Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren are among top American luxury brands, but which one is better suited to you? Find out in this Tommy Hilfiger vs Ralph Lauren article.
Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren are big names in the American fashion world and their preppy styles have proved popular all over the world. From the exterior of glossy adverts featuring many famous faces, the classic timeless clothing, and the all-American inspiration behind their collections, on the surface, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren look pretty similar.
However, when you delve a little deeper into these fashion brands, their diffusion lines, and different collections, you will see some significant differences between the two. Taking a closer look at these differences will help you decide which brand is right for you.
This article will consider the histories of both brands, the differences between Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, and will take a look at some of the best-selling items from these fashion houses before coming to a conclusion on Tommy Hilfiger vs Ralph Lauren.
Tommy Hilfiger vs Ralph Lauren
The History of Tommy Hilfiger
Tommy Hilfiger’s career in fashion began long before he founded his namesake American brand in 1985. Hilfiger founded a clothing and record store in 1968 in New York City called People’s Place which gave Hilfiger an understanding of the fashion business and the world of fashion before it closed in 1977.
In the 1980s, Hilfiger met textile magnate, Mohan Murjani who was looking to launch a menswear range and so the pair joined together to create the Tommy Hilfiger brand, with the designer skills of Hilfiger and the financial backing of Murjani. The first collections included men’s polo shirts, chinos, and button-down shirts that had a casual, youthful feel that appealed to New Yorkers at the time.
The brand underwent a change in 1989 when the executive’s changed and the American fashion house became Tommy Hilfiger Corporation and put more focus on men’s sportswear. This menswear brand grew throughout the 1990s, until 1996 when it created its first womenswear collection.
In 1997, they opened a store in Beverley Hills and then in 1998 went international by opening a flagship store in London.
Much of the growth of the Tommy Hilfiger brand can be put down to their association with musical artists throughout the 1990s. Tommy Hilfiger sponsored the tours of Pete Townshend, Lenny Kravitz, and Britney Spears during the 1990s. This association with musical artists has still continued to this day, where Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes has featured in many Tommy Hilfiger advertising campaigns.
Tommy Hilfiger’s designs often seek inspiration from rock and pop music, as well as American icons including James Dean, Iggy Pop, Steve McQueen, Andy Warhol, and Jackie and John F. Kennedy.
Now, Tommy Hilfiger continued to be one of the most popular American brands, with countless retail stores all over the United States and hundreds of stores across the rest of the world too. Over the long history of this favorite brand, Tommy Hilfiger has continued to be the principal designer, overseeing the whole Tommy Hilfiger and Tommy Jeans design teams.
The history of Ralph Lauren
American designer Ralph Lauren founded his eponymous in 1967 in New York and it quickly became one of the top American brands in the fashion industry due to the preppy clothes and classic style that American customers love. Ralph Lauren grew up in the Bronx alongside Calvin Klein and Robert Denning, both of whom grew up to also become fashion designers.
Lauren began his career in fashion by working at the tie manufacturer Beau Brummel before establishing The Ralph Lauren Corporation in 1967. In 1968, Ralph Lauren launched his Polo range, a menswear line that was inspired by Lauren’s love of sports. The brand’s high-quality pieces gained popularity quickly and in 1969, the Ralph Lauren menswear line was exclusively stocked in Bloomingdale’s.
In 1971, a range of womenswear pieces was added to the collection, then in the subsequent year, the now world-famous Ralph Lauren polo shirt was launched. The polo shirt was available in 24 different colors and featured the logo of the polo player on the front.
The Ralph Lauren brand became a household name in 1974 when the brand costumed all the male cast members of the Jack Clayton-directed adaptation of the Great Gatsby. What’s more is that all of the pieces were from the Polo Ralph Lauren collection, apart from one suit worn by Robert Redford, which meant audiences could buy the pieces they saw on screen.
Ralph Lauren began to be stocked in department stores throughout the 1970s and 80s, whilst Ralph Lauren retail stores opened up all over the world during this time too.
The Ralph Lauren brand has grown so much there are now several diffusion lines that cater to a wide range of customers. These sub-brands include; Ralph Lauren Collection, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Ralph Lauren Childrenswear, Ralph by Ralph Lauren, Double RL, and a range of home furnishings, amongst others.
The Differences between Tommy Hilfiger Vs Ralph Lauren
It is key to take a look at the differences between these two brands in order to help you work out which brand is better suited to you.
1. Price range
The price range of the clothing and accessories is a great place to start. Tommy Hilfiger clothing is at the more affordable end of luxury, with tops available for between $30 and $160, jeans on sale for between $60 and $150, bags ranging between $90 and $220, while shoes are sold for anywhere between $40 and $200.
It is slightly more difficult to determine the price range of Ralph Lauren clothing because there are so many different diffusion lines. The most affordable is Lauren Ralph Lauren, where clothing is available for between $38 and $360.
The most popular collection is Polo Ralph Lauren, in which tops are sold for between $40 and $249, while jeans, trousers, and skirts are available for between $70 and $1,399.
The Ralph Lauren Collection is the most expensive range available with the clothing, bags, and accessories on sale for anywhere between $135 and $17,000, with t-shirts at the cheaper end and jewelry and formal dresses available for higher prices. With so many different collections available from Ralph Lauren, this brand has great options for everyone.
You can also compare these two brands through the materials used to make their clothing and bags – this may play a part in deciding which brand to spend your money on.
For Tommy Hilfiger, most clothes are made from cotton, with recycled cotton, recycled polyester, viscose and elastane also mixed in to create comfy clothes that are kind to the environment. The bags are often may from polyester and polyurethane which is durable but perhaps not the most luxurious.
For Ralph Lauren, it really depends on the line of clothing as to what materials are used. Most Polo Ralph Lauren pieces are made from linen, cotton, viscose, and elastane for a soft and breathable feel. The clothing from the Ralph Lauren Collection makes use of luxurious fabrics, including cashmere, cotton, linen, silk, and wool blends, while the handbags are made from either calfskin or lambskin leather.
3. Brand aesthetic
The aesthetics of each of these brands may also play a part in which brand best suits your own personal style. Tommy Hilfiger has a classic, simple style with lots of neutral and pastel colors, and often the Tommy Hilfiger logo as decoration on tops, sweatshirts, and dresses.
The Tommy Jeans range is a little more youthful and trend-led, which means the clothes are often embellished with Tommy Jeans branding and are available in bright, vibrant colors.
Ralph Lauren, on the other hand, has a very timeless, American style across all of its diffusion lines. The clothes and accessories often have a classic silhouette, paired back aesthetic and neutral colors – these pieces will never go out of style. Like Tommy Hilfiger, the Polo Ralph Lauren range often has prominent branding on their tops and sweatshirts to fit that logomania look that is so popular at the moment.
Top items from Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren
There are lots and lots of incredible pieces available from Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren – there really is so much choice!
We have narrowed down the options a little and compared some of the best-selling items from Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren so you can easily find which brand is best for you and which pieces you want to add to your shopping cart.
This Tommy Jeans t-shirt is so cute and versatile, dress up in the summer with a cute white skirt or pair it with jeans when you are relaxing at home. The t-shirt is crafted from 100% recycled cotton for a soft and breathable finish that is also kind to the planet.
This tonal pink top features a small Tommy Jeans flag logo on the front and a large Tommy Jeans logo on the back – a really eye-catching element.
We love the heritage, vintage look of this Polo Ralph Lauren Big Pony Logo Graphic Jersey T-Shirt. The good-quality white, 100% cotton t-shirt is decorated with a striking Polo Ralph Lauren logo in a faded graphic print to give that effortlessly cool look.
The silhouette of short sleeves, straight-fit torso, crew neckline, and hip length is classically timeless, and the ideal fit to style in many different ways.
A pair of light wash skinny jeans are a must-have piece of any fashion loves wardrobe, just like these Tommy Hilfiger Jegging Fit Jeans.
Again, these jeans are a part of the sustainable range at Tommy Hilfiger so they are made from cotton, sustainable lyocell, elastane, and post-consumer recycled cotton to achieve the best fit and feel, as well as kind to the environment. The jeans have a super skinny fit, cropped ankle, and a high-rise waist for a flattering look.
Boyfriend jeans are so stylish at the moment, just like these Polo Ralph Lauren Avery Jeans. These jeans are crafted from American right-hand twill to achieve a top-quality look and feel, while the medium blue wash is super versatile to suit any style.
The looser fit sits just below the waist, with a slim fit down the leg and a cropped ankle – roll up the ankle hem a few times for an off-duty chic look.
These Tommy Hilfiger Stripe Leather Sneakers are crafted from supple white leather and finished with gleaming gold hardware, to add a glamourous touch.
The most eye-catching element of these sneakers is the woven red, white, and blue stripe that decorated the side – a nod to the Tommy Hilfiger logo and to the American flag. The thick rubber sole and padded footbed are super comfortable, making these sneakers the perfect choice for a long day on your feet.
These Polo Ralph Lauren white sneakers have been inspired by those worn by early tennis professionals to create a timeless silhouette. The sneakers have a leather upper, a rubber cupsole, and a compound EVA midsole to guarantee the utmost comfort all day long.
These chic sneakers feature a glittering gold polo logo on the tongue, a polo player logo on the side of the shoe, a navy Polo embossed heel cap, and subtle red, white, and blue stripes up the heel.
This elegant Tommy Hilfiger Soft Tote Bag is the perfect everyday handbag, with a sleek exterior and organized interior!
This warm beige bag features a gleaming gold Tommy Hilfiger logo as the only, minimalist decoration, while the bag itself is made from post-consumer recycled polyester and polyurethane for a soft feel and durable finish. The top zipper opens to a spacious interior fitted with pockets to keep everything organized.
This stunning Calfskin Welington Crossbody Bag is part of the luxurious Ralph Lauren Collection, which does have a higher price point, but the pieces in their range are just beautiful.
This gorgeous bag has been crafted in Italy by top craftsmen from supple calfskin and has been finished with a polish gold stirrup buckle, engraved with the brand name, referring to Ralph Lauren’s equestrian heritage. The leather shoulder strap is adjustable too so the bag can be worn on the shoulder or across the body.
Both of these brands have such a cool style and create clothing and accessories that are eternally stylish, so it really comes down to your budget and personal style as to which brand you should go for.
If you are looking for a brand that is a little more affordable that has a classic American style, then Tommy Hilfiger is the brand for you. Plus the Tommy Jeans range is perfect if you are looking for pieces that are playful, fun, and super stylish too!
If you have a little more money to spend and are looking for items that a really timeless, then Ralph Lauren is the brand to go for – both the Polo Ralph Lauren line and the Ralph Lauren Collection have some gorgeous, sophisticated pieces at a range of price points.
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