I am writing this guide to help other buyers determine a fake from "Authentic" Ralph Lauren Polo shirt. I am not a competitor or a seller of these fakes but an everyday consumer looking for a bargain and one that hopes to decrease this type of activity to assure all of my transactions are good ones.
Because there are so many frauds out there trying to take money from innocent buyers, I thought this was necessary. I consider myself to be a smart shopper and ended up being a victim to this fraudulent activity. I can speak to this because we usually buy our Ralph Laurens from department stores and will now continue to do so in the future because at least that gives me assurance that they are authentic!
The makers of the fakes are pretty good and at first glance it all looks legit. But if you have real RL Polo's the differences are very obvious upon comparing the real and the fake.
So in order to help others here are some tips:
The brown is a real polo, blue is the fake.
1. The very first thing I found was that the navy blue tag looked a little off.
Below are pictures of a real Polo and the fake (I attached 2 because the camera focused on one, then the other and I was too lazy to go back and take individual pictures):
Not only was the font slightly off, but the placement (fake font is too far to the left) and size of the tags were also different. And the size of the (size XXL) tag was larger on the fake, not to mention it was partially coming apart at the tag seam. Also the thread used to attach the fake tag was a gray-ish color - Polo uses thread that is the same color as the shirts (or navy to match the tag)!
Also on those tags, real polos (one on left) have the stitching on the tag and you can see the threads on the back side.
2. A very distinct difference was found on the underside of the "horse" inside the shirt. A real polo will NOT have cheap looking stitching with threads hanging out everywhere and some type of cotton material showing through. Keep in mind also that the real one on the bottom (green horse) looks like it may be on the right side but this is the underside of the shirt - showing how good the quality is when it is real!!!
One last picture I took was of the shoulder stitching. Authentic polos do not show the thread on the outside for the stitching, it is on the underside.
The material is also pretty stiff on these fakes, especially the collar and the authentic ones do not feel this hard.
Check all stitching. The stitching should be straight and there should not be any loose threads or different sized stitching.
Also, just because an item has "tags" on it or comes in a poly bag does not mean it is authentic!!! They don't normally come in this type of bag anyway - but my husband did say he got one with a poly bag from an outlet store many years back. This is not the norm though. If you have real Polo's compare them, or take your item in to a store to put it up next to one.
I can guarantee that real Ralph Lauren Polo's last for years and years because we have had some shirts for 10+ years. I can bet the quality of the fake ones will be poor and apparent after a few washings.
I was apprehensive to post these tips because the frauds will just try to improve their fake items but I'd rather get this out there in hopes of consumers seeing it and asking for lots of pictures before you bid!
BTW, I don't respond to emails asking me to check out listings to see if it's real or not. Sorry, just don't have the time to go checking. I just want to help others with this info.
I sent this to a buyer asking questions - so maybe there is more info here to help anyone:
I just went in our closet to check ours out. My husband has been wearing polo's for forever now - so he has some that are 10 years old and some that are a year old...so I have a good mix of new and old.
The common thing I found with all of them is the threading on the back of the tag. The white thread will be loose (vertically). This is really the very first thing to check. They come from all over the world so the 'made in' tags are from bolivia, sri lanka, u.s.a., el salvador, etc. So that doesn't help you much, neither does the RN # - b/c I just checked and all of ours have the same RN, so that is easy for frauds to duplicate.
The 3 mains things are:
1. The back of the Polo tag (threads)
2. The back of the horse (if it looks sloppy it's not real - RL is not sloppy)
3. Check the shoulder stitching on the inside - it should look like there is a piece of fabric sewn on, not just two pieces stitched together. You will not see any cross weaved stitching there (as I saw on the fake).
I hope I can help because this is ridiculous and annoying that people are selling fakes out there!