Thursday, December 17, 2009

Separation Anxiety

(All images the sole property of J. Lindeberg)

I'm really inspired by a lot of non-golf stuff. I hate to think of golf clothing as a separate entity from the menswear world, because, frankly, that's dangerous and a license for disaster. I won't be placed in a box of someone else's construction... I read fantastically put-together menswear blogs daily and much of the inspiration for this site comes from them. 

I love how JL chose to shoot these stills for their s/s 2010 menswear (non-golf) collection - with the model sporting JL's new golf shoe. I like the pairing of sportswear with formal clothing and I love the whole fashion meets function vibe from these shots. 

When I choose my clothing for the course - I like to be a little bit different - stuff like this really inspires me to take a second look at my preoccupations with what 'golf clothing' means... 

One thing I've found is you can be much more creative than most apparel companies would have you think. You don't need to stick to golf-specific manufacturers when you choose golf apparel - that will only hinder individuality. 

I think the simplest way to look at things is to consider the fact that you're headed outside to participate in a recreational activity. You need traction and stability to swing the club (from your shoe) and you need room and comfort to turn (from your clothing) - beyond that your options are nearly endless. You have to decide, "How important are performance qualities to me?" To us, they aren't everything. I'd rather be comfortable with the way my clothing fits and looks than wear a shirt that has certain performance features, but looks space age. 

In today's golf market, many companies are coming around to the fact that you can incorporate performance and technical features into a piece that also looks great - because a large amount of consumers and pros alike do take the performance capabilities -moisture wicking, SPF, anti-microbial properties, etc. - into account. 

A company that comes to mind is Dunning - Ralph Dunning started designing gear for triathletes, so performance is paramount; at the same time Ralph also happens to be into 60's mod gear and 80's prep style - so Dunning is working on blending performance with style in a new and exciting way, like a CoolMax/Merino wool blend for sweaters and slim-cut herringbone trousers that breathe.   

Blending fashion with function is one of the things JL has always kept as a mantra for the brand: classic yet active, energetic. The key for me is really the transitional elements of this ideal - the blurring of the edges, so to speak, between clothing for sport and clothing for casualwear. You see it everywhere these days - workwear is HUGE in mainstream fashion - plaids, boots, selvedge denims, leathers, industrial-strength jackets and coats. Old workwear and sport brands have been revitalized in American fashion - Red Wing Boots, Barbour jackets, Sperry Topsider, Woolrich, LL Bean... 

When I go out to play golf, I want to be wearing something I'd feel comfortable in on the streets, I don't want to pull up to the ATM on my way to the course and have someone be able to readily distinguish that I'm on my way to the club. With the way prep-style has re-emerged as the go-to for the younger set, this is not an outlandish suggestion. I could just as easily be wearing a cricket sweater or an argyle vest to a downtown meeting, as I could to the first tee. 

I suppose the message here is one of open-mindedness... Do not place restrictions on your creativity by boxing yourself in with what the industry or other influences have defined as "golf clothing." It is much more practical, in our on-the-go world, to create transitional looks that work wherever life may take you today. I say this a lot, but "Have some fun with it..."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This has been your best post to date! Golf clothing in my opinion should not resemble a uniform or kit worn by an endorsed athlete. sponsorship is understandable, but kills individuality. I really hope all you folks out there like the direction KC has taken with this post? I for one, can't wait for more like it.