5 Things We Can Learn from Ralph Lauren’s Spring 2016 Collection

Ralph Lauren made waves among the style scene when the fashion house announced it would be showing its Spring 2016 Purple Label collection at Milan Men’s Fashion Week. It was the first time since 2003 since designer Ralph Lauren has staged a menswear runway show.

But all told, it was well worth the 12-year wait. Hosted at the brand’s Ralph Lauren Palazzo retail destination, an 11,840-square-foot space that offers a combination of shopping, dining, and customization and tailoring services, the show not only captured the inherent sophistication and refinement of the brand, but also its modern, trendsetting future.

The ripple effect is still being felt from the runway, and here’s what you need to know about this pivotal collection. After all, it’s never too early to plot your wardrobe for next season. Is it spring yet?

1. All-American is still the way to go

Source: Ralph Lauren/Vogue.com

Source: Ralph Lauren/Vogue.com

Not straying too far afield from brand signatures, bright zaps of color were blended with more neutral shades of black, white, and navy for a zingy twist on Ralph Lauren’s all-American look that never goes out of style. Sharply polished suiting, tough-luxe leather jackets, handsome summer knits, and wide-cuffed linen pants all contributed to the mix that combined classically polished pieces with street-ninja-like sportswear.

2. Orange (and yellow and red) is the new black

Source: Ralph Lauren/Vogue.com

Source: Ralph Lauren/Vogue.com

Bold hues made a big splash, with Crayola colors accenting many of the looks. From a sporty red-orange peacoat to an orange-paneled leather sailing jacket, not to mention sunny yellow leather striped detailing, grass-green trousers, and even lavender-tinged sweaters, the clear message for spring is that it’s mandatory to color outside the lines of a safe, neutral palette.

3. Seeing double never looked so clear

Source: Ralph Lauren/Vogue.com

Source: Ralph Lauren/Vogue.com

The suit itself unsurprisingly continued to reign supreme as the de riguer Ralph Lauren uniform, but even more relevant for spring was the double-breasted sport coat. No longer confined to more traditional, stuffy ways, it took a place of prominence in both formal and more casual outings, proving that two sets of buttons is far superior to one. It’s a perfect example of old-school styling getting a fresh new upgrade.

4. The slipper club is accepting new members

Source: Ralph Lauren/Vogue.com

Source: Ralph Lauren/Vogue.com

Velvety dress slippers, worn sans socks of course, were paired with nearly everything in the Spring 2016 collection. They were most effective as the finishing touch to polished tuxedos and suits. And when the bedroom-inspired, luxe slip-ons weren’t treading the runway, casual woven espadrilles — some printed with the Ralph Lauren monogram — took their place for an equally laidback, languid touch.

5. Accessories are everything

Source: Ralph Lauren/Vogue.com

Source: Ralph Lauren/Vogue.com

Bow ties and regular ties popped up at every turn, outfitting more than half of the looks. Other accessories also joined the mix including vibrant scarves and sunglasses for a fashion-y, urban flair. But most notable and memorable were the perforated leather totes (pumpkin orange, of course, on one occasion) along with the solid camel Cooper bag. They were sporty and sleek enough to pull triple duty as a work briefcase, gym tote, and weekender bag, only leaving passerby to speculate just where their carriers might be jetting off to.

Follow Rachel on Twitter at @rachellw and on Instagram at @rachellwatkins

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