How Do You Spot a Fake Lacoste Shirt?

Updated February 21, 2017

When you buy an article of clothing, you want to be sure that you are getting what you pay for. But sometimes what you are buying is actually a knock-off, a product which is meant to look like a brand-name product in order to fool consumers. The clothing industry is especially susceptible to these types of scams, especially higher-end clothing brands including Lacoste. This guide will help you spot that fake so that you can know whether or not your Lacoste purchase is the real deal.

The Alligator Patch

Quite possibly the most iconic part of a Lacoste shirt is the ubiquitous alligator patch. It's one of the key characteristics that separates a Lacoste polo from its competitors. Fortunately for the well-trained eye, this is also the best way to spot a counterfeit Lacoste shirt. First, take a hard look at the patch. How detailed is it? A genuine Lacoste alligator patch is fairly detailed, complete with scales, claws and teeth. If there is any deviation at all, it is a fake. If the article is a men's shirt, then the patch is actually first embroidered on another piece of fabric and then attached to the shirt, whereas on a women's garment it is embroidered directly onto the garment itself. Finally, if there is any shoddy workmanship evident with the sewing of the patch, such as white stitching showing, it is likely a fake. The placement of the patch is important to take note of as well. On a genuine Lacoste polo, the patch will be on the left-hand side, aligned between the lower button and the stitching. If this is not how the alligator is aligned, then you have a fake on your hands.


The buttons on a real Lacoste shirt are unique in that they are made out of mother of pearl. Mother of pearl is real pearl. Like fingerprints, pearls have unique patterns; therefore, the patterns on one button should be different than every other button on the garment. A fake Lacoste shirt will typically have cheap, plastic buttons. One additional trick the counterfeiters try to pull with Lacoste shirt buttons is that they will sometimes print the word Lacoste on the buttons. This is a definite sign of a fake, as Lacoste shirt buttons should have nothing printed on them.


A genuine Lacoste shirt will be made out of 100 per cent soft cotton. In addition, the craftsmanship behind a real Lacoste shirt will be of a high quality, with no loose threads. If there are loose threads, especially around the cuffs of the sleeves or after a couple washes, then the shirt is definitely a fake.


Lacoste shirts are not sized as small, medium or large with the usual corresponding letters of "S," "M" and "L." Instead, they are labelled with numbers.

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About the Author

For three years, Etch Tabor worked as the technology and online editor at "InsideCounsel" magazine, a national publication for in-house counsel. He currently is a full-time freelance writer, specializing in legal, technology and comedy writing. He graduated in 2004 from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in journalism.