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PRL Ad Style / Risk Level : High



You know those ads and/or promo photos that you see from Polo Ralph Lauren where everyone in them is stacked up with tons of ultra patterned, colorful pieces? You aren't actually supposed to dress like that. It's too much 99.99999% of the time. You can sense it is too much in the Ad but it is confusing to you because it also looks pleasing to the eye. It is because the photos are taken in absolutely pristine and perfectly beautiful locations, and everyone in the photo has the same level of busy-ness and hyper-layering going on in their outfits. The world of the ad appears normal while if one of those models took a step out of these photograph into the actual world, they appear way over the top. Those photos are fantasy photos in a way, stacking everything up to make a cake that you don't actually want to eat because it's just too much, or too beautiful. They are a very particular.


That being said, you obviously can get certain ideas from these photos. Often you will find a great idea in them. Not in the entire outfit always, but rather a certain combination within the outfit. Often times the outfits that look best are threading the needle, but done so impeccably and when you see how they are tying everything together it makes total sense but also really hard to come up with what they did independently or execute it unless you have tons of nice clothing at your disposal


Sometimes though, you have all the right pieces and you can put something together which has a fraction of an element of that stacked up energy found in those photos. It's incredibly hard to explain how sometimes it actually ends up working and capturing that energy. It isn't as simple as "lots of different patterns" nor is it as simple as "lots of color". It's a sort of feel, that can only be explained so much.


The outfit I am wearing in this photo totally has this PRL Ad style energy. I am wearing a purple university stripe OCBD with this incredible vintage Chaps Ralph Lauren Glen Check sport coat. Lastly, you see this totally berserk vintage Polo Ralph Lauren Tie. The way all of the colors work together is so warm, autumnal. All three of these pieces are quite bold on their own. It's shocking that they work so well together, yet they do. They of course work only when embracing this very bold energy approach. This is not a timid outfit, yet it also isn't clownish. It really sits in this incredibly hard to describe place that is so reminiscent of those PRL photos. If this was actually being worn in one of those photos, they would probably ratchet it up even more with a patterned pocket square and maybe even put a collar bar on and unbutton the button down collar.


Readers know that I am a strong advocate for simplicity in approaching your outfits. I have this approach for all men and especially the man who is starting out on his style journey. Simple is almost always better for most men. I wouldn't recommend anyone try to actively create this sort of look unless you have a lot of very nice pieces to choose from, a very developed sense of personal style and know exactly what you are doing. The risk level for something like this is very high. Incredibly hard to pull off. Nevertheless, I wanted to write this piece as a sort of semi-analysis of this distinctive approach that is interesting and that can be wonderful at the just-right time, on the right man who is very comfortable and developed in his own personal style.