In March, I will be have spent four decades on this planet. Over those forty years, a lot has changed. My home, my weight, my boyfriends, my job… on and on we could go. But, there are a few constants in my world that I know will remain for another 40, if I’m lucky enough to have that long kicking around on this earth. One of those is Ralph Lauren. This isn’t just a brand for me, this is a way of life, one that I’ve been preaching like a religion on FFG since I first started this blog back in 2009. But, my love for the brand started long before I knew what a brand even was. It began with my mom’s obsession for all things Ralph Lauren. One could easily understand that after being dressed in the brand from a toddler onwards, I could go one of two ways with my feelings for RL. I would most likely grow up to rebel and hate the brand or embrace what I’ve always known and continue to purchase long after my parents sent me out into the world to build my own wardrobe with my own hard earned cash.
For a while, I rebelled. I embraced a funkier vibe and left preppy in the Carolinas. This lasted all of about a year. It wasn’t me. I was, in actual fact, the girl that embraced American flag sweaters and Southwestern style dresses. I loved Conch Belts and cowboy boots. I preferred brown leather bags and big chunky fair isle sweaters. There was no getting away from it. I was a living, breathing, Ralph Lauren fanatic. So, I gave in and more or less recognised that living the Ralph Lauren way was the only way for me, personally, to be happy with my style. While not everything I wear is Ralph Lauren, you can bet that every outfit has been influenced by the brand in some way, and most outfits have some bit of Ralph Lauren in them, whether it’s a belt, a bag, or a vintage bracelet. He’s always there, somehow, in some form. This week I’ve seen Ralph Lauren everywhere. It’s what’s inspired this post. I was in Gstaad and visited my favourite Ralph Lauren store on the globe. I walked into a charity shop in Central London and found three runway Ralph Lauren belts, just by coincidence (thank you, universe). And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, this week marks the first week that I met with the Ralph Lauren PR team here in London ten years ago, after having just started the blog. I had flooded their google alerts. In fact, I might have scared them a little by how much I was talking about the brand, seemingly out of no where. For the past ten years, I have never officially worked for the brand, but have been made to feel, instead, that I was a member of their family. For that, I feel so honoured and so humbled. If you had told me 17 years ago, when I first moved to London, that I would not only know the Ralph Lauren brand family, but also have had the opportunity to tell Ralph Lauren, the man, just how much his brand means to me… I would have told you that was a dream I could have never predicted would become a reality.
So what’s this post all about then? Well, I get asked so often just how big my Ralph Lauren wardrobe really is. Well, it’s large. But, I wear so many things on repeat, again and again. These are things I’ve had for decades. My money is almost always spent with Ralph Lauren when it comes to big investment pieces because I know I will have them for life. So, I wanted to share with you my big Ralph moments over the past ten years – a look at my Ralph Lauren closet, just as you have asked.
And if this post should somehow find its way to Ralph Lauren’s desk… Sir, may I just say again that every time I wear a piece of Ralph Lauren, I feel as if I am carrying a piece of home with me, on me, no matter where I am walking on this globe. I am proud to always say I am a Ralph Lauren girl, above all else, forever more. Thank you for giving me, and every woman that feels the same, a strength in style that gives a confidence like nothing else.
Now, let’s dive into this closet. Instead of organising by date, I’ve organised by piece and all the different ways I’ve worn some of my favourites over the years.
The Ralph Lauren Southwestern Style Cardigan Sweater
This “coatigan” was inhertied (read that to be stolen) from my mom’s closet years ago. I’ve worn it so many more times than this, but this is just a snapshot of how I’ve styled it in recent years!
The American Flag Sweater
This is trademark Ralph Lauren, in my mind. Ralph’s American Flag Sweaters have been a favourite of mine since I first knew what the brand was. From toddler to midlife lady, I’ve always have an American flag sweater in rotation.
The Camel/ Black Reversible Coat
When I first spotted this coat online I knew I had to have it. I went into store, tried it on a few dozen times, while saving up for it, and finally made it mine. I still wear it every winter and love that it’s reversible for versatility! Great for taking on trips… two coats in one.
The Fringe Sweater
This is a sweater from the Polo Ralph Lauren range which became a member of my closet just after the Polo RL store opened the new flagship on Regent’s Street here in London. It is a coatigan that I wear wrapped, open and layered every season.
The Southwestern Jacket
Aw, the famous jacket. I’ve worn this for a few photoshoots and was constantly asked where it could be purchased. But this jacket has a pretty special story. I actually found it on eBay for £42. I couldn’t believe my luck. It was originally a Ralph Lauren Country label Jacket. It had the old label and was in perfect condition. It was, however, vintage. You couldn’t buy it anymore. But then, a year later, I walked into Ralph Lauren’s flagship and there before me was my jacket. The very same! They had dug into their archives and brought back a classic! So, just to prove a point that these styles and investments are timeless.
Yet Another Southwestern Jacket…
Yes, I have a particular fondness for Ralph Lauren’s southwestern style he creates the most beautiful pieces that can be worn everywhere from Sundance to Switzerland and not lose an ounce of chicness.
The Teddy Sweater
For any big fans of Ralph, you’ll know the teddies have been around for a while. I have a few teddy bear sweaters from my mom, from back in the day, but the majority in my closet today are brand spanking new. The teddy has become a mainstay of the collections and the new tuxedo bears are some of my favourites for wearing to be playful in holiday party situations!
The Home Sweater
This is one of the newest additions to my closet and was, full disclosure, a gift from the brand. This is another sweater that has roots in the Ralph Lauren archive. If you look back at campaigns from the 80s, you’ll recognise this particular style. It was huge and it’s having a massive comeback.
Blue Plaid Dress
This beauty is another vintage piece. In all honesty, I do find I wear the vintage pieces more than anything else when it comes to Ralph. And when he does collections that are direct throwbacks to collections of old, I melt into my seat and fear for my credit rating! This dress I will absolutely have forever.
The famous Vogue Dress
If you’re wondering where you’ve seen this dress before, just google “Blake Lively Vogue Cover.” Yes, this is the exact dress that Blake Lively wore for the cover of US Vogue. I pretty much scoured the globe looking for this dress in my size. I was obsessed. But, eventually it was mine and not a season goes by without it being worn. And yes, I have made it both a dress and a skirt. It may not be as the man intended, but I made it my own.
The Summer White Skirt
This is another newer piece and actually has a matching shirt, to make quite a beautiful separates ensemble. It’s mainly a summer piece, although you may or may not see me trying to work it into winter soon 🙂
The perfect Turtleneck Sweater
This is a more a plea to Ralph Lauren than anything else. A few years ago, the brand brought out a turtleneck sweater that was absolutely perfect in every way. So perfect, in fact, that I bought it in three colours – which was every colour they have! I want more! I want it in pale pink. I want it in bright orange. I want it in a heather grey! Please, Ralph, give us more!
The Fair Isle Sweater
Another vintage piece here and find from eBay – yes, I have an alert set in a few different countries. This one came from France. It’s a men’s Fair Isle Sweater and it has been every winter season since it came into my closet five years ago.
The Denim Obsession
Ralph Lauren denim…. where to start. I’ll start with admitting I can’t get my rather ginormous bum into any of their actual jeans. I can work a denim dress, shirt or jacket….but the RL trousers have always been a battle for me. It’s one I’ve already admitted I’ve lost. Although, please note, RL, I would love it if you would think about extending your sizes for the ladies that do have rounder bums, tums etc. Anyway, you can’t really talk Ralph Lauren without talking about his denim obsession. I think it’s his inner cowboy at work. And the way he does denim. Be still my beating heart. If I could wish to be a size eight, it would be to wear this and this alone!
The White Southwestern Pair
This pair is matching perfection and the jacket and dress are very rarely worn apart. I love it together as a paired ensemble.
Various bits and bobs of clothing…
There are so many more things to share in the clothing category, but here are the highlights, starting with blazers, moving onto sweaters and finishing with dresses. Just a small selection of some pretty special moments in my closet! But keep scrolling, as it’s time for accessories…
And now for the accessories….
Let’s start with the one you’ve probably seen the most.
This is the Ralph Lauren Ricky Bag
This is my pride and joy. I pretty much don’t leave for any trip without it and it has withstood a lot over the years – including a golden retriever puppy carry!
The Other Ralph Bags
My bag collection doesn’t start and stop with the Ricky. There have been plenty of other beautiful Ralph Lauren bags that deserve a shout out…
The Ralph Lauren Fringe Bags
My love for fringe is so indulged by Ralph Lauren’s collection of endless bags featuring the trend time and again!
And now THE BELT
This belt… where to start. It is and always will be my favourite belt. If I were to ever lose this, it would be like losing an engagement ring. It has meant more to me than anything else in my closet. It’s been worn more than anything else in my closet and I imagine it will always be that way, as long as my waist size doesn’t change too drastically! (oh, and keep scrolling for a few more RL belts that have been on heavy rotation as well!)
So there you have it… a pretty in depth look at what my Ralph Lauren filled decade! It’s long, it’s detailed, but you asked for it! Now, to conquer the look at my actual closet. It’s coming. Watch this space!