Golf apparel. An apparel category that's come a long way since a simple cotton men's polo. Now, the category is as complex and diverse as any other, full of its own distinctive features, decoration strategies, and style offerings for both men and women.
MORE THAN JUST ATHLETIC APPAREL
Given the size and diversity of the athletic apparel market, with higher-end and more fashion-forward pieces coming out every day, it would be easy to assume that these days, a golf shirt isn't that different than a nice, high-performance running shirt. This, however, is not the case. For starters, it's important to remember the specific style conventions of golf apparel.
"It's all about lifestyle apparel," said Gina Barreca, director of marketing for Vantage Apparel, Avenel, N.J. "So much of the athletic and golf spaces cross over to fashion that can be worn every day," she said. She stated that the biggest style differences were in the apparel's silhouettes, with the placket polo shirt dominating golf compared to T-shirts and crew neck styles in general athletic apparel. She also noted that textures, stripes and patterns are common in the golf world, as are luxury fabrics, soft collars and retail brand names.
Golf apparel also has different technical attributes compared to other athletic items, since it's specifically designed for use on the course. "Construction is extremely important," said Christina Botkins, marketing associate for Tonix, Fremont, Calif. "Care is taken to ensure armhole and sleeve seams are strong for that swing."
HOW TO DECORATE?
Golf apparel is decorated differently than other athletic items, since it's meant to be more formal. "Embroidery is the most traditional, upscale option for golf apparel," said Barreca.
Botkins agreed. "I think an embroidered logo is the way to go," she said. "It gives off a more premium look than a silk screen would." There are other decoration options, however. "Heat transfers are growing in popularity, as they are light on the technical fabrics," said Barreca.