One of the best places I’ve found to buy vintage Lacoste is on Etsy. Just type the term “Vintage Lacoste” into the search box, and you will find a lot of reasonably-priced items for sale. Remember, before you buy, it’s important to check for whether the items for sale are counterfeit or not. Luckily, most of the items shown on Etsy, show enough photos for you to make some basic checks before you buy. In particular, most of the listings show good views of the logo, which is one of the easiest ways to check for fake merchandise. So, good hunting!
Up to 90% of the Lacoste items sold on EBay and other auction sites are fakes. So, before you buy one, you should look for a few obvious signs of fake merchandise. Now, here’s some quick methods to detect whether the Lacoste shirt you are about to buy is real or counterfeit:
Before we start, though, if you are interested in authenticating a Lacoste bag, check out my article on detecting fake Lacoste bags. I’ve also written a detailed article on detecting counterfeit Lacoste items if these instructions are not good enough.
1) Check the logo – most fakes have bad logos with distorted lines and stitching. They also often use the wrong color thread. The crocodile should be dark green on a white patch, not the lighter green like the inauthentic logo shown below. The claws and teeth of the crocodile should be distinct, and its top jaw should be smaller than the bottom one.
2) Check the sizing – Lacoste uses numbers for sizing, not small, medium and large
3) Check the Logo Alignment – The Lacoste Logo lines up with the second button of their polo shirts. It never lines up with the bottom of the placket.
4) Check the Fabric – Most fakes are made with much thinner cloth than genuine Lacoste shirts. If you put your hand inside the shirt, and you can see it through the cloth, then it’s almost certainly a fake. You can also check the weave to see if it matches Lacoste’s exclusive “petit pique” pattern
For other tips, here are some articles from the web on detecting fake Lacoste items:
Here’s a simple four step process for detecting whether the women’s Lacoste tote bag or purse you are buying is a genuine Lacoste or a cheap fake.
Where Did You Buy The Bag?
Start with where you are buying the bag. If you bought the bag from a street seller or from a eBay, you can be almost certain that it’s a fake. Lacoste bags are only sold at Lacoste’s own stores or at certified retailers. You can determine if a store is an approved seller by checking it out on Lacoste’s website.
Is The Quality Of The Construction And Materials High?
Lacoste bags can be made of canvas, PVC or leather, but they all share one thing in common: their construction and materials are of high quality. A common fault of fake bags is inferior stitching. Genuine Lacoste bags have small, even, solid stitching. Uneven stitching or loose threads is an indication of a counterfeit bag. Genuine Lacoste bags will also have quality zippers, fastenings, and handle attachments that are neatly and securely sewn in. An example from a genuine Lacoste bag is shown below
Is The Lacoste Logo Correct?
All Lacoste bags have a genuine Lacoste logo that is either printed on the bag (canvas) or attached (leather and PVC). Genuine Lacoste logos are of high quality, with defined lines. Fakes also tend to have shapes that are not correct. An example of a genuine traditional logo on a leather bag is shown below
Lacoste bags can also have monochrome logos. An example of a monochrome logo on a canvas bag is shown below
Sometimes, as shown below, the monochrome logo matches the bag’s material.
Does The Bag Reflect Lacoste’s Design Sensibility?
If you browse through the Lacoste website, you will soon become familiar with Lacoste’s design sensibility. Lacoste tote bags are all narrower at the bottom than the top, and have large U shaped straps. The logo on the bags is usually at the top and centered. The leather bags don’t come in outrageous colors, and the purses also have very traditional designs. After you have looked at a few examples, you will have a good idea of whether Laooste would have designed the bag you are looking at buying.
I hope these tips are helpful, and that they will prevent you spending your hard-earned dollars on phony merchandise.
I’ve written before about how many of the Lacoste shirts for sale on Ebay are fakes, but most are not as obvious as this one:
Three buttons, none of which are sewed on straight? Don’t be fooled, check out my instructions on detecting fake Lacoste.
If you are looking for a convenient place to buy vintage Lacoste (or even new Lacoste) fashion, then Ebay is a good place to start. Be warned, however, that there have been a lot of reports of fake Lacoste and Izod items being offered for sale there. While I’ve never personally experienced this, you should definitely communicate with the seller to make sure that you are getting genuine goods. See my post on How to Identify a Fake Lacoste for some hints on ensuring that the item you are purchasing is real.
L1212 – short sleeve pique
L1312 – long sleeve pique
For women’s shirts, the model number should begin with one of these codes:
PF168 or PF168E – short sleeve stretch pique
PF368E – classic long sleeve pique
The next part of the model number is a two digit number representing where the shirt is manufactured. In the US, it should be 51, meaning the shirt was made in Peru. There are different numbers for India and Europe.
The third part of the model number is a three digit or letter code representing the cole. Some examples of colors are:
001 – white
031 – black
166 – navy
107 – yellow
240 – red
132 – green
476 – bordeaux
TO3 – flamingo
NSX – lawn green
TO1 – till blue
8LX – pearl
NXU – coastal blue
CBK – aegean blue
Lastly, there is a two digit code representing the size, as follows:
T3 – XS
T4 – S
T5 – M
T6 – L
T7 – XL
T8 – XXL
Thus, a Men’s short sleeve pique yellow Peru made shirt in size small should read: L1212 51 107 T4