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Spotting fake Ralph Lauren caps

September 07, 2017 2 Comments

Spotting fake Ralph Lauren caps

Hi everyone, this article was written to talk about the differences between an authentic Ralph Lauren cap and a replica. I myself have bought many stuff online thinking it is real, only to realise it is fake.

This is a follow up on my previous article, as I received a ton of requests to do a cap edition. To view my Spotting fake Polo Shirts article, click here.

So, for every picture reference,  the top cap is the replica, and the one below is the authentic piece

There are a few types of caps that Ralph Lauren typically produces, for e.g. they have the normal cotton chino kind with an adjustable strap, the one with a leather strap, the flexfit, and one that features a loop on the right corner at the back.

I’ll be looking at the one with an adjustable strap

Before I begin, I’ll state down the topics to be covered.

  1. General shape and stitching
  2. Pony
  3. “Polo” at the back
  4. Buckle
  5. Interior
  6. Tags
  7. Interior stitching
  8. Pricing


General Shape, Material and Stitching

An authentic Ralph Lauren cap should hold its shape well. Meaning, it doesn’t droop or collapse so easily. This is in line with its material. Even though it’s made of cotton, it’s still thick and feels substantial.

Whereas fake caps tend to be a lot thinner and doesn’t hold its shape that well.

So if you were to look at the top cap, it shows a very droopy and looks almost like a 5 panel cap. Whereas the one below is able to maintain a solid round shape.

Another key thing that Ralph Lauren usually does for all its apparel, especially its polo shirts, is that their stitching tends to be the same color as their base. So, if the shirt is white, its threading is usually white.

In the above example, the replica has a brighter colored thread compared to its brown base. Whereas the authentic piece, features a more uniform colored overall. You’re not able to see its thread lines that clearly.



The Pony, generally features a man, holding a stick with the 4 legs of the horse and its tail visible.

Now, many people I’ve encountered say the stitching of the pony should always be the same. Because the stitching is so minute and all mechanized, there will bound to be mistakes, like how even Gucci or LV have flaws in their production.

No brand is perfect in their production. By mistakes, I mean very minute ones such as a small 1 degree off or a missed dotted stitch etc.

So if you were to notice the top pony, the rider isn’t really upright, and its 4 legs aren’t really that visible as well. Comparing to the one below, you can clearly see a pony with its 4 legs, tail and an upright rider.

Also, a key important trait that many people miss out, is that the pony should generally be situated in between the 2 small lines as indicated by the arrows, and directly in the middle, sits the main stitching


“POLO” at the back

The key thing to note is the consistency and stitching. If you notice, the one above has a very ‘blocky’ font. Whereas the one below, features a very consistent and sleek font.



The buckle should generally be burnished. Meaning it should look like there’s a slight burn to it. Also, there will usually be the ‘POLO’ word engraved.

If you notice a clear red flag is that there’s no ‘POLO’ engraved on the cap above. Also, the buckle is of a yellowish metal and if you’re to touch it, it has a cheap quality feel to it.



For one, there should be no prints on the inside of the cap. The top cap is almost a certain giveaway that it’s a replica with its ‘POLO’ printed all over.

Comparing to the one below, the price tags are still intact and there aren’t any additional printing.




For the tags, there are a few variations, and this has caused some confusion for people. This happens because Ralph Lauren outsources all their production to many countries. Mainly Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan.

Hence, sometimes, there tends to be a slight variation in terms of where the numbers or words are positioned. Furthermore, different regions have different standards. For e.g. caps sold in the USA have slightly different tags compared to those sold in Asia. 

Like the example above, the white cap is USA based, whereas the one below, is Asia based.

Looking at the top cap, because the tag is upside down, that’s one dead giveaway, and there aren’t any price tags to begin with.

As for the one below, notice how the font is uniform, and it features the size, country of origin and supplier number, which all are missing from the replica.

Adding on, the underside of the tag features a key indicator of authenticity, which is the RN number. All if not most apparels have this RN number.



Finally, I cannot stress how important it is to notice the stitching of the cap. A legit cap will have consistent and quality stitching.

Notice how the top cap shows bad stitching and a bunch of loose threads and even showing the cushioning. Whereas the right one is clean, and neatly stitched up.


Another huge misconception is the pricing. In countries like Singapore, where retail stores control the prices and rarely give discounts, it gives local shoppers that Ralph Lauren can never be cheaper.

However, in the USA and UK, there are regularly huge discounts especially in departmental stores. If you were to read up online, Ralph Lauren's business strategy was to actually flood departmental stores and gave huge discounts.

It isn't uncommon to find polo shirts that retails at $89 USD, to be sold at $15 USD in places like Macy's.


So with that, I hope such key indicators will help my readers understand better what is needed to be looked out for so their money is well spent.

Thanks for reading and have a nice day



2 Responses

Suzanne Jackson
Suzanne Jackson

December 26, 2018

Thank you for taking your time and energy to help us understand this special line of clothing.
Before an important interview, a Ralph Lauren blazer, the deep blue, with beautiful crest(womens) lovely gold buttons, I make sure to have the blazer, shirt, etc. looking great, has worked for me when getting that awesome job. Good luck and best wishes.


December 26, 2018

Extremely helpful article. I bought the black POLO cap two weeks on eBay for £9.99. Thought it might be fake then I saw this article and it’s actually quite legit. Cheers.

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