Just as on the runway, golf fashions come and go, but the top designers remain the same season after season. With that in mind, here are seven luxury golf clothing and apparel brands that are originating the styles seen on — and off — the course.
Say what you will about Nantucket Red — people tend to feel strongly one way or the other about the recognizable color — but out on the golf course, it’s a welcome sight. Many of the best luxury golf clothing brands specialize in bold, eye-catching polos, but the vast majority of golf pants on the market are stuck in boring, neutral colors. Peter Millar bucks that trend. The North Carolina-based company makes a dozen styles of golf pants in a broad spectrum of colors, led by the eb66 Performance Five-Pocket Pant, which is available in 17 hues, including coastal-inspired colors such as Willow Mist, Evening Tide, Primrose, and…yes…Cape Red.
The company dates back to 2001 with the production of a single cashmere sweater. Today, Peter Millar encompasses performance sportswear, seasonal resort apparel, tailored clothing, and sartorial accessories. However, the articles that are most representative of the brand are those that connect back to its roots: quarter-zip sweaters made from a variety of high-tech and luxurious materials.
In 2014, PXG shook up the golf equipment industry, releasing high-priced golf clubs designed for affluent and discerning players. Those initial irons set a new bar of expectation and had other major club manufacturers scrambling to catch up. More recently, PXG has entered the apparel side of the business, releasing chic and slightly edgy collections that feature pieces ideally suited for the course, as well as lifestyle clothing that discreetly flaunts your passion for the game.
Many of the pieces within PXG’s apparel collections are made from sustainable, recycled materials and, in some cases, impressively respond to the elements while maintaining sleek forms. Take the brand’s hybrid knit collar tab pullover. The crewneck sweater features sleeves fashioned from high-stretch fabric, and its overall construction of synthetic materials makes it thin and lightweight but remarkably warm — exactly what golfers are looking for when cool-weather rounds are on the schedule. Similarly, the brand’s new BP Hybrid Polo is made from quick-drying material featuring breathable fabric with a mesh back that offers UPF 50+ protection from the sun. PXG also regularly uses sustainably sourced cashmere for pieces that can seamlessly transition on and off the course, making it one of the best luxury golf clothing brands out there.
You can sometimes learn a lot about a brand by how it chooses to describe itself. G/Fore, a Southern California golf fashion company, categorizes its wares as “disruptive luxury” and aims to honor the rich tradition of the sport while injecting a bit more fun and a touch of added flair. That mission statement is best conveyed through the brand’s Gallivanter golf shoe — a classic style that discreetly showcases an edgy side through a skull-and-crossbones motif on the sole. Other G/Fore shoe styles embrace the casual sneaker trend, but the Gallivanter leads the charge — a point driven home by the fact that a handful of noteworthy PGA Tour players, including Phil Mickelson, have made them a regular component of their wardrobes over the years.
Surprisingly, the G/Fore brand was originally just a collection of retro-inspired, solid-color golf gloves. Today, beyond the aforementioned shoes, the brand produces golf apparel in every category, with many pieces embracing an avant-garde style. This mix of fashion and functionality makes it one of the best luxury golf clothing brands for stylish golfers.
John O’Donnell, the founder of johnnie-O, spent his youth in the suburbs of Chicago and his college years in Los Angeles. After jaunting between the Midwest and SoCal a couple more times after college, O’Donnell had an idea to merge the disparate regions’ two fashion styles. He wanted to take the blue blazers, khaki pants, and “alligator” shirts of his youth and meld them with the flip-flops, board shorts, and graphic tees of the Southern California surf culture. As he explains, he wanted to create “West Coast prep,” or “East Coast classic meets SoCal lifestyle.”
The brand born from that mission statement has made its most profound impact on golf apparel through a collection of “prep-formance” polo shirts, made from two distinctive fabrics. A moisture-wicking stretch jersey is breathable and wrinkle-resistant and provides UPF 50 sun protection. The subtly textured mesh polos, by contrast, are breathable and offer the same protection against the sun, but they are devoid of any sheen. Both styles are also available in a variety of eye-catching — though understated — patterns, which have become a signature of the brand.
With roots that stretch back to the mid-1990s, Stockholm-based J. Lindeberg has evolved into an international clothing brand that aims to marry the chicness of fashion-focused apparel with the performance and functionality of sportswear. As the brand asserts, its target audience leads a contemporary and active lifestyle.
The Swedish company specializes in three areas: ski clothing, everyday apparel, and golf attire. For golf, J. Lindeberg is predominantly minimalist in its patterns and motifs, with the exception of a few bold geometric prints. Where and how the brand distinguishes itself is largely through the shape and cut of its pants, polos, mid-layers, and sweaters. Tapered and tailored, J. Lindeberg’s golf apparel embraces a decidedly European aesthetic — a look that reflects its heritage.
When Alex Bartholomew founded Royal Albartross in 2010, the golf shoe brand made a bold statement with its classic brogues accented by striking colorways and equally audacious patterned fabrics. The British brand has always been married to Italian leathers and handcrafted applications, but across its first decade, Royal Albartross has broadened its scope, introducing hybrid and spikeless styles that take the form of casual and also classy sneakers. Every pair of Royal Albartross shoes is handmade by a master craftsperson in Montegranaro, Italy. The process takes eight weeks and requires more than 250 steps.
As one of the first luxury golf brands to confidently embrace the athleisure movement, Royal Albartross introduced Club and Driver models, the latter of which gives a nod to classic European driving shoes. That particular style, which is offered in a handful of colorways, successfully marries the casual form of fashion-forward sneakers with aesthetic details of classic golf shoes. Traditionalists need not worry — they can still order the brand’s retro-inspired spiked brogues — but those styles don’t stay in stock for long.
Olympic and world champion alpine skier Lasse Kjus founded his eponymous apparel brand in 2000 specifically to bring performance-focused technology to skiwear. More than a decade later, Kjus expanded into golf apparel, and today, from its North American headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, the brand develops high-performance golf outerwear that allows players to walk 18 holes in style and comfort.
Yes, Kjus makes warm-weather polo shirts constructed from ultra-stretch fabrics, but the brand’s true claim to fame within the golf industry is its jackets and vests. The Release jacket, for example, will feel like just that for golfers who are looking for a warm outer layer that doesn’t inhibit their swings. The jacket is equipped with stretchable synthetic insulation and is designed without underarm seams or top shoulder seams. Similarly, the Gemini Vest and Jacket are constructed of synthetic materials treated with a water-repellent finish, and the garments are reversible. When worn with the light-colored side facing out, they pull heat away from the body. When the dark side is exposed, the jacket and vest absorb ambient heat and pull it inside, closer to the golfer’s body.