If the PGA Tour doesn’t want to use the slogan “These Guys Are Good” any longer, we’ll happily apply it to Alex Holderness and John Bourne, founders of Holderness & Bourne premium golf apparel. The two debuted their namesake sportswear company in 2015 after they had a post-golf round light bulb moment.
Playing golf was one way these business school pals took relief from studies. John typically wore cotton polo shirts that were too short and always came untucked. Alex’s shirts were a little too baggy and fluttered around the arms. They always poked fun at each other’s ill-fitting outfits, until the day came they decided to put their scholastic skills to work and solve the fit dilemma.
We could also use the term “These Guys Are Smart” because the two researched every nook and cranny of the apparel industry and learned so much that when you speak to them today, they sound as though they’ve been at this for decades, not a few years.
In that relatively short time, they’ve sold into 150+ pro shops and resorts, including Merion, Winged Foot, Streamsong, Medinah, Liberty National and Greenbrier to drop a few names. Just as important as the number of doors, the re-order rate has been beyond expectations.
In a recent conversation with Alex, we asked what customers are liking most about the H&B shirts. Here’s what he said:
“Most often it’s about the fit. We think we’ve found the sweet spot of a slightly more tailored and modern fit, without going ‘European’ tight. It’s very wearable from a lifestyle point of view. We also calibrated fit for larger sizes, (XL - XXL), so they are more accommodative in the places needed.”
“The next thing we hear about is our collars. We’ve created more of an English cutaway which is a great look, and we use premium interfacing with stays so the collar stands properly. When you wear our shirt under another layer, there’s no messing with the collar.”
“People also seem to appreciate the fact we don’t put a logo on our shirts except for the inside label, so customers can put their own club’s logo anywhere they want. I smiled recently when someone said they liked Holderness & Bourne because we weren’t just another ‘critter’ brand. We’re seeing a trend toward more low-key dressing by guys, and less use of giant logos. It’s all about effortless style. We design our apparel to be as versatile as possible with the highest quality and attractive price point.”
With 25 shirt style/colorway combos - both performance and cotton fabrics - a selection of vests and quarter-zip layering pieces, plus bags and accessories in the mix, there should be little left for Holderness and Bourne to rib each other about on the golf course, right? (Insert smiley emoji)
For more, go to www.holdernessandbourne.com.
Janice Ferguson has covered golf apparel and accessories for more than a decade including writing the weekly editorial section for The Apparel Wire, and currently contributing feature articles to GolfThreads, AGM, and What To Wear Next. Find her ‘fashion fluent/golf-inspired’ posts on Twitter @TheStyleLinks and Instagram @janiceferguson_thestylelinks.