The “Pony Logo”, the favorite of American celebrities, is 50 years old. How did it become a global trend benchmark?
Recently, domestic and foreign traffic stars and fashion bloggers are wearing the same clothes to show fashion. The dress is so ordinary that you can find several on the street—a polo shirt with a shirt collar, T-shirt version.
However, they all wore the same polo shirt – a picture of a polo player embroidered on the left chest, commonly known as the "pony logo". This polo shirt embroidered with the "pony logo" is from the American brand Ralph Lauren (Ralph Lauren).
This year, the Ralph Lauren family's polo shirt just turned 50 years old, which is also the 50th year it has been named "Polo Shirt" (polo shirt). In the past 50 years, it has not only been a "connector" of sports, but also has countless film and television works, and celebrities actively "endorsement" for it.
▲ Japanese anime "The Prince of Tennis". Image from: Tennis World USA
▲ Picture from: the movie "Please call me by your name"
Taking advantage of this rare 50th birthday, Ralph Lauren published a new book "Ralph Lauren's Polo Shirt" ( Ralph Lauren's Polo Shirt ), and also opened a pop-up shop in South Korea that looked very young.
▲ Polo Ralph Lauren pop-up store in Korea. Image via: Instagram @midnight_blanc/@feve__r
▲ Polo Ralph Lauren pop-up store in Korea. Image via: Instagram @travelworldfoto
I have heard too many people say that wearing a polo shirt is not good-looking, like "parents will dress up", and the hall is full of air… However, the polo shirt has been quietly reformed, and has become a beautiful tool for boys and girls, a must for high-level intellectuals. Single item.
If you don't believe it, let's take a look at the "transformation" process of Polo shirts.
▲ Picture from: the third season of the American drama "Stranger Things"
01 A piece of clothing, a cultural phenomenon
Ralph Lauren isn't the only brand making polo shirts. Italian brands Loro Piana and Bottega Veneta are more expensive than it is, and Uniqlo and Zara are very affordable. Why can only Ralph Lauren Polo shirts with an average price of 1,000 yuan be published?
▲ Ralph Lauren put the Big Mac version of the new book into a 3D billboard in Piccadilly Circus, London. Image via: Instagram @poloralphlauren
This is inseparable from Ralph Lauren's core concept of "focusing on lifestyle".
Ralph Lauren has never been a very "fashionable" brand. Even though his purple label high-end line has high-end tailoring that he is proud of, when it comes to being at the forefront of trends and constantly innovating, Ralph Lauren may be a few behind other fashion brands. street.
What I do is all about lifestyle – living the best life you can and enjoying the fullness of life around you. From what you wear, to the way you live, to the path you love in life.
——Mr. Ralph Lauren (founder of Ralph Lauren)
▲ Mr. Ralph Lauren in a polo shirt on the cover of Time magazine in 1986. Image credit: Time
So the question is, what kind of lifestyle is behind Ralph Lauren, who regards polo shirts as a golden sign? The answer is also hidden in this book.
The book is devoted to the New York subculture gang Lo-Life, which consists of a group of teenagers who like to wear Ralph Lauren and "Polo" pattern clothes. One of the original directors of the group, Victor Thirstin Howl III Dejesus, once said: "Wearing a polo shirt means you have some ability and you are rich."
In other words, Ralph Lauren is not selling polo shirts, but the lifestyle of American celebrities.
▲ Leonardo's classic shot in the movie "The Wolf of Wall Street"
▲ 2022 American movie "Father of the Bride" (Father of the Bride)
So the question is, how does Mr. Ralph Lauren, born in the Bronx, a famous ghetto in New York, use his eponymous brand to sell the lifestyle of the upper class to Americans and even the whole world?
The sport of polo, which was popular in the upper classes at that time, became a breakthrough point.
▲ Polo match. Image from: tumblr
Polo is a niche sport that combines equestrianism with ball games. It can be traced back to the Persian era. The early unregulated polo sport looked like a large group of people running around on ponies.
In the 1850s, with the strong support of British Lieutenant Joseph Sherer, the modern game of polo was born in Manipur, in northeastern India, and the first polo club was established in classic English style.
In order to be more flexible in polo, the local Indians fixed the collar with buttons, and the prototype of the polo shirt appeared. It can be seen from the old photos that survived in the 1870s that Indians were already wearing jerseys that were very similar to the later polo shirts.
▲ A polo player in the 1870s. Image from: ED Times
The sport of polo then spread around the world, and soon Americans were among the polo fans.
In early 1876, James Gordon Bennett, publisher of the New York Herald, brought back the mallet, the ball, and a copy of the rules of polo from England, introducing the game to America, but only in high society.
▲ A mallet and ball for polo. Image credit: Tumblr
Another American went to England to watch a polo match in 1896, but he was interested in polo players' clothing. The details of the fixed shirt collar made him see the infinite business opportunities of sportswear reform.
The American was the grandson of the founder of Brooks Brothers and the company's president at the time, John E. Brooks. Soon, Booker Brothers introduced men's shirts with buttoned collars, and the first commercially mass-produced button-up polo shirt.
▲ A polo-inspired men's shirt. Image credit: Brooks Brothers
▲ Brooks Brothers' polo shirt. Image credit: Brooks Brothers
And Mr. Ralph Lauren and Booker Brothers also have a bit of fate – before establishing his personal brand, Mr. Ralph Lauren worked briefly as a sales assistant at Booker Brothers, and naturally came into contact with this Polo shirt.
In the decades since, the polo shirt has become a standard in tennis attire thanks to the stardom of two well-known tennis players, Frenchman Jean René Lacoste and Englishman Fred Perry.
The two athletes later founded their own brands, Lacoste (crocodile brand) and Fred Perry with the laurel flower as the logo.
▲ Lacoste's polo shirt and Mr. Lacoste playing tennis. Image from: Heddels
▲ Fred Perry's polo shirt. Image from: London Design Museum
Mr. Lacoste married then golf champion Simone Thion de la Chaume in 1930, which is somewhat related to what the polo shirt would later become as a golf shirt.
▲ Mr. Lacoste and golf champion Simone Thion de la Chaume. Image from: Lacoste
It wasn't until 1972, 5 years after the Ralph Lauren brand was established, that this golden signature polo shirt finally came out.
▲ Ralph Lauren Polo shirt. Image from: Harpers Bazaar
This polo shirt features a polo player graphic on the left chest in fine machine embroidery of 900 stitches. According to the 24 colors launched at the time, the polo player pattern also has a colorful appearance.
▲ Pony logo embroidery in different colors. Image from: CR Fashionbook
Polo shirts are to Ralph Lauren what Mickey Mouse is to Disney or the Empire State Building to New York City.
– "Ralph Lauren's Polo Shirt" ( Ralph Lauren's Polo Shirt )
02 Not all polo shirts are called Ralph Lauren polo shirts
They are all making polo shirts, what's so special about this Ralph Lauren brand? The answer is still in this new book, and it's on the cover of the book in various colors.
Since the book is about to be published, it is too unreasonable not to put the selling point of its own polo shirt on the most conspicuous cover. To make this selling point even more prominent, the only text on the book cover is the title at the top and the publisher at the bottom.
▲ "Ralph Lauren's Polo Shirt" ( Ralph Lauren's Polo Shirt ). Image from: Instagram @poloralphlauren
▲ "Ralph Lauren's Polo Shirt" ( Ralph Lauren's Polo Shirt ). Image from: CR Fashionbook
Leaving the text aside, there is only a flat Ralph Lauren polo shirt on the cover, and it's a worn one, with tooth frays on the edges, and it's not ironed. Upturned polo shirt. However, the pony logo is still as delicate as new clothes.
If we buy a Ralph Lauren polo shirt, wear it for a few years, wash it again and dry it and throw it on the bed, it will probably look like the cover photo.
▲ Elmore RichMond from Brooklyn shows off his collection of polo shirts. Image via: Instagram @poloralphlauren
What is the selling point of getting worn out over time?
However, going back in time to 1972, when the Ralph Lauren polo shirts came out, ageing polo shirts are a real selling point.
▲ Model Filippa Hamilton. Image from: CR Fashionbook
After the advancement of textile technology throughout the 1960s, polyester fabrics (scientifically known as polyester fibers) are not easy to fade, and they can be worn like new clothes for a long time, so they are favored by many brands of polo shirts. Polo shirts, originally made of cotton piqué (also known as pk cloth), also turned to polyester.
Mr. Ralph Lauren is very disgusted with the fashion trend led by polyester fabrics. He regards the process of clothes getting old as a precious memory of coexisting with his own polo shirts. So he launched his line of polo shirts with the tagline "it gets better with age".
▲ Picture from: CR Fashionbook
Obviously, the public resonated strongly with this idea, and this series of polo shirts, which insisted on using natural cotton materials, became a best-selling item at the time. As a new product, it came from behind, breaking out into its own turf among polo shirts.
▲ Picture from: CR Fashionbook
The Ralph Lauren Polo shirt is also very elegant in cotton piqué.
▲ Ralph Lauren Polo shirt custom advertisement. Image from: Instagram @poloralphlauren
The English name pique comes from the French word for "quilt", because the honeycomb-like bump texture on the fabric mimics the hand-stitched patterns on Marseille quilts.
The practical value of this pattern is very powerful. The uneven structure of the piqué surface helps to breathe and absorb sweat, but the bottom layer close to the skin has a very smooth touch and is very skin-friendly to wear. In fact, this is two layers of fabric made of two different weaving methods, and then combined into a thin fabric through a special structure.
▲ Ralph Lauren polo shirt details. Image from: Matchesfashion
Ralph Lauren polo shirts are made of high-quality cotton fabrics that are moderately soft and firm to the touch, and the weave is neither loose nor too tight.
Therefore, the folds of the tiled clothes on the cover look soft. If the clothes are spread out to make people see angular folds, the folds on the body must have turned into invisible "thorns". Wherever you will be dismayed.
▲ Image from: Instagram @poloralphlauren
Polo shirts made of piqué knitting that are too soft will cause the collar of the polo shirt to collapse, and the body will also lack muscle, which makes it look uninspiring. However, in the photo on the cover, the raised collar does not collapse at all, and together with the overall body, it looks crisp and tangible. Ralph Lauren can accurately grasp the moderate degree of softness and hardness.
▲ Ralph Lauren's polo shirt for dogs. Image from: Ralph Lauren
The flip up of the collar is also a bold statement. Because in the clothing etiquette, the collar turned up is the first item on the taboo list of Polo shirts.
It wasn't until 2016 that Beckham was photographed in Ginza, Tokyo, turning up the collar of his polo shirt, causing huge controversy. Since then, this unconventional new way of dressing has been embraced by a minority.
▲ David Beckham turning up the collar of his polo shirt. Image from: GQ
▲ Kanye West and Pauly D with the Polo shirt collar turned up. Picture from: NSS Magazine
The following year, Miuccia carried the trend of upturned polo shirt collars with Prada's Spring/Summer 2018 collection. This time, Ralph Lauren's new book cover, with the polo shirt turned up at the collar, may also be a tribute to this new concept against traditional rules and regulations.
▲ Prada 2018 spring and summer men's collection. Picture from: Vogue
Finally, it is also the most obvious selling point of Ralph Lauren – the version with a slightly longer back than the front.
On the tiled clothes, it can be clearly seen that the front is shorter than the back, and there is a small triangle with slits in the middle. This design not only allows men with more developed back muscles to wear clothes more docilely, but also makes it less likely to turn over when tucked into the waistband.
▲ Ralph Lauren Polo shirts with different lengths before and after. Image from: Ralph Lauren
The small triangle with the slit will also be sewn on the back of the pony logo embroidered herringbone webbing in the same color, so that the clothes will not have the embarrassing situation of side cracking after strenuous exercise and long-term wear.
This design approach has subtle differences in loose, slim and tight silhouettes.
▲ Ralph Lauren Polo shirt side slit detail. Image from: Matchesfashion
It is in this way that the pursuit of perfection is carried out to the smallest details, and the Ralph Lauren Polo shirt is still associated with the positive keywords of elegance, nobility and temperament today, 50 years later.
03 I heard that polo shirts are ugly and old-fashioned
Picking a suitable polo shirt seems to be tens of thousands of kilometers away from a complete set of successful outfits. However, if you master some matching skills, Polo shirt matching can be done in a few minutes.
The formula for wearing polo shirts in Europe and the United States is not acclimatized in China due to body shape and aesthetic reasons. After all, wearing a tight polo shirt may be equated with sexy in European and American countries, but in China it will be the same as "middle-aged" ” and “old-fashioned” are linked.
▲ Pitt, Leonardo and director Quentin in Polo shirts. Picture from: Esquire
Wearing a slim fit and a slightly looser polo shirt is arguably the first piece of outfit advice right now.
How to make this polo shirt more tasteful by matching? Let’s take a look at South Korea, which is also an Asian shape. The love for Polo shirts is not only reflected in the frequent posting of pictures by celebrity bloggers, but even many traffic brands with niche labels are also frequently used in Polo shirts. Make explosions on it.
▲ Korean brand C2H4 and Lacoste cooperation series. Image from: Instagram @c2h4
Matching Tip 1: The most classic pairing of solid color jeans
When it comes to picking the least error-prone bottom for a polo shirt, jeans are the way to go. Whether it's a light blue washed to whitish, or the usual navy blue and grey-black jeans, pair it with a simple polo shirt and you're ready to go out elegantly.
▲ A Korean star wearing a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt for a Bazaar blockbuster. Image from: Harpers Bazaar
▲ Fred Perry 2022 spring and summer collocation manual
For a dimpled look, try tying a denim shirt or coat around your waist.
▲ The cooperation series of Korean brand C2H4 and Lacoste. Picture from: C2H4 official website
▲ Korean brand WHO.AU 2022 spring and summer collocation manual
Matching Tip 2: Look younger with light-colored bottoms
Bright white and beige bottoms can be said to be a versatile tool for polo shirts in various colors. Coupled with a pair of clean white shoes, you will immediately become energetic boys and girls on the tennis court.
▲ Korean brand Lucky Marché 2022 spring and summer collocation manual
▲ Korean brand Agent Peek 2022 summer matching manual
▲ Image from: Instagram @feve__r
Also paired well with white are khaki slacks.
▲ Korean brand WHO.AU 2022 summer matching manual
It is recommended to wear a thin leather belt at the waist, wear a pair of small leather shoes and a pair of long tube white socks, and match with the same retro-style leather bag, beret or small silk scarf and other finishing touches to awaken the unique retro temperament of the polo shirt.
▲ Image from: Instagram @midnight_blanc
▲ Picture from: Instagram @popeye_magazine_official / Xiaohongshu @sssslin
Matching Tip 3: Wearing the same color is easy and advanced
Wear a light-colored polo shirt in summer, and then match it with the lower body of the same color, as if this is no longer a polo shirt as a simple top, but a stylish suit with a whole body.
▲ Image from: Instagram @poloralphlauren
▲ Picture from: Ralph Lauren official public account
Matching Tip 4: Use knitted sweaters to increase the sense of layering
A knitted sweater draped over the shoulders or tied at the waist is a common and effective way to pair a polo shirt.
▲ Ralph Lauren's 520-themed ad this year. Image from: Instagram @kemmei0421
In Ralph Lauren's blockbuster release in May, the girl in denim overalls, with a knitted sweater tied around her waist, is equally suitable for adults.
▲ Ralph Lauren 2022 spring and summer blockbuster. Image from: Instagram @poloralphlauren
Matching Tip 5: If you are not afraid of heat, try high-end layering
In the official blockbuster released by Ralph Lauren this year, the most common look is to layer multiple Polo shirts of different colors. However, in the hot summer, this way of wearing is not only difficult for you in terms of temperature, but also needs to be taken care of at all times if you want to get a docile effect after layering.
▲ Korean star wearing a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt for the Bazaar blockbuster. Image from: Instagram @maidennoirr
However, wearing a simple white T-shirt inside is a trick used by many brand collocation manuals, focusing on the neckline, giving a more refreshing and clean impression.
▲ Korean brand Halbkreis 2022 summer matching manual
▲ Korean brand CLOVE 2022 summer matching manual
Wearing a classic wool vest or pullover on the outside is a popular matching method this year, creating a fashionable sense of intellectual style. Taking pictures, the yield rate is also excellent.
▲ Picture from: Instagram @poloralphlauren / Ralph Lauren official public account
▲ Korean brand Le Sonnet 2022 spring and summer series. Picture from: Le Sonnet official website
▲ Korean brand CLOVE 2022 summer matching manual
"Good clothes can help you add points, not rely on you to add points." This saying is also very reasonable when it comes to Polo shirts.
After all, a polo shirt isn't a white T-shirt, it's a model of elegance that has been polished over decades. It may be able to deduce thousands of styles, but it is not necessarily suitable for thousands of people. Only when this Polo shirt gives us extra points in terms of image and temperament on you and me through careful wearing, it is a classic style suitable for us.
▲ Korean brand Out of bounds spring and summer collocation manual
As Ralph Lauren wrote on the back cover of the new book – "This is never a piece of clothing, it's a way of life", fashion items such as Polo shirts are always just an introduction, and finding a style that suits you is life. 's main text.
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