The symbol of the polo player on his horse is synonymous with Ralph Lauren, a designer and subsequent clothing line that has been in business since 1968. What began as a line of menswear has since expanded to include women's fashion, the brand's signature polo shirts, fragrance, jeans, sportswear, home decor and paint. One of the best ways to find out if the shirt or other item you are dealing with is in fact a Ralph Lauren piece is to observe the item's label, as its distinct features make it easy to spot fakes.
Look at the design on the label. Ralph Lauren labels feature a polo player riding a horse and are featured on every item of Ralph Lauren clothing.
Observe the stitching around the edges of the label. If the stitching is a color other than black, it is not a true Ralph Lauren label.
Look at the label in comparison to the shirt it came on if applicable. The color of the thread throughout the label should be the same color as the shirt -- that is, a navy blue shirt will feature navy thread on the label, a pink shirt will have a pink label and so on.
Look at the back of the label. Real Ralph Lauren labels have stitched rather than smooth backs.