Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh! Mega Bright...

(All photos the property of the Associated Press)

It's a wonder that players in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup made it through security at the airport - they were packing some serious heat... 

Bright trousers reigned supreme in China where guys like Jamie Donaldson of Wales (top) and Jyoti Randhawa (2nd from top) of India made Poults and Fisher's coordinating IJP trousers look frighteningly cautious. 

Winners in the pants parade, you ask? Inconclusive. John Daly could not be reached for comment... The event was won by Italian brothers Molinari e Molinari - meanwhile the Swedes - Stenson och Karlsson - wore their trousers like proper Italians, looking brilliant in the fit department, as always. 


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

An Essay: Has Golf Become Too Casual?

(Photos the sole property of Getty Images)

Golf is a game. Golf has most certainly, in the past decade, become what the average human would consider a true 'sport.' But one should, in my opinion, dress for golf in a way that pertains more to the former than the latter.  To simply use the word 'dress' implies a certain amount of care and of purpose. Plenty of golfers put deliberate care into choosing a golf shirt the same way that plenty of businessmen put care into choosing a tie each day. Without that simple premise, a blog like this - and a million others like it - does not exist. 

We've found that golfers, on the whole, happen to be at least vaguely interested, one way or another, in style. They like a particular shirt for the way it fits, or the boldness of its color or the softness of its hand. They may not know why or how or who, but they know they're going to wear that beautiful shirt on Sunday when the money is on the line because they always play better in it or at the Goldman Sachs outing, because they always look better in it. 

As the loyal KC reader knows, we are fully in favor of experimentation on the course in terms of dress. That is proven again and again here with our open-mindedness. That being said, we're also phenomenally grounded in and inspired by tradition. We think golfers should look sharp out there, put thorough care into what they're wearing and dress 'for the day.' 

Take a company like J. Lindeberg - incredibly innovative: what many people consider to be the godfather of the rebirth of golf style - but one of the things Johan Lindeberg didn't want to lose sight of was the heritage of the game. JL has succeeded in creating collection after collection of golf clothing that calls to mind the Palmers and the Players, their charisma, their charm, their gentlemanly qualities - but also injected the sexiness, the brashness, the excitement - that had seemingly left the game for good in the 80's and 90's. 

Lindeberg may use technical fabrics and European-inspired styling, but the basis of each and every collection is classic tailoring and iconic menswear: cardigans, v-neck sweaters, waistcoats, wool trousers in classic English patterns, merino vests. Yes, you may see something that Camilo helped design that looks a little more Mick Jagger than Bob Ford, but I can guarantee you that a JL mood board is built around the premise that golf is an iconic symbol - one to experiment with, but never forsake.

Many collections, even those rooted in very traditional styling, like say, a Polo Golf, certainly feel the need to evolve as the game changes and becomes 'sportier.' They are masters of doing this in subtle ways - extending the hem on a golf short, cutting a polo shirt ever so slimmer, shortening a sleeve, blending in a moisture-wicking fabric - but they are never going to lose that customer that they've built over the years: the one that takes a true pleasure in dressing for the game. 

Even some of the newer brands that may not look so traditional are getting inspiration from the right places. I met this past week with Travis and Chris at Travis Mathew and although these guys may produce collections with the distinct, no-frills essence of Southern California, the designs are rooted in an appreciation of functional and stylish menswear pieces that also happen to work for golf. 

Creativity and experimentation, as we've said, are so important to personal style and to keeping people interested in clothing. That being said, I see some things that I simply can't condone. Sneaker-golf shoes, untucked shirts, mock-necks. No professional golfer should be wearing a shirt without a collar or have his shirt untucked on the course. Period. Johan Edfors has a tremendous amount of personal style and there very well may be a contingent of ladies who enjoy seeing his belly-button on every shot, but half the time he's playing, he looks like he's going to the beach. And the topic of mock-necks shouldn't even get airtime on an esteemed site like this one, but unfortunately there are plenty of guys out there still wearing them... We'll make it simple for you... DON'T.

The sneaker-style golf shoe thing I can live with if it is done appropriately. When Ryan Moore has worn a vest and a tie, I say, rock the Puma low-tops. It's like jeans with a blazer and slim tie, they offset each other in terms of formality. Go right ahead. But in the photo above, he loses me... Completely... You know what? Retract my statement. Ryan Moore could have just as much personal style on the course while wearing appropriate footwear - get yourself a FootJoy contract like a PGA Tour winner should and bring the vests back out of the closet. 

Overly 'techy' stuff falls into the cautionary category. I'll be the first to admit it, I initially had a huge problem with the insanely popular JL Troyan and Troon pants. I wasn't going out there in anything but cotton or wool. I've relaxed in my initial hesitation, because there are huge benefits to technical pieces in terms of non-wrinkle capabilities, the aversion to staining, etc. Although they aren't for everyone, polyester performance pants do have their place in today's game if they fit and behave like JL's and are built to look polished and as part of a uniquely "golf" look. 

I don't know - I guess I still romanticize this game so much: the idea of driving to the course on a crisp morning, sun-shining, a golf polo, a sweater, a crisp pair of trousers - top down on a classic car. Dew on the first tee, a clean pair of golf shoes. The lifestyle really. What it means to be a gentleman golfer. It's something very sacred to me. That romance and that intrigue will never leave the game for some, I'm content knowing that. Has golf become too casual? That depends how you see it. Has the clothing become more relaxed? Yes, that's fair to say and probably necessary given the changes in the physical game. Have the attitudes become more relaxed? Yes, I think that's also fair. 

There is no reason to fear change as long as the inspiration and the participation are pure. This is a clothing blog, but these broader topics are things to be considered, certainly. So as you pull up to the course, change your shoes, feel that distinct fall sunshine on your shoulders, remember that golf is only as pure as its current participants, its current state. It's every golfer's responsibility to carry on the tradition of this storied game. Dress like you respect it. Act like you cherish it. And most importantly, pass it on so we never forget it...


Friday, November 20, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Prep/Golf Style Dun Right?

(Photos the property of Dunning/Buffalo Communications)

Here at the KC we are big fans of Ralph Dunning and his attitudes about clothing. Being self-described, hybrid prepsters ourselves, we can appreciate the love that Dunning has for iconic styles for the course and for the street. 

Achieving prep-appeal while maintaining technical progressiveness and appreciation of classic tailoring is the cornerstone for the Canadian company with aspirations to wholly embrace golf, while remaining by all definitions a lifestyle brand. And life at Dunning appears to be good; where we know from the evolution of a little brand called Lauren, every Ralph needs his mansion: 

Welcome to the newly-opened Toronto flagship store of Dunning Sportswear. 



The Cold Shoulder

(Photo the property of Getty Images)

I'm assuming a bunch of you golfers out there wear compression tops/thermal layers under golf polos on cold days... If so, would any of you wear these Nike Thermal Sleeves AK was sporting in New Zealand? (Above.) 

I wouldn't be caught dead in these things. a.) There are so many stylish cold-weather options for golf and b.) Let's be honest, I'd rather freeze to death than wear an arm condom. Walter Hagen is rolling over in his grave. 


Monday, November 16, 2009


The KC team is headed to LA tomorrow for a five day stint checking out the best in west coast golf style. 

If you're in the greater LA area and want to set aside time to chat, have us preview new gear or just say hello, hit us on email.


The KC Gets Kidnapped!?

(All Photos the sole property of Getty Images)

The Kiwi Challenge is fast becoming one of our favorite events at the KC. The venue, New Zealand's Cape Kidnappers, breathtakingly transports you to a sort of golfing Neverland (Think Peter Pan, not King of Pop) and what better locale for the competition that touts its victor "Best Golfer Under the Age of 30..."

With four of the PGA Tour's best and brightest, one would have to think that fashion, in some sense, would enter into the foray - along with the anticipated attitude, competitiveness and youthful vigor that make this event so much fun. This year's lineup had a little bit of everything style-wise, which we loved: 

You have Anthony Kim in Nike Golf - very sporty, function out-favoring form, slim cuts; Camilo Villegas in J. Lindeberg - more "fashiony," bootcut trousers, edgy, a little rock n' roll; Sean O'Hair in Ashworth - All-American boy, stoic, more traditional fits, natural materials and Hunter Mahan in Under Armour - the closest thing golf has to The X-Games.

Four very different and distinct attitudes reflected in their personal styles and the apparel companies they've chosen to represent. It's sort of a chicken and an egg type thing here, but one wonders - with such great congruity between the apparel these young men wear and their attitudes and auras - is the spokesman always eventually drawn to the right brand or does the spokesman eventually become the brand, regardless of whether or not it's the right one - so to speak... In any event, someone is doing their job here, because it all works.   

Who looked the best out there? Depends on what you like... To see four young golfers wearing clothing that fits them properly is a victory for all of us in the apparel industry and a recent phenomenon of sorts. At the KC, we are never known to promote complacency, but since it's the Silly Season, let's try not to get too serious about it... Being serious is really an over-30 thing anyway, right?


Friday, November 13, 2009

Neutrality Bites!?

(All photos the sole property of Getty/Canon Images)

Phil's secret for living in the fashion fast lane? Leave it in neutral, baby. Through four rounds of fantastic golf in Shanghai, Phil never left the monochromatic sphere. The result was pure sophistication and a good lesson in using basic texture and pattern instead of color to diversify a look or series of looks. Phil favored pinstripes in different widths, both piped and solid polos and exotic skin belts to keep things really clean, tailored and well, serious. As serious as a 1.2 million dollar payday... 


Tony Q: Q+A

(Photos courtesy of The Associated Press/Reuters Photos/Getty Images/Q'aja)

I was fortunate enough recently to get a few words out of my buddy Tony Q'aja, founder of Q'aja Couture and a longtime KC supporter. I caught up with Tony on the current state of the style game on the US and European Tours, what we can expect from Q'aja in the coming year and how it is having a young US player wearing his designs...

1.   There are a lot of golf polos and trousers on the market, what sets Q'aja apart and how is Q'aja working on staying updated to meet buyers demands? Yes, Sean. There seems to be a growing trend to have a golf line.  There are designer brands that feel they have to have a golf line to stop their consumer from going to other brands that do a golf line and indirectly start becoming a consumer of the opposing brand.

As you know, Q’aja has a background [in] tailoring, where we have to consider how a garment should fit a consumer.  The fit of a garment has to be created with a thought for what the garment is going to be used for.  It is these important considerations that make Q’aja distinctly clothing [for golf.]   

So we had to create garments that would look good (fit), feel good (fabric), and perform well (functionality).

Our ready-to-wear pants have a unique adjustable waistband that helps towards a perfect fit.  For those of you that have the athletic figure (hate you), with a small waist and large seat (ok, ass) you can buy the larger size and glide the waistband until you are comfortable.  For those of us with a good living athletic figure (ok, large) you can get the pants to fit nice on the seat and glide the waistband out.

Fabrics are very important.  We use natural, cool wool for our pants and merino wool with polyester for our polos.  The wool keeps your body temperature cool in heat and warm in the cold.  Q’aja is created for the savvy guy that can appreciate and understand these attributes.

We are always looking at ways of improving our products, not just from a design perspective but also functionality.  We hope that Q’aja actually initiates the demand from the buyers through its creativity.  Remember, when we created the [V] slits at the hem of the pants, initially people were not sure; but now everyone is wearing them because they are not only functional but also good-looking and different.


2.  What do you think was the biggest golf moment of 2009? Ricardo Gonzalez’s victory on the European Tour.  After four barren years of just qualifying and getting his card, he finally put in a performance that even Tiger would have been proud of.  Five birdies out of his last six holes which consisted of some amazing shots through trees and bunkers....truly amazing! The fact that he had just started to wear Q’aja clothing just two months prior, well that’s another conspiracy theory.......

3.  You have a young US PGA Tour player, Scott Piercy, sporting Q'aja in the US. How has having a young staff influenced your designs? It has been good to have a US player in our stable.  I have to say the US market generally has a very conservative view as far as fashion goes.  You have also been brought up in the world of ‘dress down,’ ‘easy-fit’ and washing machines.

So I was keen to show the Q’aja  ethos to you guys.  Scott Piercy decided he wanted to have a different look than the other players and understood the benefits of the products and their quality fabrics.  Again, as Scott will tell you, the positivity he feels everytime he goes out to play is because of the feel-good factor he gets when he puts  Q’aja label clothing on.  Oh, and he’s not had a bad maiden year either!

We introduced some trendier designs for some of our younger players without going overboard.  Remember Q’aja is about sophisticated style.  These have been introduced initially through our world exclusive bespoke Polo facility.

4. We've been speaking for some time now about the Q'aja "bespoke polo" service. Is this currently being offered in the UK? Can we expect this service to appear in the US soon? The bespoke Polo facility has been introduced into the UK and US but only on a private basis at present.  The problem we have with making it commercially available is cost.  Golf stores or Country clubs feel that their consumers wouldn’t spend too much on a golf product!  On the contrary we receive numerous enquiries from around the world asking for these exact products and consumers want these.  So we are in the process of setting up a ‘Friends of Q’aja’  stable.  Consumers can join for £10 or $15 and have access to the bespoke sevice at special rates.  This will enable them to order some of the unique styles that the Tour players will be wearing, Limited editions.  They will also be able to get styling or fitting advice, just like the celebrities.  Add to all this advance viewing and ordering of the following seasons ready-to-wear line again at preferential rates.  Anyone interested should send an email to stating interest in ‘Friends of Q’ and state they live in. (Editor's Note: It should also be mentioned that Phil Mickelson, having no clothing deal and the choice of anything to wear, chooses Q'aja bespoke polo services...)

5.  Since guys are often wearing styled/scripted outfits on Tour, how much would you say personal style plays a role? How would you describe your own personal style? Many brands will instruct which outfit their tour player should wear and when.  Others will just send boxes of products and let the player mix and match on his own accord, which in my opinion, can be a very dangerous thing!  Personal style, I think, is very important.  You have to be able to look at the person’s personality, complexion, hair and of course, his size.  The clothing needs to reflect these personal attributes in a manner that makes the player feel good.  If the player feels good in the clothing it will be very apparent on-screen and bodes well for the brand.  It has to be a happy marriage.

My personal style is probably reflected in my collections.  Sadly, I am no longer a teenager or the athletic soccer player of my youth.  I have grown to appreciate quality and sophistication.   In a small paraphrase, ‘Classic with a Twist’, just like Q'aja...



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No, Poults, These Are MyJoys...Those Are YourJoys...

(Ian wears a custom pair of MyJoy Icons, photo the property of Getty Images)

PGA Tour pros are really having fun with the MyJoys program from FootJoy. As you'll see in this video, courtesy of Chris at FootJoy, guys like Ryuji Imada, Charley Hoffman and of course, Ian Poulter, are thoroughly enjoying being a part of the design process for their Icon footwear. You'll also get a chance to preview some of the styles these players will be wearing in 2010. 

As a few of the interviewees explain, it's really taking their creativity and expression to new levels. A definite must-watch for all the FootJoy fans and anyone who loves seeing such enthusiasm for style on the course...


Win a Camilo Villegas-Signed JL Tour Bag!!

Talk about a Christmas gift idea... Our buddies over at TrendyGolf are offering one fortunate individual the chance to win a J. Lindeberg tour bag signed by JL poster-boy Camilo Villegas. Pretty awesome deal. The bag itself is centerpiece-worthy and even though Camilo didn't pick up a win in 2009, he's still one of the most stylish guys to ever tee it up... Goes a long way in our book...

The contest runs through December 15th, so you have plenty of time to fill out an entry form and then pick up some of the new fall stuff from Dunning, RLX, Q'aja and the rest of TrendyGolf's great selection of brands. Do you think Team Trendy will figure out that I've already entered 157 times? I hope not...  


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just Pleat It?!

Well, it's official...pleats are cool again. At least judging by the golf-style barometer that is J. Lindeberg. At last check, pleats have really made a full-on departure from the ranks of pros and hackers least under the age of 50. Hell, even Tiger Woods - seemingly bulletproof to trends in golfwear - rocks flat-fronts and has for several years. 

I'm not quite sure how I feel about the infusion of pleats into the game again for the younger player. I mean, a single pleat looks okay on a younger guy if the trouser is cut well and the width of the leg is slimmer - avoiding the "sack" effect seen on the sartorially-challenged. Sean O' Hair is a guy who comes to mind - he has worn a trimmer cut pant with a single pleat and looked fine. 

The good thing about the JL Trivone AMF Chic pant, pictured above and available spring 2010, is that the double pleats are subtle and shallow and don't do much at all to affect the overall character of the trouser.
In fact - as you can tell from the shot on the model - they're barely noticeable. 
As mentioned in the Polo RL preview, Polo Golf has some great traditional pleated offerings that call to mind the heritage of the game - and legends like Hagen and Hogan (above) - in terms of materials and styling.  

It also must be noted that golf apparel is following directly in step with the re-emergence of pleats in casual wear. They say that if what you're wearing happens to be 'out' of style, just wait...Fashion is cyclical and just like that white belt you wore in the 70's is still teetering on the plateau of 'hip,' your pleated slacks now qualify you as ahead of the curve...That being said, please make sure they fit...Like a glove. And don't go ordering those triple-pleated Elevee nightmares either. 

In fact, if you've been wearing flat-fronts, stay there for now... It took us long enough to get looking better on the greens and like JL's mini-pleats, it may be best to take baby steps. If you need a bit of advice on spring gear, don't hesitate to email us. 

In closing: If there's a pleat parade coming through town, team KC won't be falling in step anytime soon...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Inside the Ropes: NBC Team to Wear PM Gear

As alluded to in the Peter Millar S/S 2010 preview, NBC and PM have agreed to a partnership wherein the NBC golf and production team - think Miller, Hicks, Roberts, Pepper, McCord, etc. will be sporting Peter Millar apparel beginning in early December at Sherwood for the Chevron World Challenge. 

A very exciting announcement for those familiar with the Peter Millar brand - as the sophisticated colors, materials and textures of PM offerings are a sort of new level of look for NBC's team and a much-needed facelift. Our only hope here is that they get as creative as possible with the looks and really use the serious depth of PM's menswear collection to get these guys looking sharp and sophisticated. We're picturing layering techniques like a quilted vest under a sportcoat and exotic leather belts for the on-course guys. I wonder sometimes who styles for those guys - would be a fun job. KC consulting services is always open for business...Look us up.

Here is the official announcement, courtesy of Peter Millar:

Peter Millar Partners with NBC Sports

Leading Lifestyle Brand Becomes Official Apparel Supplier of NBC Sports Golf Production Team


CARY, NC (November 9, 2009) – Peter Millar, a leader in the luxury apparel market, announced today that it has entered into a new partnership with NBC Sports.  Peter Millar will outfit the entire NBC Sports golf talent and production team beginning with the Chevron World Challenge on December 5th, 2009 at Sherwood Country Club.  As the official apparel provider for NBC Sports golf, the chosen items will feature both the NBC Sports and Peter Millar logos.


“We are thrilled to form a partnership with NBC Sports.  The golf world is such an important part of the Peter Millar lifestyle.  With NBC Sports, each week we will be entering into our customers’ home through Dan Hicks, Johnny Miller and the entire broadcast team.  ” says Scott Mahoney, President & CEO of Peter Millar.


“We look forward to providing Peter Millar with a national stage for their superior product as our golf announce team will wear a variety of their apparel throughout our extensive schedule,” said Ken Schanzer, President of NBC Sports.     NBC’s golf schedule is highlighted by The Players Championship, US Open Championship, Fed-Ex Cup Playoffs & Ryder Cup in 2010.


Peter Millar will bring a timeless sophistication and style to the telecasters’ apparel choices.  From sport coats, dress shirts, neckwear, sweaters and knit shirts, the broadcast team consisting of Dan Hicks, Johnny Miller, Roger Maltbie, Gary Koch, Bob Murphy, Jimmy Roberts, Mark Rolfing and Dottie Pepper will all be dressed by Peter Millar.  



Peter Millar, LLC is a leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products. Peter Millar has achieved remarkable growth and success by supplying the highest quality products to a premium limited distribution.   The Company’s brand names include Peter Millar, Peter Millar Tailored Clothing, Peter Millar Dress Furnishings and Tweed Peacock.  For more information, please visit or contact Millie Graham at 919.465.0155 #109 or email:


NBC Universal Sports & Olympics, known for amassing large audiences while presenting the most prestigious properties in sports, represents superior production, broad promotion, and mutually beneficial partnerships, all designed to elevate the sport.  Other prestigious NBC Sports properties include Notre Dame football, the U.S. Open Championship, The Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Wimbledon, French Open, and the Stanley Cup Final.


Back to Asics?

(Photos the property of The Associated Press and Asics)

As reported by the KC back in April, Asics has been planning to drop a golf shoe on the US market. That day has arrived, as the Gelace (Gel-Ace) will be available in mid-November at

There has been a lot of shakeup news in the golf shoe market as of late - with FJ's Icon, JL's independent shoe release (they have previously collaborated with Puma) the new Nike Tour Premium, the Adidas 360 4.0, new Puma models earlier this spring and finally the Asics intro...That's a lot to choose from when you are looking for a top flight golf shoe. 

At 150-175 bucks MSRP, the Asics shoe will be priced well below higher-end competition. The shoe is most certainly sporty in heritage, and golfers looking for a shoe compatible with a more classic wardrobe will struggle. But if you wear a lot of Puma, Sligo and other more "in your face" brands, these will work nicely with the color palettes of your existing closets.

As far as bells and whistles, Asics offers a hidden lacing system that keeps the top line of the shoe looking streamlined and slimmer, and the traction and stability are given the attention you would expect from a company with a running pedigree. 

Personally, we think the white base/silver/black model is the keeper of the bunch. You could go real clean and modern - black polo and a white pair of trousers - and these shoes are bold enough to carry the entire look. Back to (B)asics, indeed...


Friday, November 6, 2009

Second-Half "Looks of the Year"

(All photos the property of Getty Images/The Associated Press/Reuters Pictures/ESPN etc.)

It's that time again...Time to present the KC's Looks of the Year - 2nd Half Edition. We're talking piles and piles of pima and polyester here. Cotton and wool, wool and cotton, these looks are gone, but not forgotten. (Beautiful, we know...) The second half of the season was a little disparaging apparel-wise, but there were some bright spots. An unexpected masterpiece was Tom Watson at Turnberry in iconic numbers from Polo and who could forget the ping-pong match of classic pieces at the Presidents Cup? Ryo Ishikawa and Ian Poulter kept our eyes popping as always and new additions Fowler and Lovemark gave us something to look forward to in Scottsdale. Anyways, let's get right into it. 

Nominee #1: Rory McIlroy. Dunhill. We love Rory, but he has struggled in the past with his dress. One thing we do like, however, is Rory never looks overdone - he's retained that "amateur" look. This, to us, is the most realistic pro outfit we've seen. Cotton-corduroy 5-pocket trousers and cashmere zip-neck - easy, comfortable, stylish. Look at the clean lines created down his side from such well-fitting stuff. We all should be dressing like this for fall golf. 

Nominee #2: Luke Donald. Madrid Masters. THIS is why MyJoys Icons were created. To me, this look is near perfection. 

Nominee #3: Greg Norman. Opening Ceremonies - The Presidents Cup. No one looked better in a suit that day then El Capitan, himself. 

Nominees #4 and #5: Tom Watson. Days 1 and 2, The British Open. The pinnacle of the 2009 apparel season were Polo's duds for Watson's historic run. The golf was fairly good, too. 

Nominees #6 and #7: United States Team. International Team. Saturday and Sunday at The Presidents Cup, respectively. Argyle was on fire in the Bay Area - Watching the evolution of these team looks is a real pleasure. Can't wait for Ryder Cup 2010. 

Nominee #8: Jamie Lovemark. Open. It's all about the accessories and the fit here. It's a slight case of "what have you done for me lately," but this was a real favorite. 

Nominee #9: Will MacKenzie. PGA Championship. Camilo wore this JL shirt - one of my favorites I bought last spring - earlier in the year with an all-black ensemble. Willy chose a couple of the many multi-colored stripes (gray and white) on the shirt and paired slacks and belt accordingly. Classic example of JL. 

Nominee #10: Phil Mickelson. The Tour Championship. Phil gets a blue ribbon for this one.(The nipple shot is insignificant...I think.) Fantastic color polo paired with the very fine stripe trouser is sporty yet elegant. I could wear this on the course every day. 

We will follow this up, as always, with an Honorable Mention section. Looking forward to responses from you all...