I am actually cringing while looking at that title. Ralph Lauren. Am I that girl? Am I the kind of person who covers up mediocre style taste with labels and money?
Rest assured, I’m not. And to prove it, today I’m wearing tights that I bought for $12 from Big W. So there. Relatability has returned.
Ralph Lauren is one of those brands that hovered just out of my eyesight while growing up. It was an ‘adult’ brand, so to speak. Sophisticated, expensive and very out of my league. As I merged into adulthood myself, my exposure to aforementioned brand was altered a little as Rachel Green (love you RG) assumes position as Merchandising Director (or something of the sort) at Ralph Lauren in Season 7 of Friends. I love this show and am not knocking it in any way, but it is 2018 now, and Season 7 was aired 18 years ago, so I’m going to be completely honest and say that my opinion of the brand was that it was a little…dated.
And, ladies and gentlemen, I was so wrong! Just naïve and unaware of all the good things that were behind the glossy RL doors.
Now let me first address the elephant in the room. Ralph Lauren pieces are expensive. They are not your average high-street buys, hence why this post is dedicated to what I’m coveting and not what I’ve just bought. I remember when Polo Ralph Lauren pieces first emerged on The Iconic (which to date is where I source 90% of my wardrobe and I wish I could change that but I just can’t resist same day shipping and the convenient returns policy) and thinking nothing of it. Another blazer, another white button-down. I no longer wear corporate dress to work (again: $12 tights), so in all honesty, I kind of glaze over anything with buttons. But with the seasonal change, came a new eye for things with sleeves, and wouldn’t you know it, PRL fell into this category.
I’m going to very strongly justify why I first delved into the pricey world of designer items. It was white boyfriend-fit button down long sleeved shirt. Let me stress this: I have been wearing white boyfriend-fit button down long sleeved shirts for the last five years from the moment the temperature drops below 25. I wear them constantly. It’s basically a uniform. They work with jeans and I can wear whatever shoes I want and still look effortlessly classy. I wish I could wear them year-round but Australian Summers are really something else. I’m talking at least three days a week.
And so this year, where I’m not in university and can amazingly afford to pay at the insanely inflated prices of high-quality goods, I decided that perhaps I should slip into the kind of persona who buys investment pieces.
The Polo Ralph Lauren shirt in question retails for $200AU which honestly is not at all that crazy, but kind of is when you’re accustomed to buying multiple shirts for that price. I went looking for boyfriend-fit white shirts at my regular stomping ground (a la The Iconic), and weirdly, this was one of the only shirts. Albeit I was looking in very early autumn, but still. Get with it, designers.
I clicked on it because I was curious, and also because it said ‘new,’ which I obviously can’t resist. And then I saw that there was only one shirt left in my size.
What was I to do? I bought it straight away (and glad I did, because while I’m writing this a week later, the shirts are all sold out, bar one size).
And thus, the conversion began. The shirt is, and I will not hold back here: really disgustingly good. Fabric is a 10/10, fit is a 9.5. Workability with the rest of my wardrobe is an easy 10/10. It’s the kind of luxe staple that is going to make my ASOS jeans look more expensive than they are. I want to buy more of these shirts in case something happens to this one, but that’s the thing about this kind of quality; it won’t die after a season like my cheaper versions have. And if you’re good with a bit of spot-stain-removal and patient with an iron, you’ll be totally fine living with this piece.
Because I am completely and wonderfully infatuated with the shirt, I also ordered the blazer. I know. If we’re playing the investment-piece-staple game, however, I will note that I bought it in black, which is just about as basic as you can get.
Also on my loving PRL wishlist are the following pieces, all of which I would just love, but really cannot justify, because I’m 22 and need to chill. In saying that, if you’re the kind of gal who wears classic pieces like they’re going out of style (how’s that for juxtaposition), I highly highly recommend just trying a piece to see how the quality works for you. Happy shopping lovers!