When the name Ralph Lauren is brought up in conversation, images of timeless style and iconic branding are conjured. Notoriously known for his brand’s work in the more formal reaches of menswear, Ralph Lauren’s RRL brand takes a swing out of left field and has been offering quality garments inspired by Americana and workwear for some time now.
As we’ve yet to ever focus on RRL, it’s time they got their shine and recognition for producing some quality denim products. Before we jump ahead though, many may be wondering whether the RRL we are describing is the now-defunct Rugby Ralph Lauren brand. Fear not, this is completely different from Ralph Lauren that just happens to share the same initials.
Polo Ralph Lauren
As most of you know who are well versed in #menswear history, Ralph Lauren got his start in 1967 in New York City with Polo Ralph Lauren and his foray into tie making. From the initial success that was gained from the original lines, the Ralph Lauren brand quickly blossomed and expanded into one of the most widely recognizable apparel labels in the world; largely due to the classic silhouettes that Mr. Lauren produced and the even more recognizable “Polo” Logo. However, with the introduction of RRL, Lauren decided to change things up in a very rugged way.
RRL (pronounced, “Double RL”) was conceived in May of 1993 as a top-of-the-line homage to the Old American West and early 1900s workwear. The sub-brand takes it’s name from a ranch that is conveniently of the same name in Colorado and Lauren owns. As the idea behind this new line progressed, Lauren, along with the assistance of four other individuals (one of whom is was none other than owner of Jean Shop, Eric Goldstein) worked tirelessly to develop this exciting new component of the Ralph Lauren company.
Before RRL was introduced, Ralph Lauren was known for its preppier and formal look. Once all was said and done however, RRL released a full line of Americana inspired work shirts, flannels, tees, chinos, sweaters, jackets, sweatshirts, and perhaps most importantly, denim that would go on to pleasantly surprise the consumer market.
Keeping in line with Lauren’s plan of secrecy and mystery for this sub brand, those who know about RRL seem to belong to an exclusive club. What’s more is that this exclusivity has translated to the realm of retail outlets for RRL as well. As of right now, RRL presence in traditional brick-and-mortar shops is limited to a skillfully chosen flock of retailers across the globe. Online, RRL is almost solely available for purchase on the Ralph Lauren webstore.
The RRL Collection
Let us digress for a few moments from it’s history and get into what many are here for – the collection itself. The pieces of the RRL line are meticulously thought out and constructed garments. The flannels are thick and warm, the tees are soft and feature an optimal fit, and the denim is equally celebrated.
Each pair of RRL denim is constructed of Cone Mills selvedge denim that was developed exclusively for the brand that ranges in weight from 11.5 Oz. to 15.5 Oz. Fit-wise, the denim line comes in 6 proprietary options – Slim Fit, Slim Boot, Low Straight, Straight, Slim Straight and Button Tab – and the Low Straight seems to be the most popular among RRL fans for it’s well-tailored fitting pants.
RRL Rigid Denim Jeans
Each fit comes in a multitude of finishes, however, for us the focus lies in the Rigid department. Combined with the right fit for your body, the cone denim used for RRL‘s paired typically produce striking fade patterns (keep an eye out on our upcoming Fade Friday‘s). You even have the opportunity to create a truly old school fade through the Button Tab fit; RRL’s interpretation of a work jean worn during the 1940s. Pictured above is the RRL Rigid Straight Low Jeans for $240.00 USD.
RRL Denim Western Sport Shirt
From here we turn our view to the denim shirting and jacket department. The featured denim shirt we have is the RRL Denim Western Sport Shirt. Constructed of Japanese lightweight denim, the piece is held together with sturdy triple needle stitching and snap button enclosure to ensure comfort and longevity during the life of the garment. It comes in two washes and can be purchased here for $265.00 USD.
RRL New Roper Denim Jacket
Moving along to the jackets, we found that the closest to a raw offering that RRL has is its New Roper Denim Jacket. Though it has underwent washing and distressing, the jacket is still worth a look. It’s made from a decently weighted 12.5 Oz. selvedge denim woven on Draper Shuttle looms and is available for $390.00 USD.
Though this was just a general overview of RRL‘s vast collection, we do intend to feature more of the brand and in more granular detail. If you’re looking for particular profiles or focuses, share your feedback and thoughts in the comments below.