He loves money, and these golf shorts were covered in currency. I pulled them off the rack at the TPC Las Vegas (where else but in Vegas, right?) and held them up.“These were made for you,” I said.
No roll of the eyes. Not even a chuckle. Just a glare. Then he went back to his stack of tan windshirts.
Point taken: The successful businessman gets that way by keeping his money in his pockets, not on them. And there are some guys who will not wear pink, even on Mother’s Day.
The woman buying golf clothes for a man is most likely to be successful if she knows the guy, first, and the fashions, second. Sit with him to watch the U.S. Open on Thursday and Friday to find out which players’ outfits he admires — is he an Ian Poulter (his IJP label)/Rickie Fowler (Adidas) risk-taker, a Bubba Watson (Travis Mathew) ice-cream man fan, a Keegan Bradley (Tommy Hilfiger) preppy, or form-fitting Tiger Woods (Nike)?
Then and only then, shop for him on Saturday for the perfect Father’s Day gift on Sunday.
Oh, and do protect him from his own bad taste. As my golfing companion yesterday said, “There are some guys who just should not wear orange.” And orange — aka poppy and tangerine, among other designer names — is the golf color of 2012, especially as worn by Rickie Fowler.
Here, we offer 5 fashion-forward items to be found in golf shops that might be right for your man, or, maybe not:
- Synthetic fabrices, including, yes, polyester. If there is a prevailing trend in men’s golf clothes today, says Susan Shade, who manages U.S. sales teams for fashion-forward AUR and preppy Tommy Hilfiger. “It is really about tech right now. Polyester has turned the corner, and it is all the rage.” The new fabrics are better than cotton at wicking moisture, holding color through many washes, and, resisting wrinkles. If your man is stuck on cotton, consider it your duty to help him through rehab.
- White belts, as popularized by many players, especially Europeans. Note that Tiger Woods does not wear them. Note that they draw attention to the middle. Note that many players who wear them probably should not be drawing attention to the middle. Should your guy? Said Shade, “They do look good on a pair of plaid shorts.”
- Loudmouth shorts, as popularized by John Daly and the Loudmouth label, and being replicated by others. We don’t see these unless Daly is playing — a rare occurrence on TV these days — because PGA Tour players have to wear long pants, which are not so popular in loud patterns. A man either thinks these are cool or thinks they are horrid; be sure to know before you buy, and coordinate them with a shirt in order to avoid the flowers-and-plaid fashion don’t.
- The longstanding golf traditions of horizontal stripes and argyle. They’re showing up particularly in preppy and retro collections, and although women have been schooled to avoid horizontal stripes, they are right for the fit man. “I don’t think it’s about age, it’s about body type,” Antigua CEO Ron McPherson said. “I wear horizontal stripes, but some guys won’t because they accentuate things too much.” As for argyle, if your gift giver likes traditional golf attire, it is always on the market in some form.
- Super-bright and neon colors. “Wasabi green has done amazing, and purple,” Shade said. “We’re seeing that men are not afraid of it.” Of course, the colors have designer names. Said McPherson, “We’re seeing a lot more key limes, turquoises and lemons.” His theory: “As the economy gets better, we all wear brighter colors.” Gift-givers, tread carefully here: If your guy has nothing but earth colors in his closet, he is not likely to take to wasabi green.