Three Under Par
Ever really look at a polo and wonder why it’s so popular, anyway? For one thing, the ubiquitous piqué fabrication lends itself well to a piece that needs a shelf life. Formed for strength, the ribbed-knit piqué fabrication is meant to withstand sand traps, play-throughs or even just the Saturday crush at the mall.
Plus, a classic collar neckline makes the whole piece particularly timeless. “Golf apparel continues to be an important category within the marketplace because of the clean and sophisticated look plackets present,” Waterman affirmed. As such, these are the features to look at when considering the endurance level of a golf-apparel item: sturdy fabrics that will resist general wear-and-tear, and refined details on signature areas like collars, plackets and sleeves.
Fashion on the Fairway
Consequently, both fabrication and signature design touches are the main indicators for how well a piece will work in regular, off-course life, as well. As Waterman stated simply, “Golf apparel tends to be worn for more than just golfing. [It] is worn in many settings including the office, socially and on the golf course.”
Sports such as women’s tennis have been trying to marry sheer practicality with a need for a more modern uniform, to mixed success. However, when it comes to golf apparel, super fashion-forward promotions are not necessarily in the cards for two reasons. First, because of the aforementioned goal of a long-lived item, “classic” must remain the watchword. And secondly, “Most golf courses still require a collared polo or mock neckline to be worn by their guests to play their course,” said DeGeare. Veering too far off the beaten path isn’t advisable, yet there are still ways to maintain a contemporary look. DeGeare noted design extras such as sueded fabric, accent piping and mesh inserts as fashionable new additions to Whispering Pines Sportswear’s 2009 line. Also, she and Waterman both confirmed that a broad range of colors is always welcome, as well as easy-care construction (no-iron, stain-resistant, etc.).