Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, and J. Lindeberg have been iconic brands on the fairways for years. Ralph Lauren has its All-American preppy looks. Hugo Boss oozes European sophistication with trim silhouettes. J. Lindeberg challenges the status quo with ultra-modern designs.
While these well-established brands are mainstays, we are now seeing a new wave of men’s fashion labels taking their looks to the links. Over the last several months, brands such as Ted Baker, Michael Kors, and Psycho Bunny have entered the golf apparel market. In addition to these new collections, Original Penguin has also relaunched its golf line. Each company brings its cache to the fairway and collectively they represent one of the largest influxes of menswear brands to the game in some time.
Ted Baker created a name for itself in the men’s fashion world with well-tailored pieces, attention to detail and a quirky sense of humor. Its golf collection brings these same qualities to the course by balancing a quintessentially British style with high-tech performance.
The collection for spring/summer 2018 includes everything needed to build a golf wardrobe. Ted Baker’s range of polos gives players the option of dialing up outfits with bold geometric and floral patterns, having fun with whimsical prints or taking an understated approach with classic designs.
The shorts and trousers in the collection are as functional as they are fashionable. A small microfiber cloth is attached to the inside of a front pocket for cleaning golf balls and a Velcro strap above the right rear pocket is an easy place to store a glove. Rounding out the collection is a group of accessories that includes everything from straw Trilby hats and leather gloves to colorful socks and belts.
Joining Ted Baker is another menswear brand with a British influence. Psycho Bunny, founded by British designer Robert Godley, is the perfect candidate for a crossover golf collection. The brand is known for putting a modern edge on the traditional polo shirt through upscale details and a mischievous logo. Rather than going ‘all-in’ on tech fabrics, Psycho Bunny is fabricating its golf polos from a poly/Pima cotton blend. The fabric is the best of both worlds as it combines the soft feel of a natural cotton shirt with moisture-wicking qualities.
From a style standpoint, Psycho Bunny pays homage to the traditions of the game. The polos in the collection are simple and basic with an array of solids, tipped collars, classic stripes, and tonal jacquard prints. Hits of bright colors weave their way through the collection in the form of mango orange, strawberry red, gumdrop green, and peacock blue.
The biggest splash from a fashion brand in the golf market belongs to Michael Kors. Prior to this year’s Masters, the brand inked a deal with Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 winner of the Green Jacket.
“I am honored to be working with Michael Kors and representing one of the world’s leading luxury brands,” said Schwartzel. “Michael Kors Men’s sportswear provides the perfect combination of fit, form, and function while I’m competing. I’m also excited to collaborate with the company on the development of their sportswear, providing input on performance features to be incorporated into the line.”
While details of the collection are still emerging, judging from Schwartzel’s appearance at the Masters the Michael Kors golf line will feature simple looks with razor-sharp fits and performance qualities.
Unlike Ted Baker, Psycho Bunny, and Michael Kors, Original Penguin is no stranger to the first tee box. During the Golden Era, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player sported the brand’s fun-loving penguin logo. Now, Original Penguin is back with a new golf collection that combines many of the original styles, prints, and patterns from the 50's, 60's and 70's with slimmer cuts and technical fabrics.
The legendary Earl polo shirt, with a three-button placket and a ribbed color and sleeve hems, sits at the heart of the collection. For those looking to make a stronger statement, all-over prints, bold stripes, and colorful plaids are sure to turn heads on and off the course. The new collection also plays to the current streetwear trends with printed shorts, sleek track jackets, and fitted trousers.
Greg Monteforte is the Founder of GolfThreads, a website dedicated to golf fashion. Cargo shorts, untucked neon polos, backwards baseball hats and rounds that take more than 3-1/2 hours are among his pet peeves. When he is not tracking the latest golf fashion trends, Greg tortures himself by watching his dysfunctional Washington Redskins.