There’s a certain cozy energy that permeated Polo’s spring collection; no doubt a remnant of Ralph Lauren: A Way of Living, a new book that looks at the designer’s many homes. That feeling was directly translated into a pair of Polo’s classic rugby shirts, this time done up in overwashed cashmere in perfectly sunny shades of butterscotch yellow and royal blue and layered over matching T-shirts and sweatpants which were tucked into matching scrunchy socks. Continuing that pristine coastal aesthetic, there were washed denim Oxfords worn with perfectly aged overalls with interesting pocket placements, and even a little blue madras plaid short suit worn with a belt over the jacket.
An abundance of scattered floral prints on vintage-inspired dresses added a touch of ’90s vintage: not the minimalist ’90s or the grunge ’90s, but the way girls from Anytown USA were dressing then, updated for the 2020s. See the short sleeve ’40s inspired red dress worn halfway unbuttoned over red khaki creased trousers and retro-style red sneakers; or the short sleeve ruffled microfloral blue dress worn over a long sleeve cream dress with painterly florals and a straw crochet hat (very Blossom-coded).
Of course it wouldn’t be Polo without striped moments, and there were plenty in this collection. The key to making them feel fresh was to wear them all at once, in various colors and widths: A green and white striped tee (with Polo insignia on the chest), over a black and white striped long sleeve tee, tucked into yellow and white cotton boxers (Polo Ralph Lauren elastic waistband clearly visible), accessorized by a blue and white oxford shirt quickly tied around the hips. Or a light blue oxford shirt with white stripes tied at the waist—exposing a matching bikini underneath—and paired with an A-line red and white striped skirt in cotton poplin. Another option was a maxi navy and white knitted striped dress worn with matching socks (and topped off with a navy cable knit sweater with thin white stripes tied around the neck).
Elsewhere there were patchwork quilted jackets, softly tailored linen khaki separates, and even a classic navy double-breasted blazer with gold buttons. It was an explosion of Americana, subtly subverting the rules of dressing in a way that can only be done when you set them (and believe in their necessity) in the first place.