Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Travis Mathew Revisited

(Images borrowed from TravisMathew.com, Associated Press, Getty Images)

I can be really hard on apparel brands. I guess I just expect a whole lot from anyone willing to come out and say 'This is it. This is our stuff. We're progressive, we're different, come get it.' I was hard on Travis Mathew as a brand, I think, because at the PGA Show everyone was raving about how great it was, how it was some of the best stuff out there etc. etc. and all I saw was racks of gray and black and the stuff that did have color was retro surf-inspired shirting that made me think of Quiksilver or Billabong, circa 1998. (I would know, I wore it.)

That being said, I love clothing so much that I always revisit brands - it's impossible for me to write things off entirely. I recently revisited Travis Mathew and I saw things in a much different light. Part of the reason I decided to come back was the exposure they've been getting through the recent great play (3rd at the Players) of John Mallinger, their #1 man on Tour and also because I was blown away that Tommy Armour III was on the squad. My old golf coach (a former Tour player) said Tommy had a penchant for fantastic trousers. Regardless of whether or not I agreed, if an old war horse like Tommy was wearing T.M, I had to check it out. 

As I assessed the clothing, I immediately felt guilty for the hasty judgement. The shirts are trim, crisp and excel at the details. The lighter colored stiching on the top buttonhole caught my eye on several shirts, the shorts feature an iPod pocket, hidden discreetly in the back so as not to interfere with your swing. I feel like everyone promises fashion and function, but they really make an effort to deliver on it. And who doesn't love great basics? Their white, black and gray basic polos offer distinctly Lindeberg-type appeal and fit, but with a slightly longer sleeve and chest pocket. Plus, like JL, they have a symmetric and appealing logo. 

So much of fashion is modifying the classics in a new way. And classic styling means true all-ages appeal. As T.M. states, "There is no age to our demographic, nor are we about a specific target..." Sometimes you have to throw grandiose notions aside (slap on the wrist, KC) and be content with the idea that someone has achieved just what they set out to do.  True, there are brands out there similar to Travis Mathew, but I admire their persistence and their vision to remain original. You may not see a pastel-striped Travis Mathew polo anytime soon; But why, with the flood of loud colors on Tour, should we even care?



Chief Plays-With-Words said...

I highly recommend that Travis Mathew not launch a T-shirt line.

Even if the styles were classy and the colors snazzy, it would still sound like a Travis Tee to me.

Not to mention a mockery.

TXQ said...

"That being said, I love clothing so much that I always revisit brands - it's impossible for me to write things off entirely."

Surely, KC, you have a John Daly trousers caveat, in its entirety?

It wouldn't be writing off more than you can eschew.

I'm pretty sure that made sense.

Anonymous said...

I recently picked up a couple of Travis Mathew polos and a pair of shorts. Overall, I am really happy with the look and the fit and will likely purchase more. Certainly a little color would be welcome.

The relatively slim fit works well for those of us that aren't quite ready for the super trim look of J. Lindeberg apparel. Good for those that want stand out a bit more than the average weekend golfer wearing the typical baggy Nike, Adidas, et al.