People often say pain is beauty.  The beauty of golf apparel is that it doesn’t have to be painful.  It has a rare ability to make you look stunning and feel comfortable at the same time.  There has been chatter that in general, people dress down more these days.  Maybe because it is more comfortable, maybe because people are too busy, or maybe because dress codes/norms aren’t as strict as they once were.  You have an excuse if are endowed with an unbelieveably high I.Q. like Albert Einstein, who tended to wear the same clothing every day because he couldn’t be bothered.   If you are one of these people, at least be smart enough to outsource your wardrobe selections to someone else (he chose his wife.) There are some that are passionate about fashion and others that can’t understand why.  The artwork and vision that goes into the design of the clothing, the fabrics, textures, and patterns, along with the work and technology that goes into manufacturing said piece is very extensive and worth appreciating.

When it comes to fashion, women are harder to please than men.  We want an outfit that is comfortable, moves with our body, keeps us dry, easy to care for, blocks the sun, trendy, timeless, makes us look physically fit, keeps us cool when we are hot, keeps us warm when we are cool, and while we’re at it, eco-friendly and the proceeds benefit a good cause.
Natural and Synthetic are the two different types of fibers that can be woven into fabric; there are advantages and disadvantages for both.  Natural fibers include cotton, silk, linen, wool, hemp, and bamboo.

Lela Designs golf apparel composed of only eco-friendly materials. Bamboo is nature’s most sustainable resource.. Bamboo breathes and wicks moisture away due to its porous nature. Bamboo also has an excellent drape and a silky-cashmere feel.  It is grown without pesticides or chemicals; it is a fast growing plant, shoots grow about an inch an hour.  Bamboo fabric is naturally anti-microbial, hypoallergenic and thermal regulating. It is also resistant to mold, if you leave your clothes in the washer for too long.  Although cotton is soft and breathable, allowing it to release perspiration, it is also very absorbant, retaining moisture.  With cotton being the most popular fabric, light weight, Lela’s organic cotton may be the way to go. Organic means to be grown without the use of pesticides or other harmful chemicals. The argument posed by eco-concious companies is if a shirt is made out of cotton that was treated with pesticides when it was grown, could those pesticides seep through pores in skin the same way smokers that are trying to quit can absorb nicotine using the patch? Maybe we should have more interest in what we put on our bodies.  I wonder if Einstein thought of that.

Synthetic or manufactured fibers include polyester, nylon, spandex, rayon, and microfibers.  Polyester is quick drying, resilient, resistant to biological damage, easy to wash and holds form well.  It can sometimes cause skin irritation and has the same origin as plastic bottles: petroleum.   Rayon was first referred to as artificial silk which had a bad connotation.  When brainstorming new names someone said “Let’s shed a ray of light on this problem” and thus it was called Rayon.  Even though rayon is a synthetic material, it is actually made from tree cellulose.   It is absorbant, comfortable, drapes well, and easy to dye so the colors do not run. Nylon is also a synthetic silk, it makes sense when you think of ladies nylons.  It is versatile enough to make water resistant jackets as well.  Spandex, otherwise  known as Elastane or Lycra, comes from expand, obviously meaning the fabric is flexible.

A great deal of women’s clothing has a hint of spandex in order to provide a form fit.  Even though when you Wikipedia ‘spandex’, a picture from the 80s of a bright colored pair of spandex pants portraying their flexibility on the buttocks, it is not outdated, it is still popular today.
Brands like EP Pro, Cutter and Buck, Lija, and Tracey Lynn produce high quality apparel made from synthetic materials.  These materials have superior wicking ability and a flexible, athletic feel.  Trends include traditional polo shirts with a hint of flare, matching shirts and skorts, bermuda shorts which come in two styles sporty and flared, and of course, matching accessories.   There are a wide array of prints that are popular such as paisley, argygle, plaid, gingham, florals, squirl designs, and animal prints.  For the more athletic look, stick to solid colors such as blues, navys, black, red, lime green, orange.  For a flirty look, there are hot pinks, light pinks, browns, and pastels.  If you are going to wear pastel, stick to one color, you do not want to look like you belong on the shelves of CVS during Easter.

Ame and Lulu is also a very popular line of accessories for golf providing tee holders on their belts, keychains, and a convenient pouch for balls and tees.   Shown here in the Reef pattern.
Glove it by Nicole Miller offers one of the best performing and most fashionable gloves on the market.  Made out of Calbretta leather on the palm and polyester/spandex back, it comes with a matching pouch to store jewelry while on the links.  They also make matching caps, shoe bags, accessory bags, totes, waterbottle covers, club covers, towels, and interchangeable belts. Their hottest new patterns include Silver Scroll, Peapod, and Zebra.  They also recieved an award for their Breast Cancer Awareness line a few years ago and donated $25,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  They now participate in Rally for the Cure which makes it possible to hold your own golf outing event for a good cause.  Lela also manufactures pink ribbon clothing where proceeds are donated to the Cure.  I personally am I supporter of the Komen organization because I strongly believe they will find a cure for cancer.

Players competing in the CVS Caremark Charity Tournament include Helen Alfredsson, Julie Inkster, Natalie Gulbis, and Morgan Pressels.

The new lines from Nike worn by and Adidas/Taylor Made will be featured in the next article.  Please email comments or suggestions to ellbrec@ellebrec.com.