Fair Play for the Fairway
Offering brighter, more fashion-friendly colors is another way to appeal to this market. Lea Robinson, vice president of sales and marketing at Dallas-based Staton Corporate & Casual, named apple green, butter yellow and aqua blue as just a few new hues for this year.
Interestingly, Robinson also explained a key difference between ladies' polo shirts and performance golf shirts on the whole. On sport-specific performance polos—higher-tech apparel which both Robinson and Gardiner pointed to as the future of golf gear—"The sleeves are hemmed and not tapered," she said, which means they fall naturally as opposed to gripping the arm. The shirts are also longer in length and include moisture-wicking and antimicrobial properties, she said. Though the price point is slightly higher on these styles, she emphasized that in this case, samples can quell objections. "It's important for the customer to feel the difference in weight, texture of fabric, length of sleeve and design," Robinson said.
But despite increasingly technical properties, fit will always be the deciding factor for women's apparel. In the effort to maintain what Robinson called "curve appeal," it's important to remember there's a niche within a niche. Waterman was quick to point out that being able to accommodate multiple sizes within a women's golf promotion just might make the sale. "While that tight, little cotton-spandex polo might look cute in a catalog, it may not be a good fit for everyone," he said. "Distributors need to think about the fit for all of the women participating in the promotion."