Monday, July 21, 2008

The Polo principle

Gotta hand it to Ralph Lauren. He surely knows how to project old-school class in clothing for polo, a sport that might -- just might -- be seen in the wee hours of late night on ESPN. And for those sports that are on TV like tennis and golf, Lauren's right there with heavyweights like Nike.

The denominator for these sports, TV or no, is that they have a history of being associated with the upper classes of society. Having the equipment to play polo, for example (a horse and mallet, for starters), is expensive to begin with. For golf, the tools include a set of clubs, balls and tees.

And Lauren recognizes that whether you play these sports or not, the status associated with the clothing worn by those who play the sports is part of the allure: the fitted polo shirt, the mercerized cotton golf shirt, the gear for players and umpires at Wimbledon.

But it doesn't stop there. Polo's line includes apparel for rugby, a sport of the masses in United Kingdom, but a club sport in the United States. The Ralph Lauren Rugby line is dedicated to the rugby shirt.

Seems that if you're going to look the part, the idea of playing appears cool, too. Who wouldn't want to ride on a polo team with Prince Charles or volley with Roger Federer or play 18 holes with Tiger Woods?

Or, for those who are feeling rugged, how about getting dirty on the pitch of the Rubgy World Cup?

Perhaps it isn't the clothes that make the Polo man, but the attitude that fuels the clothes.

What's your game?

1 comment:

Tyler Gatzbi said...

I for one could never understand the practicality of the classic Rugby clothes. They look great, but how practical are they for playing the game? Shouldn't rugby attire consist of a t-shirt, or some other garment that would allow the wearer to cool off faster while running for 45 minutes non-stop?

It makes about as much sense as selling wool in Houston... (Yeah, you won on that debate)