A timeless classic
Within menswear classic pieces are few and far between, but the polo shirt has been around for so long it is now embedded with menswear culture. I travelled to Barcelona in order to share with you my take on the Ralph Lauren polo shirt.
There are only a select number of items that withstand time and trend. Almost inside every wardrobe there will be the omnipresent polo shirt. For something or someone to garner this reputation they must hold quality and style highly. In celebration of 50 years of Ralph Lauren, I travelled to Barcelona to share with you my approach on a classic.
So, why Barcelona? While there might be a very tenuous connection between Ralph Lauren and the city - Ralph Lauren launched a Polo Stadium Collection in 1992 to commemorate the Barcelona Olympics - from a personal point of view, I felt drawn to a place I was yet to visit in order to create the content I desired to achieve. It was important to me. And without referring to myself, I believe that’s what timeless pieces and people do: surpass expectation in order to withstand trend circles. A few days of consistent weather meant that a short sleeve polo was more than apt for the Catalonian climate.
With April being the transitional month of quilted jackets and layering to more appropriate short sleeve attires, the polo shirt was apt for the warmer climes. Most classic pieces are a blank canvas and a starting point to express personal style. I feel I’m most comfortable when understated so I don’t do much to manipulate original form and appreciate an item of clothing’s original construction. The slight nuance I added was to iron in a Cuban collar style to reflect a more sprezzatura feel in the polo shirt. Although my touch could be argued quite minute, it was enough for me to feel at ease and change the way a polo can be perceived. It’s the little details that do it.
Overtime I’ve worn polo shirts in various ways: buttons up, buttons down and now the addition of the Cuban collar. Simple manipulations can help a single polo span across many ages and occasions that very few items can do. From the young boy in the playground to the young man in the city, the polo shirt is for all. The rest of my outfit choices were in keeping with long walking days and spring sun. Cutler and Gross sunglasses, straight leg trousers from Acne Studios, Birkenstocks for my feet and a lightweight shacket by YMC for the pre and post afternoon temperatures.
Barcelona was my backdrop for three days and offered plenty of dusty yellows, fading oranges and hues of stone as I walked around the city. It was a welcome change of pace to the busy streets of London, with Barcelona feeling more comfortable in slowly easing into the day - 10am seemed to be when things picked up - and then long continuing into the night. Places felt very spread out, but when you’re seeing somewhere for the first time it’s nice to have the time to walk from A to B and among the many carrer’s of Barcelona.
While people say that some things get better with age when referring to clothing, I also believe it applies to experiences. I’m beginning to appreciate travel so much more in my older years, while continuing to learn how I enjoy exploring new destinations in order to get the most fulfilment out of trips away. This work trip for Ralph Lauren has helped me understand how to feel comfortable in the knowledge that you won’t see everything, but you can always return to build on your experiences.jbicon