Ralph Lauren Only Polo – How We Dress Tells Our Story

Image Credit: Ralph Lauren

Ever since Ralph Lauren launched its first Polo collection in 1971, the label has been synonymous with a free-spirited, sun-bleached vision of America, where preppy aesthetics seamlessly blend into a sporty sense of living life to the full.

The brand’s new Only Polo campaign perfectly iterates the principles to which Ralph Lauren has steadfastly adhered over the decades, creating fresh and fun wardrobes for men who see their clothes as a means for self-expression. The Polo collection is where the classics meet the contemporary.

Style is an Expression of How We Live

At the heart of the Polo collection is the idea that style is an expression of how we live our lives. Our clothes are our canvas to the world, and in Polo we have a vibrant, tailored aesthetic that sees classic silhouettes come together with contemporary colours, patterns and fabrics.

“What I do is about living,” explains Ralph Lauren. “It’s about living the best life you can and enjoying the fullness of the life around you—from what you wear, to the way you live, to the way you love.”

Our clothes are an extension of our personalities. Whether it’s a cotton polo shirt, a nautical-striped crew neck, or some preppy chino shorts, the Polo vision is a balance of modern and traditional, which is why it is so good for building stylish wardrobes around.

Authenticity and Timelessness

A brand doesn’t get to sit at the top table of fashion for nearly 60 years without a timeless aesthetic and genuine authenticity, which are exactly the qualities Ralph Lauren has fostered. From its early origins as a preppy menswear icon, the Polo label has evolved with the times while still retaining that collegiate coolness.

That unique blend of soft tailoring and sporty youthfulness has made Polo an integral part of discerning wardrobes, channelling that inimitable brand of East Coast cool along the way.

A Bold Vision For Summer

So why is all of this important now? Well, with the rise of the modern preppy trend, the Polo label has never been more relevant. The streetwear trend is cooling off, usurped by a quiet luxury moment that champions quality and heritage, two characteristics that underline the Polo brand.

This season, the Polo has gone back to its roots by revitalising the aesthetic motifs it has always been known for: bold stripes, vibrant colours, nautical themes, and the Madras check, all combined with Polo’s relaxed workwear and easy-going tailoring.

The Essential Polo Pieces

The Original Fit Mesh Polo Shirt

What needs to be said about the Ralph Lauren polo shirt? Ever since it was launched in 1972, the RL mesh polo has set the bar. This version has been treated for a timeworn look and is cut in the brand’s ‘Original Fit’ which affords you a slightly more relaxed shoulder than the Classic Fit.

It’s one of the most versatile pieces you can own since it easily dances between casual and smart fits – wear it with jeans and sneakers or layer over a navy blazer for a preppy vibe.

Shop the Ralph Lauren The Original Fit Mesh Polo Shirt

The Iconic Cable-Knit Cashmere Jumper

As preppy icons go, the cable-knit jumper is up there with OCBDs, deck shoes, and chinos. The Polo style sees the crew neck woven from a super soft Italian cashmere yarn, with a slim fit that allows you to layer over lightweight jackets, overshirts, or blazers without feeling bulky.

The linked shoulders make for a really nice fit, too. Available in a plethora of bold colours, it’s a heritage piece that defies ageing and a must-have in all discerning wardrobes.

Shop the Ralph Lauren The Iconic Cable-Knit Cashmere Jumper

Bayport Madras Jacket

The Madras check was a hugely popular pattern in Ivy League halls during the 1950s and 60s and one which has always been an integral part of the Polo repertoire. One jacket silhouette that was also popular among stylish students was the Harrington, and so in Polo’s Bayport jacket you get the best of both originals.

The cotton cloth is also sourced from Chennai, the city in India that originally invented it. Layer it over a striped rugby shirt for a bold pattern clash.

Shop the Ralph Lauren Bayport Madras Jacket

Classic Fit Striped Jersey T-Shirt

The original Breton shirt came into being in 1858, when an act of French parliament demanded that ‘tricot rayé’, or striped knit, became part of Brittany’s naval uniform. It wasn’t until 1917 when Coco Chanel introduced it into a collection that it became mainstream.

Today, it’s still a summer classic. The Polo iteration is perfectly proportioned and made from a soft cotton jersey. Wear it with white chinos and an overshirt for an effortless summer ensemble.

Shop the Ralph Lauren Classic Fit Striped Jersey T-Shirt

Slim Fit Striped Oxford Shirt

The Oxford cloth button-down, aka OCBD, has always been a key part of Polo collections and continues to be a pillar of casual summer wardrobes to this day. Effortless to wear and easy to style with chinos or shorts, this multi-stripe version is a beautiful example of Polo’s knack of producing great patterns and colourways.

Cut close to the body, with fitted sleeves and higher armholes, it’s as good a casual summer shirt as you’ll find anywhere.

Shop the Ralph Lauren Slim Fit Striped Oxford Shirt

A paid partnership with Ralph Lauren – words and opinion are Ape’s own.

Ryan Thompson

Having cut his writing teeth in the heady days of magazines back in the noughties (when four-pint lunches were par for the course on press week), Ryan has specialised in menswear and lifestyle ever since. He has written extensively for esteemed global titles such as the Financial Times, while also taking up positions at Farfetch and The Rake. Now freelance, he spends his time in East Sussex mulling over the latest dog fashion trends, and more.