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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. Mike says:


    Are you sure it's buying the fake Lacoste polo that made you "fell" stupid?
    Based on your post, it seems like your stupidity was a problem before buying the polo.

  2. SIA says:

    Point 1 is only apply to Polo shirt but not other clothings like sweater, jackets. etc. I bought a genuine sweater from Lacoste shop in big shopping centre in Edinburgh. The logo is like the fake style that you mentioned before. It doesn't mean my sweater is fake because of the place of purchase. The cost was ����135. However, i agree with you that the polo shirts crocodile logo should be the first logo.

  3. JUSTINTIME says:

    I just came back from China and in one of the cities I visited(GUILIN) i got the best deal. 4 lacoste shirts for 150 yuan(Chinese dollar). I just needed to try every one of them as the size are a little funny. I wear a XL and I had to take the XXXL so they could fix me. other than that, i am very happy. I paid less than half of what I pay for a shirt at WALMART

  4. Raymond says:


    I have several Lacoste and Ralph Lauren Polo shirts purchased overseas well. They were all obvious fakes and the threading started to unravel after a few cycles through the washing machine. If you don't mind wearing fakes (I personally don't mind) and don't mind passing off knock offs as the real thing, then pirated shirts are the way to go. They are substantially cheaper than the real thing. However, the shoddy quality of fake shirts are obvious.

  5. Sam Chapman, ITFC says:

    (Editor Warning: Extremely Strong Suspicions The Scam Looking Site Referenced In This Comment Is Selling Fake Products)

    I have just purchased a white polo from (link), it is genuine, however, on the buttons as 'del' pointed out, they have 4 holes and lacoste written on them. I think this may be there new design? Reason being that it came from France, there headquaters, and not all shops are stocking them? maybe?

    My shirt matches up with everything else, the badge sewn on and detailed, as I held it up to the light i saw the square threading thing (lol) and it is incredibaly light and soft.

    Not a fake but lacoste is written on the buttons!!!

  6. Raymond says:


    I looked at the site. I absolutely DO NOT recommend buying from the site whatsoever. I always advise people NEVER to buy premium designer clothing brands like Lacoste or Polo from random website links such as the one you provided. The site may appear to be otherwise legitimate, but if I had to guess, I would bet (with 99% confidence) that the products sold on the site are fake and not genuine articles. This is based on my own purchasing experience with other sites as well. As always, NEVER purchase Lacoste products from eBay or from any non-mainstream department store website. They are likely all fakes!

    Based on your flowery, extremely praise-filled comments about the site, I am sorry to say that I suspect other ulterior motives on your part. If I'm wrong, please forgive me - however I have a very strong B.S. detector and it's telling me you are trying to get people to fall for a site that is selling fake Lacoste Polo products.

  7. charles larson says:

    ebay has been advised the 1,000's of lacostes sold thereon are counterfeit. they could care less.

    curiously, lacoste will not answer the question if the lascostes sold on ebay are counterfeit. i get the feeling they're playing both sides of the street.

    there are several lacoste outlet stores across the u s.

    real lacostes are cheaper in the us than in europe because the ones sold in the u s are made in peru; those in europe are made in france. and are heavier and softer.

  8. decacan says:

    Item #2 is not completely correct. I own two LaCoste polo purchased from Nordstrom and both have different alignment because they are different models. I would only buy at authorized store to be sure its originality.

  9. Xaw13 says:

    Like Del said, the only way to know if you have a real Lacoste shirt is the feeling.
    Because in the Sport lining, polos can have three buttons with "L A C O S T E ������" engraved on it, etc.

    So if you bought your shirt in a Lacote Shop, no doubt, it's a real one.
    If you bought it in a Lacoste reseller, it is usually a real one.
    But if you bought it somewhere else or from someone, watch out !!

    The only way to know if it's a genuine one, is the feeling.
    A Lacoste shirt is very light, very soft. When you put perfume, you should feel it pass throught the fabrics...

    ... and on one of my own Lacoste shirts, the croc is at the same position as the crocodile on the "fake" yellow shirt... :|
    maybe because I bought this one in a outlet store...

  10. rob says:

    I bought a lacoste shirt at the Lacoste store in the mall. The buttons say Lacoste on them. Is it a fake?

  11. Xaw13 says:

    If you bought it the Lacoste store, i doubt it's a fake !!! ;)
    maybe it's the Sport Collection or another type of polo... not the original one...

  12. Bob says:

    I bought two Lacoste shirts from the Lacoste store itself that go against some of these guidelines of fake lacoste shirts posted here. One guidline I must say is wrong is that the buttons don't say "Lacoste" on real ones, I purchased a Long Sleeve button up dress shirt with buttons that did just that. Also, a striped rugby polo purchased the same day had 3 buttons & all have 4 holes not 2 on the buttons and were not the same mother of pearl type as the others.

  13. Christopher says:

    I got a polo from the lacoste store it was about 100 something dollars but the logo is bellow all buttons like the one on top of this page is is this a fake polo???

  14. Christopher says:

    oh yeah the Crocadile is the real logoits the same one above this page it is just were the logo is located on the polo.

  15. Xaw13 says:

    it's a real one if you bought it in the Lacoste Store !! ;)

    maybe it's a sport collection polo...

  16. Lacoste girl says:

    Not all lacoste has mother of pearl buttons. Those are vintage. Now they are plastic, even with Lacoste printed buttons

  17. sam says:

    Hey guys i bought a known fake lacoste polo shirt however i googled this to check exactly how fake it was to my surprise my shirt meets all the same descriptions of the real 1. The positioning of the logo, the quality of the logo even down to the mother of pearl buttons not being the same as each other could it be ive had a bargain or just a good copy?

  18. fml2477 says:

    The latest Lacoste knock-offs are difficult to ID as counterfeiters have become more sophisticated and "experts" in their craft. I would say that if you really wanna get an original then buy it in a Lacoste Store, anywhere else would be 99% fake!

  19. jake ramirez says:

    Another interesting feature of genuine Lacoste polos is the orientation of the button holes. The genuine ones have all button holes cut horizontally while the bogus ones usually only have the topmost hole in this manner; the other holes would be cut vertically.

  20. art says:

    Im some how preplexed i bought at their lacoste online store and all the polos, lacoste sports were made in china and they had three buttons with lacoste lettering on it and their sizes seems so diffrent, cotton feels good though. Shoes were made in]thailand but they have good quality. iT WAS kind of dissapointing it should have at least made in france peru, so beware of online shopping

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