|Also Pictured: Shirt - J. Crew, Belt - Thirteen50, Jeans - Levi's Vintage Clothing, Boots - Allen Edmonds, Scarf - Polo RL|
There's probably no other brand - or man, for that matter - that epitomizes quintessential American fashion like Ralph Lauren. That's a bold statement for sure, but one I think is well merited. And while Polo is unquestionably at the forefront of the consumer consciousness, my favorite line by far is RRL (pronounced "double RL"), named after the Lauren family's ranch in Colorado. The RRL brand is a love letter to the Great American West - a niche passion project that has gained a real cult following among heritage Americana enthusiasts over the years since it was started in 1993.
Though the brand puts out some eccentric pieces every season, RRL collections consistently display a level of restraint and sophistication virtually unmatched among their peers. I've come to love a lot of Japanese Americana, for example, but RRL has such a finely nuanced aesthetic that it almost always manages to avoid the costumey impression that other brands, both domestic and abroad, can sometimes get mired down in.
RRL have a huge fan base, but the barrier for many, including myself, has always been the cost of admission. It's flat out expensive. However, during a recent sale at Stag Provisions I was able to pick up an odd sport coat from RRL's AW2016 collection for $99.96 - heavily discounted from its initial $590 MSRP (with other sizes still priced at $325, oddly), and one of the lowest prices I've seen on RRL outerwear anywhere. The purpose of this review isn't so much so others can buy this exact jacket (though you can at a higher price at the time of this posting), but rather to give a closer examination of RRL design, materials, and general pricing advice if you've not previously had the chance. Let's take a look.