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Equally famous for his breathtaking, floor-sweeping, chiffon gowns and his casual-chic polo shirts, Ralph Lauren's style is nothing if not diverse. When it comes to the care of said-Polo shirts, however, the instructions are specific and not at all diverse. Far from your everyday cotton t-shirt, a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt is made from a woven cotton mesh, which requires much more delicate washing and handling. Treat your Polos well and they'll repay you in kind by keeping you stylish for many seasons to come.
Listen up, glamour gals: When it comes to your delicate cotton meshes, never, ever wash them on a regular cotton cycle. Did you pay a "regular" amount for your Polo shirt? Probably not. A more expensive shirt requires a more delicate kind of care to keep it looking crisp, clean and fresh, just the way you like it. The best way to treat your trendy tee is to hand wash it, which will provide the gentlest level of love and care. If you don't have time for this or you have too many Polos to count, load them into the washer, but set it on the gentle cycle.
One surefire way to fade the bright, beautiful color of your Polo shirt is to wash it in hot or warm water. Grandma got you a blue that's a tad too much? Go ahead and rinse away in high temperatures. But if you actually like the color of your shirt, stick to cold water only to clean away the stains and smells, but retain that brilliant color that made you pick it out in the first place.
Another way to treat your Polo with some extra-special TLC is to invest in a more gentle detergent than your regular wash takes. While Tide might smell awesome and clean your sheets with ease, it's not as gentle as something like Woolite, which can be used for hand or machine washing. Look for a detergent that specifies on the label that it's extra gentle or that lists delicate materials, such as cotton mesh, silk, cashmere and other expensive fabrics as materials it can clean.
Space Out the Washings
One of the best ways to wash a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt is...not at all. While gentle, hand washing is the best way to go when you must give it a rinse, your Polo will hold up for much longer if you just don't wash it so often. Now, no one is giving you the license to be smelly, but every time your shirt goes through the spin cycle, it is at risk for pilling, color fading, shrinkage and general softening of the fabric. The more you wash and dry your shirt, the older it will look. After each wear, give your shirt a good sniff to determine if it really needs a wash or can resist a little longer.