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Knock-Offs: How to Spot a Fake Lacoste and Other Imitation Clothing

Published 12/18/07 (Modified 6/17/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

Knock-Offs: How to Spot a Fake Lacoste and Other Imitation Clothing

I went to gradate school in the run down city of Baltimore, Maryland. I used to joke with my friends that more people in Baltimore City owned and carried around designer Louis Vuitton handbags than in any other city in the world. When I went to school there it seemed like every corner near the city courthouse had a vendor hawking fake designer brand products like Prada, Coach, and even Polo Ralph Lauren. Most of the merchandise were no doubt fakes - cheaply made knock offs made in countries like China, a country known for its lax efforts in stopping piracy in the marketplace.

I want to focus my analysis on the Lacoste designer clothing brand line. Companies like Lacoste spend a great deal of investment on brand building and quality control. However, with the prevalence of overseas sweatshops and people buying Lacoste clothing online, fake knockoffs have been spreading through the internet marketplace like wildfire and many buyers are unwittingly ending up with fakes. While a genuine Lacoste polo shirt can cost an average of $60-75 per shirt, buyers of fakes are frequently getting ripped off for shoddy products worth substantially less. Whether it makes any sense to pay so much for a mere polo shirt is another matter. The fact is, buyers have to be able to ensure they are getting the high end quality product they are paying top dollar for.

Unlike authentic Lacoste clothing, fakes and knock offs simply don't wear and feel like the real thing. Sometimes it's easy to spot the fake, but sometimes the differences are much more subtle. It's easy to know it's a fake when you are only paying $10 for a supposedly genuine Lacoste shirt off a street vendor, but what about when you are buying online? Many of the tips and telltale signs provided below can also be used for other designer clothing brands as well.

Here Are Some Of The Things To Look Out For To Determine Whether A Lacoste Shirt Is A Genuine Or Fake

1) The Lacoste Crocodile Patch - Lacoste's famous trademark symbol is its Lacoste crocodile logo patch. This is one of the easiest way to spot a fake. A genuine Lacoste crocodile should be very distinct and should show scales, claws, and teeth. Any variation from this detailed standard should be deemed a fake, as high end designer brands like Lacoste spend a great deal of effort to ensure quality and uniformity. For the men's polo shirts, the crocodile is embroidered on a patch then sewn onto the shirt, rather than printed directly on the shirt. In the women's, it is printed onto the shirt. The Lacoste crocodile symbol should be attached seamlessly with no obvious white stitch marks attaching the patch to the shirt.

2) Crocodile Alignment - On men's polos, the crocodile is on the left hand side, between the bottom stitching and the second button. In the image displayed, I want to draw your attention to the genuine blue Lacoste shirt on the right hand side labeled "Real" - notice how the crocodile logo is aligned directly between the lower button and the bottom stitching. This is an authentic shirt. Contrast that with the pirated yellow shirt on the left side labeled "Fake" where the logo is instead aligned with the bottom placket stitching. This is one of the easiest way to tell a fake from a real one.

3) Pearl Buttons - Genuine Lacoste polo shirts have real pearl buttons, known as mother of pearl. Since the pearls are naturally found, no two patterns should be the same. Fakes usually have mass produced plastic buttons. The real Lacoste buttons should not have anything printed on them either. If they have the word "Lacoste" on the button, the shirt is a fake.

4) Unusually Low Cost - Lacoste is a high end, fairly expensive designer brand. As such, prices are usually high and for good reason since the products are usually of very high quality design and material. Prices are usually around $60-72 for a single polo shirt. If you discover prices that are extraordinarily different, you are most likely dealing with a fake. If you are only paying $10 for the shirt, your alarm and antennae should be going off.

5) Cloth Material - Genuine Lacoste clothing should be made of 100% soft cotton and neatly threaded. There should be little to no loose threading as is frequently found on shoddy and inferior knockoffs. The cuffs on the sleeves should not appear shredded and the stitching should not come loose only after a few washes.

6) Sizes - Lacoste clothing are sized using numbers, rather than the usual letters or words, e.g. sizes 3, 4 , 5. They do not come in sizes utilizing the words "small", "medium", or "large".

7) Method of Sale and Purchase - Many eBay sellers will insist and claim that their Lacoste products are real and authentic, but 90% of them are either wrong or lying. Unfortunately, even by checking their feedbacks isn't necessarily sufficient to protect you from fakes since many buyers themselves cannot readily distinguish the fakes from the real thing until it is too late. Lacoste does not have factory discount outlets, but sells its products through select distributors at premium prices. Be careful if you decide to buy through an online auction or through an amateur supplier based in Asia as many are the works of scam artists. I highly advise against buying from such shady sources and recommend sticking with more reputable and established shops.

Where To Buy Genuine Lacoste Polo, and Other Luxury Brand Clothing Products:

The best and most reliable source for genuine Lacoste products is from an actual Lacoste branded store or from a major department store retailer like Macy's, Nordstrom's, Bloomingdale's, or Neiman Marcus. From any other place like eBay, Craigslist, or some street side China Town type vendor - you're just asking for trouble so please be careful! Those type of deals will appear to be substantially cheaper, but remember, you get what you pay for.

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115 Responses to “Knock-Offs | Fake Lacoste | Imitation Clothing | Money Blue Book” 

  1. James says:

    My friend just bought polo shirts from shopapparel.lacoste.com I am surprised that he got them real cheap. when the items arrived, I was surprized to see that some are made in hongkong and others were made in tunisia. I cannot comment on the material as they seem ok..and the the packing also looks genuine. I know that all lacoste products would have made in france in their tags, except for the shoes...which i know are sometimes made in china...

  2. Max says:

    Even many LV or Valentino is made in Turkey etc... Forget about France-made garments except really top-expensive things.
    The same for Lacoste.
    Devenlay has several fabrics outside Europe where they made Lacoste.
    Lacoste shoes is produced by Pentland (UK company, famous also for dooing Speedo etc. other brands) but of course produced outside UK - Viet Nam f/e.
    Parfume is done by P&G etc.. etc...

    Forget about French-made garments for a price below something 500 EUR.

  3. Gup says:

    "2) Crocodile Alignment – On men's polos, the crocodile is on the left hand side, between the bottom stitching and the second button. In the image displayed, I want to draw your attention to the genuine blue Lacoste shirt on the right hand side labeled "Real" – notice how the crocodile logo is aligned directly between the lower button and the bottom stitching."

    This is not strictly true, I have a genuine sky blue lacoste polo (I know it's real as I bought it from a lacoste shop in Florida for about $65) and the croc is aligned with the bottom stitching and not in between the lower button and the bottom stitching.

  4. djholly says:

    hi, i've been buying lacoste clothing off ebay for the last 5 years. with the exception of 3 polo's i've been very happy with the purchases. Brand new tops have to be treated as fakes until you're happy with comparisons from the lascoste website. follow this and you won't go far wrong. If buying seconhand on ebay, check the sellers other items and history. Your average seller won't be able to get they're hands on bnwt multiple polos.

  5. mark says:

    Hey guys

    Try looking at Yo Yo silver .com the prices are very cheap (maybe to good to be true,i just bought 3 long sleeved t shirts from them,not sure if fake or not,if they are they damn good,MOP buttons,croc alignment spot on,very light,tags all correct with codes as expected,like i say maybe fake not sure ??

  6. Natalie says:

    Very informative.
    However, if it say the number's 1,3,5, etc i would be cautious. Lacoste label's their sizes in numbers like 30, 32, 34, 36, etc. ( European sizes)

  7. Natalie says:

    OH! unless they're guys.
    Sorry, I'm a woman...

  8. Gaetano says:

    I just want you to know that in Massachusetts Lacoste does have an outlet store at the Wrentham Outlets. Normally to distinguish a black lacoste from fake or real the buttons are black but in some cases they can be white, but most the time they are or should be black.

  9. Kanthat says:

    Good article. I live in the country that sells imitated polo shirts. I can tell that there's a lot of grade for fake polo shirts. You can find $10-$30 fake lacoste. With higher dollars, the quality is closer to the authentic one. I have a fake lacoste made in Hong Kong and the croc logo is almost identical just a bit of difference. The fake lacoste photo in this article is just the low grade copy. I'd like to see the comparison between authentic and high grade imitated which I believe many Ebay sellers sell them. Should be more helpful.

  10. hey says:

    how about the lacoste made in france printed in peru? is that real or fake?

  11. Jon says:

    All polo shirts in the sport range have lacoste engraved into the button, and on the casual range they are pearl. The easiest way to spot a fake is to look on the manufacturing label sewn into the seam of the shirt. No genuine one will say lacoste, it will have the name of the manufacturer on it, who has made the garment under liscence from Lacoste. This can then be checked with Lacoste themselves.

  12. Mohsin says:

    Great Guide. I'm trying to sell two authentic ones, so if anyone wants to check my listings and confirm that there real and post a comment, i'd appreciate it. Maybe it will help me get them sold at the price i want.

  13. sharon says:

    I bought a LACOSTE shirt and it's CROCODILE patch looks fake,but im asking you guy's if it is fake.For more information it has a lumpy head.

  14. sharon says:

    Does real polo have a #3 on it?

  15. Jonathan says:

    If someone can make a perfect copy that is identical to the "real" one. then the fake one should be considered as equaly "real" as the "real" shirt. Many people in this forum say you cannot copy quality. That��s correct if we talk about cars and boats but not if we talk about clothes. If you say that the quality is the difference, I say that cotton is cotton and there is no difference in quality. what you pay for is the imagination of a value that is not existing anywhere else than in your mind. I have bought real genuine clothes, for example, I bought a Armani Jeans shirt once. I can only say that the quality of that shirt was more worse than the cheapest wall-mart shirt in my closet. Don��t buy the "real" deal, by the fake shirts instead. the value of a brand is not more valuable than the air we breathe. everyone here is so fooled. If pirated clothes is such a big problem for the trademark owners, then why can��t the manufactors make clothes where we customers could tell the difference. The answer is that they can��t, because like I said earlier, cotton is cotton.

  16. iSay says:

    I bought a genuine Lacoste polo and a fake, washed them once and the original run in the wash more than the fake! so now I'm undecided

  17. Mike says:

    The easiest way to establish a genuine Lacoste is thru its Logo as mentioned in #1. Altough the other points are correct but I cannot totally agree with them, I own loads of Lacoste and they varies in fabric quality, bottons (in-fact i got one w/ Lacoste written on it but am 100% sure its genuine), label on the collar. BUT THEY HAVE A COMMON DENOMINATOR, THE VERY VERY DETAILED CROCODILE LOGO.

  18. rafael says:

    The tip 2 Is FAKE , Lacoste Made in peru is real.

    but those made in France are different from Peru.

    and the alligator from france is very diferent from peru

  19. branden says:

    wow i bought 10 real ones at a second hand store and would have been happy if it was fake cause they look good and all but one is on alignment and i get complements all the time and i said yeah its probably a fake but now i know there real and i only paid 7.99 canadian for all of them now thats bargain hunting

  20. smiley3 says:

    Has Lacoste ever made polos with snaps instead of buttons? The shirt I have matches all the above tips except that it has snaps.

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