Call me baduy but there’s only one (1) item of clothing that I splurge on and that is a Lacoste polo shirt. The rest I buy only if discounted, hehe!
My love affair with Lacoste shirts started when I was in college, where the students at the University I attended in wear Lacoste shirts like their uniform. But there’s no way my parents, and more so I, will splurge on a P3,000 shirt. That’s the cost already of a 3-unit course! And ilang Giordano shirts din yun! So I promised myself that once I have a job, I will collect Lacoste shirts!
But it was not until I got my second job that I splurged on my first shirt. I guess the P3,000 price tag still scared me so I postponed buying until I finally got my voice to ask a sales attendant at Rustan’s Makati about a white Lacoste shirt that I really liked.
I remember being surprised when she told me the shirt costs P1,950.00. I fitted it and it was perfect for me. I confirmed the price again and it’s really P1,950.00, way below the P3,000.00 I originally thought. It turned out I was holding a kids size Lacoste basic pique shirt, size 14.
Here is it, still looking great at more than 10 years (gosh, vintage na ito!)
I now have about 15 of this shirt in various colors and all in size 14.
Most of these I bought from my Christmas bonuses. But there’s one special shirt (in black) that came from AJ, and he looked for this hard-to-find color at all Rustan’s stores in the Metro until he found it at Shangri-La =)
Lacoste shirts are precious to me, so I buy them only at Rustan’s, the exclusive distributor of Lacoste shirts. I don’t have to worry about fakes this way, plus I get to carry their signature shopping bag (hehe, babaw ba?)
Anyway, a lot has been said about the iconic Lacoste crocodile logo and how, by just looking at it, you will already know if the shirt’s real or a fake. Let’s do a crocodile dissection with my Lacoste shirts, and understand their characteristic markings.
I’ve read in forums that there are 3 items that you should check in a Lacoste crocodile patch: the teeth, claws and scales. They must always be present, though they need not be identical. You can see all 3 distinguishing features in the crocodiles below, though they are more prominent in my white shirt.
Throwback moment #1: Does the pink shirt looks familiar? Yes, I wore it during our pre-nup pictorial way back in 2011 =)
Going back, since mine are boys’ shirts, the crocodile patch is sewn onto the shirt and not directly into it, the way the ladies’ shirts are done.
Next is the shirt tag. It is sewn beneath the lining of the back collar so it is very clean to look at. The shirt tag shows only the Lacoste logo and the size of the shirt. You will notice that my first shirt still bears the old typography (smaller print for “LACOSTE”) and the shirt size is in black and aligned to the center.
The newer tags show a bigger font for “LACOSTE” and the shirts sizes are in red and placed at the upper left side of the tag . (Some say that a Lacoste shirt is a fake if the shirt size is written as “Small”, “Medium” or “Large”, instead of numbers.)
Throwback moment #2: I wore my gold yellow Lacoste shirt during a get-together at the lovely home of Frances (of Topaz Horizon) in December 2012.
As for the cloth and its quality, pique shirts are made of 100% cotton knitted fabric so expect it to turn soft over time (which I love). But like any other shirt, the color’s gonna fade over time too, even if you hand wash them very gently.
I don’t mind my shirts looking old, really. These are the type of shirts that never go out of style, so I’ll be happy to wear them over and over again.
Here are some of my fairly faded Lacoste shirts, which I still love to wear every so often.
You will notice that the dark colored shirts have greyish black buttons (only 2 buttons by the way, for kids sizes), and have no text markings at all.
Light-colored shirts, on the other hand, have cream-colored buttons. I read up somewhere that the buttons are made of mother of pearls and not ordinary plastics. I checked this info with my shirts and it looks like it’s true because no two buttons look alike.
But an exception to this button color-coding scheme is the red shirt, which used cream-colored buttons instead of the greyish black ones.
Throwback moment #3: The red Lacoste shirt is always my “birthday” shirt. Check it out at my 2013 birthday celebration here.
The fabric label is made of silk cloth and is sewn at the inner right side of the shirt. I checked each fabric tag in my shirts and found this same print in them:
Here comes the serious collector in me: I do not just collect the shirts, I also collect the price tags!
Weird ba? Hehe! I don’t know why I kept them in the first place, but now I’m glad I did cos I can show you that I bought my first few shirts for only P1,950.00 each! The price has shoot up since then, making it almost twice as expensive now than 10 years ago.
An important detail in the tag: the shirt color which is printed at the left side of the price tag (just below the shirt code). Notice that the colors are in French, and not English like “Aqua Blue”, “Emerald Green”, “Coral”, “Gold Yellow”, and so on.
Anyway, the shirts that I was able to snag at pre-inflation price are in these colors: Blanc (white), Elysee (blue), Vert (green) and Cocchelle (navy blue).
After my fourth purchase, Lacoste increased the prices of their shirts from P1,950 to P2,350, and sooner after that it increased again to P2,650 and then P2,850.
There were a few times when I was able to buy them at discounted prices, like the Potentilla (gold yellow) which I got at 30% off or at P1,950 which is its pre-inflation price (yey!).
Another thing you will observe in the tags is the word “Virelai”. According to Wikipedia, Virelai is a form of medieval French verse used often in poetry and music. This was how Lacoste chose to name their line of boy’s basic/classic shirts – after a short-form music or literary form. Cool!
I’m posting below clearer pictures of the price tags so you can see the changes they have made as additional safeguards against counterfeits.
In front. The one above is the old lay-out, which shows only the logo. The new lay-out has additional texts printed at the left side, and the logo is now bigger and in landscape position at the right. It looks cluttered this way. Even the punch hole has changed position from center to the left side.
At the back. The older tag is clean in front but text-heavy at the back, while the newer tag is the total opposite. It’s a good thing they removed the green texts already (and placed it in front), because there’s no way I can read that size 7 font!
Very recently, I learned that Rustan’s has stopped ordering size 14 Virelai shirts. Their biggest size is now at 10. This made me really sad, because where else can I get my shirts? I love the fit of my size 14’s and I wouldn’t trade it for any Lacoste adult size shirts.
I’ve been thinking about this lately, and realized that instead of sulking I should be grateful for being able to make good my promise to myself. I have 15 Lacoste shirts to remind me of that.
But there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to give up, and as an alternative option, I thought of ordering Lacoste shirts from this Instagram seller who’s marketing Lacoste “authentic, overrun” shirts at less than P1,000.00 each. Too good to be true, right?
Watch out for the part 2 of this post next week, as I show you the telltale signs of a fake Lacoste shirt, with actual pictures to boot. (Update: Part 2 – Spotting a Fake Lacoste Shirt)
Meantime, I’d love to know about your best fashion splurges! What fashion items are you willing to splurge on by saving on the others? Share them in the comments section of this post or better yet, blog about it and send me a link! =)
Yehey for the most awaited post 🙂 Thanks for this. I now have an idea as to how much I should prepare for a shirt. If I may ask, will my budget of Php 3,000 be enough to buy a piece with today’s prices?
And like you, I have this obsession of keeping tag prices of expensive items I purchased. 🙂 Wala lang, sentimental fool lang. I was amazed of your collections, 15!!!! Kahit 5 lang ok na ako… but you can never tell hahahaha I might develop the same addiction making my wallet screaming empty.
I will wait for your next post. Resellers are everywhere on IG which reminds me, I was a victim of the fake Lacoste Concept Bags, which I related in a blog post too.
Hi Diane! A basic adult shirt at Lacoste sells at P3,450. But the price will differ pag mas malaki yung size. Ganun din sa kids size which, last I checked, nasa P2,900 na hehe!
Yea, I read your post about the fake Lacoste bag. Hay naku, natatakot na ako talaga sa IG resellers =(
Inay ko Php 3,450 hahaha Pero sige, I have to do it at least once 🙂 Thanks Lea
rhed forro says
Hi Ms. Leah,
Sino nagsabing baduy ka? aawayain ko… your style is classic and simple. nakakalowka nga ang lacoste shirt mo. 15.. My gawd! ako ni isa wala:-(.
You’re still my fave:-) mwah!
Hehe, thanks Rhed! =)
I don’t own a Lacoste shirt. But yes, I agree with you, the quality is worth the splurge.
On a different note, gusto ko na maging minimalist, Leah! Haha. 🙂
TheHusband has the same, uhm, obsession as you. He likes them because of the clean, classy look, and I concur. My favorite outfit on him is a white classic sports polo, a pair of tan Dockers, and loafers. Parang ang bango-bango ng look.
Dati rin, bumili ako ng overrun, and sa biglang tingin, parang original, but when you touch the fabric, you’ll immediately notice the difference. Saka yun nga, authentic Lacoste shirts age well. After nun, I learnt my lesson, and balik Rustan’s/SSI ako na ulit ako bumibili, plus their service is tops! Two Christmases ago, I was dead-tired kasi galing pa ako ng Dumaguete, and napakahaba ng pila. The sales person must have noticed my fatigue and she got me a chair and sya na ang pumila for me.
The overruns have very thick fabric, so dun palang obvious nang hindi sila 100% cotton. I have also observed that those thick fabric polo shirts aren’t comfortable to wear all day long.
The best talaga ang customer service sa Rustan’s =) All sales attendants (more like “associates”) are courteous and very helpful. And best of all, they don’t follow you around! (this is a peeve of mine).
Annie Lorraine says
I have to agree with you – nakakainis yung mga sales attendant na sunod ng sunod sayo. Minsan kahit gusto kong bumili, umaalis talaga ako.
Pare-pareho pala tayo ng pet peeve. I hate that as well. Much as I like Etude House cosmetics, wala akong ganang bumili sa shop nila, and I only order online from resellers. They trail you around, buti sana if they offer to help you choose, but no, they just follow you, making you feel like a shoplifter about to make a killing.
Meanwhile, ang Rustan’s/SSI attendants, totally a different league. They really bend backwards to help. They’d call other branches for stocks, walang hint of impatience, they know the product they’re selling, they make you feel valued…
Exactly. I see distrust in their eyes, instead of their willingness to help me. Siguro dahil they have too many episodes of shoplifting na, especially in cosmetic shops where all items are on display, thus the extra vigilance.
There was this one bad incident I had with Rustan’s though that I cannot forget. I even documented it here in the blog, you may want to check it out (https://leahdeleon.com/2012/07/14/woe-with-rustans/)
Same here! Natatakot ako sa kanila!
Hi Leah, I agree that Lacoste shirts are worth the splurge. It’s actually a little bit cheaper here in Singapore (when they go on sale), so I buy a couple for myself and for my family (pasalubong!). Thanks to this entry, I have an idea na for a post. Will share my splurge vs. save items soon and link up here 🙂
Will wait for that, Ays!
Oh my, pwede rin ba ako makipabili pag nag-sale yung Lacoste shirts sa SG? Hihi!
I don’t have a Lacoste shirt. Pareho tayo, there was no way my parents would buy me these in high school, so I also vowed to buy one for myself kapag nag-trabaho na ako. But I’ve been working for 10 years na and I still don’t have one! Not because I can’t afford, but when I’m about to buy one, parang may unseen force na pumipigil sa akin bumili!
The irony is, I always buy these as Christmas gifts for others. Haha.
BTW long time reader of your blog but I think this is the first time I commented 🙂
Hi Mel and welcome to The Bright Spot!
Hehe, you should get yourself one soon, kse nagmamahal talaga yung prices shirts over time! Grabe, parang jewelry na nga eh hehe!
Wow! The 15 Lacoste shirt collection is no joke! You must have been really amazed and obsessed with the croc brand… I admire you for that. I mean, following what your heart’s desire is what will really make us happy … 😉
Did you 15 Lacoste shirt collection on a original cost. There are many beneficial online shopping with online coupons which will save you a lot. Go and fine a online coupon when you shopping online next time I hope you will like it.
Hi! Im a lacoste addict too. I live near a LACOSTE OUTLET shop.. So i buy stuff on sale from 40%- 70% off!!you can google the legit lacoste outlet shops.. Theres one in marquee mall pampanga and Sm baguio..