Over time, clothing can become synonymous with a particular event — take the crisp whites of Wimbledon as an example. Golf is no exception.
With its specific, smart dress code, we’ve witnessed a move from the course to our everyday wardrobes. Now, the clothing is more than just sportswear.
I’m going to look at, menswear designer and polo shirt pioneer Ralph Lauren and explore how golf clothing has somehow infiltrated our wardrobes:
The polo shirt is arguably one of the most versatile pieces in any man’s wardrobe. Regardless of the occasion, the polo shirt works brilliantly in smart, smart-casual and casual scenarios.
On the golf course: Polos have long been a staple of a golfer’s wardrobe, roughly since the 20th century. While still remaining lightweight and practical, the golf shirt is smart enough for many clubs and courses dress codes.
Off the golf course: When you’re not on the course, polo shirts are incredibly versatile. They can be worn for both casual and formal occasions; pair with light denim jeans for an effortlessly casual look or wear with chinos or dark denim for the office.
Golf isn’t always played in perfect conditions. During the winter, many golfers keep warm by wearing a jumper or cardigan over their polo shirt — but always with the collar tucked in.
On the golf course: Golfers are often spotted wearing knitwear, whether it’s long-sleeve jumpers or cardigans. Traditionally, these feature an argyle check print. Recent years have seen a resurgence in sleeveless jumpers, which were popular in the 1970s.
Off the golf course: Knitwear is widely worn by men outside of golf, with many layering their jumpers over shirts and ties to create a more formal look. Sweater vests are perhaps less common off the golf course.
When it comes to headwear, it takes a special sort of gentleman to pull off a flat cap. Harkening back to days gone by, flat caps are largely rooted in golf.
On the golf course: Historically considered as a symbol of the upper classes, the flat cap on the golf course served a purpose of protecting players’ eyes from the sun.
Off the golf course: Nowadays, the flat cap remains a popular accessory, worn to complement more formal dress — like a tweed or checked suit, for example. If you’re planning any outdoor pursuits, such as clay pigeon shooting, make the flat cap a staple of your look.
Golfers need trousers that are smart enough to fit in with the golf club’s dress code, while not being so loose that they would interfere with play.
On the golf course: Unless stated in the club’s dress code, golfers can largely wear any colour chinos, although beige and khaki colours remain most popular. The trousers should be tailored but not restrictive and always worn with a belt and polo shirt tucked in. It goes without saying that the trousers should be neatly pressed.
Off the golf course: Because of the smart-casual tailoring of chinos, they can be worn for a host of occasions. For relaxed days, wear with a checked shirt and leather sneakers. The tailoring can easily transition to the office when worn with a crisp shirt and brogues.