062314_Ralph-Lauren-Wimbledon-Blazer

Wimbledon might be the last bastion of sartorial tradition in sport—with its age-old requirement that all players wear white—but as the competition kicks off today, you’ll notice it’s not nearly as stylish an affair as it once was.

But there’s still one last torch of dapperness being carried by the gentlemen perched above ground level—and that’s the piped umpire’s blazer, supplied by none other than Ralph Lauren. Which means, if you’re feeling up to the task, you can pick one up for yourself.

But not until you read up on the facts and figures first:

The Story: A few years ago, Ralph Lauren, America’s high priest of preppiness, was tapped to be the official outfitter of Wimbledon. Needless to say, they like what he’s done with the place.

Who to Channel: A Wimbledon umpire whose job is mostly to sit on his perch and look regal, since high-speed cameras and computers make the tough calls; a well-behaved British schoolboy; a professional croquet player (if that’s even a real thing).

When to Wear It: Again, if you’re umpiring a Wimbledon match, but also anytime you’ve been invited to a party with “garden” or “lawn” or “regatta” in its title. Also: if polo is being played somewhere nearby.

Degree of Difficulty: Somewhat high, as you might expect. The piped blazer is the sort of dandy affectation that can look costumey if not handled with care (so skip the shorts and kneesocks) yet totally appropriate in the right setting. Especially if it’s somewhere you can get away with wearing white pants and spectators.

And Now, for Your Moment of Inspiration:
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—N.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Najib Benouar