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How to Identify Vintage Ralph Lauren

Updated February 21, 2017

Buying vintage clothing of many different eras and manufacturers is very popular and few designers are more popular than Ralph Lauren. Intended to suggest an air of aristocracy at leisure, Ralph Lauren's high-quality clothing for men, women and children has been popular since its inception in 1967. It's no wonder collecting vintage Ralph Lauren is fashionable. The styles are always classic, the quality is excellent and Ralph Lauren has become an icon for American fashion.

Check for the following indications of counterfeit merchandise: price too low, a vendor selling multiples of the same garment, poor quality colour or the garment lacks any manufacturer's tags or logos. These most often appear on auction sites or in the stock of itinerant vendors. Do not buy if any of these conditions are present.

Look for all the brand names and characteristics of valuable vintage Ralph Lauren. Several websites devoted to vintage Ralph Lauren feature colour photos of authentic garments and accessories. They often include close-ups of the several logos used over the years. Brand names include Lauren, Polo, Purple and Black Label, Rugby, RRL, RLP and more. Logos vary from the familiar polo figure to teddy bears. Do not buy unless the garment is fully identified in this way.

Inspect the garment for more than labels and logos. Look for poor quality fabric; thin and transparent would not be acceptable in a Ralph Lauren garment. Look for shabby construction: plaids not aligned at the seams, seams haphazardly stitched or large and loose. Look for fading as evidence that the garment is not in good condition. Look for worn spots or stains anywhere or missing buttons and pulled threads in knitted garments.

If the seller has not priced the garment too low or offered more than one, this is good. If the labels and logos appear to be genuine Ralph Lauren or one of his other brands, the selection is better. If the garment itself meets the criteria of a Ralph Lauren product and is not too worn or damaged, the selection is worth buying, especially if the price is reasonable.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet
  • Vintage shops
  • Used clothing shops
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About the Author

Karen W. Waggoner is a retired teacher and lifetime scribbler. She has published short stories, essays in anthologies and periodicals. Waggoner is the author of the memoir, "On My Honor, A Navy Wife’s Vietnam War." She is a graduate of Stetson University, the University of Connecticut and Christian College for Women.