How to Spot a Fake Lacoste Polo

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Lacoste polos are popular and pricey, so they are often replicated. Someone may try to sell you one at full price, but the features of the shirt can help you distinguish whether it is real or fake. A real Lacoste polo will have a detailed crocodile logo patch on the front left side. It’ll also have two vertically sewn buttons, high quality stitching, and specific information listed on the tags.


EditChecking the Crocodile Patch

  1. Look for detailed features like claws and teeth. The official logo is a deep, dark green with noticeable teeth and claws. The top jaw is smaller than the bottom jaw and is angled upwards. The crocodile’s tail should be rounded and point in the same direction as the jaw, not at the crocodile. The eye should also look more slit-like than rounded.[1]
    Spot a Fake Lacoste Polo Step 1.jpg
    • If the crocodile looks cartoonish and lacks detail, the shirt is a sure fake.
    • Lacoste’s Vintage brand is an exception. The crocodile will be high-quality but the same color as the shirt.
  2. Make sure the logo is on a white background. The logo is a patch that is lightly sewn on from behind. You won’t see the stitching when you look at it from the front. Look out for stitching around the patch’s border, loose threads, or needle hole marks. These are signs that the polo is a fake.[2]
    Spot a Fake Lacoste Polo Step 2.jpg
    • On a few brands, such as the Vintage brand, the crocodile may be printed directly on the shirt.
  3. Make sure the logo is under the second button. The crocodile will be in the middle of the left side of the shirt. It should be between the bottom stitching on the collar and the second button. Low-quality fakes often align the crocodile with the bottom stitching. That stitching may also appear crooked.[3]
    Spot a Fake Lacoste Polo Step 3.jpg
    • A few real Lacoste versions also align the crocodile with the bottom stitching, so don’t depend on this one observation.
  4. Turn the shirt inside-out to see the faint outline of the patch. The outline of the crocodile’s body should barely be visible. There won’t be any colors, threads, or obvious stitching. If the finish doesn’t look clean, the shirt is a fake.[4]
    Spot a Fake Lacoste Polo Step 4.jpg

EditInspecting the Buttons

  1. Look for two vertically-sewn buttons. One button will be at the top of the collar. The other will be partway down it. Each button should have two holes with thread passing up and down through them, not side to side. The buttons should not appear crooked. The threading should appear to hold them tightly in place.[5]
    Spot a Fake Lacoste Polo Step 5.jpg
  2. See if the buttons look identical. Mother of pearl buttons are all unique. You may notice a rainbow shimmer from a distance. When you look close, you should notice that each button has its own pattern. They may also have some marbling on the back. Plastic buttons are mass-produced and look identical.[6]
    Spot a Fake Lacoste Polo Step 6.jpg
  3. Feel the buttons to make sure they’re mother of pearl. Real Lacoste polos have mother of pearl buttons instead of plastic ones. Plastic buttons feel softer and warmer but with hard edges. They’ll also lack the dip in the center that real Lacoste buttons have.[7]
    Spot a Fake Lacoste Polo Step 7.jpg
    • If you still aren’t sure, try tapping the buttons against your teeth or biting down on them. Mother of pearl buttons should feel harder and denser than plastic buttons.
  4. Avoid buttons that have Lacoste printed on them (update: 2017 Lacoste shirts now may have this print on the buttons depending on the style). Buttons on authentic Lacoste polos do not have the brand name printed on them. Letters on the buttons is a sure sign that the buttons are plastic and fake.
    Spot a Fake Lacoste Polo Step 8.jpg

EditStudying the Shirt Tags

  1. Make sure the shirt is sized with numbers. Lacoste polos are designed in France, which sizes in numbers. Above the crocodile, you should see a red number such as “4.” If the polo uses words like small, medium, or large, it is a fake.[8]
    Spot a Fake Lacoste Polo Step 9.jpg
  2. Look for a detailed crocodile on the tag. The crocodile should be an olive green color. Again, it will have noticeable claws, teeth, a red mouth, and white scales on its back. Make sure the crocodile’s outline looks smooth instead of lumpy. An authentic one also won’t have rough lines disrupting the coloring.[9]
    Spot a Fake Lacoste Polo Step 10.jpg
    • High-quality fakes look similar, but study them closely. They won’t be quite as detailed. The crocodile may look a little squashed. The white eyes and scales tend to look rough and too close together.
  3. Find a second tag indicating the shirt’s origin. If the polo has a second tag, it’ll rest under the first one. The first line should say “Designed In France.” These words should not be covered up by the first tag. The second line will say “Made In” along with a country, which is usually El Salvador or Peru. Lacoste polos made in France are rare.
    Spot a Fake Lacoste Polo Step 11.jpg
    • Not all polos have this second tag. Many polos now have a wide tag with the logo, so use other methods to identify them.
  4. Check the washing instructions tag inside the shirt. The tag is on the bottom and inside the shirt. When you find it, you will first see “100% cotton” printed in seven languages. On the back, you’ll see washing instructions with the word Devanlay, which is the company’s name. No fabric should cover the letters on the tag.[10]
    Spot a Fake Lacoste Polo Step 12.jpg
    • Fake shirts may have the washing instructions on the tag’s front. The tags may also be roughly sewn in with threads that hang down or obstruct letters.
    • The tag may be above small triangle cuts on the side of the shirt. Make sure these cuts are small and don’t have loose threads hanging from them.


  • Always be wary of a bargain. Authentic Lacoste polos retail for $ 60 or more in the United States. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Fake polos tend to be associated with low quality, such as loose threads, shredded cuffs, or stitching that falls apart after a few washes. An authentic shirt may also show signs of damage, however, and some fakes may be high quality.
  • Some legitimate resellers sell packages or clothing that has been damaged. These products are still authentic even though they tend to come at a discount.
  • When in doubt, go online and compare your shirt to one from Lacoste’s store.

EditSources and Citations

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