A few years ago I heard Colin Cowherd make a comment during his radio show, “The Herd” on ESPN Radio, about the trending transition from a loyal readership of actual journalism to the following of blogs. Cowherd was pointing out that there isn’t a standard by which bloggers are held to. As long as they get it “mostly right” then that is “good enough.” This is a fair description of our Fairway Threads photoshoots and “Review Crew” assessments. It is mostly right. Mostly the right shots, mostly the right wording, mostly the right opinions. And we agree that mostly right is good enough. You may not agree with all of our assessments, but they are honest. Plus we had a lot of fun, and that counts for something too.
Our location for the day was the AT&T Performing Arts Center in downtown Dallas. An Opera house instead of a golf course? Yes. The thing is, our aim was to show the fun, classy, lifestyle side of golf apparel. If you are going to spend an average of $60-$100 on a piece of golf apparel, it would be nice to wear it off the course too. Most of the items in our photoshoot are versatile enough to wear for other leisure activities or even to dinner or the office. A highlighter yellow Nike Dry-Fit shirt is not versatile, but a Devereux pima cotton shirt is, for example.
In prepping the apparel I received for the shoot, I discovered a few pain points that apparel designers and creative directors could consider. You as a buyer of golf apparel can likely benefit from these notes too.
Clothing Brand Tags-
I am not sure what goes into the decisions on how clothing tags are attached, but holy smokes, this something that gets overlooked in apparel reviews. A few of the items, such as The Greg Norman Perfect Slimming Skort, came with tags that were easily detached without the need for scissors. Most tags were attached with safety pins. These were more tedious to detach, but they were the safest for the apparel. However, a few items, like the Nike Modern Rise Sporty Short, had very difficult tags to remove. I actually made a small hole in these shorts trying to remove the tag because it was stitched into the fabric. I am talking about the tag, not the clothing label. Why on earth would you chose to stitch a tag that must be removed, tightly into a garment? You may not view this as a pain point, but the Nike shorts I am referring to cost $65, and I put a hole in them just by cutting out the tag. Marinate on that.
This is less of a deal-breaker and more of a “better way” comment. The most comfortable skorts are either elastic/pull-on design, or side-zip construction. A front-zip skort construction is awkward and less comfortable. It is as simple as that. I can see no reason to mess with a front-zip, however, Puma moved from side-zip to front-zip for this collection. I was disappointed, but their skorts are still made from flattering fabric and look great.
HUGE issue. I am aware this is a personal rant and that my offering of a solution is oversimplified. I am also aware this issue is common across all apparel. However, if I am a size 6 in one brand, I should not be a size 10 in another. Golf apparel is a niche market that has a better opportunity to get it right. Surely, smaller golf apparel companies could use large labels such as Nike or Puma as a guide to their sizing to create some sort of industry standard. I get an Italian company such as Animo being totally different in their sizing. However, if you are a small label that receives most of your revenue via online retail, you should have your sizing on-point to avoid total frustration. I get criticized for being too loyal to Puma at times, however, I have never had an issue with their sizing or fit. Also, a note on fit that I will continue to preach. I will never understand why ladies golf shirts are being designed too short. I don’t care if a lady is 5 feet tall. She is never going to complain that her shirt is too long, so why not design for the lady that is 6 feet tall and avoid a shirt that is too short and uncomfortable for taller golfers? Longer is more functional, comfortable and flattering. Again, thank you Puma and Nike for getting this right.
In the upcoming weeks, I will be rolling out our review posts. I would like to express my gratitude to my dear friends for all of their support and for being willing to show up on a Saturday, take my direction and give me their feedback. Thank you to my friend Ben for joining Fairway Threads for the first time and for taking so many excellent shots. Last, to my photographer and dear friend Brad. For helping me plan, for calming my stress that it would pour that day, for putting up with all my demands, for taking great pictures, editing them to my picky specs, and for being an incredible friend and brother. Fairway Threads would not exist without you Brad, because I couldn’t do it alone.