Ralph Lauren vs Polo Ralph Lauren: What’s The Difference?

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Ralph Lauren and Polo Ralph Lauren are two quintessential American fashion brands that have been around for decades. So what is the difference between Ralph Lauren vs Polo Ralph Lauren?

If you’re anything like us, you’re familiar with Ralph Lauren because Rachel Green from Friends started to work for the company back in season five. Unfortunately, she was fired from the job after her boss overheard her interviewing at Gucci.

Funny enough, 25 years after the show’s debut, Ralph Lauren created a capsule collection inspired by Rachel Green’s effortless, iconic style. Talk about a great pop culture and fashion crossover!

Dark green turtleneck and plaid trousers
Get this on Ralph Lauren
Black leather moto jacket
Get this on Ralph Lauren

Years ago, Ralph Lauren was thought of exclusively as a luxury brand but it has since shifted to meet consumer needs. The popular brand has several sub-labels like Polo Ralph Lauren, Double RL, Ralph Lauren Children and Chaps, and Ralph Lauren Purple Label Collection. The latter is still considered a luxury brand and carries items that are much more expensive. 

Ralph Lauren is working on implementing more sustainable production processes and using more eco-friendly materials in order to protect our environment. The company currently recycles all the water used in color-dyeing processes and has established the world’s first zero-wastewater garment-dyeing system. So, you can feel good about supporting Ralph Lauren and its many sub-labels. 

The Ralph Lauren signature style is slightly preppy, classy, and sophisticated. Because the brand was looking to expand into more casual, sportswear, Polo Ralph Lauren was born. While both sub-labels are extremely high-quality and classy, there are tons of differences between the two. 

The History of Ralph Lauren 

At 28 years old, Ralph Lauren launched his self-titled fashion empire. Lauren drew inspiration from Old Hollywood’s glamour and combined those with the current trends.

Some of Lauren’s first pieces included a white tailored suit and dress shirts for men. It wasn’t until later that the brand started creating clothing for women. Businessmen were immediately drawn to the sophistication and classiness of the brand. 


In 1971, the brand introduced women’s clothing, which started with a line of dress shirts. What made these dress shirts special was the new, iconic embroidered pony that we still know as the Ralph Lauren logo today. The logo features a polo player in a blue shirt and white pants, riding a brown horse. 

Many people don’t know that it was actually Ralph Lauren that garnered popularity for the polo-style shirt. In 1972, the brand released a collection of polo shirts that were available in several bright colors. That same year, Ralph Lauren came out with its first complete collection for women. 

Over the years, the brand has drawn inspiration from the West and Southwest, African safaris, sportswear, and more. Today, Ralph Lauren carries classic pieces made from neutral colors that can be dressed up, dressed down, and easily layered during the colder months.

The brand has business casual attire, elegance, and sophistication down to a fine art, as almost everything that it carries can be worn to the office. Ralph Lauren loves dainty floral prints, brown and black leather jackets, suede dresses, plaid button-up shirts, and feminine blouses.

You can most definitely tell from Ralph Lauren’s collection that he was inspired by equestrian sport. 

Patterned maxi dress with long sleeves
Get this on Ralph Lauren
Green multicolor plaid shirt
Get this on Ralph Lauren

When it comes to the price point, Ralph Lauren sells essential pieces starting at $100 but also carries dresses that retail for more than $2,000.

Recently, the brand received media attention as it’s trying to target a younger demographic, without changing its prices. However, Gen-Zers are reluctant to jump aboard the Ralph Lauren train unless it becomes more affordable. This led the clothing brand to lose market share so there’s trouble in paradise for Ralph Lauren. 

The History of Polo Ralph Lauren 


Polo Ralph Lauren is Ralph Lauren’s more casual, athletic brother. The sub-label began in 1972 and focused on sportswear, including the iconic polo shirt that was exceedingly trendy several years ago. 

White polo shirt classic
Get this on Polo Ralph Lauren
Blue button-up shirt with front bow
Get this on Polo Ralph Lauren

Along with Polo Ralph Lauren, the original men’s sportswear, the Polo brand broke off into sub-brands like Polo Sport and Polo Ralph Lauren Children, as well as a women’s line that was added in 2014.

In 2008, Polo Ralph Lauren was announced as the official outfitter for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams. This was when Polo Ralph Lauren really took off with consumers. Today, Polo Ralph Lauren still provides outfits to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams.

For Ralph Lauren, the Polo label symbolized his connection to people, horses, status, and fashion. These four pillars created an iconic fashion brand that sells elevated sportswear and loungewear. 

Ralph Lauren vs Polo: Main Differences

1. Depicton Of Patriotism


Even though Polo Ralph Lauren is a Ralph Lauren sub-label, it’s quite different in terms of style. The biggest difference is that Polo Ralph Lauren is hyper-patriotic and it has tons of pieces made from blue, white, and red fabrics. It’s the perfect shirt for men and women celebrating the fourth of July. 

When it comes to style, Polo Ralph Lauren clearly shows its love for sports, while the classic Ralph Lauren label is more concerned with comfortable, chic, and timeless pieces. Polo Ralph Lauren is more concerned with the tradition and spirit of sport whereas Ralph Lauren is more focused on a depicted lifestyle.

2. Style Of Clothing

Red polo unisex shirt
Get this on Polo Ralph Lauren
Cream turtleneck top with long sleeves
Get this on Ralph Lauren

Sweaters are always a good gauge when comparing brands. Polo Ralph Lauren’s sweaters are still very sporty, just like this Polo Bear Embroidered Sweater.

In the traditional Ralph Lauren collection, you won’t find any sweaters with polo emblems. Instead, you’ll find classic cable-knit turtleneck sweaters and button-up cardigans.

Cream sweater with embroidery
Get this on Polo Ralph Lauren
Brown cable knit turtleneck sweater
Get this on Ralph Lauren

Polo Ralph Lauren really likes to keep shoppers guessing as it also carries fancy dresses, despite being a sport-inspired line. The dresses are made from satin and knits, and are much more affordable than dresses from the Ralph Lauren label. 

Polo Ralph Lauren also has a full line of intimates for men, unlike Ralph Lauren. The brand focuses on soft cotton with styles covered in its logo or stripes. 

3. Price Point

Patterned long dress
Get this on Polo Ralph Lauren
Cream cable knit sweater shirt
Get this on Ralph Lauren

Polo Ralph Lauren pieces are relatively cheaper than Ralph Lauren garments. This makes the brand more popular among a younger demographic as young professionals often don’t have the budget for luxury pieces.

The Ralph Lauren demographic is older, popular with women and men who are established and have the funding for more expensive clothing. 

4. Logos


While the logos for both brands have undergone slight changes over the years, they remain different.

Polo Ralph Lauren’s logo features two polo players riding horses. The first polo player is wearing a dark shirt with his mallet held above his head. The other polo player dons a lighter shirt with his mallet held lower.

Ralph Lauren’s signature logo is far less complex and only features one polo player on a horse, with a mallet held above head-level. When shopping, this is an easy way to differentiate between the brands if you don’t want to reach inside the garment for a label. 

Ralph Lauren vs Polo: Conclusion


Despite both brands being exceedingly trendy and made from high-quality fabrics, they are both quite different in style and price.

Polo Ralph Lauren is more suited for fashion enthusiasts that like to be comfortable, active, and even play sports. The iconic Ralph Lauren label is best for those who like to wear more expensive, trendy and timeless pieces.

When shopping at both brands, you can be confident that the money you’re spending is going toward clothing items that will withstand the test of time. They are made with quality fabrics that won’t go out of style. 

Ralph Lauren’s original pieces are an exceedingly hot item for thrifters. The brand’s vintage items are highly sought-after due to their quality, charm, and personality. 

As for the future of Ralph Lauren, we can confidently predict that it will expand into several more clothing labels as time goes on. The famous fashion brand continues to promise classic designs, heritage, good quality, and endless styles. 

We hope you enjoyed this analysis of Ralph Lauren vs Polo Ralph Lauren! For more luxury fashion articles and shopping guides, check out the related posts below.

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