Is Ralph Lauren Your Style?

Have you been following my Salute to American Designer Series? So far I’ve featured Tory Burch and Donna Karan. Today, we focus on the American fashion Icon, Ralph Lauren.

Lauren is known around the world for his all-American style which is a sporty cross between the country club and the wild west. Here’s a closer look at his one-of-a-kind style and how to get the Ralph Lauren to look from stylist Morgan Mullin.



What is Ralph Lauren’s Style?

Morgan: There’s no question that Ralph Lauren is a designer with his heart in the U.SA. Every item of clothing he designs is a bit of wearable Americana.

The Wild West makes a recurring appearance in his work, from ample use of leather and suede to fringe to beading and denim shirts.

The All-American Collegiate Look is another obvious inspiration for Lauren, with many of his Fall collections resembling an idyllic college campus in the ‘50s: Loafers, plaid skirts, horn-rimmed glasses, and all. He even works in a slightly sporty element, which is often considered the hallmark of American fashion, with his iconic polo shirts and racing stripes.

To wear Lauren is to feel truly made in America! Want to play a bit of chic dress-up? Try these tips to be the ultimate Lauren lady:

  1. Start with Preppy Basics

What makes Lauren’s looks so wearable, even with a wide array of influences? They have a solid foundation. That foundation is preppy style, so start your outfit with some country club elements.

Try wearing a button-up blouse instead of a t-shirt. Go for a pair of chinos or khakis instead of always wearing jeans. Loafers are a refreshing change from sneakers or ballet flats.
Don’t be afraid of a nice, fitted cardigan or a strand of pearls! And adding a bit of an argyle, plaid, or tweed to your look is another great way to add that Lauren preppy vibe.

Adding one or two of these sorts of pieces to your look lays a solid foundation for the aesthetic you’re after, but don’t go head-to-toe prep. You need to leave room for some….

2. Add Wearable Wild West

The perfect contrast for the one to two preppy items you’ve added to your outfit? A touch of cowgirl style! This could be as simple as swapping out one fabric for suede or leather, or it could be as literal as adding a beaded or fringed element to your look. Denim, oversized belt buckles, and western-inspired booties will also fit the bill.

Just remember, to look like a Lauren model (and not costumey), stick to one to two preppy elements paired with one to two cowgirl elements.

3. Throw in a Dash of Ladylike

Keeping with the preppy theme mentioned above, an element of ladylike style won’t go astray in a Lauren-inspired ensemble. Try pastels instead of always wearing neutrals. Don’t be afraid of soft floral prints, particularly miniature ones, as they mix feminine and western influences together perfectly. By choosing more fitted pieces as well, like cropped pants and curve-hugging cardigans, you keep the look grounded and appropriate for any situation.

There you have it: a simple guide to dressing chic and All-American, the Ralph Lauren way. Here’s a look at a few key pieces from his collection that are fabulous to add to your wardrobe.

*This article by Stylist Morgan Mullin.

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