Mirroring the increasing approachability of golf and tennis, clothes made for those sports are so much more fashionable than they once were. It used to be that tennis and golf were the exclusive pastimes of the wealthy and aristocratic classes, and their uniforms were baggy and plain. Today’s golf and tennis wear looks much more inspiring and is attracting a whole new group of young people to the sports and their fashions.
Generation MZ has discovered both the golfing green and the tennis court and the pleasure that can be gained from playing a match or hitting a round. But they have also brought new life to clothes that can be worn both inside and outside the sporting arena. Naturally, tennis and golf fashions are by no means the exclusive domain of the young. People of all ages during the pandemic years learned that outdoor sports like these were an ideal safe way to keep fit and healthy.
Teeing off for fashion
Golfweek magazine at USA Today recently reviewed the evolution of women’s golf fashion over the last few decades. Pointing out that entering the sport was daunting for women because of the strict dress code and uninspiring garments, it then invited the reader to “fast forward to today when you see women golfing in breathable, fashionable and stylish clothing.”
Korean-American professional golfer Christina Kim has been one of the millennials who has helped to shake up the women’s golf wear scene with bright colors and more figure-hugging outfits made of functional fabrics.
Of course, polo shirts are still popular among golfers, but the color, fit and design show much more variety. Women can choose between traditional capped sleeves or even sleeveless tops, and polos are no longer all monochromatic.
Apart from pleated khaki shorts, we can see wide and narrow pleated skirts, Bermuda half pants, and mini dresses. It is all about achieving the level of mobility and comfort, as well as self-expression, that each golfer wants.
These days “hybrid fashion” is hot: It is common to see people dressed as if they are heading for the links to shoot 9 or 18 holes, but without a single club or ball. Also, some golfers choose to keep their outfits on even after leaving the clubhouse. The lines are definitely blurred now between clothes only for on the course and those you wear elsewhere. In keeping with this trend, golf wear is no longer only sold in specialty stores, but also in general men and womenswear outlets and sports shops.
Samsung C&T Fashion Group women’s wear brand KUHO announced last month that it plans to launch an official golf wear line starting this fall following its previous golf capsule collection that was introduced in the spring and summer season.
KUHO proposed a golf line that emphasizes modern sensibility and a unique design based on its own brand identity. It consists of clothes and accessories using lavender and purple colors as points on a black, navy, and white background.
The main products of this new line are tops that have long, short or detachable sleeves, jackets that can be worn as vests, and elastic boot cut pants. These items can easily be worn during daily life such as a night out at the theater or a casual dinner with friends. Another Samsung C&T Fashion Group label with a golf line is the unisex brand Beanpole Golf.
Anyone for tennis wear?
As with golf, tennis fashion has gone through a transformation too. In the early 1900s, the only color seen on court was white, and garments were full length — a white linen shirt and white flannel trousers for men, and long dresses for women. Those days are consigned to ancient history now.
Online magazine Tennis Majors recently looked back at changes to in-court clothing and found that it was the bold choices of some charismatic fashion-forward people that led to innovation in tennis wear. Rafael Nadal was particularly held up as a beacon of color, wearing bright hues from all over the spectrum every time he picks up a racket.
Nowadays it would be unusual if a male tennis player served a ball wearing long pants, as tennis is a sport for the warmer months, and yet in the 1930s it was the exact opposite. The first men to wear shorts on court met with criticism. It reminds us that it sometimes takes a brave soul to try something new in fashion, but in the long run it pays off. “People like to express themselves through fashion and tennis courts are no exception,” says tennis fashion expert Marija ZIvlak in Tennis Majors, adding, “When you look good and feel comfortable, you perform better.”