Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ralph Lauren's Lauren Label

Image on right from Ralph Lauren: Tortoise Hardware Tote
Over the last few years, one may have noticed that the Lauren line from Ralph Lauren has improved drastically. Gone are the weird enormous sizes, poor quality fabrics, and cheap leathers. This was done quite purposely: Ralph Lauren bought back the label a few years ago and focused on improving the quality.

Even knowing this, I haven't really spent much time looking at Lauren items -- I suppose I still associated them with the cheap-looking items I used to wrinkle my nose at as I walked past them in a department store. But last winter I picked up a pair of my cousin's leather boots when I noticed the nice leather, and I took a double take at the brand stamped into the bottom of the sole... I was shocked to see that they were Lauren boots.

This became even more clear this morning when I saw a woman with an expensive-looking white leather purse, and then noticed the tiny RLL stamped into the leather. Beautiful leather, good prices and tiny labels? I'm sold!

When a brand is trying to create or re-create it's image, the brand tends to use good quality materials. Sometimes this changes and the company starts cutting corners once customers start to associate the brand with good quality, but hopefully, Ralph Lauren now being back in charge of the Lauren line will keep this from happening. Since it was bought back to rebuild the image, my guess is that the improved quality is here to stay, making this a great time to start snatching up Lauren products.

The prices may still be what some consider to be on the high side, but for the quality, these are excellent prices. Here's a roundup of some Lauren boots and handbags I'd buy if I could...

Left: Vachetta Two-Toned Riding Boot. Right: Vachetta Stirrup Riding Boot

My cousin's boots were last year's version of the ones on the left. I cannot decide which pair I like better.

Tartan Rubber Rain Boot

These rubber rain boots are a great price: $65. The low heel is nice for a little support without being too high to navigate uneven sidewalks.

From left: Newbury Color-blocked ToteVachetta Equestrian Tote, Woven Leather Shopper

The shape of the bag on the left is very trendy right now. The leather of the Newbury and the more classically styled Vachetta totes appear to be very nice. Woven leather handbags are usually very expensive, so the price of $250 may seem high, but it's actually great for the woven style one is getting.

Newbury Mini Cross-body Bag

This one is just adorable. It doesn't appear to be terribly practical in that size, but I would wear it out at night instead of carrying a clutch.

All images except for top left are from Ralph Lauren.


"There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- God damn it, you've got to be kind."
-Kurt Vonnegut