From khaki to pleated skorts, the evolution of women’s golf fashion


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From bermuda shorts to pleated tennis-looking skorts, women’s golf fashion has blossomed into a trendy style over the years. Most girls getting into the sport 10+ years ago struggled with feeling feminine on the golf course.

For many women, golf was not appealing from a fashion standpoint alone. The fashion didn’t make the sport inviting and wasn’t functional if you did make your way to the course.

There were not many ways to express yourself or stand out from the rest with khaki shorts and standard pink polos. There was a limited selection of golf clothing, and if you happened to find something that caught your eye, it came with a steep price tag.

The dress code for women was stricter back then with some courses only allowing knee-length shorts and a polo shirt with capped sleeves. Fast forward to today when you see women golfing in breathable, fashionable and stylish clothing.

Many professional players have witnessed this transition first hand. The tour used to consist of very bland styles and prints. The LPGA is now full of bright colors, feminine trim and various ways to express your personality while on the course.

Longtime LPGA player Christina Kim has been known for her electric style on the golf course.

“I’m happy to say that women’s golf fashion has come much closer in line with fashion trends in public society. Long gone are the days of boxy, oversized shirts and pleated khakis,” said Kim. Functional fabrics, silhouettes that actually accentuate a woman’s figure, fun colors and patterns and sharp lines are all part of the norm. I’m a big fan of the changes made, although I still am not a huge fan of sweatpants or joggers on course, but it’s mainly because I don’t think they look good in general.”

Added Swedish LPGA player Pernilla Lindberg: “I feel like when I got into the sport as a young girl, there wasn’t even such a thing as girls’ golf clothing or women’s golf clothing, it was more men’s polos. You just had to wear an extra small with no feminine fits, and it was just baggy. Obviously, that has changed to where more women’s polos fit better,” said Lindberg.

“It has gotten more and more feminine over time with improved sports fabrics, as well. The latest transition is obviously more the athleisure look that you see away from the golf course. This is now being more and more accepted on the course. I think it’s so fun because now you can actually show more of your personal style on the course, and you can also leave and go straight to somewhere else without it looking so obvious that you came straight off the course. It’s changed a lot from those big baggy polos that I would wear as a girl to where we’re at nowadays.”

In the past, it has been difficult to find clothing that resonates with women who are looking to find stylish apparel while shopping at traditional retail stores. If you weren’t at a golf specific store, it was unlikely to find any items that fit the golf criteria.

In today’s world, you can shop in most of your sports-related clothing stores and find items that fit the mold of the modern golfer. Athleisure has become increasingly popular for day-to-day wear, and now companies are mastering the art of bringing comfort and functionality to women’s golf apparel. You can walk into many name brand stores and find golf-like skirts, shirts and more. It has become a more formal tennis style and readily accessible.

Golf and travel correspondent of NBC Golf Channel Alexandra O’Laughlin recently became an ambassador for Calia, a fitness apparel brand. She has a slightly different view of golf fashion.

“As a young golfer I always found a way to be sporty and stylish on the course. There weren’t options like there are now, but I found inspiration from all over and had a knack for integrating classic golf styles with functionality,” O’Laughlin said. “Calia has all of this in one line, plus the ability to make me feel confident on and off the course. With the variation of tasks women have to accomplish throughout the day, it’s important to curate a wardrobe that transcends with you. I’m so proud to represent Calia and work with Dick’s Sporting Goods to give women the options they deserve.”

The importance of feeling comfortable and confident on the course often stems from clothing. Many golfers believe that if you dress well, you will perform well, and women’s golf clothing is finally helping players feel at home on the course.


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