Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm a Ralph Lauren Junkie!

It all began when I was 10 years old and took my first tennis lesson.  The pro always had this little polo horse logo on his shirt.  I was intrigued not only because the instructor was gorgeous ( he was at least 15) but he was always impeccably dressed even though the temperature was 95.  This wasn't a big fancy club - it was the park down the street from my house.  Park district instructors are usually high school kids looking for an easy way to make money in the sun.  But he was still gorgeous! 

Fast forward to Christmas and I was strolling through Marshall Field's - a once legendary store in Chicago gobbled up by the evil Macy's monster - with my Mom.  I was suddenly stopped dead in my tracks!  Could it be?  I saw the logo from afar.  I ran to it and was stultified right there in the middle of the aisle!  It was a whole new world... The POLO Ralph Lauren Department.  The colors, the fabrics, the sheer preppiness of it all - I was in Sartorial Heaven.  The wood displays with the brass letters, the tartan carpeting - it all spoke to me.  Then I saw the price tags.  Christmas that year?  I got one shirt.  One Ralph Lauren BOYS polo shirt.  Thank you Santa!  Once on, I popped the collar and my life was forever changed!  It also helped that my favorite color was, and still is, navy blue.  Very eclectic for a 10 year old, doncha think?  And he made women's clothes too?  God help me! 

Throughout my entire life, Ralph has always been there.  Clothes, shoes, bedding, wallpaper, etc.  No matter what trends come and go, I can't part with my Ralph Lauren sweaters.  Pants?  The plaider the better!  Even today if I am in a thrift store and see a distressed polo shirt or perfectly worn out oxford, it is like an addiction.  Are there treatment programs for this?  J Crew?  Lilly Pulitzer?  Brooks Brothers? 

Now it has come time to remodel my dining room and I am instantly drawn back to Ralph.  I was totally going to think "out of the box" and do a light blue or ocean mist,  but I am thinking NAVY BLUE is the order of the day.  After all these years, Ralph, you and your empire so perfectly exemplify my definition of style and grandeur!  I curse you Home Depot for eliminating the Ralph Lauren Home paint line - what's a girl to do?  To be continued....

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