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?

Ralph Lauren is a beloved luxury brand that has been creating gorgeous, sophisticated clothing and accessories since the 1960s when the brand was founded by Mr. Ralph Lauren himself.

Since then, Ralph Lauren has become an American staple, beloved by celebrities, mentioned in popular TV shows, such as Friends, and providing the costumes for popular films, including Annie Hall and the 1974 edition of The Great Gatsby.

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, including Ralph Lauren Collection and Double RL, which are the most expensive labels, while Polo Ralph Lauren, Chaps, and Lauren Ralph Lauren are the more affordable options – so there are different labels to suit a wide range of customers.

This article is going to be taking a closer look at the Ralph Lauren Collection and Polo Ralph Lauren labels specifically so you can see the key differences, and work out which brand is best for you! We will take into account the quality of the pieces from each brand the aesthetics of the different labels and the price point before coming to a conclusion on Ralph Lauren vs Polo Ralph Lauren.

Ralph Lauren vs Polo Ralph Lauren

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, under the name of the Ralph Lauren Collection, 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 a wide range of backgrounds, often referencing American history in the designs of each collection. 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. 

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. 

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. Style of Clothing

The aesthetics of these two brands are subtly different and one may suit your personal style more than the other. The Ralph Lauren Collection has an elegant and sophisticated look, with smart silhouettes, tailored looks and special occasion pieces.

If you are looking for something to wear to a formal event or to work, then check out Ralph Lauren Collection because they have loads of beautiful pieces that would be perfect.

Polo Ralph Lauren has a slightly more relaxed look, with many pieces inspired by sportswear to ensure comfort is equally as important as chic style.

The Polo Ralph Lauren label has a great mix of casual staples with a minimalist look, and trend-led pieces so you are bound to find loads of pieces you will want to add to your wardrobe. For weekend looks, Polo Ralph Lauren is the brand for you.

2. Craftsmanship

You may also want to consider the craftsmanship of each brand before deciding on which brand to add to your wardrobe. Ralph Lauren pieces are made in a wide range of locations, so it really depends on what you buy as to where it is made. The Ralph Lauren Collection pieces are made in Italy, the UK, and North America to ensure a high quality finish.

Polo Ralph Lauren, on the other hand, uses factories in China, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam to create their super stylish clothing. Each piece is made to a high standard, as you would expect from all the Ralph Lauren brands.

3. Materials

The materials used by these two brands differ as well, we are going to outline the materials used by each brand so you can figure out which brand is right for you. If you are looking for clothes made from high-quality, natural materials, Ralph Lauren Collection is the brand for you, with many of their clothing made from linen, cotton, silk, merino wool, and cashmere.

Polo Ralph Lauren is a little more affordable and this is reflected in the materials used, many clothes from this label are crafted from linen, cotton, viscose, and elastane.

 
 
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4. Price Range

The price range of each brand is key information you need to know about. The original Polo Ralph Lauren range offers tops for between $40 and $249, while skirts and trousers range between $70 and $1,399.

Ralph Lauren Collection has a much higher price, with their beautiful ready-to-wear pieces on offer for between $135 – $17,000 – showing how this is one of the most luxurious and expensive ranges under the Ralph Lauren corporation. The differences in price range also affect the quality of the items on offer.

Best Selling PIeces from Ralph Lauren Collection and Polo Ralph Lauren

1. dresses
Beige Polo Ralph Lauren Turtleneck wool and yak blend midi dress
Get this on My Theresa
Black Ralph Lauren Collection Kooper Fit-&-Flare Cocktail Dress
Get this on Saks Fifth Avenue

Sweater dresses are a must-have in your wardrobe for the winter and transitional months. Just style with or without tights, depending on the temperature, and your favorite boots!

We love this Turtleneck wool and yak blend midi dress from Polo Ralph Lauren with a super soft and cozy feel, and a gorgeous cable knit design to add some beautiful texture. This is a classic Polo Ralph Lauren piece you will wear year after year.

This Kooper Fit-&-Flare Cocktail Dress really shows the sophistication and elegance of the Ralph Lauren Collection label.

This gorgeous dress has a minimalist aesthetic so it can be worn to a whole range of events and styled in many different ways – just perfect! The tailored dress is crafted from cotton canvas to achieve a stunning fit and flare silhouette, while the hidden zipper means it’s easy to slip in and out of.

2. Shirts
Blue Polo Ralph Lauren Cotton-blend polo shirt
Get this on My Theresa
Black and red Ralph Lauren Collection Brittney Ruffled Silk Shirt
Get this on Saks Fifth Avenue

How can we discuss Polo Ralph Lauren without discussing the brand’s polo shirts?! There are now many different variations of polo shirts in a wide range of colors but the Cotton-blend polo shirt is the original that you really need in your wardrobe.

The shirt is made from a cotton knit for a super soft feel, with a sharp collar and a partially buttoned front. There is also a warmer Ribbed-knit polo shirt which is ideal for the colder months.

Ralph Lauren Collection has a slightly smarter aesthetic, which is ideal if you are looking for pieces to wear to work or formal events. We think this beautiful Brittney Ruffled Silk Shirt is a great option, with a striking design and luxurious feel.

The shirt is crafted from mulberry silk chiffon printed with a black and red floral design and then decorated with pleats, ruffles, and genuine mother-of-pearl buttons to add a shimmering finishing touch. This chic shirt retails for just $1,490.

3. Sweaters
Cream Polo Ralph Lauren Polo Bear intarsia wool-blend sweater
Get this on My Theresa
Black and white Ralph Lauren Collection Intarsia-Knit RL Merino-Silk Sweater
Get this on Saks Fifth Avenue

One of the icons of the Polo Ralph Lauren brand is the super cute bear, which is pictured here on this luxurious wool, cashmere, and silk blend sweater.

The cream Polo Bear intarsia wool-blend sweater features the Polo Bear in a chic, contemporary outfit for a super stylish look! Add this adorable sweater to your wardrobe for just $413, and style it in many different ways throughout the colder months.

We love the bold and eye-catching look of this Intarsia-Knit RL Merino-Silk Sweater! The sweater is made from a luxe blend of wool and silk for a soft and sumptuous feel to keep you warm in winter.

The V-neck and long-sleeve silhouette are classic and timeless, while the bold white RL logo on the black sweater adds a quintessentially preppy Ralph Lauren touch. Style with a white shirt and your favorite jeans for a classy weekend look.

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.

The Ralph Lauren Collection is ideal if you are looking for smart pieces or something to wear to a special occasion. While Polo Ralph Lauren offers pieces with a more casual, relaxed vibe who like to be active and super stylish at the same time. Ralph Lauren Collection is also a little more expensive and uses higher-quality fabrics, while Polo Ralph Lauren is a little more affordable if you are on a budget.

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. 

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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One Comment

  1. The logo you described for Ralph Lauren is actually the Polo Association logo, not associated with RL or PRL at all

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