropriate enough for formal events I attend. Are there any outerwear options I should consider?
Although the pea coat is a great outerwear choice for the season, when it comes to more formal occasions than a laid-back office or a casual weekend, you should consider the chesterfield: a long tailored overcoat, which is offered as both single- or double-breasted and usually extends just below the knee. The chesterfield is a great investment, as its classic design renders it timeless, and it can be worn over suits and tuxedos as well as with denim. Available in rich fabrics like cashmere and soft-brushed wool, this coat is a refined choice for all occasions.
How can I wear a turtleneck in a new way this season?
A turtleneck is a great addition to your winter wardrobe. This versatile knit looks great underneath a sport coat or blazer, or even on its own. Not only is a turtleneck a great layering piece, but the utilitarian side of this sweater will also keep you warm when the weather takes a turn for the worst. Opt for either a thick wool turtleneck that can be worn on its own or, if thin but warm, cashmere that allows for layering.
Is a velvet sport coat an appropriate substitute for a tuxedo? Are there any rules about this?
Wearing a velvet jacket in lieu of a tuxedo is perfectly acceptable at black-tie events. Combining the rich fabric with the styling of a tuxedo look is a modern take on traditional formal attire. Remember to maintain the style structure of a regular tuxedo: black pant, white shirt and bow tie. As an alternative, a pair of fitted, flat-front grey wool trousers can be substituted for black tuxedo pants. Not only is this an elegant option, but it also sets you apart from the sea of men in basic black
What are some unique gift ideas this holiday season?
The holidays are all about family and finding comfort in the familiar, and this season’s gifts reflect that intimacy. A cashmere cable-knit sweater is at once luxurious and cozy and can be appreciated year-round, while monogrammed polo shirts are always a favorite. Contribute to a loved one’s home library with a book packed with gorgeous imagery and inspiration. It will dress up any shelf or tabletop for years to come and also give a nod to the recipient’s personal interests.
I have noticed some men wearing their tuxedos jackets with jeans this holiday season. Is this appropriate for semi-formal events?
Pairing your tuxedo with denim can be a tricky road to navigate. Depending on the occasion and venue, this option should be considered carefully. Invitations that require black tie should always be honored with a classic tuxedo look, keeping in mind that these events are typically held at elegant locations. If the occasion calls for semi-formal attire, a well-tailored dark suit will suffice—that means no jeans. However, when cocktail attire is requested, feel free to pair your tuxedo jacket with denim, but make sure the jeans are always dark and clean. Complete the look with a pair of patent leather shoes or even velvet slippers to add personality. When in doubt, err on the side of traditional in a slim black suit—you will always look modern and refined.
What makes Black Label Denim special?
No matter the color, denim forms the foundation of a wardrobe, and finding the right pair is as essential as a well-fitting suit. Black Label Denim represents a different approach to the premium category, and no detail is left to chance. Taking inspiration from the Black Label collection, this denim is defined by its perfect fit and the specialty treatments offered. From the more traditional Classic-Fit to the fashion-forward, razor-sharp Slim-Fit, each pair is finished with signature accents, such as leather trimming, seaming details and treatments, to achieve various washes exclusive to Black Label Denim. The end result is the most luxurious, elegant and dynamic pair of denim you will ever own.
What is the history of cuff links and how do I wear them?
Cuff links first appeared in the early 17th century as an adornment alternative to the ribbons and lace previously favored by the nobility and came into middle-class fashion during the Industrial Revolution. They remain a refined furnishing that adds elegance to any shirt with a French cuff. Cuff links should match your belt buckle, wristwatch, collar bar and tie holder; colored links should complement your shirt and tie. Inject personal taste and humor into your attire with a pair in the shape of footballs or golf balls. Sterling-silver knots or engine-turned ovals are always appropriate.
What are some rules for mixing patterns?
Mixing patterns is a fun way to make an otherwise staid outfit interesting. But do keep in mind that once you take the leap, you should always choose pieces in the same color family. By doing so, the entire look maintains a refined but relaxed appearance. The maximum number of patterns to have on without overwhelming the eye is two. This way, there isn’t a battle for attention. Try not to match patterns heavily, and break them up with solid pieces to balance out the visual concentration. Also, take into account that some patterns are so understated, they may even be considered neutral. So, you may opt for a white oxford shirt paired with a Fair Isle sweater vest and a tweed or herringbone jacket.
How can I wear my polo shirts as the weather gets cooler?
The mesh polo is by far one of our most well-known shirts—and one of the most versatile. Our custom-fit polo, which is cut slimmer than our classic model, pairs perfectly with a slim trouser for a sharp, dressy look, or with jeans layered over a tee for cool, casual style. For a modern twist on classic style, wear a brightly-hued polo under a cashmere sweater and tweed blazer to add a pop of color to fall’s more subtle tones. If you’re considering a cool look with a slightly youthful edge, layer a long-sleeved polo or rugby over a rumpled oxford and narrow tie in a whimsical print.
I spend a lot of time in the country and the city. Which clothes work well for both?
For fall, there are a few essentials that will always suit both locales. A pair of wool pants should be first on your list. This staple works well in the city and in the country. They are appropriate for casual outings as well as more formal ones. Invest in a tweed jacket, as this piece is extremely versatile. Not only is this proper for activities in the country, when you need to go straight to the office or a meeting after your country trip, it is more than suitable. Also, consider a cable-knit sweater for your wardrobe. This essential piece is ideal for both settings and provides a classic appearance regardless of the scenery. Finally, finish off your look with a pair of Chelsea boots. Stylish enough for city living, they are a smart choice for country living when taking walks off beaten paths and trolling through mud.
What does the term smart casual mean?
Smart casual is a newer type of dress code that allows you to show up to an event outfitted in slightly more casual attire than a suit. But make no mistake, even though the dress code requires less, you should still look sharp. A collared shirt with a pair of chinos is a good starting-off point, and depending on the event, you can trade in your chinos for denim. If you decide to wear denim, you should opt for a sports jacket or navy blazer to make it less “casual” and more “smart.” Do away with sneakers and stick to loafers or lace-up brogues to punctuate your look.
What is a cummerbund, and is there still a need to incorporate this in my formal look?
Cummerbunds are worn underneath dinner jackets and over trousers for black-tie events. Originally worn as a cooler alternative to waistcoats (also known as vests) in the summer by British soldiers in India during the colonial reign, they are worn traditionally with single-breasted jackets but are less common now than they once were. Although convention no longer requires one as part of your outfit, if the occasion calls for wearing a dinner jacket and you are so inclined, make the most of it and try the cummerbund. Not only does it hark back to a bygone era, it is a unique piece that will allow you to stand out from other men.
How can I incorporate color into my otherwise conservative work attire?
There are various ways to add color to an office look without breaking convention. First of all, try switching out white shirts for either solid-colored shirts or shirts with stripes or checks. Next, add a patterned or brightly colored tie or pocket square to break up an otherwise dull suit and add dimension without flouting tradition. Lastly, incorporate socks in eye-catching colors and/or patterns to immediately create personality in your overall look.
Which color suit is best for transitioning from office to evening?
Extremely versatile, the grey suit is an essential piece to have in your wardrobe. It is appropriate for all occasions and goes from day to night seamlessly. It also complements various colors, thereby achieving a variety of stylish looks. In professional settings, pair your suit with a white shirt, tie and brown brogues, rather than the traditional black, for added style. Or accessorize your suit with a cashmere cardigan or a vest for added flair. For evening, do away with your tie for a more relaxed look, or keep your tie and lose the cardigan for more formal events.
Which of fall’s sweaters best updates my classic Ralph Lauren look?
This season sweaters are reinvented and refined with bold colors and patterns in luxurious fabrics, creating a fresh, new take on the classics. Some of our fall favorites — argyle, plaid, Fair Isle —are reintroduced in fine-gauge Italian cashmere, heavy Shetland wool from Scotland and alpaca from Peru. Unexpected details, like leather and horn buttons and suede elbow patches, make a strong statement in updated silhouettes, proving that special care is paid to each piece. Layered over oxford shirts or casually tied around the neck, knits definitely take the lead this fall.
How do I care for fine quality cashmere?
As with any fine woolen, always handle your cashmere with care. To keep your cashmere sweater looking new, always hand wash it in cold water, then fold it with tissue and store flat in a drawer. Never put your cashmere sweater on a hanger. Treat spills as quickly as possible and rinse immediately with cold water; hot water may set the stain. If your sweater gets wet, dry it away from direct heat then brush with the nap. Finally, at the end of the season, clean, fold and store your sweater in a chest or drawer. Moth crystals or spray is advisable as an extra measure of protection.
What is the best way to care for my wool suits?
Pure wool suits are the mainstay of a man’s wardrobe and will stand up to several years or more of normal wear if maintained properly. To begin with, wear your suits in rotation. After each wearing, empty all the pockets and brush the suit or sports coat with a soft, natural-bristle brush to prevent dirt or lint from setting in. Dry cleaning is the preferred method of cleaning, but don’t overdo it; pure wool is a natural, living and breathing thing, and it’s best to limit its exposure to cleaning fluids to once or twice a year. In the event of a serious spill however (oil-based sauce, red wine), the sooner the garment is brought to the dry cleaner, the better the chances that it will leave no stain. Point out the exact location of the spot to your dry cleaner and tell him what caused it, particularly if the stain is sugar-based, which can leave yellow traces if allowed to oxidize. Never apply water to oil-based stains, which will worsen the situation. And never iron over stains; the heat could make them permanent. Always clean both pieces of a suit together to avoid uneven color fading. For storage over a long season, hang all your wool suits in a dry, well-ventilated closet away from heat, leaving two inches between hangers for airflow. A cedar-lined closet is best for preventing against moths.
What should I pack for a ski vacation?
When packing for a week in the mountains, choose pieces that will work in the lodge when you’ve finished skiing. Start by investing in a pair of durable microfiber snow pants that will insulate against blustery conditions on the slopes but also look sleek enough for après-ski. A classic waffle-knit crewneck shirt is an essential layer under a pullover for active days, but it also creates a comfortable and stylish look for an afternoon trip into town. Complete the outfit with a sleek down jacket—featuring channel-quilting, water-repellent nylon and a trim fit for mobility—to seamlessly transition from the slopes to the village any time of day. At night, a tonal scarf over your layers can add interest to a streamlined look.
Is there a difference between a sport coat and a blazer?
The simple answer is yes. There are characteristics and qualities that are exclusive to each, though it’s become common and acceptable to use the terms interchangeably. Some things to look for in a classic sport coat are weightier fabrics (think tweed, corduroy, wool, cashmere) and flapped pockets. Blazers tend to be more casual by nature, typically offered in cotton, lightweight wools and silk. Blazer pockets don’t necessarily have flaps and tend to skew towards the casual. However, with the hybrid jackets out there today and so many modern design elements, these traditional rules have become somewhat hackneyed. We recommend focusing less on what you call it and more on how you wear it.
How can I wear a down jacket with style this winter?
In a nice trim fit, a down jacket will look stylish and be exceptionally functional this season. For active days, make sure your outer layer is water-repellent and has technical details like cooling vents for comfort or ripstop fabric for durability. A puffer also works in the city with sporty outfits—like athletic fleece pants and a pair of all-purpose boots—for trips to the gym or running errands, or layered with sweaters and slim-fitting jeans for a casual look. For added effect, you can experiment with down jackets in jersey and other textured materials as well as finishes that will add a fashionable feel to your standard winter wardrobe.
What is a brogue and what makes Ralph Lauren’s brogues so special?
Traditionally, a brogue is a classic English style of casual shoe marked by high quality, significant weight and durability. Today Ralph Lauren continues the tradition with the creation of our English brogue-style wing tips and penny and tasseled loafers, built to last a lifetime. As is customary, ours are hand-crafted exclusively in England, using the finest leathers around and anchored by our signature Goodyear welted sole — the strongest, most durable sole available. With a focus on materials and technique, England is world renowned as the originator in fine traditional footwear. Our factories in England carry on the time-honored traditions of creating expertly crafted, heritage-inspired footwear.
How can I update my workout wardrobe for colder months?
For winter, you’ll want to focus on layering and building outfits that can be adjusted based on the temperature outside. Start with a snug-fitting crewneck made with moisture-wicking microfiber that delivers breathability. Then layer a fleece zip-up with quick-drying technology for additional warmth that won’t add bulk while you’re working out. On bottom, swap your shorts for knit pants that are lightweight and breathable. Look for an adjustable drawstring waist and slightly looser fit so your movement won’t be constricted and you can stay comfortable during your session. If you’re still cold when traveling to the gym, a lightweight Pima cotton scarf will help, especially when paired with a flexible down jacket that can be compressed and stored in your gym bag during your session.
What is a stylish alternative to a classic formal shoe?
Exclusively bench-crafted in England, Ralph Lauren velvet slippers are the ultimate in luxurious footwear and indigenous to our brand. Inspired by the smoking slippers worn by lords in old English manors, our version captures that essence of luxury with silken velvet uppers, buffed rubber soles and hand-embroidery. Skilled craftsman work in pairs of two in order to create the masterful footwear. Worn with or without socks, velvet slippers are the perfect anchor to any formal or semi-formal dark suit look.
How can I dress for a casual winter weekend while still keeping my classic Ralph Lauren look?
This winter, you can build a weekend look that is both refined and casual by focusing on a few key pieces. Start with a luxurious cashmere sweater. Opt for something iconic, like our cabled knit, or a vintage-inspired shawl collar or cardigan. Layered over T-shirts, polos or oxford shirts, this is an easy daytime look. At night, dress it up by adding a sport coat and tie. When choosing casual outerwear, a down puffer, leather bomber or classic three-quarter-length overcoat are all sophisticated options that will look great and protect you from the elements. Your favorite lived-in jeans and chinos are the appropriate accompaniment for an authentic well-worn look. Finish off the casual look with sneakers or a pair of all-weather boots.
What are some new ways to wear a classic crewneck sweater?
The genius of a classic crewneck sweater is its innate versatility. As a layer, it will add texture and depth to any look. Refined enough to wear with wool trousers or to layer with a suit in the cooler months, the sweater will not only give you infinite style options, it’s also an easy way to add some color to your suit. When dressing for a casual weekend, add the crewneck to your classic oxford shirt and tie combo to create a relaxed, yet put together look. Add some freshness to this classic style by choosing a sweater in a bright, fall color or pairing a more neutral tone with a plaid layer underneath.
How can I incorporate winter plaid into a sophisticated Ralph Lauren look?
When it comes to holiday dressing, plaid is both an easy way to update your look and a nod to the season’s classic heritage. Plaid jackets and accessories can be effortlessly incorporated into any casual look and a plaid shirt can be dressed both up and down. Try layering a plaid shirt under a solid sport coat or suit for a refined look for a holiday party. For something a bit more traditional, try it with a chunky shawl collar or slim V-neck sweater. Up the style quotient by adding a solid bow tie or subtly stripped tie. Plaid is a fun way to add some signature style to a casually elegant event.
How can I wear a casual jacket with dressy underpinnings?
The juxtaposition of casual and dressy elements has always been a key element in Ralph Lauren style. With an incredible assortment of choices within each brand, our design mantra makes it easy to look great no matter what the occasion. This Spring, more than ever, we encourage you to pair a casual, unstructured jacket with more traditional elements like a linen glen plaid vest and striped dress shirt. Consider adding a bow-tie or luxurious cashmere sweater under a cotton jacket. Linen pants or classic lightweight wool trousers will also accomplish the task for a look that’s effortlessly elegant.
What are some seasonal ways to add a touch of haberdashery to my wardrobe?
This season, the best way to elevate your outfit is by adding unexpected accessories to create a wardrobe that feels new. With your wool suits, try a patterned silk pocket square placed casually in your breast pocket, or a tie bar that’s slightly askew for some added panache. This will create a look that’s polished without suggesting you take yourself too seriously. Invest in completely new accessories, whether a bowtie to wear with traditionally casual cardigans, or an ascot alongside this season’s must-have chesterfield topcoat. Any of these options will breathe new life into the classics.
How can I build an outfit around a pair of corduroy pants?
As the mercury dips, there’s no pant more appropriate than corduroy, which add both texture and warmth to your wardrobe. This season, try a pair in a neutral or brown shade and pair them with a bright chunky sweater, or a plaid shirt in green or red hues to match the rustic trend. For a vintage feel, our newest pants feature fabric with a wide wale – the lines running vertically that define corduroy – in a looser, casual fit. Wear a fitted sweater or a trim sport coat to create a lean look on top and add visual interest.
What’s the best way to mix this season’s checked shirts with patterned ties?
Creating a work-appropriate look from this season’s dress shirts and ties can be a difficult thing, but here are a few tips to help. Start with color, where you should try to match a primary color from your shirt with a secondary, or complementary, color in your neckwear (or vice versa). Next, look at scale: patterns should vary in amplitude (think blanket plaid shirt, small checked tie), so the eye isn’t overwhelmed. On that note, mix wide stripes with narrow stripes, or smaller checks with big ones – but don’t be afraid to experiment mixing different types of patterns in one outfit. Just pull the polka dots from your closet and stand in front of the mirror. Once you’re no longer dizzy, you’re on to something, as your own eyes will rarely deceive you.
How can I update my outerwear this season?
To make your standard outerwear look more chic, try options that swap nylon and other technical fabrics for luxurious fibers. When re-imagined in suede or merino wool, a puffer or down vest can look luxe without sacrificing on warmth. Bombers and motorcycle jackets can also stand out in suede, and both styles can be paired with a shirt and tie for a chic city-inspired wardrobe. For extra dimension, Ralph Lauren has used merino shearling for collar details and linings on some of your favorite cold-weather pieces.
How can classic patterns like herringbone be incorporated into my wardrobe?
Usually made using wool, herringbone is an iconic and elegant v-shaped pattern, named so because it resembles the skeleton of a herring fish. In Ralph Lauren’s purple label collection, this classic textile is incorporated with classic suiting and outerwear to add texture and diversity to any outfit without sacrificing on haberdashery or the refined look that comes from classic English tailoring, as inspired by London’s Saville Row shops. Adding textures like herringbone sweaters, glen plaid suiting, or houndstooth overcoats is an elegant way to add dimension and variety to your wardrobe. Start by incorporating them, one pattern at a time, into the suits and fine furnishings you already own.
What’s new in footwear this Fall?
For a surprising, sartorially-minded twist on formal dressing, invest in a fine pair of boots that will carry you through autumn into the colder months. As a key shoe look this fall, boots won’t stand out under your suit pants, so Ralph Lauren has designed a variety of styles in burnished brown and black leathers and natty suedes in similar hues. Rugged black boots, with details inspired by hiking, pair excellently with this season’s luxury outerwear. And if you don’t prefer boots, monkstraps – with two leather straps to add detail – are a great way to elevate your collection of shoes.
Which materials make for the most luxurious sweater I can buy?
There’s no question that every man should have a selection of cashmere sweaters, which are named after the Kashmir goats that produce the fiber. Sweaters are a classic way to layer this fall, and cashmere’s versatility and natural quality means each of these pieces can be mixed in with your current wardrobe. Depending on how the yarns are knit and whether the finished sweater is washed, you’ll have options that span from chunky American comfort to sleek, European-style v-necks. For the first time, Purple Label is using 14-guage Italian cashmere yarns, which provides a feel and warmth worth investing in. Try the new weight in a brightly-colored cardigan, just one sophisticated way to upgrade your workaday wardrobe.
How can I incorporate bold plaids into a classic made-to-measure wardrobe?
Tonal dressing in shades of gray, black, and white is a key look this fall, so instead of going graphic with bright colors or dramatic silhouettes, a great way to add excitement to your ensemble is using black-and-white plaid fabrics that have been blown-up to a macro scale. By adding one key item – a tie, a scarf, or a killer piece of outerwear – you’ll have a chance to express yourself while staying strong in a dark, monochromatic, wardrobe. Take it easy though: by incorporating a single one of these bold plaid items, you’ll draw attention to that purchase without going overboard.
How do I choose a dress shirt collar?
No matter the current fashion trends, there is a right and wrong collar for your face shape. If you have a round face, select a collar that is longer in shape, such as a straight collar. To complement a long face, choose a wide collar, such as a spread or a modified-spread version. The man with prominent features should consider a more substantial collar than a fine-featured man. A high-sitting collar, such as a model with a double button at the throat, compliments a long neck, while a low-sitting collar is an appropriate fit for a short neck.
Which tie knot do you recommend?
According to Cambridge physicists Thomas Fink and Yong Mao, there are 85 ways to tie a tie. We think you only need to know "Windsor, half-Windsor, four-in-hand" and when to wear which. With a much more substantial size and width, the Windsor is necessary for wide-spread collared shirts and has its place at more formal events. The half-Windsor is a bit more subtle, but will also suit a wide collar stance. Our favorite, the four-in-hand, is by far the most versatile of knots. Besides being easy to tie, it has the right proportions to accommodate a variety of shirt collar styles and sizes. The well-tied four-in-hand knot (insert dimple), will work for most any occasion.
When did ties come to be?
While we’d like to say that Mr. Lauren himself introduced the modern tie, men’s neckwear has been around for thousands of years in one form or another. Knotted scarves can be seen on life-size terra-cotta warriors in China dating from 3rd century, B.C. Soldiers in the 17th century had distinguishing, colored kerchiefs and 19th century dandy’s gave us the ascot. The tie as we know it today took shape when the Industrial Revolution created a new class of office workers. In 1924, Jesse Langsdorf patented the modern tie, designed to elongate the silhouette and draw the beholder’s focus up to the wearer’s face. And while neckties have their foes and fans today, we’re fans, agreeing with Langsdorf that they bring focus to one’s face. On top of that, though, when paired with a well-fitting dress shirt, ties can be a smartly comfortable way for a man to express his good taste.
Do you recommend flat-front or pleated trousers?
Though the late nineties saw pleats all but disappear from pants, the forgiving folds are now back; meaning you once again have a difficult choice. As a rule, flat-front pants have a sleeker, cleaner silhouette, but this means they conceal no flaws. If you have a little extra up-front, pleats will ensure that the pants fall straight down, instead of hugging your stomach unflatteringly. When pleats pucker open, you’re too big for your britches. (Or, if you prefer, they’re too small for you.) At that point, rather than disguising any girth you’re trying to hide, the pleats are accentuating it. Try moving up a waist size, because, you see, even the best-made clothes need to fit well to flatter you.
What are the hallmarks of a quality dress shirt?
Always trust your instincts. The first test is to make sure the material feels good to the touch. A quality dress shirt should be woven from 250 two-ply cotton and have split-yoke detailing (the yoke is cut in two and sewn up the middle rather than placed in as one piece). Also, make sure the shirt is single-needle stitched—more yarn is used, but seams are stronger. Last, look at the components of the shirt. Are the sleeves set into the shirt and neatly sewn? Are the placket and cuffs sewn on separately? And pay attention to the buttons: Mother-of-pearl is preferable to plastic.
What’s the difference between chinos and khakis?
Though nowadays the two words are used interchangeably, there is a difference. Chino refers to the densely woven cotton fabric—a misnomer of “China,” the fabric‘s country of origin. Khaki, from the Hindu-Urdu word for “dust-covered,” refers to hue, and was adopted into English in the late nineteenth century when British soldiers occupied the subcontinent. The two terms were likely confused when khaki-colored chinos became standard issue doughboy uniforms during World War I. Millions of surplus pants were snapped up by returning GIs and students after World War II, and khaki has remained the most popular color of chinos ever since.
How can I tell a quality necktie from a poorly made one?
There are four ways we test the quality of a tie before we‘re ready to cinch it around the neck. First, the fabric that forms the envelope (that‘s the silk exterior) of a tie should be cut at a 45-degree angle, so the weave will run diagonally to the tie‘s vertical axis or, more simply, your breast bone. If the 45-degree ribbing cannot be seen with the naked eye, you can hold a new tie by the narrow end and let it dangle. It should hang completely straight; if it twists this way or that, it has not been properly cut. Then check the tie’s elasticity by gently tugging one end while holding the other. Upon release, any good tie will return to its original length almost instantly. Look under the back of the envelope to make sure it has a slip stitch, a loose loop of thread sewn in by hand that hangs down and allows the tie to be knotted and unknotted without being damaged. Finally, consider the lining which should also be silk, not move when pulled, and should completely cover the interlining (the wool or wool-blend piece sewn into the envelope to give the tie structure).
What’s a new way to wear black and brown together?
When properly executed, the combination of black and brown is a very modern and sophisticated look that’s instantly elegant. Start by adding touches of brown via accessories: the hint of a leather belt beneath a black cardigan or suede boots under slim-fitting pants. This season, even classic outerwear has brown leather details for a timeless look with a contemporary edge.
What is the history of the polo shirt?
Shirts worn by polo players were a nineteenth-century version of today’s button-down collar oxford. Fine for work or a night out, but a little restrictive for a handful of chuckers atop a heaving, sweaty pony. At the turn of the century, polo players wised up and began to switch to a long-sleeved cotton mesh knit shirt. That material provided a little more give and comfort during action. A tennis player in the 1920s adopted that cotton mesh shirt in a short-sleeved style. It more or less remained on the court and in only a few casual wardrobes until 1972, when we introduced our signature logo polo shirt—a new American classic.
What makes our polo shirts so special?
Our polo shirts bear a logo that has represented quality for four decades. Our signature polo is fashioned from a durable, yet comfortable, woven cotton mesh that gets better with each washing. The design features an uneven vented hem, longer in back than in front, so the shirt stays tucked in. The special knit-rib collar and cuffs are characteristic of traditional polo construction and also resist the waviness that can result from repeated washings in lesser quality shirts. Tubular taping inside the shirt, across the shoulders and along the neckline provides reinforcement in high-stress areas. The buttons are beveled for easy fastening and buttonholes are horizontal, which helps to keep buttons in place. Finally, our polo pieces are graded to each size shirt—meaning a medium-size shirt gets a medium collar and sleeves. The result is a perfectly proportioned polo that will last a lifetime.
What’s the best way to wear a wide leg pant?
This look is all about proportion. The fashion forward look of wide-legged pants necessitates that the other elements in your outfit is not as oversized. Maintain a sense of balance by keeping the rest of your pieces trim and fitted. On top, because of its vertical knit, a ribbed or cableknit sweater will create the illusion of a leaner silhouette and trimmer waist. A slim-fitting sport coat will do the same. A rugged belt brings a needed sense of vintage authenticity to a modern way of dressing.
Why is there a long back hem on polo shirts?
The uneven vented hem is a detail that can be traced back in history to the turn of the last century when it was required equipment. Whether you were atop a pony or on the tennis court, the uneven vented hem, often called a tennis tail, served to keep the shirt tucked in as you bend at the waist. The longer back hem also serves to create the illusion of height on the wearer.
How should I care for suede?
One way to elevate your outerwear this fall is with suede, the napped leather that comes from the underside of an animal’s hide. Though the fiber is softer and less durable than traditional leather, its texture makes it easy to clean. All you need is a stiff brush to occasionally comb the fabric, raising the nap and removing the dirt in the process. This will also bring out the olive color that’s featured in Ralph Lauren pieces this fall, while extending the life of the product. If you get caught in the rain or snow, be sure to blot with a towel then brush the jacket while it’s still damp to avoid water stains. A weather-proofing spray will protect your coat, while an annual cleaning by a professional will ensure longevity.
What is the origin of the tuxedo?
The name is taken from Tuxedo Park, a tiny enclave in upstate New York that was originally built by tobacco mogul Pierre Lorillard as a “summer cottage” weekend colony for himself and his wealthy friends. On an October evening in 1880 at the Tuxedo Park autumn ball, Griswold, the youngest son of Pierre, decided to play a little sartorial prank on the club elders by lampooning the “English-style” abbreviated formal jackets that they wore to Delmonico’s in town. The young “Grizzy,” along with a group of other aldermen’s sons, took his formal tailcoat and lopped off the tails. Grizzy and his friends waltzed into the ballroom to the astonishment of everyone present. The sartorial prank made the social columns of the local newspaper and hence, the tuxedo became a fashion legend.
What accessories do I need to complete a proper tuxedo?
A simple cummerbund, preferably in solid black silk faille, is a classic with a tuxedo or dinner jacket. As an alternative, a fancy silk waistcoat, subtly patterned, can look great. The best formal shirts feature pleated fronts and are available with either a modified spread collar or the more formal-looking wing collar. French cuffs are a must. Classic sterling cufflinks and a pocket square of white linen or silk finishes the formal tuxedo with a flourish.
What is the proper way to tie a bow tie?
Remember: A bow tie should never look absolutely perfect. If you think of tying the bow tie the same as you would the laces of your shoe, it will work every time. It takes some nimble fingering, but once you pull the longer end up, over and through the looped end, it’s easy to make adjustments to get it reasonably straight. A faille bow tie expertly crafted of Italian silk should help you achieve a smooth knot every time. Again, it should not be perfect but properly askew; how else will others know you tied it yourself?
I can’t decide between a two and three-button suit. Any suggestions?
Why not both? For years, traditionalists and progressive dressers have flip-flopped on the two-button/three-button dilemma. While the longer silhouette of the three-button model does tend to look better on taller, leaner men, it doesn’t mean shorter or larger men can’t wear it well. Generally speaking, the two-button model is more comfortable and forgiving on a man with a fuller chest. But if properly tailored, a three-button suit can easily be worn with style and poise by a larger man—especially the classic pinstripe styles in navy and charcoal. Great style is underscored by versatility. Adding variety to your suit wardrobe is definitely the way to go.
How did the oxford button-down shirt become a style icon?
The oxford cloth button-down shirt, named for the esteemed university, originated as a sport shirt. At the turn of the last century, polo players in England would wear formal, long-sleeved shirts made of oxford cotton—a breathable and sturdy basket-weave cloth. The collars were made with buttons to prevent them from flapping during matches, starting a trend soon adapted for tennis shirts as well. The oxford first appeared in the United States at the turn of the century, and its popularity took off in the 1950s, by which time the look had become associated with classic Ivy League style.
What are the hallmarks of a well-made suit?
A well-made suit starts with natural fabrics such as wool, linen or cashmere, each woven from the finest yarns for a smoother and more durable feel. From the first cut, the best suits are made by hand according to time-honored tailoring traditions in modern silhouettes that reflect a sophisticated Old World style. One way this is achieved is with a higher armhole, which allows for more movement, and a slightly structured shoulder. The end result is a suit that is timeless and flattering—the kind of suit that exudes confidence and style now and for seasons to come.
How many sport coats do I need?
We think there are three essential jackets every man should own. A solid blazer—navy is a classic choice—exudes timeless confidence: It can be worn casually with chinos and an oxford or dressed up with a more formal pant, shirt and tie. A tweed blazer is a fall essential that works well with cords, jeans or flannel. As the weather gets cooler, it can also be worn in place of a winter overcoat when layered with a cashmere or wool sweater or turtleneck. During the warmer months, nothing exudes laidback style more than a linen sport coat, which instantly dresses up everything from a mercerized cotton polo to a tailored shirt.
What fabrics and fit should I consider when purchasing a tuxedo?
Like suits, tuxedos are crafted in a wide range of fabrics. Black barathea is ideal for indoor and cold-weather occasions. Light worsted wool will keep you cooler in the summer months and is less likely to wrinkle. Opt for grosgrain lapels, as satin tends to snag and show age—especially after multiple cleanings. It is of the utmost importance to buy a tuxedo with a relatively loose, comfortable fit. Formal festivities often include abundant food and drink, usually followed by dancing—you won’t want to feel constricted. When being fitted, make sure your tailor leaves sufficient fabric in the seams to accommodate waistline expansion.
How can I take a suit from day to evening while keeping the classic Ralph Lauren look?
A sleek, modern cut gives the standard dark suit a renewed swagger, allowing it to be worn in innovative ways. At the office, break conformity with a slim-fitting shirt, narrow knit tie and crisp pocket square. After work, add a slim cashmere cardigan to the shirt-tie-pant combination. Loosen the tie and undo the top button for a particularly laid-back look. For an evening outing, pair the suit pant and jacket with a slim cotton or cashmere V-neck in a solid color—no shirt necessary. In warmer weather, this look is particularly au courant when worn with loafers sans socks.
Should a Polo shirt be worn tucked-in or out?
As with many sportswear staples, the Polo shirt has its origins in utility. The rule of thumb for the athletes playing the sport was that jerseys (a.k.a. "polo shirts") should be tucked in and for this reason, the classic style calls for tucking. That said, it was also these very athletes who, when stepping off their horses, tended to pull the shirttail from their pants and thereby created what we like to call the "preppy half-tuck," a state of relaxed elegance. For our part, there is no steadfast rule: Wear the shirt however you’re comfortable, with the caveat that it’s generally best to tuck when neatness is required and best to go relaxed and un-tucked when casual.
What are some cool ways to break up one suit into different outfits?
Suits are no longer just one outfit: The component pieces (jacket, slacks, vest) can be broken up and paired with a variety of interesting options. Try the slacks with a casual top — a vintage varsity sweatshirt with a natty bowtie underneath is particularly contemporary. Alternatively, pair your blazer with jeans or khakis to take the formality down a notch. And feel free to wear the vest with any of these looks or over a simple graphic T for a bohemian twist.
What are some ways to use casual shirts, like rugbys, to create a signature Ralph Lauren look?
One of the hallmarks of Ralph Lauren style is the use of traditionally casual shirts, like polos and rugbys, in chic, pulled-together looks. The key is to use well-tailored pieces that don’t look bulky or boxy. When you wear a rugby that truly fits over an oxford and tie combo, it instantly becomes as dapper as any sweater would. And when it comes to country-club style, there is no better look than the classic Polo shirt and sport coat combination.
How can I create the classic Polo Ralph Lauren yacht-club look?
Summer heat can always be combated with light, or better yet, pure white clothing. But, that doesn’t leave room for looking disheveled. When imagining the perfect New England sailing ensemble, work with the classics. Nothing is simpler than the combination of a pure white polo and white khaki shorts, but adding a little bit of nautical flavor will keep you looking sharp. Canvas, rubber soled shoes are ideal for a day on the boat and a rope bracelet or belt will give you an extra layer of appropriate accessorizing.
What’s the best way to put together a classic look for an evening on the beach?
Even though the summer days can be scorching, evenings often require a little layering for comfort. A light cashmere sweater in a neutral tone is perfect with a classic oxford in pink, blue or yellow, whether draped over the shoulders, tied around the waist or worn traditionally when the sun finally goes down. Match this with a pair of worn-in, sun-faded khakis and a simple brown belt for the classic Ralph Lauren look of summer. And leave the shoes in the car and roll up those pants—you never know when you might want to wade in.
How can I update my basics this season while keeping my classic Ralph Lauren look?
Try adding pops of color to your go-to look. If you’re in a suit and tie every day, mix it up by layering a brightly colored cardigan or V-neck sweater underneath the suit. Similarly, your weekend uniform can be easily transformed with a plaid scarf or a bold sweater. Instead of the basic shirt options, try a plaid sport shirt or our new classic oxfords that have been washed and faded for softness. Throw a brightly colored or patterned knit against the pale tonal stripes for a fresh take.
Is there a certain type of bag or case I should use for work?
That depends on your zip code, what you do for a living and your overall office environment. If you’re in a creative field or more casual office setting, try something a bit less conventional. Messenger and tote bags are convenient, highly functional and look great with laid-back office-wear. Highly corporate jobs in a more staid setting call for a refined piece, like a hard-sided attaché or soft briefcase. These classic styles always complement a suit-and-tie look. It’s fine to let your job dictate the bag you carry, as long as it also matches your lifestyle. Remember that good leather only gets better with age and a great piece should only retire when you do.
What makes Ralph Lauren timepieces unique?
Everything. Intricately created as the perfect synergy of fashion and function, these are serious watches for serious collectors. Proudly based on the movements of some of the worlds most celebrated watchmakers (Piaget, Jaeger LeCoultre and IWC), Ralph Lauren timepieces are not only desirable for their haute-horological properties, but also for their impressive appearance. Tenderly crafted as an extension of the Ralph Lauren lifestyle, the timepieces are exquisitely fashioned from white and rose gold, platinum and steel and offered in three collections: the Stirrup, the Slim Classique and the Sporting. Each one is truly a masterpiece on its own, but comes to life when respectfully worn to complement a gentlemanly collection of impeccably tailored clothing.
What is a boat shoe and what makes Ralph Lauren’s so special?
Characterized by scored rubber soles and stitched leather uppers, the classic boat shoe was introduced in the ‘30s — first as a boating necessity and finally as a lasting, iconic American shoe. Today, Ralph Lauren continues the tradition at our historic shoe factory in Brewer, Maine. Ralph Lauren restored the original factory to its former glory as a leader in crafting quality footwear. After rehiring the factory’s former shoe artisans, the factory became the source for all of Ralph Lauren’s classic boat shoes. It’s only fitting that iconic American footwear is produced in the USA; with a team of expert craftsman and time-honored techniques, our Maine factory proves that we can produce the highest quality products right in our own backyard.
What makes Ralph Lauren’s fine footwear so special?
It is the unseen details and the extra steps taken in the process of creation that set Ralph Lauren shoes apart. From start to finish, our luxury footwear is created using only the finest materials, formed by the hands of expert craftsmen. With private shoe workshops in Italy that specialize exclusively in the creation of fine shoes, we take great pride and care in the process. The shape is formed with leather only — by hand-stretching each component over a unique, specially created form — then hand-stitched with a boar’s hair quill to protect the integrity of the leather. Heels are created specifically for the shape and size of each individual shoe; there are no standard one-size-fits-all pieces on Ralph Lauren’s fine footwear. The end product is the finest, most comfortable and durable pair of shoes available anywhere.
What can I wear to a casual holiday party while still keeping my classic Ralph Lauren look?
A casual look can be just as refined as your dressy attire. The important thing to remember is that when in doubt, the holidays are the time of year to skew to the formal side of dressing. To achieve a relaxed but tailored look, start with a pair of flat-front, fitted pants. Jeans should be pristine and dark. A thin cashmere or fine Pima cotton sweater should fit close to the body and frame a crisp plaid or check-pattered shirt. If you’re more conservative in your fashion choices, try a classic stripped dress shirt. Tuck in both the shirt and the sweater and pull it all together with a sleek belt. Ties and bow ties are crucial, and tie bars or a collar bar will keep neckwear neatly in place. Anchor your holiday look with some wing tips or sleek Chelsea boots.
Which shirts can be worn untucked and which should always be worn in?
All shirts classified as dress shirts should always be tucked in. Typically, a dress shirt will be more structured and crafted using finer cottons for sheen and softness. A simple indicator of a “dress shirt” is the sizing style--dress shirts will always be sized with a number indicating neck size and sleeve length, which provides a more customized fit that requires tucking. When it comes to sport, or casual, shirts a general rule to follow is this: always tuck in shirts with a rounded bottom hem; shirts with a flat, or square bottom hem (like polos) give you the option of wearing them tucked or untucked.
What type of raincoat is right for me?
First, decide what your base sartorial aesthetic is. If the rest of your wardrobe skews toward casual, then a cropped nylon or cotton jacket is probably your best bet. Falling right at the waist, the shorter style lends itself easily to casual underpinnings—feel free to wear sans tie or collared shirt for that matter. If you often find yourself in a suit, or wool trousers, a longer trench style is not only most appropriate, but also a necessity. The length looks best with your dressier wardrobe and will protect the fine fibers from the elements. A word to the wise: quality is crucial in a raincoat. This is one item that is meant to protect you and your clothing and should therefore be an investment piece. Our collection of lined, exquisitely constructed water-resistant gear is built to last.
How can I tell if a single- or double-breasted suit is right for me?
With double-breasted suits experiencing a style resurgence, an important question for fall is whether to invest in a single- or double-breasted look. Aside from personal preference, there are some things to consider: taller, more slender men, tend to benefit from a double-breasted suit, as the overlapping lines and double row of buttons create balance in the midsection. On shorter, muscular, or broader men, a single-breasted suit is a great option to create a long, lean, silhouette through the torso. Whichever you choose, an experienced tailor should be consulted to alter your suit to your specific proportions.
How can I transition my go-to tweed sport coats for spring?
As the seasons change, there’s no reason to let go of traditional tweed styles. Start by looking for a jacket that’s intended for warmer weather, one that’s crafted from lighter-gauge wool and features softer hues–light tan plaids, grey herringbones or pale green solids–that feel less rustic than typical fall tweeds. From there, pair the jacket with bright bleeding madras shirts, which are inspired by the traditional fabric from India. Or, opt for a crisp, slim polo for a look that’s sporty yet stylish. Pairing the blazer with a braided belt or faded denim on bottom keeps this look preppy, while a pair of surplus cargo pants provides a casual military vibe that’s also right for the season.
What is the difference between the classic, custom and slim fit of the Ralph Lauren polos and which one is right for me?
As the epitome of classic American sportswear, our polos are now available in three silhouettes. The Classic-Fit is our original style and features a roomier chest, longer sleeves and an extended shirttail that allows for increased mobility. For a sleeker silhouette that pairs well with a suit jacket, for instance, the Custom-Fit is 1½ inches narrower in the chest and features shorter sleeves and hems for a streamlined fit. The newest is our Slim-Fit, a more tailored option inspired by European style, which offers our narrowest chest (a ½ inch slimmer than Custom-Fit) and our shortest front and back hems. Worn with dark jeans this spring, the Slim-Fit offers the classic look of a polo, updated in a modern style-minded fit.
What’s the difference between wing-tip, cap-toe and monk strap shoes?
In black or brown leather, these three styles form the foundation of a dressshoe wardrobe, as all are versatile enough to be worn with suits, chinos or denim to create a polished look. A wing-tip–or brogue—is defined by the perforated decorations (the wings) that adorn its toes, which can end halfway down the foot for a traditional style or extend to the heel for a jauntier “longwing” style. Meanwhile, a cap toe is created by adding an extra piece of leather at the shoe’s tip, resulting in a sharp line—or cap—across the width of the toe box. Last is the monk strap, a style once worn by actual monks, which foregoes laces for one or two buckles across the top. This design creates a style that’s streamlined and sophisticated, due in part to those shining metal buckles.
For which occasion is this season’s monochromatic look appropriate?
One way to add gravitas and sophistication to navy, dark grey or black suits is to choose shirts and furnishings that use identical hues. To achieve this strong look, each material in the suit, pocket square and tie should have the same matte finish and solid color. Leather accessories, like belts and shoes, may vary slightly as long as they’re of similar tone, while touches of silver (like a belt buckle) can be used to create contrast. Since this head-to-toe look makes a bold statement, it is particularly suited to evening events or other sleek occasions when confidence and ease are of equal importance.
As the weather warms up, what are my options for lightweight tailored clothing?
The most effective way to adjust a wardrobe for spring is to think about fabrics that are lightweight and fresh. A sophisticated choice for tailored clothing is linen, a breathable and cool fiber that is best suited to easy silhouettes, including loose shorts and soft-shouldered jackets. Linen’s durable nature and light cream hue make it an ideal choice for Havana-inspired suiting, and these new pieces feel especially right for spring when paired with complementary pieces in rich brown. Patterned accessories–like paisley ties or ascots–will provide a jolt of color, and if you choose to really make a statement, add a lightweight silk shirt.
What types of shoes are best for the sockless look?
This iconic summer look first came into style during the 1950s, when loafers were popular among men on vacation who wanted a break from their city shoes. It has stayed popular since then, and bare ankles are still one of our favorite ways to express casual ease in warmer weather. To accomplish this, choose a pair of shoes that don’t come up too high on your foot: drivers, deck shoes and loafers are all a natural choice, as their low profile and long foot opening will expose the right part of your ankle and create harmony with rolled jean cuffs or a tailored pair of chino shorts. For a new office outfit, select a pair of oxfords or bucks that fall low on your heel. Wearing these sans socks, along with a lightweight suit and a colorful tie, will transition sartorial style into summer. With all of these options, keep color in mind: Tanned ankles are preferable over bright white ones—and few things look better with a tan than rich brown leather in shades ranging from light gold to deep mahogany.
What should I wear to a summer wedding?
Choosing the right ensemble for a summer wedding is dependent on the invitation’s suggested attire, the time of the day and the venue. For the most formal occasions—those at night (indoors or outdoors)—select a trim suit in a dark shade, then lighten the style for summer with a white or pastel shirt and a silk knit tie in a vivid hue like orange or turquoise. For slightly more casual occasions (like an outdoor wedding in the late afternoon), tailored linen pieces are a great way to celebrate the occasion while staying cool. Forego the jacket in favor of a vest and highlight the texture of the linen with a madras tie in your favorite plaid. For the most casual weddings—backyard affairs, country escapes and so on—take cues from the personal style of the bride and groom to help inform your decision. That said, a classic look created from tailored chinos, an oxford shirt and a summery printed tie will give you the most flexibility: Tweak the pieces through wedding season to incorporate boldly colored chinos, patterned bow ties or shirts with contrast collars to add your own spin on timeless style for each new summer occasion.
How can I dress for the office when it is very warm outside?
To prepare for summer, focus on lightweight pieces that you can add or remove as you commute to a climate-controlled environment. To start, choose your work staples—dress shirts, trousers and suits—in breathable fabrics like linen, cotton chino or oxford cloth that will keep you cool and at east throughout the day. If you typically wear a suit to work, invest in cotton twill, summer-weight linens and featherweight worsted wools (sometimes called “tropical weight”), which will allow air to circulate better than tweeds or heavier wools. If your office tends toward casual dressing in the summer months, consider wearing these new suits with a polo in white or navy for a pulled-together, all-American look. In the most casual offices, you can pair the same polo or a dress shirt with a pair of chinos in a bright spring color, rolling the cuffs just above your ankle for a look that’s a strong option when shorts are not. Keep a lightweight crewneck or cardigan at your office in the event you get cold, but now is the time pack and store your sweaters, coats and heavier suits. Don’t forget to dry-clean them first, especially since many launderers will preserve your apparel with tissue or in boxes at no charge.
What is the history of madras plaid?
While many perceive madras as the plaid print iconic of summer styles, the term actually refers to the airy cotton fabric that dates back to the 1200s. The cloth originated in Madras, now called Chennai, a city in southeastern India famous for being the epicenter of hand-woven fabrics. There, the craftsmen used brilliant dyes and uneven yarns to create beautiful plaids that spread to the rest of the world through trade agreements, specifically with the West Indies. The Indian fabric reached the United States in the 1930s, as Americans began travelling to those islands and turned to madras shorts, shirts and blazers to re-create a resort look at home. Soon, coeds heading to college campuses embraced madras, and it became associated with the classic Ivy League style in which Ralph Lauren is rooted.
What’s the best way to dress up shorts?
In the summer season, you can still dress comfortably for the warm weather and maintain a smart look. Start with a pair of trim, flat-front chino shorts, in a neutral hue, that end just above the knee. Stay neat on a weekend day by wearing the shorts with a fitted polo in a bright color—tucked in, with no rumple of extra fabric at the waist. For an outdoor occasion that requires something more dressed-up, turn to a crisp white or pastel oxford. From there, you can add a madras bow tie or linen necktie to elevate this look even further, or consider adding a navy cotton sport coat in the evening for a polished touch once the weather cools. In all cases, pull the ensemble together with a handsome loafer or moccasin in soft brown or black leather, worn sockless for added style and appeal.
What technical fabrics and details should I look for when layering for spring?
As the weather changes, you’ll want to focus on layering and building outfits that can be adjusted based on the temperature outside. Start with a snug-fitting crewneck made with moisture-wicking microfiber that delivers breathability. Then layer a fleece zip-up or down vest with quick-drying technology that won’t add bulk while you’re working out. On bottom, look for shorts or knit pants with adjustable drawstring waists and a slightly looser fit, so your movement won’t be constricted and you can stay comfortable during your session. On all these pieces, look for construction techniques, including ribbed cuffs and flat seams, that ensure these clothes won’t interfere with your exercise.
What is a choppa print and how can I incorporate these bright patterns into my wardrobe?
Named for a traditional Indian textile, this silk is known for its fine texture, lightweight feel and ability to absorb lustrous dyes. Because of this, the natural material—from the cocoons of silk worms—is most often turned into spring ties and scarves, where the soft pieces feel great against the neck when worn as an ascot. Given its ability to take strong colors, this silk is often finished with saturated paisley and other graphic patterns that add vibrancy against the season’s neutrals. To make the best statement, choose one of these colorful accessories and build the rest of the look from solid layers, perhaps pulling out secondary colors that already appear in the scarf or tie.
What makes a Fair Isle sweater so special?
Named after a small island off the coast of Scotland, these cozy, colorful, sweaters have been popular since the 1920s, when they were worn by the Duke of Windsor. Made from lambswool and Shetland wool – also named from the Scottish islands – their softness comes from heathered yarns (spun from different colored fibers) that are knitted to form the geometric designs. These patterns are a key look for Ivy-inspired preppy styles, as they’re easily incorporated into a daytime campus-ready ensemble that’s casual without becoming too staid. Wearing these sweaters with an oxford shirt and blazer is also a smart way to add eye-catching interest to your typical ensemble.
How can I wear a tie in a casual way?
Traditionally, a narrow tie lends its self more easily to casual styling. Preppy patterns like a classic repp, plaid or crests pair well with washed cotton or rumpled oxford shirts, which creates a more casual style. Wearing a tie with a sporty striped shirt or shirts with an athletic crest will also add to the effect. Finish the weekend look with a short, cotton, zip-front jacket, track jacket or cotton cardigan—by including sporty elements, your look will be both casual and modern.
What are some rules for creating looks, other than suits, that can go from day to evening?
If you’re not going to work in an office that requires a man wear a suit, taking a look from the office to the party can almost be more challenging. To make it work for you find the right combination of sportswear and tailored pieces to create a sharp look that is sleek, but also casual. For example, a sleek leather jacket pairs equally well with a white dress shirt, knit tie and slacks as it does with jeans and boots. Depending on your office dress code choose the best look for you and you’ll be in perfect shape for an evening on the town, too.
What looks best with narrow ties?
First, the basic rule of thumb: the narrower the tie, the slimmer the knot, the shorter the collar spread. Why? A narrow tie’s diminutive knot gets lost between the wings of a wide spread collar. That established, narrow ties with classic patterns—such as pin dots or repp stripes—are perfect with the season’s tailored silhouettes, which recall the iconic style of the Rat Pack era. Wear gold-rimmed aviators and a suede bomber jacket with a solid narrow tie for a cool, downtown look, or adopt a fresh approach to preppy style by pairing a narrow tie with an oxford, cardigan and a dark gray or navy dress pant.
What are the criteria for choosing tie width?
The common belief that a man’s tie can only work if it is in proportion to his body simply isn’t true. It’s almost always about the collar: the narrow spread of a straight point collar complements a narrow tie. The wide spread of a spread collar complements a wider tie. Why? The wider knot of a wide tie appears cramped between the narrow wings of a straight point collar and a narrow tie’s diminutive knot gets lost between the wings of a wide spread collar—so, the wider the tie, the wider the knot, the wider the collar spread. One final cue regarding tie width: wide lapel equals wide tie, narrow lapel equals narrow tie.
What is the history of embroidered monogramming?
Embroidered monogramming first appeared in the Middle Ages as a way to identify clothes at communal bathing facilities. By the early 17th century, monogramming was adopted by the nobility and middle classes who favored embroidered embellishments on clothing and home furnishings: Large embroidered tapestries of genealogy and family crests often included the monogrammed initials of each member of the family. At the beginning of the 20th century, a single initial—usually the first initial of the last name—was the most common monogramming style on clothing. With modern, three-letter monograms, emphasis is put on the last name by enlarging its first letter and placing it in the center, while two smaller letters—for the first and middle names—flank it on either side. Today, monograms remain an elegant way to add functional flare to your wardrobe.
What is RLX?
The RLX collection brings together the highest standards of luxury and design with the latest in technology to create stylish gear that also meets the needs of the most demanding athletes. All RLX apparel is the product of vital partnerships with the world’s leading fabric companies, and offers maximum breathability, durability and a full range of motion. We also work in partnership with elite and professional athletes who wear-test our products for everything from fit to fabric performance and durability. Both the current RLX Essentials and Modern Driver collections feature streamlined, modern looks in a contemporary mix of performance and luxury fabrics for unparalleled style, whether on a weekend country drive or during a challenging workout.
What are the design advantages of Polo Golf?
We offer the latest technological advancements in fabrication and texture while maintaining the clean, classic appearance of our clothes for increased comfort and style on the fairways. Classic knit shirts are now designed in anti-microbial fabrics that are more breathable and wick moisture away from the skin. We also focus on the fit of all of our golf apparel to ensure comfort through your swing. Microfiber and stretch are being incorporated into shorts and pants, enabling more freedom of movement. It is among the highest-quality classic golf wear available today, and is worn by some of the game’s top players, including Davis Love III, Luke Donald and Jonathan Byrd.
What is regulation golf clothing?
It depends on the particular course you are playing, but most private clubs require your shirts have both a collar and sleeves. The length of short is also usually designated as needing to be Bermuda length. Jeans and cut offs are not acceptable at most private clubs; keep them for more casual events. Some people like to stick closer to the classics. However, today there is much more flexibility in golf clothing, so it really depends on your personal style. From the early days of the game, golf clothes incorporated plaids, argyles and madras checks. These patterns are still prominent in today’s golf styles. Try a combination of classic styles and colors with fresh looks like stripes and patchwork. We think choosing the best styles and putting them together with the right pieces is what’s important.
What is a trouser “break”?
The “break” in one’s trousers is the amount of fabric that rests over the instep of one’s shoes. Traditionally, trouser breaks may be a quarter, half or full inch although a full break can often create an impression of droopiness. The shoes you wear with a certain pair of trousers will sometimes determine the type of break required. For example, heavy-soled, chunky or bulbous toe shoes require a longer break than narrow, streamlined loafers.
What is the "rise" on pants?
The rise is the measured distance between the top of a trouser leg’s inseam to the top of a trouser’s waistband. Suit and dress trousers have a slightly higher rise than casual pants, which means the waistband sits at the waist (which is just below your navel), providing an elegant and flattering silhouette for most men. Denim-constructed pants tend to have a lower rise, thus sitting closer to the hips, where they allow the wearer greater ease of movement.
What is a sack jacket and why do I need one?
The classic sack suit is meant for business, and is defined by an easy, natural shoulder and a lack of darts that calls to mind the American tradition of getting dressed in the 1960s, when John F. Kennedy was both president and style icon. Our version for fall has been rendered in exceptionally soft tweed and updates the heritage staple with a shorter length, trimmer waist, and two-button stance that will help the look stay current as it carries you through the work week.
How can I wear white in the winter months?
During the cool seasons, it’s all about mixing shades. Remember that whites can range from pale, muddled grays to a yellow tint; take advantage of that variety for the easiest way to lighten your wardrobe. Start by layering a pure white oxford shirt with an ivory or pale gray sweater to set the foundation. Go for a heavier fabric in the sweater to ensure you look season appropriate. From there you can add a white hat or scarf or even a pale gray sport coat.
How can I style my warm-up gear in a way that’s appropriate for the clubhouse?
In marathon athletic events-like a 5 setter in tennis-what you wear during downtime is just as important as what you wear on the court. Having the proper warm-up and cool-down attire, like a long-sleeved cotton track suit, will ensure your tired muscles don’t cramp up. But, it’s also important that your gear translates well to the clubhouse for after the match. To make sure your always stylish look for pieces that are simple and classic – think whites and neutral tones. And, be sure that the tailoring is sleek. Baggy and boxy warm-up gear will have you looking and feeling underdressed.
What is always smart and stylish with jeans?
Denim is the modern man’s de facto uniform, lending itself to both rugged-casual looks and the dark, dressy styles of urban denizens. If you’re investing in new jeans, demonstrate their versatility with these wearable looks: Smarten up by pairing dark indigo jeans with a white oxford and narrow navy tie. For a more colorful approach, replace the oxford with a gingham shirt in baby blue. Go preppy with a medium-wash straight leg, seersucker blazer, pink or white oxford and madras tie and brown loafers (no socks). For casual weekends, nothing beats the comfort of a soft cashmere hoodie over a colorful tee with washed, worn-in jeans.