Thursday, June 18, 2009

Style Icon: Rene Lacoste

Have just learned, thanks the The New York Times, that preppy days are here again.

OK! So let's get it righter this time around. It's not an alligator shirt (as everybody, myself included, called it back in the day when we wore them layered one atop another, or underneath an oxford-cloth button-down, Fair Isle sweater optional).

Nope, the beast was in fact a crocodile. Rene Lacoste here wears a blazer embroidered with the primordial version of the famous logo. A professional tennis player, he got nicknamed the "crocodile" for his tenacity on the court, a quality that served him equally well off. In addition to lending his name to the line of sports shirts issued by Izod, he went on to develop the first ball machine (which saw far more returns).

Tip: if you're going for a vintage crocodile shirt, beware; counterfeits are rampant. One way to check authenticity? Look hard at the logo. Counterfeiters rush out blurry badly-sewn ones. It does vary with year and place of manufacture, but with a real Lacoste, you can see the teeth.

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