Polo Ralph Lauren
My first memory of Ralph Lauren (is it pronounced Lauren like my mate’s missus or Loren like Sophia?) was the Chaps stuff you could get in the *spits* News of the World *spits again* magazine. It seemed like a good idea as it was Ralph and it was cheap, but I could never bring myself to do it (in truth my mum wouldn’t send a cheque to some dodgy PO Box address in the middle of nowhere, I’d have been all over it given half a chance).
The Polo button down collar shirt was always a bit out of reach, price wise, until my mate’s older brother got hold of some “brand new, in the packet, geezer I know got hold of them, they’re nicked, 25 quid each, definitely not fake” button down collar shirts and although it seemed a bit too good to be true I bought one. So did 5 of my mates. Between us we had turquoise (me), red, orange, green, blue and yellow. I was a bit sus about the horse logo on all our shirts being white and the printing on the tag wasn’t great but we were going to our first proper (druggy) club on the Saturday and I decided to wear it. So did 5 of my mates. “You look like a packet of fucking Opal Fruits” said our one mate who wasn’t wearing a Jekyll button down shirt and I dread to think what people were saying behind our backs but we had a good time none the less.
With the advent of mobile phones and my climbing of the corporate ladder (I’m now a senior rep, think Fucking Ledge with better shoes) such disasters have been pretty much avoided ever since and Oi Polloi have currently got 5 great shirts from the prep master himself. 4 of them have button down collars, 1 of which has short sleeves and not a white horse between them (the dark denim and light chambray even have multi coloured logos, progress eh?). But probably my favourite, which has neither a button down collar or logo on the chest, is the two pocket olive and blue work shirt which also comes with elbow patches. I don’t think they’re flint woven survival patches (copyright Mighty Boosh) but they might keep your elbows drier for a bit longer in the pub.