Favourite T-Shirts

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I have a favourite T Shirt – our featured image. It’s not the slightly lewd text, nor the “End of the Pier” – “Nudge, Nudge” – humour that appeals most to me. It’s the fact that Mrs W bought it over 20 years ago in New York City and it is loved as much for the item as the thought that went into its purchase.

Indeed it may have been on impulse – she doesn’t like shopping much – but it is the expression of her view towards me as her then relatively new husband who was coming to terms with his then slightly thinning hair. It’s been worn by us both over the years and amazingly it has outlasted many branded shirts that have been worn half as much.

I like T-Shirts especially as the summer turns to crank up the heat into the early 30’s.

T-Shirts have, in my view, to deliver in two simple respects. They need to be 100% cotton – whatever the brands try to persuade you of their new wonder fabric that will keep you as cool as a Polar Bear’s backside – sorry cotton is best. It’s also needs to be slightly on the big side allowing it to flap in whatever wind is available capturing some cooling and fanning effect as it goes.

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For me, some of the very best T-Shirts are made by Fruit of the Loom – they are consistently good and I really respect a company that stays loyal – in the main – to the one product that they are noted for and deliver year after year. We have featured Fruit of the Loom on Aestheticons before and you can read our previous post here – Fruit of the Loom – T shirts

I really like certain iconic T-Shirts that shout loudly about your preferences. Many of you will know of my love for New York City and the iconic Milton Glaser design – I ❤️ NY – is simply, though a little cliched by over familiarity, but as valid as a tattoo.

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Equally my London home is well represented by the shirts of the Hard Rock Cafe – again a little jaded and over-exposed – you can pick up the same shirt in London, Moscow or Marbella – but still its a cultural icon. Hard Rock Cafe T Shirt

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Last year I picked up on a ranking of the 10 most Iconic T-Shirts – Iconic T-Shirts    there will be those who will make it their mission – not in any charitable campaign sense but just as a bit of fun – to seek to collect all 10. Not for me, but please go ahead.

Enjoy the summer and enjoy your T-Shirts and I’d love to know which T-Shirts are your treasures!

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Image credits – with grateful thanks – Milton Glaser, Hard Rock Cafe and Fruit of the Loom.

 

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Brooks Brothers Shirts

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There is every possibility that it’s a sin. Not one of the Seven Deadly – the major ones – but a guilty pleasure that I, and I am certain many other men, equally enjoy…..wow where’s this going? Pull yourself together. I am talking about the sensual feel of a box fresh/pins still in or freshly laundered/well ironed, one hundred cotton shirt. Bliss!

In my view, the shirts made by Brooks Brothers are not only iconic, given their extensive heritage including the Original Polo Shirt – my very own is our featured image – but their fabrics are simply beautiful and each shirt is a complete joy to wear. 2018 see the 200th anniversary of the launch of this US style icon – some classic Americana – but what’s the story behind these remarkable products?

On 7th April 1818 Henry Sands Brooks, aged 45, opens H. & D. H. Brooks & Co. on the corner of Catherine and Cherry Streets in New York City as both shirt makers and merchants. By 1833 Henry Sands Brooks called upon his sons to assist him with the business. His eldest son, Henry, Jr. took the helm upon his father’s passing a year later. Heny is in charge until 1850, when younger brothers Daniel, John, Elisha, and Edward, assume leadership and change the firm’s name to Brooks Brothers.

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In 1849, Brooks Brother’s scored a first with the introduction of  Ready-Made clothing – a modestly priced alternative to made to measure tailored suits.

In 1850, Brooks Borthers adopted the Golden Fleece, the historical symbol of wool merchants, as their trademark which has remained their distinctive logo ever since.

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In 1865 a regular, Abraham Lincoln, was presented with a Brooks jacket with an embroidered lining bearing the words “One Country One Destiny” below a spread eagle. He wore the jacket at his second inauguration as President. He wore the same jacket two weeks later, on 14th April 1865, to the Washington’s Ford’s Theatre where he was fatally shot by, actor and pro-slavary activists, John Wilkes Booth.

In 1896 John E. Brooks the founder’s grandson was at a polo match in the UK when he saw that the polo players wearing shirts with disctivtive buttoned down collars. He told his colleagues in New York and the Button-Down shirt, a Brooks classic was born. To this day the Brook’s Polo Shirt includes the expression “The Original Polo Shirt” on its label.

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In 1915 Brooks Brothers relocatesd to 346 Madison Avenue – see below including a list of earlier locations prior to arriving on Madison – set in the heart of New York’s Universities and social clubs.

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Madison Avenue in the decades to come became the corporate homes to the advertising, illustration and marketing communities. It’s no surprise that Brooks Borthers have acted as costume advisors on and made suits for the “Mad Men” TV series set in the late 1950’s early 1960’s.

F. Scott FitzGerald was a very keen Brooks customer and drew heavily of his favourite stores in his writing. In this way Brooks effectively created Jay Gatby’s style for “The Gatsby Gatsby”.  Indeed the 2013 remake of the movie featured a cast entirely dressed in Brooks.

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From the mid-1920’s the Halls of the Ivy League were being dressed with Brooks shirts, striped Repp ties, khaki trousers and blue blazers in the definitive preppie style that I really like to this today and continues yes to be hugely popular.

During a slightly earlier era, the Ivy League students local to Bridgeport CT were throwing Frisbie tins – see our earlier post here – Frisbee

In 1946, Winthrop Holley Brooks, the great-great grandson of the founder sold the business to Julius Garfinckel and Company of Washington DC. The business is now owned and managed by the Italian “Retail Brand Alliance”.

The breadth of customers is truely fascinating – talk about voting with their feet! Whilst John F Kennedy loved their slimmer fitting suits, Andy Warhol, Richard Nixon and Clark Gable, apparently, shopped for clothes no where else. It is said that 39 out of 44 Presendients have chose to wear Brooks clothing.

Would you like to know more about the fastinating story of this American style icon? If so please click on the link below the image

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Brooks Brothers: Two Hundred Years of American Style

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Images from Brooks Brothers with grateful thanks

Aestheticons’ Men’s Guide To Perfect Gifts for Ladies

Xmas ladies

Guys, it’s that time of year when we know you may struggle to make the right gift choices for your ladies. At AEstheticons, we’ve done most of the hard work for you. Our recent affiliation with AMAZON allows us to offer you a carefully selected range of gifts – as you’d expect they are all beautiful, iconic and design classics.

We believe your choices will be a perfect way to show your ladies just how thoughtful and full of the holiday spirit you are……I acknowledge receiving some help from Mrs W – but then again she has such good taste! Please enjoy!

PS. You’ll need to do the wrapping!

Oh….and there’s nothing stopping Ladies buying for themselves or other Ladies!

After each image of the product is an Aestheticons post – if there is one – followed by the AMAZON link for ease of purchase. 

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Chanel – the Home of the Little Black Dress – founded in 1909 by Pierre Wertheimer and Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, also known as “Coco Chanel”. Their fragrances include the fabulous:

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Chanel AllureSo that’s what “Allure” means Chanel Allure Eau de Parfum – 50 ml

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Chanel No 5 – the iconic perfumeChanel No. 5 FOR WOMEN by Chanel – 50 ml EDP Spray

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Clarins tinted moisturizer – six colours to chose from depending on complexion. Mrs W is blond so No 4 (Blond) is her selection.

Clarins HydraQuench Tinted Moisturiser SPF15, 50 ml – 04 Blond

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Carmex: Taste those lips – Carmex Lip Balm

Carmex Original Tube & Pot duo pack

Tiger Balm 1

Tiger Balm: Go on just relax Tiger Balm

Tiger Balm Red, 3 pack

Clothes

CK ladies

Calvin Klein Underwear: Chic comfort

Calvin Klein Bustier. 3 Pack Womens Cotton Bralette (Black / Grey / White, S)
Calvin Klein Women’s Underwear Cotton Thong, Grey (Grey Heather 020), 8 (Manufacturer Size: S)
Calvin Klein .. Women’s Cotton Bralette and Thong Underwear Set (Black, M)

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Fruit of the Loom T Shirts: Simple and beautiful Fruit of the Loom – T shirts

Fruit of the Loom Lady-Fit Valueweight V-Neck T-Shirt SS047 (S, Heather Grey)

Wolford

Wolford tights: Sheer elegance

Wolford Hosiery Opaque 70 Matt Tights Small Black

Levi 711

Levi Jeans 711 – for size selection check her wardrobe for similar fitting trousers!

Jeans Levis 711 City Blues 2932 Blue

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Burberry Coat: Stylish, iconic and elegant  Burberry Trench Coat

BURBERRY Women’s Wkensington Long Coat, Beige (Honey 70500), Medium

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Gloverall duffle: Traditional warm  Duffle Coat – by Gloverall

Gloverall Women’s Mid Duffle Coat, Grey (Silver), 14

Rab parka

Rab Parka: The best down by far… Rab Down Jackets

Rab Women’s Microlight Parka – Indigo, 16

Boots and Shoes

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Hunter’s Wellington: They don’t need to be Green! Hunter Green Wellington Boots

Hunter Original Tall, Women’s Wellington Boots, Red (Military Red), 6 UK (39 EU)

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Ugg Boots: Warm feet…warm heart

Ugg Australia Classic Short II, Women’s Boots, Light Brown, 5.5 UK (38 EU)

Ugg Slip

Ugg Slippers: So that’s Winter sorted!

Ugg Australia Dakota, Women’s Casual, Chestnut, 6.5 UK (39 EU)

Bass Weje Lady

Bass Weejuns: Very stylish – Bass Weejuns Penny Loafers

Womens G.H Bass Weejuns Esther Kiltie Slip On Smart Work Loafers Shoes – Black – 6

DM for Lady

Dr Martens: Yes, these look great on ladies too – Dr. Martens

Dr. Marten’s Original 1460 Patent, Women’s Boots, Black, 6 UK(39 EU)

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Converse: Cool with jeans –  Converse – Chuck Taylor All Stars

Converse Allstar All Star Core Ox Canvas Navy M9697 5 UK

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Birkenstocks  – Heading for the beach? Birkenstocks

Birkenstock Gizeh, Womens-Adults’ Sandals, Blue, EU 37

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Skechers – she will love you for this, I challenge you to find a more comfortable shoe 

Skechers Women’s Go Walk 4-Pursuit Trainers, Black (Black), 7 UK 40 EU

Jewellery

Cartier tank

Cartier Women’s Tank Francais Stainless Steel – Because she really is worth it!

Cartier Women’s W51008Q3 Tank Francaise Stainless Steel Watch 

Swatch Rab

Swatch – an everyday watch to face most things! – Swatch

Swatch Women’s Watch YLS453

Sabo 1

Thomas Sabo Bracelet: A bracelet for memories

Thomas Sabo Women-Charm Bracelet Charm Club 925 Sterling Silver Length 17 cm X0031-001-12-M

Sabo 2

Thomas Sabo Charms: A snowflake for Christmas

Thomas Sabo Women-Charm Pendant Snowflake Charm Club 925 Sterling Silver 0281-001-12

Desk

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Cross Sterling Silver pen: For fine writing  – Cross Classic Century – Sterling Silver ballpen

Cross Century Classic Hallmark Silver Ball Point Pen

Smythsons Notebook

Smythsons Notebook: Poems and Prose

Live Love Laugh Panama Wallet Note Book Smythson red red One Size

Moleskine 18 red

Molskine Diary: Keep a track on your appointments

2018 Moleskine Scarlet Red Large Weekly Notebook Diary 12 Months Soft

Accessories

Dents gloves
Suede glove by Dents

Dents Ladies Short Classic Plain Soft Suede Gloves (Black, Medium)

Longchamp

Longchamp Le Pliage Bag

Longchamp Women’s Le Pliage Large Tote Bag bag

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Longchamp Le Pliage Rucksack

Longchamp Women’s Le Pliage Backpack Backpack

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Rayban Wayfarers: Always and icon  Rayban Wayfarers

Ray-Ban RB2132 New Wayfarer Sunglasses 52mm, Black (901)

Graham Cash socks

Pure cashmere socks: Not just bed socks!

Graham Cashmere – Womens Cashmere Rib Socks – Made in Scotland – Gift Boxed – Mirage Blue

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Pure Cashmere Tartan Blankets: wrap up! 

Pure Cashmere Tartan Blanket, Royal Stewart

Sweet tooth

Bendicks
Bendicks bittermint: a mint hamper 

Bendicks Standard Hamper

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Charbonnel and Walker sea salt caramel truffles

Charbonnel et Walker Double Layer Sea Salt Milk Caramel Truffles 245 g

Stuff

Fit bit 2

Fitbit Alta HR Fitness – Pulse racing? 

Fitbit Alta HR Fitness Wristband – Fuchsia, Small (5.5-6.7 in)

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Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer – More Advanced Technology From Dyson

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer – Fuchsia

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Amazon Kindle Fire: A quite read Amazon Kindle Fire

All-New Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa Hands-Free, 10.1” 1080p Full HD Display, 32 GB, Black – with Special Offers

Ipod
Apple iPod Touch – load a playlist featuring some of her favourites. 

Apple 32 GB iPod Touch – Blue

Bose 35 c

BOSE Bose QuiteComfort 35

Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones – Black

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Roberts Radio Roberts Radio

Roberts Revival iStream2 DAB/DAB+/FM Internet Radio – Duck Egg

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Vogue UK Kindle Edition Vogue UK – Sorry UK Only!

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Images courtesy of the Manufacturers

Fruit of the Loom – T shirts

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A sharp frost – with night-time temperatures in the UK dipping well below zero – after a warm Easter reminds us that although we are tempted to close the cupboard door on our winter clothing, in fact Mother Nature has other ideas.

I am a big fan of layering and the base layer for me always tends to be a T-shirt in either long or short sleeves.

For many years I have worn T-shirts made by US corporation, “Fruit of the Loom” who are based in Bowling Green, (Kentucky, USA). The company employs 32,000 people world-wide, Fruit of the Loom shares its headquarters with the excellent Russell Brands (that include one-time rapper favourite’s “Russell Athletic”) – which it acquired in in August 2006 – and is a subsidiary of The Sage of Omaha/Warren Buffett’s mighty “Berkshire Hathaway”.

The T-shirt has only been around since 1913 – we recently ran a piece that celebrated its 100th birthday  Iconic T-Shirts – when US Navy recruits were issued for the first time with white crewneck T-shirts that were made to be worn under their uniforms, giving birth to an American icon.

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Fruit of the Loom was born in 1851 by brothers Benjamin and Robert Knight, textile miller owners from Warwick (Rhode Island USA) manufacturing cotton cloth  who was visiting a shop-keeper in Providence, Rhode Island (USA) who sold Knight’s cloth. Robert Knight saw the painted apples that the shop-keeper’s daughter had applied to the bolts off cloth, with those bearing the apples apparently the most popular. Knight thought that it would be the perfect symbol for his business “Fruit of the Loom”.

In 1871, a year after the trade-mark’s registry opened Knight was granted trademark number 418 for the “Fruit of the Loom” brand. (See above the evolution of the TM to date.)

In the late 1930 and for several decades, Jacob (Jack) Goldfarb’s Union Underwear became a a Fruit of the Loom licensee that propelled the brand aways from cloth manufacturing into great quality underwear.

A variety of unsuccessful ventures led to Fruit of the Loom filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1999 but Berkshire Hathaway Corporation, seeing the value of the brand, purchased the valuable brand in April 2002 for approximately $835m. On a equally sad note, in 2014 the company announced the closure of its Jamestown (Kentucky) plant with the loss of six hundred jobs. Production was moved to Honduras in an effort to reduce production costs with no appreciable reduction in quality.

A prevailing trend in much of Aestheticons work, particularly in relation those icons that originate in the US with its high labour costs, is that many manufacturers have moved production overseas. Central and Latin America are favourites, with The Far East, Morocco or Turkey also featuring.

Whilst I am convinced that a customer will pay a premium for a “home produced” garment or item – see the heritage lines of Dr Martens – Dr. Martens – and Clarks – Clarks Desert Boots – the profitability of brand owing businesses cannot be compromised. That said, a balance in the need to carefully control production to ensure that a customer is not simply buying his/her favourite brand that is attached to an inferior product. It’s the biggest challenge for a brand to manage overheads without any appreciable reduction in the quality of the finished item. Fruit of the Loom seem to have ensured that they retain much of their quality – both in terms of materials and finish, despite production being moved.

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How about adding some Fruit of the Loom T shirts to your ward robe – please click the Amazon link below the image to do just that – available in a variety of weights of fabric and a rainbow of colours – many are 100% cotton – an absolute favourite of mine.

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Fruit of the Loom Women’s Opaque V-Neck Short SleeveT-Shirt – Grey – Heather grey – 10

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Fruit of the Loom Men’s Super Premium Short Sleeve T-Shirt Pack Of 5, White/White/Black/Black/Ash, XX-Large

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Fruit of the Loom T-Shirts Pack of 5

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Fruit of the Loom Mens Plain Heavy Cotton T-Shirt Heather Grey Large

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Fruit of the Loom Heavy Cotton White Tee 2XL

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Cross Classic Century – Sterling Silver ballpen

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The Cross family business was founded in Providence (Rhode Island) in 1846 by Richard Cross who manufactured gold and silver casings for pencils. Richard’s son, Alonzo T Cross, inherited the business from his father and developed a host of innovations including the predecessors of the mechanical pencil and modern ball-pen.

Cross pens are the essence of understatement and their simple, iconic and fine Art Deco lines make them timeless. The ladies’ Classic Century is elegant and its Sterling Silver body acquires an allure with age – a patina that, in my view, should only rarely be cleaned.

I was in New York looking for a gift for my wife and there is something classically American about this iconic and authentic pen that forms part of a range that was launched in 1946.  Its patented twist-action barrel sparked a design revolution and its sleek profile has found an army of loyal fans.

Cross is, perhaps, not regarded as being a foremost luxury brand but for me the range, style and workmanship are underrated. The Classic Century is an authentic American classic with a trade mark design that evokes the majesty of certain of New York’s skyline. See our earlier post on The iconic Chrysler Building Chrysler Building, New York City

In 2013 the business of AT Cross was purchased by Clarion Capital Partners LLC.

Should you like me be tempted to buy the special lady in your life an heirloom pen then I can highly recommend the Cross Classic Century – please click the following AMAZON link below the image – to gift this beautiful pen.

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Cross Century Classic Hallmark Silver Ball Point Pen

You may also be interested to add the matching and equally iconic Century Classic Sterling Silver Pencil to this wonderful gift. Please click the Amazon link below the image

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Cross Classic Century Sterling Silver 0.7mm Pencil (H300305)

Don’t risk losing you beautiful and valuable pens – keep them in a bespoke designed leather holder – available for one or two pens – please click the AMAZON link below the image

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Cross Classic Century Pencil Cases, 15 cm, Black

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Image Credits AT Cross & Co Inc. – with grateful thanks.

Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt

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Launched: 1972

Designer: Ralph Lifshitz (aka Ralph Lauren) developed his version of the Polo Shirt design – which was first launched by Rene Lacoste in 1933 – see our post here – Lacoste Shirt.

History: After designing and retailing ties, Ralph developed his Polo brand first with ties and then shirts – gaining the rights from Brooks Brothers (for whom he worked briefly in late 1964) – see our post here – Brooks Brothers Shirts  – in the process who to this day use the “original polo button-down collar” shirt on their button down range.

Launched in 1972 in 24 colours this pique cotton shirt – often features the number 3 – said to represents the number that the captain of the Polo team typically wears.

My Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt: Perhaps re-imagined and derivative but in the 1990’s a Ralph Polo shirt with its little polo-player logo was very good short hand for who you were. It continues to come in a range of amazing colours and if anything I suspect they are now cut even a little fuller than they once were. They are hard wearing and a great accompaniment to summer time short. I am very fond of them even it is only a rare sight to see me on a horse – with or without a polo stick in my hand.

Your Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt: Share your love for these fabulous shirts here….

Photo from Ralph Lauren with grateful thanks