Ralph Lauren is a wide array brand with a variety of sub labels at different prices and quality – below we’ll go over why Ralph Lauren is expensive, what labels are actually worth the money, and what are not…
Ralph Lauren is expensive due to its brand value and heritage as a known force within the fashion industry for the last 50 years. Items from their Purple Label will also cost more due their limited construction of being made from superior materials.
Whether that means you need to pay more for certain sub-labels is another question, as their divisive portfolio means you could gain “more” by paying less for some of their items.
There’re a ton of sub-labels from Ralph Lauren that you outta avoid, with few gems hidden in between the bunch – but I’ll help you sort it all out right below!
Ralph Lauren Price Range
Below we’ve laid out the pricing graph. We combed through every single product listing on the most popular Ralph Lauren ranges, and we’ve listed their product prices in comparison to each other. This list has reviewed the pricing of predominantly shirts and coats, however, our “cheapest item” category was open to everything, so long as it was the cheapest piece of clothing in that line.
This chart will show you the price range of the main lines that you will find on Ralph Lauren.com.
How the graph works: Shirts/Coats
Purple color : Purple Label
Red Color: Polo line
Green Color: Big & Tall
Blue color: Double IRL
As you can tell by the cluster graph
Most Expensive Ralph Lauren labels?
Ralph Lauren Purple Label is the top-end Ralph Lauren label and by far the most expensive. For comparison, a Wool Oxford Suit Trouser pair from Ralph Lauren Polo (the most popular common label) is $298 compared to a pair of Wool-Blend Jersey Suit Trousers from Purple Label at $595.
Purple label can remain steadfast up above with many other brands out there, as its making is that of a fine luxury standard – if you can afford it.
What is Ralph Lauren Purple Label?
The Purple Label is the top-end Ralph Lauren label out of all the sub-labels. This label is a premium menswear collection that specializes in luxurious, tailored apparel made from superior materials – inspired by London’s Saville Row.
Purple Label is the brand’s high-end American menswear line with items helmed straight from the scenic cobbled stones of Italy.
Ralph Lauren Purple Label is the ultimate expression of modern elegance for men.”According to OurEveryDayLife.com
From $400 Herringbone flannels to $1300 hooded cashmere sweaters, they’ll have the likes to suit you up from head to toe, for spring, winter, and office’y endeavors.
Essentially this label is an embodiment of Ralph’s waned epiphany from years back, a place where his hands could finally fathom physically the ideas that were relayed to him, from his own wonderous mind – of which the price tag for such wonderment would definitely
a place where his hands could bestow items from that of his mind, which had no limits (and the “wonderment” of such creations will definitely reflect in the price tag.)
Ralph’s Roster – The Many Faces of Ralph Lauren (heddels.com)
Why is Ralph Lauren Purple Label so expensive?
Ralph Lauren Purple Label in comparison to its other labels (like Polo) is expensive due to its luxury image, as well as the quality of materials and attention to detail used (higher cotton thread count, hand-finished designs) and due to their costlier 1st world labor methods (“Made in Italy.”)
I can’t stress this enough. The issue of “unfair wages” in Asia is always an abhorrent issue everyone likes to talk about, however – much like my article going over the methods of labor for Gucci belts – paying for humane conditions for labor costs (like in 1st world countries) will always drive up the prices of goods significantly.
And lets not forget the higher costs that come with making smaller moer personalized batches of “Polo swag.”
Like any good wardrobe extension, you outta to feel “unique” with what you wear, like you’re the only one (as is the case for many people) – and this is ezcactly what you’ll get with Purple Label.
Purple Label as a luxurious men’s apparel line is much more select, with lines of clothing often coming in much smaller runs. The selections of Purple Label tend to opt for a lower profile, coming with little to no branding on their products, preferring to emphasize on quality and attention to detail.
Along with help from much more esteemed sartorial wizards from the likes of Italy and the like, whom I imagine charge a fair few pounds of coin for their efforts.
Is Polo brand expensive?
The Polo by Ralph Lauren brand (A.K.A. Blue Label) is somewhat expensive, as it’s the most popular label among the many sub-brands of Ralph Lauren. Due to its popularity, it can be somewhat overpriced at retail, though it is usually of good quality with good resale value too.
Polo is one of those labels that you’re likely to find everywhere, as they not only are everywhere, but sell everything too. All manner of garments and accessories you’ll find at Polo Ralph Lauren, with their styling more update and current than perhaps the rest of the sub labels.
Why Polo Ralph Lauren is expensive
Ralph Lauren polo is expensive due to branding and being one of the premier designs of all the RL labels (aside from perhaps the Purple Label.) Since its inception, the polo symbolized a certain connection to people, horses, fashion, and status, and therefore dictates a strong price for the associations and added value tied to the brand.
The design of Polo came when Ralph compiled four pillars of interest (people, horses, fashion, status) into a chic brand that would bring about a new “hip” era of lifestyle, one enticing enough for the rich to crave – and crave they did.
As with much of fashion, its about the status and synonmous ties associated with that sense of status, that’s what you’re paying for when it comes to most upscale brands, including Ralph Lauren.
Though Polo on average will be less expensive than Ralph Lauren since the latter is more considered as a highly fashionable “luxury designer” brand.
Since I adore my readers, check out my in-depth guide on the top 32 most affordable menswear brands right here if you’d rather save your hard-earned coins and look fashionable still.
What should you buy from Ralph Lauren?
Below is a shortlist of the best products worth your money (in my opinion) that are on the main official Ralph Lauren site.
All links below to official RalphLauren.com site.
- Iconic Mesh Polo Shirt: Under $100
- Double-Knit Crewneck Sweatshirt: Under $100
- Cable-Knit Wool-Cashmere Sweater: Under $130
- Men’s Sullivan Slim Stretch Jean: Under $100
- Cotton Oxford Shirt: Under $50
- Twill Mockneck Jacket: Under $250
- The Iconic Mesh Polo Shirt: Under $100
When shopping at Ralph Lauren, you’re better off going for anything cashmere and their signature polo shirts. A few other things mentioned like their Sullivan slim-fit jeans were included due to their subtle distressing and stretch, making them a surprisingly solid pair of comfy and stylish jeans.
make ralph lauren purchase guide
Guide to Ralph Lauren Clothing lines | What’s what?
Here we’ll get into the “meat and potatoes” of all the known Ralph Lauren brands, what they are, and how they are.
Chaps (formerly known as Ralph Lauren)
Chaps was a diffusion line started by Ralph Lauren way back, and was considered a more price friendly alternative to Polo. As of currently the brand is not affilaited with Ralph Lauren anymore, and is simply called “Chaps” now.
Though when shopping online you may see many sellers listing this as “Chaps Ralph Lauren” in order to mark up the price, do not fall for this.
The quality of this brand is lower tier (lower than Polo), and is a brand that should be avoided.
Denim & Supply by Ralph Lauren
A discontinued line as of 2016 which sold denim and workwear staples at decent prices. You may still be able to purchase some items under this name.
The quality on these bad bois is surprisingly good, too, though at resale value this brand won’t command as much attention as the more popular RL labels.
So be on the lookout for jeans, jackets, and work shirts if you do find any – avoid paying premium prices, however.
Lauren Ralph Laurnen
This brand is similar to Chaps, parted ways with the original RL label at one point. Known more as a midrange line, though personally much of their apparel could be classified as below average if we’re being honest.
This line has nothing to do with the man “Ralph” himself (who interacts with the Purple and Polo lines predominantly.)
This one offers little other than bundles of generic sartorial options in average cuts.
This label at times is also referred to as RL Green Label due to its green tag.
A line that intially began to target the golf sportswear market, though since its inception has rebranded into RLX.
As is likely evident by the name and its intention, this apprael line comes in mainly tech materials, and does not focus on the luxury market at all.
Quality is average.
Polo by Ralph Lauren
The most popular of labels, also known as Blue Label. This one is the most common brand which can be found worldwide, at semi fairly decent pricing (majority of the time), and of good quality (for the most part.)
This line is also the most widely counterfeited label.
Depending on the country and store, it can be somewhat overpriced at retail, though you should take it on a case-by-case basis. Styling is appealing to most and has good resale value.
A ’93-’94 clothing line and one of the hallmark brands from ancient era (so to speak.)
Expect to see this label on sportswear item, from windbreakers, to sweatshirts, tees, caps, and sport’y polos.
The quality on this is solid overall, as well their vintage pieces make quite the collection, and one that may fetch a handsome fee on the resale market.
Ralph Lauren Black Label
You ever seen this sub label in the flesh? I’d be surprised if you did.
Style seem to mirror that of their Purple Label, with shapes and designs focused aimed toward slim and modern folk (literally slim cuts are what you’ll get here.)
Ralph Lauren Purple Label
The best of the best that Ralph has to offer. Purple Label is the designated brand to go to for high quality men’s tailoring (with majority of their fabrics coming straight from Italy.)
Luxury goods with great fitted designs, with pristine clothing not available on any of the other lines.
With this all this expect to pay a Duke’s wages for any of their items (with the price range starting from $300 and up.)
Items similar to that of the Polo label, with a similar aesthetic, though one which lacks the same quality as Polo.
This label is much like an outlet, with items mirroring the Polo line, yet lacking in the same quality.
A sportwear sub-label, and the reincarnated spirit of Polo Golf.
Average clothing with a slightly higher than average price tag (though nothing crazy.)
RRL (A.K.A. Double IRL)
Aesthically pleasing garments with a combination of Western themes, Americana, leather, and vintage.
Quality will range from average to above average, as quality varies highly depending on the piece (so be on the lookout.)
This is Ralphs’s personal baby, with a lot of their designs taking direct inspiration from Ralphs’s wardrobe. The aesthetic range from the sub-label will not be for everybody, and this will also be evident in its resale value (as many outside this select niche of RRL will not be interested in this style.)
There are other Ralph Lauren brands out there that we did not mention, though for the reason being you almost will never run into them due to their discontinuation with little remnants to be found at any thrift store you go looking in.
Brands not mentioned were:
- Polo Jeans Co.
- Polo Country
- Polo University Club
- Polo Western Wear
- Ralph by Ralph Lauren (okay overall, don’t pay more than you would for a Polo)
- Ralph Lauren Rugby
Don’t worry, none of these labels mentioned above would fetch a good resale value (if any at all.)
Where is Ralph Lauren manufactured?
Ralph Lauren products are made in the USA and Italy (for higher-end products), along with the rest being produced around Asia, with 25% of total offerings being made in China (including around 50% of all Polo shirts.) Other countries include Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Pakistan, and Vietnam.
As with most labels and brands, a large majority of their lower-end labels source from China, such as the Polo Ralph Lauren label and the Lauren Ralph Lauren label.
The location of where your products are manufactured will always have a direct correlation with the final retail price.
Though, despite the negative connotations associated with things “made in China” and the like, don’t get it twisted…some of the stuff from those places are still made with damn fine quality.
Is Ralph Lauren good quality?
The Ralph Lauren line varies tremendously in quality, with some discontinued lines, and/or labels still portraying the famous branded label, it can be tough to distinguish what Ralph Lauren label is good quality, and which isn’t.
Ralph Lauren Purple label is known for its high-end quality materials and sturdy craftsmanship, along with the Ralph Lauren Blue label (or Polo.) However, the rest of the brands vary in quality such as with Lauren Ralph Lauren, which offers generic styles in lower quality cuts.
Because of this, I would remain on alert when approaching such sub-labels as Polo Ralph Lauren, and the Double RL (Ralph Lauren) label. As while they’ll no doubt have some amazing quality offerings, a few sheathed options may in fact average in lower quality ratings.
Is Ralph Lauren Outlet the same quality?
The quality of Ralph Lauren clothing has never been consistent, as varying brands offer varying degrees of quality, and this fact also goes for Ralph Lauren clothes sold within outlet stores, as many will differ in quality.
Ralph Lauren clothes purchased from outlet stores will not be of the same quality, as a large percentage of variability will come into play depending on the manufacturing location of their clothing (whether they were made alongside other their higher-end goods) or were “outlet made” specifically.
At the end of the day, you need to rememebr the orginal intention behind the creation of “outlet stores”, which was designed as a means to help sell the un-sellable – to help sell the products that nobody wanted.
Reasonings for this can be due to hiccups in inventory, forecasting, quality, and/or merchandising. Notice that one aspect for outlet stores is due to mishaps in quality, which from the get-go will mean that there will be a higher likelihood of defective products being present within outlet stores – even if there are a few quality made products there to begin with.
If you need help with knowing how to shop for men’s clothing in general, then check out my in-depth dummy guide for men right here.
I recommended you either know a thing or two about fashion or be content with rolling the dice on quality control if you decide to head to an outlet store.
What kind of style is Ralph Lauren
The brand of Ralph Lauren focuses on styles reminiscent of the preppy collegiate look, along with a relaxed “neat” style that impresses due to its familiarity and simplicity in portraying an effortlessly youthful look.
Ralph Lauren is the man who loves America, and it shows clearly through his designs and clothing that echo the wearable “Americana” look. His range of style varies from cable-knit cashmere sweaters to striped Poplin shirts, pinstripe twill trousers, and of course…his Polo line.
A lot of his designs will try to appeal to everybody, hence his oversaturated brand being known for both the highs and lows of the fashion hierarchy.
Is Ralph Lauren out of style?
The Ralph Lauren brand has never gone out of style, however, due to the many sub-labels under their brand as a whole, parts of Ralph Lauren have gone down in style and quality, hampering the overall image of the brand, but not the select few labels like their Purple Line which remain fashionable.
It can be a tricky thing when dealing with Ralph Lauren, a brand (in modern times) that is known for luxury and affordablity simulatenosuly. However, the one thing that has managed to keep this brand releveant for years has been due to their idelogy in sticking to tradtional styles.
Ralph Lauren prefers to stick to the older ways – which isn’t good nor bad.
A brand like Ralph Lauren isn’t comparable to the likes of Gucci and Versace, who seek to reinvent themselves constantly. Ralph simply sticks to styles of a “bygone” era consisting of old money and vintage luxury.
Ralph Lauren needn’t concern itself with evolving trends or anything of the sort. To succeed, they must simply focus on maintaining quality control across all their labels.
And this is where RL tends to fall short at times, as they simply have too much variety of styles meant for too many people thanks to having too many sub-labels trying to do it all.
And its because of this reason that you will find certain products of theirs under certain labels that will fall short of the mark – whether in terms of style and/or in quality.
It’s not that Ralph Lauren as a brand is out of style, rather, parts of their many sub-labels are, and this in of itself has tainted the image of a brand that (at their core) still remains to be concurrent with modern day trends (by sticking to the classics that never go out of style.)
Why is Ralph Lauren so popular?
Ralph Lauren since its inception in 1967 has always managed to enjoy success due to its USP (unique selling point) in capturing quintessential American classics aimed at consumers who value quality, exclusivity, style, and fine living.
Ralph Lauren through his fascination with classic preppy wear and vintage looks, began to create an aesehtic appeal that resontated with the upper crust of America’s upper class.
Over the years this company has taken some turns that – from the snooty high rise floors of Gucci and Armani – may have made Ralph Lauren out to seem a little more than “eccentric.”
And for this, the brand was rewarded with everyhting it deserved, as well as…the potnetial longeivty of the company itself.
How did Ralph Lauren become so popular?
Ralph Lauren managed to homogenously put together a look that evoked a sense of British gentry combined with an “American twist.” A brand that exuded a luxury image of a lifestyle worth living that resonated deeply with the American consumer.
And this wasn’t in just the designs he made, but through his eclectic collaborations with various titans of industry, in a plethora of fields.
Providing costumes for films (Great Gatsby, Annie Hall), sponsoring sporting events (like Wimbledon), designing the Olympic Team USA uniforms (2008-2012), and befriending long-time celebrities like Kanye West (an admirer of Ralph), who managed to popularize the fashion brand through avenues within the hip-hop industry.
And this can be viewed as a positive or negative, as over the decades the brand slowly managed to achieve what many other high-end brands never dared attempt – broadening their customer base.
To make their “lifestyle” more readily accessible to the masses.
“Ralph Lauren is the man who was known for dressing America.”The BBC
What began as a brand deemed only for the higher status, slowly began to morph into an all-encompassing brand that catered to…pretty much everybody.
There’s a reason why you’d be remiss if you had questions about the brand’s products – as there are just so many of them (some coming in with ghastlier prices than others.)
Is Ralph Lauren a luxury brand?
Ralph Lauren as a conglomerate no longer can be considered a luxury brand, as the introduction of countless sub-labels (over 16) has diluted the brand’s prestige. Though many of their sub-labels do not, Ralph Lauren Purple Label and Collection can be considered luxurious labels.
This may be reaching, but I’m willing to bet that the same people who buy Hermes t shirts and Gucci handbags are not the same people who draw interest towards Ralph Lauren as a whole.
Ralph Lauren overall is a brand that caters to the inbetweeners of the upper-middle class and the true wealthy elite. Though this is not to say that Ralph Lauren does not have any high-end luxury items, it’s just that comparatively, with over +10 sub-labels under their name, the majority of Ralph Lauren products will not be considered to be “luxury products.”
This is not to discredit Ralph Lauren or their work, and the few things that they do they do extremely well ( like their cashmere products & suits from their Purple Label) – however the brand as whole…could be up for debate.
Is Polo Ralph Lauren ethical?
Ralph Lauren is not the most ethical brand, scoring within 21%-30% (“average”) range (with an exact rating of 27%) in the Fashion Transparency Index (2020), they’ve begun to be more transparent, however still lack submitting detailed information, such as a comprehensive list of suppliers, not sharing information on the outcome of supplier assessments (like the use of forced labor, equality of genders and sustainable living wages, etc.)
Whilst not too “flattering” at first glance, Ralph Lauren’s score is considered to be “average” among the 250 largest brands and retailers in the world, with most sharing little to no information towards the “insides” of their business operations, lacking much transparency in regards to their social and environmental policies, practices, and impacts.
If you think some of Ralph’s shoddier sub-brands are overpriced due to their eco-friendly garment practices then you’d be wrong.
This is why its crucial to look to each sub label as a brand on their own, without putting your good faith under the entire umbrella of the Ralph Lauren cooperation.
You may find the downloadable PDF on the Fashion Transparency Index at this link over at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (link will take you to their official website.)
How do you spot a fake ralph Lauren Polo shirt?
Aside from the fine quality already detectable from your Ralph Lauren polo, you should check that the stitching matches the color of the shirt, check the branded collar for literate inconsistences (as well as font size etc.), the clear stitching of the polo logo, and the “care label” (look for the trademarked “R”.)
For my fellow shorter readers, fear not, for I got you covered as well. Check out my post on the top clothing brands for short guys right here if Ralph Lauren didn’t quite tickle your fancy.
“You might have done your job but you failed to provide additional value.”
-Billions (tv show)
Ralph Lauren has a few gems among its minefield path that are worth every penny. Though – like a minefield – you’ll need to watch your toes (and wallet) as you traverse the walkways of mediocre style pieces before you finally get to the good stuff.
So stay nimble, and start sifting