How to Tell the Difference Between Fake Polos

Written by a.n. pike
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How to Tell the Difference Between Fake Polos
Polo shirts without emblems are typically knock offs. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

You have had your eye on a certain polo shirt for ages. You have looked all over the place for the polo shirt only to find that every store seems to want an outrageous price for it. Finally, you look on the Internet and find the polo shirt for a much cheaper price. The website claims that the shirt is authentic and the pictures show the fine details of the shirt to ensure authenticity. You order the shirt and when it arrives, you open the box and pull out an item that may or may not actually be authentic. Spotting a fake polo shirt takes knowledge. Many knock off manufacturers do not skimp on the details and make it virtually impossible to tell the difference if you do not know what you are looking for. However, by knowing the subtle differences between a real and a fake polo, you can avoid paying for a knock off piece in the future.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Look at the label inside the shirt. A name brand polo shirt features the label in the back. Whether it is Ralph Lauren or Lacoste, the label should be clear and free of any markings or tears. Often, these are signs that the shirt is irregular or is a rip off of an authentic shirt.

  2. 2

    Check out the logo on the front. While a Lacoste croc may look authentic, small differences such as how the logo is situated on the shirt is an indication that your shirt is a fake. Most name brands are very careful to ensure that their logos are placed correctly on each garment. Logos that look as though they are peeling off or are irregular in colour are signs that they are not real.

  3. 3

    Look at the stitching and the buttons on the shirt. Stitching that is a different colour from the fabric of the shirt is a sign that you are dealing with a fake. Lacoste embellishes their buttons with their name. Lacoste polo shirts that do not feature name embellished buttons are not authentic.

  4. 4

    Compare the price. A true Lacoste or Ralph Lauren Polo shirt is not cheap. Fake polo shirts tend to have price tags that are well below what an authentic polo shirt costs. Avoid polo shirts that have a price tag that seems well below the regular retail price of an authentic polo.

Tips and warnings

  • Be weary of websites that do not offer photos of the polo shirt or offer prices that are too low.
  • Buying knock off polo shirts contributes to fashion piracy, which hurts the fashion industry.

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