Lacoste is known for its quality fits and impressionable preppy designs, but are they a luxury brand that warrants the luxury price tag?
Lacoste can be considered a luxury brand due to its symbolic nature as a brand of high value, with a rich history to back its reputation. Lacoste is also known for its high-end apparel that caters to a more selective segment of consumers due to its above-average retail price points.
The cool thing about Lacoste is the fact that it can be considered a luxury bridging brand as its price point sits just near enough to wear the average man can afford it if they know how to. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of it below.
What kind of brand is Lacoste
Lacoste is a brand that was created in 1933 by the worldwide tennis pro-Rene Lacoste. This man was a genius innovator, sportsman, and inventor, who – off the court – revolutionized the tennis shirt (as well as creating the first tennis ball machine!)
Lacoste is one of those slow broiler brands that reformed the sportswear look, as well as – due to the social nature of tennis – the preppy look. Lacoste today is the symbol of upper-class modern wear with a grounding centered in “finer” sports for sportsmen nationwide (U.S.)
In a way, I view Lacoste as similar (but not exact) to Ralph Lauren. A brand rooted in old traditions who began their success catering to the socialites of the world – except I think Lacoste did it better.
Thanks to the participation of French fashion designer Christophe Lemair, Lacoste was reincarnated into a brand fit for the modern realm when they re-designed their entire look book in 2005 – further escalating Lacoste’s worldwide popularity.
Lacoste is not just a reliable preppy sportswear brand for Golfers and Tennis wannabes, but also one that houses high fashion pieces in a sort of low key manner, as is evident by the way they combine preppy styling with a light infusion of urban streetwear.
This is evident in their offerings which range from premium office cotton shirts to quilted “hyphy-esque” overshirts and tracksuits. Add in some footwear options like Lacoste’s “seasonal trainers” (reminiscent of Nike’s Airforce 1’s) and you have yourself an apt versatile brand with a slighted preference for the preppy look.
I mean they have a “Loafers & Boat Shoes” section on their website…what do you expect?
Is Lacoste expensive (reddit/quora)
Lacoste is expensive relative to the average price of nonluxury clothing ($10-$30) for a t-shirt compared to one from Lacoste ($50-$100.) Though comparatively to other luxury brands Lacoste is nothing crazy. Part of the price is the companies branding, heritage, and the quality of their clothes.
Despite what you might think, it wasn’t Ralph who created the Polo shirt – but rather, it was Lacoste. And even nearly a century later you can see it…there’re quality of clothing is good, reliable, sturdy.
Their Polos alone can go through countless wash (and sweat) cycles for years without color or fabric fade. The quality of their clothing when compared to the money you would’ve spent on re-purchasing clothes almost makes Lacoste seem cheaper by comparison.
As mentioned, compared to the median price of clothes you’ll find in your regular stores around the globe Lacoste by comparison will be expensive for sure, though their offerings (compared to other luxury brands) are still below what you would expect.
What makes Lacoste so appealing (especially these days) is that they’re truly a “bridge to luxury” brand, meaning with their clothing you inherit all the perks that come with purchasing a luxury brand (quality, craftsmanship, style) without as much of the burdens that come with buying luxury brands – like the exorbitant prices.
Below is a list of some of Lacoste’s clothing offerings, beginning with the low end of their options, to the high end of their options – just to give you some variety in their pricing.
Lacoste clothing price
Low to High Pricing
High to Low pricing
As you can tell with their options, some pieces are above the average pricing for that type of clothing, whilst others aren’t as bad.
This is exactly how Lacoste situates themselves – above average, but nothing crazy, and all made with good quality.
Why are lacoste shirts so expensive?
Lacoste shirts are expensive relative to the average price of shirts you’ll find in stores due to Lacoste’s designer brand (meaning more time was likely placed to create the piece), the marketing surrounding the hype of Lacoste’s preppy image, as well as most importantly, the fine quality of Lacoste’s shirts, which over time may save you money by lasting longer than others.
There’s a lot that goes into the pricing of clothes, from the quality of materials, stitching, and performance – to the marketing and costs involved with operating a worldwide brand. The manner through which materials were sourced plays a big role.
Unfortunately, Lacoste does not score well on its environmental policies, but even then, think about it this way. Lacoste invented the first-ever polo shirt in 1927, without him the design itself would not have existed. This is a major reason why the iconic item of Lacoste shouldn’t be treated as a cheap piece of clothing any time soon.
Much like some of the products of Chanel or Burberry, there are certain pieces of fashion that were born out of functional need, and/or were created out of a necessity of sorts to fundamentally change something, that ended up changing everything.
These few key pieces are what could be known as fashion artifacts – a post-modern metaphor of what occurs/occurred in the societies of today and in the past. It represents something.
Such other examples of fashion artifacts could include the Herme Birkin Bag, created through a woman’s frustration of never finding the perfect “weekend bag”, and such an item that can now fetch thousands of dollars easily.
Another could be the Chanel Classic Flap Bag, created with a strap as a result of women (back in the day) never having enough hands free to carry things. Or the Burberry Trench designed for WWII British officers, and later modified to become the brand Burberry’s most recognizable piece.
You don’t need to be a fashion artifact to cost a ton of money, but being one will likely come with a higher price tag.
Alot of factors can determine the pricing of a piece of clothing, and most of the time it will come down to the quality of materials used and if they’re deemed good, which will likely increase the price.
Lacoste (and namely their shirts) do a good job of maintaining the quality of production on their polos which warrants the higher price tag (which over time could actually save you money) – they just also happen to be what I would consider a fashion artifact too.
Is Lacoste a designer brand?
Lacoste can be considered a low-end designer brand as it fulfills the vague criteria necessary to be considered as one. What makes Lacoste a designer brand is due to its high-quality wear, above-average retail pricing for clothing, alongside a brand synonymous with a certain type of “wealthy” lifestyle.
What makes a brand “designer” can be pretty obscure. What makes Ralph Lauren a bonafide designer brand over J Crew? They both have runway shows, and Ralph Lauren is not much more exclusive than J Crew, yet Ralph is considered to be one (designer), whilst J Crew is not.
Much of Lacoste’s history as a brand has been based in the sport of tennis, and golf, and as such their initial design (and branding) were based to cater to those specific subsets of audiences – which at the time appealed almost exclusively to the upper class.
Like Polo, Lacoste sold an image that was further aided through his companies designs of clothing that mirrored the preppy upper-class look. A very specific look, and one which was recognizable by many.
Like designer brands, Lacoste’s designs were drawn heavily with the input from the creator Rene Lacoste himself, whose involvement helped serve as the familial stamp that would make the Lacoste brand familiar worldwide.
Lacoste simply followed (from the past) what Gucci, Versace, and Tom Ford have done, by labeling their brands with that of the companies head (or original) designer. Someone specific whose unique style would be distinct enough to be found throughout the label as a whole, as an auteur of sorts.
At Ralph Lauren, it’s all about Ralph himself, at Gucci, it’s about Guccio, at Versace, Gianni (R.I.P) – the same thing goes (went) for Lacoste.
J Crew on the other hand…we don’t even know who/what there’re all about, to most there’s just a faceless clothing brand, and that’s the difference.
Check out some more stories behind the top 10 most iconic fashion pieces of the 20th-century right here (link will take you to catwiki.com)
Is Lacoste more expensive than Polo?
We bring up Ralph Lauren so much as both bear the brunt of continuing to forward the “polo movement”, with Lacoste of course taking the helm, but regardless, the question is warranted – is Lacoste polo more expensive than Polo Ralph Lauren?
Lacoste is more expensive than Polo Ralph Lauren on average if you compare the price differences in both the brand’s Polo prices. Lacoste’s polo range will cost between $100-$150 whilst Ralph Lauren’s polo prices will range between $85-$125, respectively.
Both brands of the Polo line come in quality materials, though I’d argue that Lacoste’s polos are better made and more exclusive (and elusive) than Ralph’s. Also, you’ll likely have a better chance in general scoring a deal on Ralph Lauren polos as many can be found at discount stores like Marshall’s and Kohls.
Though Ralph Lauren’s options of polos are still a worthy opponent and one which you should give a chance to if you ever want to mix it up. If you do, then feel free to check out my Ultimate Guide on What to Get at Ralph Lauren right here.
What brands are similar to lacoste
Whilst Lacoste is a great brand that makes quality polo’s through and through…it can be a rather pricey endeavor to get into, therefore we’ve listed below the six affordable alternatives to the Lacoste polo shirt.
- Kent Wang Polo royal blue (link to offical Kent Wang website) : Under $70
I’d argue they make some of the best polos under $100. Teh collars are made like dress shit collars so they stand up better (giving you more of an edge to that classic preppy look.)
- Original Penguin Men’s Earl Polo (link to Amazon): Under $70
Slim fit style with a reasonable price tag. Contrasting stitching on the placket, sleeves, and collar will give it a standout style.
Fred Perry Made in England Twin Tipped Polo (link to Amazon): Under $100
Fred Perry is one of those slow broiler brands that few will think of, but one of which I secretly love. The shirt signature stitching has been a symbol for decades, and if you don’t mind the crocodile logo on a Lacoste shirt, then you surely won’t mind their breast picket winged insignia logo either.
The Zinna Regular-Fit Performance Polo (link to official Nordstrom website): Under $90
This Pima cotton performance-enhanced polo will wick sweat away, as well a keep you stylish under the sun, or during an event – as it even comes in even more formal colors too.
Polo Ralph Lauren Men’s Classic Fit Soft Cotton Polo (link to official Macys.com website): Under $90
How could we forget about dear ol’ Ralph ey? This classic cotton polo will you looking relaxed thanks to its luxe cotton interlock with an ultra-soft finish. I’d personally go with the Rosette Heather Red option.
“Easy now big guy, I gotta tell ya, you’re catching me on a day when I’m throwing seven different kinds of smoke.”
-You, Me, and Dupree (2006)
Take that daunting plunge into the depths of your wallet (literally) to spend that hard-earned coin on quality Lacoste clothing. But if you don’t, at least get thrifty and settle for quality alternatives that’ll heat up your style game past several kinds of smoke.