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My Affair with Ralph Lauren

I have had an “affair” with Ralph Lauren for as long as I can remember. His designs are best described by Elle Decor as “one part Western cowboy, one part lord and lady of the manor, and one part Carole Lombard in My Man Godfrey”. They are quintessentially American, they are timeless, and they hold their value. The affair began in the 80’s. We were building a home ourselves with two small children.  There was not a lot of extra money for designer clothing.  Anything I picked up came from Marshall’s, or Loehman’s and was heavily discounted. I still have a couple of his sweaters (with a few moth holes).  I am happy to see this season he is reviving some of those styles that I cherished. Let’s take a look at my affair with Ralph Lauren.


Ralph Lauren’s story is that of the American Dream. He was born Ralph Lifshitz to Jewish Immigrant parents. I am sure most of you are familiar with his story, I found this one in Cowboys and Indians to be an interesting read.



The theme this year “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” was an opportunity for designers to celebrate the “ease and unpretentiousness” of American Fashion. By now everyone has seen the “sexy ranch hand” look worn by J Lo.  You can read about the others who wore Ralph Lauren here. I love this look on Lily Aldridge.

lily aldridge at the met gala in Ralph Lauren

His gorgeous daughter Dylan here.

Dylan Lauren at the Met Gala 2021

Joan Smalls here

joan smalls met gala in ralph lauren

Kacy Musgrave

kacy musgrave in ralph lauren


ralph lauren's colorado home

I Could not find any recent magazine articles about Ralph Lauren’s Colorado Home. Elle Decor honored it here. Architectural Digest covered it hereHouse and Garden UK did a piece on it hereThe most recent was a tour with Oprah in 2013.  I would love to see it today, wouldn’t you? I know some of his campaigns are photographed there, so there are glimpses.

You can read Ralph Lauren’s history on Wikipedia here.


I love that Ralph Lauren’s collections have many price points.  I am featuring items from different collections although all have a relatively good price point.

ralph lauren outfit of the week

Lauren southwestern Sweater,-on order

Ralph Lauren Croc-Embossed Handbag-love this

His Western Denim Shirt

I wore my old one until I had to throw it away.

Comfy Gentle Souls Driving Mocs

Banana Republic Faux Suede Leggings-dirt cheap


Ralph Lauren’s Bedford New York home was featured in Architectural Digest here.

I Would love to see recent photos.

ralph lauren bedford home

When we moved I finally let go of a few of my “dirndl” Ralph Lauren skirts that have been hanging in my closet since the 80’s. I am enamored with his new fall collection. You can view Ralph Lauren’s entire fall collection here.

Thanks for reading My Affair with Ralph Lauren.  Are any of you Ralph Lauren fans?  I would love to hear about it.

Now pop over and visit Mary Ann and Annie for their favorites.  I can’t wait to see what they have to share!



Reader Interactions


  1. beth says

    I have been a Ralph Lauren fan, since the early 70s. When I was a student at The Katharine Gibbs School in NYC, I was assigned to collect articles on Mary Carter Randolph. I have followed her trajectory ever since. I studied her style and her effect on style and relaxed living. At the end of the year we presented our Emerging Woman to the class. I loved your Outfit of the Week, with the Aztec inspired Black and Cream sweater. Today, I was at our Mall and found the sweater. So far I have found a dozenwonderful outfits from my closet. I will love this sweater for years. It is a little chunky, but without the bulk and can work for a trip to the horse races as well as a very nice evening out. Your posts are terrific and has given me such bright ideas.. Thank. you.

  2. Gayle Miller says

    Cindy, I love the aura of RL brands, but unfortunately his clothing never fits my 5’0” body. I did buy an entire set of bedding that I loved, but it also turned out to be an unhappy experience. The comforter was so heavy, it was impossible to sleep under. The quilt, that I loved, bled unevenly the first time it was washed. So…nevertheless, I have RL napkins on my table currently, and the matching tablecloth is going to become a toss pillow and runner. We all love the mood of Ralph Lauren. It lets us fantasize that we are living the sweeping romance that it portrays. The good life. I love the Cindy Hattersley good life vibe. I fantasize that I’m living the California lifestyle, like I did as a teenager going to the beach on Lake Michigan and pretending it was the surf scene that The Beach Boys sang to us.

  3. Kathy says

    Gosh, I love Ralph Lauren, too. Everything about him! The documentary “Very Ralph” on HBO is just fantastic; I highly recommend! Made me even more of a fan, and led me to buy a real cowboy shirt, with pearl snaps. 🙂 Thanks for this great post–as always! I always enjoy them lots.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Kathy

      We do not get HBO but I am going to try and get my hands on that biography. So many have mentioned how good it is. Thanks for your support I so appreciate it!!

  4. Karen B. says

    I’m with you, I’ve loved Ralph since the late seventies. I marvel at this seemingly endless creativity. Did you see the documentary on him called “Very Ralph”? I thought it was wonderful.
    I’ll spend some time looking at all of the links you’ve included in this post. His style is always a major source of inspiration.

  5. Debbie says

    Another “in love” with Ralph Lauren style person here! He will forever be my favorite designer. I have two or three of his sweaters from ten years ago or so and a beautiful sage green short wool jacket with brass buttons. Oh, and a navy blue sweatshirt jacket with shawl collar that side zips and looks like it should be worn on a yacht. He elevates classic style to the chic level, and on the other hand is able to make denim and leather look like the classiest thing in the world. I could move into his Bedford, New York home in a heartbeat and have poured over magazine shoots featuring it. So beautiful, so tasteful. I guess I would say his designs are relatable for the American woman, not just for runway models. So great to see you, Cindy, and other commenters in the Ralph Lauren Fan Club as well. : )

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Debbie

      I think you stated his allure beautifully. Relatable, approachable and all American!

  6. Janelle ROss says

    Hi Cindy,
    Trust me, I have had a love affair with Ralph Lauren too ! He is timeless as we all have lived long enough to to see his fashion stand the test of time!
    My other request, if you would be so kind to send me the pics of Susan Hays property in France. I have already requested availability from her, but realized I deleted your post on her quaint but amazing property.
    Thank you if you get a chance.

  7. Cheryl P says

    Oh, where shall I start….have loved Ralph Lauren for years, like many of the other comments, both clothing and home design, furniture, etc. I remember I designed my son’s room in Ralph Lauren bedding, drapes, etc, courtesy of Marshalls!I agree with the comment that the Lauren brand is not what it used to be. I have started checking out items on ebay, and have been lucky enough to buy some Ralph Lauren (purple label) boots, made in Italy. The coffee table book too is a good read, goes through his history. And I can’t part with my old Safari crystal perfume bottles…lol! Unfortunately, the RL outlets in my area are not what they used to be either….on a funny note, my son while visiting NY took pictures for me in front of his flagship store, my family knows my passions!

  8. Teresa Pouncey says

    Hi Cindy,
    Teresa from Italy here.
    I’ve been following you since the Spring and love all your outfits. There’s never been a thing I don’t like.
    But I do miss seeing you modelling the outfits: it really helps to see how they look on you.
    Is there a reason why you stopped?
    I love your new home by the way!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Teresa

      Oh, I will still be modeling to my dismay! I don’t model my outfit of the week. I do have three designated posts per month that I “model” the clothes. I do a monthly signature style post with Kim from Northern California Style and Sarah from Sarah London Style. I also do an over 50 Fashion Edit with Jennifer from a Well Styled Life. I also try to do an ask Cindy once a month which can be fashion or decor related. Thank you so much for your support. I try to keep a healthy balance between fashion and decor-related posts.

  9. Annie Diamond says

    I have always been a fan of Ralph Lauren! Such timeless style. This is giving me an idea for fall fashion on Thursday! I have a few things from RL Home over the years that I could never part with and for good reason! Ralph never goes out of style…some years it’s more on trend than others, but it’s never out! Love your outfit of the week!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Annie

      I agree. I have several belts, a couple of blazers, and a few sweaters that need the moth holes fixed! I am always on the hunt for some of his timeless vintage pieces!

  10. Dianne says

    Yes oh YES! Polo shirts, Rugby shirts, I had a denim tiered skirt in the ’80’s and a shawl neck cardigan that I spent a bundle on at Joseph Magnin in San Francisco. Love Ralph and I love his wife Ricky (her cookbook is wonderful and I still make her white chicken chili)… Love his daughter in law FEED bags (I have a few) and his homes make me swoon. Oh yes! I am a huge fan, too!

    • Donna skeen says

      Your mentioning Joseph Magnin could make me cry.I have saved some clothes from store from the 60s. If I were still size 7 I would wear them today.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Diane

      Now I need to know about the FEED bags! How did I miss that. I also did not know Ricky had a cookbook! What can’t that family do?

      • Dianne says

        Ricky Lauren, Food Family and History. The recipes are good with stories and photos. Feed bags are the best: sturdy and buying a bag feeds children. That Lauren family is beyond the beyond. Did you see the PBS special a couple of years back about Ralph Lauren?

  11. Karen says

    Sooooooo glad ya did this post on Sir Ralph Lauren( yes he was knighted by the Queen).

    My older sisters, nieces, nephews, myself have
    Love Love RL, from his Clothing to Home Interiors. ( My niece not long ago had there Second home ( Farmhouse East Tx, done in all RL) Fabrics, Furnishings etc).

    I still have RL Bedding Comforter, etc purchased years ago the RL store( not outlet) Sweaters, Skirts, Jackets etc.
    My most recent purchase right before Mud Season here was RL, Duck Boots( ya know Bean Boots).
    He is Classic, Timeless, my most Fav of them all.

    Thank you❤️❤️

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      I am so glad we are all on Team Ralph. He must be 82 now? My kids rooms when they were young were outfitted with RL as well. I just have a feeling we are going to be seeing a lot of RL fashion this year!

  12. Barbara says

    Yes, I’m obsessed, having read just about everything about RL I can find plus HBO had an excellent documentary a couple of years ago (Very Ralph?). He seems to be staying out of the public eye lately but he’s America’s quintessential iconic designer and if that’s not enough, he’s devoted to his wife and a great family man. The complete package.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Barbara

      I am going to look up that documentary. The Oprah interview is an interesting peek into the life of the genius as well. I also love that he has such a wonderful family life. He can do no wrong in my book!!

  13. Connie says

    OH, I do love Ralph Lauren’s dresses too! I have a blue and white stripe midi shirt dress that is classic. I’ve never given away anything Ralph Lauren and that means I am still wearing his blazers and sweaters too. Even losing or gaining weight, I won’t part with them ever!

  14. bonnie says

    such a fan!!!! don’t even ask how many pairs of riding britches i own! my personal style has changed thru the years, but i can always feel i can fall back to the many looks of ralph, etal.

  15. Rena..spain says

    He understand fashion as he do iinterior. Timeless, chic, from casual to elegant. My No.1 designer.w

  16. Marci says

    I am also a devoted RL fan, although I don’t own any vintage. I particularly like his denim shirts. I really enjoyed this post and all the links will keep me busy reading for the rest of the day. Thanks, Cindy!

  17. Janet Arden says

    RL is all the other commenters have said and more. In pre-pandemic lunching out days a girlfriend and I used to meet at his restaurant in the RL store on Chicago’s Michigan Ave. It had a tiny, jewell-box sized bar inside the door, with lots of mirrors and lined with bottles. The bartender was friendly, discreet and the model of 1930’s movie. The smallish restaurant is packed with so much RL style, it makes your heart ache and the restrooms are simple wonderful. Such a wonderful mix off classic, preppy, American style.

    • Donna skeen says

      I still remember the first RL I bought probably in the 70s, a great casual corduroy jacket that I bought for my husband. The fabric, real leather buttons and that perfect style. He could wear it anywhere. Wish I had saved it for our son .

      • Cindy Hattersley says

        Hi Donna

        So true, his blazers are timeless. I have a beautiful suede one that is just a tad too small, but I can’t part with it!!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Janet

      Is the restaurant still there? My sister lived in Chicago for many years. I remember it well. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Diane says

    I used to buy department store Lauren clothing. They used to have the loveliest wool. The jackets were beautiful and the pants were lined. The quality has gone down hill in the last 4 or 5 years. I’ve stopped buying it.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Diane

      I feel the quality in everything has gone South. That is why I am always on the lookout for Vintage RL!!

  19. Maureen Morton says

    Bought my first RL polo shirt in 1974 and a couple years later a blue label denim jacket I had for over two decades! Yes, I too, have had a “love affair “ with RL including his various home collections. In fact, still using a vintage ALLISON floral duvet ….

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Maureen

      I am ordering myself a new RL denim shirt. I wore mine to death! I remember the Allison duvet as well. Many a RL duvet, blanket etc has graced my home over the years!!

  20. Robbie B says

    My friend in college was wearing a different lovely perfume… it was in a red bottle. That was the first time I had heard of him. He has been delivering on well made, classic style ever since.

  21. Carolina says

    Have and always will be a fan of Ralph Lauren clothing and home goods. Classic atyle always has a place in both. Still wearing my first Laure denim shirt and it is still my favorite go-to piece of clothing.

  22. Lynn McClain says

    In 1985, at the age of 41, I began buying Ralph Lauren. My first purchases were a jean shirt, a yellow sweater and a navy blazer. If I still owned them they would be in style. In 1990 my daughter worked at a Polo Ralph Lauren store. One time, during an official visit from New York reps, a woman wore slim khaki trousers, a man’s white shirt, a man’s watch, turquoise earrings and penny loafers. We both fell in love with that look. I’m 77 now and wear, almost exclusively, Ralph Lauren. This summer I bought a man’s jean jacket, worn and heavily patched, and love wearing it.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Lynn

      Thanks for bringing up the idea of repurposing mens RL. I owned a few boys sweaters back in the day. You have encouraged me to widen my hunt!! Love your RL story. So fun hearing all of these!

  23. holly says

    Honestly, who doesn’t love Ralph? I think we are all longing for American comfort and what is good about us. Ralph captures it easily. He must be pinging on the Universe right now as I just watched the Stylelikeu video “Mary Randolph Carter, the Original Annie Hall”. She has worked for Ralph for 25-years and yes, I believe she is the original Ms. Hall. La-di-dah!

    • Christina says

      And – same era – interior designer, Mary Emmerling. She has the Santa Fe look and a sophisticated Americana Country look down and mastered. I wish I still had some of her books from the 80s.

  24. Alice says

    Ralph was a major inspiration for me , at the time we went to Montana a lot. Fortunately we lived in Chattanooga Tn and had an outlet store there.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Alice

      I scoured the outlets back in the day as well. We have one in Gilory that I need to revisit. I wonder if they carry any good things?

  25. Sharon says

    I too love Ralph and anything he does is over the top gorgeous. A fun watch are his runway fashion shows on Youtube….his evening clothes are always so classic and spectacular!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Sharon
      I will check out the runway fashion shows on Youtube. I don’t take advantage of Youtube like I should!!

  26. Jan says

    Love all the Ralph Lauren…I too have many and love the different price levels. His look is timeless and glad you “love” him too! Thanks for all the great ideas!!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Jan

      Another member of Team Ralph. I am amazed at all of the wonderful Ralph Stories you are all sharing. This is so fun.

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