KNOW YOUR FASHION: FOUR THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT RALPH LAUREN

Ralph Lauren is one of our most popular designers ever stocked here at Robinsons of Bawtry and the story behind the brand is one of the American dream personified.

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As a second-generation Jewish immigrant who went from the Bronx to the big time, becoming a multi-millionaire and one of fashion’s most respected figures in the process, Ralph Lauren’s is a rags to riches story straight out of New York City. Here are five things you probably don’t know about the designer and the fashions that have earned him such fame.

IT ALL BEGAN WITH A TIE

Back in the early 1960s, Ralph Lauren worked behind the tie counter at Manhattan menswear store Brooks Brothers. After the company refused to let him design his own neckwear – bigger, better and with an Ivy League aesthetic that hadn’t yet been seen in men’s fashion – he decided to go it alone.  And so the Polo brand was born in 1967. Lauren went from store to store selling the ties, working from what was effectively a drawer in his Empire State Building office.

THE POLO SHIRT HAS BEEN AROUND OVER 40 YEARS

The aforementioned Ralph Lauren polo shirt debuted in 1972 and the rest is history. The shirt was released in 24 colours and a single fit and immediately became the cult classic it is recognised as today. The Ralph Lauren polo shirt has gone on to become available in three fits – Classic, Custom and Slim – and countless colours, with various styles available in store now at Robinsons, the region’s leading Ralph Lauren stockist.

THERE’S A STORY BEHIND THE LOGO

Though Ralph Lauren’s polo shirt did eventually go on to become the uniform de rigour for polo players, it was long before this that the designer decided that the synonymous man on horseback perfectly summarised the Ralph Lauren brand ethos. He had never set foot on a polo field but embraced the preppy connotations surrounding the sport, once telling Oprah Winfrey: “My symbol was always a polo player because I liked sports. And polo has a stylishness to it.”

RALPH LAUREN EMBRACES ALL THINGS AMERICANA

The Ralph Lauren brand has become synonymous with clean-cut, All American style, something which hasn’t happened by accident. The designer’s inspirations are the epitome of Americana and he is quoted on the Ralph Lauren website as saying: “I have always been inspired by the dream of America – families in the country, weathered trucks and farmhouses; sailing off the coast of Maine; following dirt roads in an old wood-panelled station wagon; a convertible filled with young college kids sporting crew cuts and sweatshirts and frayed sneakers.”

You can shop new season Ralph Lauren polo shirts and more ladies and menswear styles in store now at Robinsons. Visit us today at DN10 6JH.

KNOW YOUR FASHION: FIVE THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT BELSTAFF

Belstaff is a brand steeped in history, with a heritage that reaches right back to 1924 and which has spanned World Wars, world records and countless hours on the race track. If you think this is just another British brand, think again, because Belstaff embodies more than just a trend or two. The Belstaff heritage is built upon British innovation, determination and a dedication to supplying leathers that go above and beyond fashion. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about Belstaff, the brand that combines fashion and function better than anyone else around.

Belstaff’s cult celebrity following has spanned the decades

Belstaff’s celebrity following reaches far and wide, from pioneering aviatrixes Amy Johnson and Amelie Earhart to Lawrence of Arabia in the 1930s, to Steve McQueen, who apparently turned down a date with the drop dead gorgeous Ali McGraw in favour of spending his evening waxing his Trialmaster jacket. In more recent years, fans of the iconic leathers have ranged from Naomi Campbell, who described her Trialmaster as ‘like a second skin’ to David Beckham, who counts many a Belstaff piece amongst his extensive and carefully curated collection of vintage moto jackets. The footballer-cum-fashion icon even worked with Belstaff to create his own capsule line Beckham for Belstaff.

Belstaff played its part in World War I and World War II

Belstaff’s expertise in high-tech waterproofing saw the brand called upon during World War I, when they provided capes, tents and groundsheets to the military. Later, during World War II, Belstaff would go on to supply everything from parachutes to aviator suits, saving the lives of hundreds of servicemen.

The Belstaff Trialmaster has been around since 1948

The waxed cotton Trialmaster jacket has come to be known as the icon of the Belstaff brand. Originally designed to endure the harsh weather of the Scottish Six Days Trial in 1948, the jacket has earned its reputation as a triumph of innovative British design. The four-pocket jacket was the first ever created by Belstaff, with the style now considered a classic. If it’s good enough for Naomi Campbell and David Beckham, it’s good enough for us.

It takes over an hour just to wax each Belstaff jacket

Each Belstaff waxed leather jacket is cut from approximately ninety panels, which are then stitched together and sealed by hand with a water-resistant wax, a process which takes an hour and a half per jacket.

The process behind Belstaff’s waxed cotton jackets has existed for decades

Every waxed cotton Belstaff jacket undergoes the same waterproofing process that has protected the brand’s environmentally friendly cambric cotton for years. Factory rollers in the historic Belstaff mill infuse the cotton with wax, creating a breathable yet waterproof fabric that can stand up against our famously wet British weather. The Belstaff sheen only gets better with age, making the Belstaff jacket such a great investment.

Shop the best outerwear from British heritage brand Belstaff in store now at Robinsons. We are the region’s leading Belstaff stockist. Visit us today at DN10 6JH

THE INBETWEENERS

What is it about the first signs of summer that throws us into disarray? The sun on our faces, daffodils in our gardens and Easter plans on the agenda might say spring, but our sweaters and opaques still scream winter. What’s a girl to do?  

It is time become an inbetweener. We don’t mean of the flailing teenage boy type, but rather the kind of dresser who effortlessly transitions sartorially into spring. In-between dressing is easy when you know how, all it takes is a little forward planning to curate a wardrobe capable of negotiating temperatures that can fluctuate 10 degrees either way depending on the time of day. Read on for our tips on joining the realm of the inbetweener…

LAYER LIKE ITS 1999

The denim jacket isn’t just back, it’s back in a big way. Double denim is no longer the fashion faux pas it once was, thanks to the 90’s style resurgence, with the likes of French fashion editor Emmanuelle Alt championing the look in her own transitional wardrobe. Even if the thought of double denim still strikes fear into your fashionista heart, a denim jacket is all the layering you need to take your favourite spring pieces out of hibernation and back into your wardrobe.  

USE YOUR LOAFER

It isn’t easy when the fashion magazines say summer but the great British weather says April showers. Loafers bridge the gap between our winter boots and summer sandals. Worn with a cropped ankle trouser or loose-fit jeans, they’re how the fash-pack transition away from their trusty suede ankle boots into more spring-appropriate styling, without enduring the embarrassment of wet feet. Pairing flat loafers with a crew neck sweater, layered over a simple shirt, also gives you scope to raise the hemlines of your skirts a little when the weather really starts to hot up.  

LONG LINENS

Linen is a summer staple and one woman who does it well is Sarah Pacini. The utilitarian designer takes linen to the next level with artful cuts and clean lines. Her Sleeveless Linen Long Dress is contemporary, sophisticated and so stylish, it’ll see you through the whole of summer. A longer length and more covered body work well for balmy Sunday afternoons; perfect for Easter weekend meals out with the family. Layer beneath a denim jacket now, before switching it up with espadrille wedges and bare arms when summer arrives.

If you’re still stumped when it comes to transitioning into spring, visit Robinsons today and let us lend a hand in getting your wardrobe warm-weather ready. 

THE STATEMENT SLEEVE OF THE SEASON

If last season was all about the shoulders, spring/summer 2017 is all about the wrist region. Unless you have spent the last couple of months in solitary confinement, you will have probably noticed that there is a certain sleeve sweeping the street style stakes; the bell sleeve. Big, brash and ever so flamboyant, the bell sleeve has become a hot topic when it comes to tops and dresses.

Slim through the arm and billowing at the wrist, the bell sleeve – also known as the trumpet sleeve or flared sleeve – turns the simplest style into a statement piece. Case in point, this sleek black number. The heavy black knit fits like a glove and takes the failsafe little black dress into high fashion territory, all with the swish of a less than subtly flared sleeve.

Paired with an otherwise simple silhouette and a high neckline, the dress balances the season’s statement proportions perfectly. Such dramatic sleeves must be balanced by leg-lengthening heels, so brave bare legs and ankles boots now (the mid-length makes the transition to going tightless less painful!), before switching to sky-high jewel-hued heels when there’s a night out on the cards.

Visit Robinsons today to shop the season’s biggest trends now.