RALPH Lauren believes as much in sophisticated fitted suits as he does in laid-back rumpled linen sports coats and trousers. In his line of tailored clothing, Lauren has created suits that are dignified and smart. The Charles, introduced two years ago, is still popular, with its narrow lapel, fuller chest and suppressed waist. The new Charles II tie, a slim, hand-rolled version, is the perfect complement for this suit and can also be worn with double-breasted jackets with wider lapels. The Charles shirt, also new this season, has a slender spread collar, designed to be worn with the new tie. The range emphasises flexibility and mixes tailored clothing and sportswear in contrasting tones and textures. Classic worsted-wool suit jackets can be teamed with linen trousers and T-shirts in faded fresco colours. A tailored tweed vest can be worn casually over a band-collar shirt in wrinkled linen and a pair of loose trousers cinched with a rugged leather belt. The Islander jacket, a long, four-button linen riding coat, is a refreshing addition to white cotton jodhpurs and an indigo linen shirt. A single-breasted peak-lapel Charles jacket of cotton and linen offers casual elegance as an alternative to the more traditional counterpart. A brown, woven-silk suit has a relaxed appeal when worn with a T-shirt of faded shades of blue or red. Rustic rope belts, chunky leather sandals, Panama hats and faded bandannas give an accent to these inventive looks. Taking the most classic menswear pieces, Lauren creates hip, new looks with an international edge. A blue and white seersucker jacket looks sophisticated when buttoned to the neck and worn with cream linen trousers. For something different, pair a washed Madras jacket with weathered chinos and a bandanna tied around the neck. Or, put on a poplin Grant jacket, nipped at the waist and roomy through the chest and shoulders, with patch pockets. Sportswear for spring captures the rustic ambience of New England and embodies the robust heritage of life at sea. From rugged knits and rough wear to functional outerwear, Lauren creates clothes that look good and are suitable for outdoor activities, such as sailing, mountain biking, climbing and hiking. A neutral assortment of warm beiges and browns can be worn with muted shades of sage and forest green, or mixed with crisp nautical blues and stripes. Special detailing and the use of weathered fabrics give this clothing a vintage feel and added comfort. Knit shirts in light jersey and weathered mesh can be worn with shorts or rolled-up pants in laundered chino, coated cotton or canvas. Wear a Fair Isle sweater in faded earth tones tucked into a pair of worn fatigue shorts, and finish off the look for a day on the docks or a hike in the mountains, with a leather belt and suspenders. Outerwear with cargo pockets and signature details offers both style and function. For maximum impact at the gym, the U. S. A. Trainer collection covers a variety of workouts. In the spirit of competitive sport are knits in white, navy and heather-grey with racy accents and bold U. S. A. graphics. Fleece tops and shorts, cotton jerseys and rayon tank tops are ideal for the toughest training sessions, or the most leisurely Sunday afternoons. The U. S. A. Polo Running group is sleek, functional active-wear created specifically with runners' needs in mind. Stretch fabrics allow for mobility, while polyester and nylon blends provide for airflow. Specially created outerwear made from hi-tech fabrics is the ideal choice for jogging in wet or windy conditions. The collection includes classic cotton tanks, T-shirts and training shorts that can be worn season after season.