The challenge of buying golf clothes for women grows ever more complicated. With every exciting new ladies golf apparel collection that enters this fast-booming market comes the eternal female fashion question: How will it fit?
We’ve all seen the man walk into the golf shop, spot a shirt he likes, rummage to find his size, and reach for his credit card. The woman, well…
“For a long time in golf, women used to be limited to wearing a man’s shirt, sized smaller,” says Susan Shade, who manages U.S. sales teams for fashion-forward AUR and preppy Tommy Hilfiger. “Now the focus is on shirts cut for women, nipped at the waist, made to survive in the heat in sun. The questions are: Does it fit? Does it function? Is it flattering?
“Women have gotten used to sizes varying, so we’re less hung up on what a size means. When we do a trunk show, a woman will find something she likes and take three sizes into the dressing room.”
That’s not much help, of course, to gift-givers who want to give their favorite golf nut her favorite golf shirt ever for a birthday or special occasion. So we’re here to help, with a guide to shopping for the perfect women’s golf shirt.
One general point to remember: Cotton is no longer king when it comes to performance fabrics. “Polyester has turned the corner,” Shade said.
In the GottaGoGolf closet, the old favorites are made of polyester, nylon, Spandex -- sometimes blended with cotton. These are the combinations that hold their shape and color through frequent washings -- and usually require no ironing.
Here are quick looks at some of the brands inspected by GottaGoGolf at the PGA Show, along with observations culled from a closet full of newly acquired golf shirts and old favorites.
Someday we’ll have an engineer design a search engine so you can find your perfect shirt brand; for now, these are listed alphabetically.
With something the company calls ForMotion Fit, Adidas makes shirts “closer to the body and designed to follow the swing, for the woman who is an athlete,” Josh Van Winkle said at the PGA Show in January. “We view the outfit as part of the equipment, and we also want people to feel it represents their style. The Adidas woman is athletic.”
Good for: All ages who want technical clothing that moves for their sport. All styles from sporty to feminine, depending on the details. Even though Adidas would like to skew young, the women’s golf shirt cut leans toward generous and there’s no need to go up a size for more room in the bust or across the back, so this is a good gift choice.
This is an “active sportswear line -- it’s designed for you to do something in it,” says CEO Ron McPherson. So Antigua’s top priority is to give women room to move and a wide range of styles in which to do so. It even thinks of that 10 percent of women who like to tuck in their shirts, showing some styles both in and out.