A Review of the Autumn/Winter 2013 Collection from G-Mac by Kartel
Graeme McDowell is a favorite here at Golf Threads. He personifies everything that the modern game of golf is about — style, elegance, class and not to mention, world-class talent. It’s not ironic that these same words can be used to describe his apparel brand, G-Mac by Kartel (a collaboration with Irish sportswear brand, Kartel).
G-Mac by Kartel was easily the most anticipated new brand of 2012 here at Golf Threads. When the debut collection finally launched late last summer, it certainly did not disappoint. Sure, the understated yet sophisticated style was expected and a welcomed change from the noisy, blinged-out looks that were dominating the fairways. What really grabbed my attention, however, was the high-quality craftsmanship, luxurious performance fabrics and attention to detail. It didn’t take long to see that a high-level of thought and care went into the design and creation of these garments.
These same core principles are still the focus in the recently launched Autumn/Winter 2013 Collection. Classic pieces from previous collections, such as the vintage-looking Portrush polo shirt, the elegant McPlaid trousers and the iconic McButton cardigan sweater, remain as centerpieces of the collection. The palette of vibrant colors (a signature of the brand) has been overhauled. Now, brilliant shades of the Galley Blue and Shore Green are balanced against natural tones and hues of the season — Pink Dawn, Flax, Navy and Roundstone. These colors weave their way through the various pieces in the Autumn/Winter Collection, allowing the shirts, pants and knitwear to work in perfect harmony with each other.
G-Mac by Kartel Sweaters
When you think of Graeme McDowell’s style, the stand-up, button-down collared shirts coupled with vintage-looking cardigan sweaters are typically the first images that come to mind. Sure, cardigans had been experiencing a revival in fashion circles prior to McDowell’s 2010 U.S. Open victory, but he single-handily brought them back to the fairways and the minds of golfers at Pebble Beach.
For Fall 2103, the iconic McButton cardigan (shown above) features a cashmere blend, contrasting inner collar and six stainless steel buttons. The McButton is also joined by the MG Wool v-neck, the McZip vest, and the new McEire 1/4 zip.
The McEire quickly got our attention and it is a great example of the luxury, performance and attention to detail you see from the G-Mac by Kartel brand. This well-appointed knitwear piece features the same cashmere blend as the McButton, a chest panel quilt design jacquard and contrast piping on the outside back shoulder. The subtle “poachers sleeve” detail is a “tip of the cap” to Irish poachers of yesteryear who would crawl under fences on their elbows.
G-Mac by Kartel Shirts
My introduction to the G-Mac brand was through the Portrush polo shirt (shown above) from the Fall 2012 Collection. The Portrush is a classy tribute to Graeme McDowell’s hometown and has become part of McDowell’s signature look. The two-piece, button-down collar, four-button placket and chest pocket bring me back to the Golden Age of golf, while the high-performance fabric stands up to the demands of the modern game. Subtle details, such as the contrasting color button holes and button thread and the corozo logo badge on the right sleeve, give the Portrush an up-market feel and help to separate it from the pack of other vintage-looking shirts on the market.
The McRetro polo shirt (shown above) is on my ‘must-try’ list this season. The button-under collar and pearl buttons on the placket provide a quiet contrast to the Portrush. The micro-check design on the front adds some personality to an otherwise solid polo shirt. The added detail of the accent piping on the sleeves and shoulders complete the sophisticated look. It’s easy to see why McDowell has turned to the McRetro for important rounds during the 2013 season.
An interesting addition to the G-Mac product line is the McTurtle base layer shirt (shown above). Now, base layer shirts are nothing new to the game of golf, but the fact that the McTurtle is being offered in various colors that match or compliment the brand’s polo shirts makes it unique. The McTurtle brings a welcomed jolt of personality to the stale black and white base layer options we were used to seeing.
G-Mac by Kartel Pants and Shorts
The days of khakis on the course are over — especially if you are looking to rock a retro-classic vibe. The McPlaidT (shown above) and McMicroT pants (trousers) are two elegant ways to upgrade your look on the fairways this season. Both styles are the perfect compliments to the polo shirts and sweaters in the collection and are loaded with sharp details. Not only will the v-cut hems help your pant legs drape properly over your shoes, but they will also make you look like those guys on Tour. The half lining provides all-day comfort, even for those days that include more 18 holes. For those of you trying to enjoy the last bit of summer, you can now turn to the McMicroS shorts — the first pair of shorts from G-Mac by Kartel.
Style for Every Man
Of all the fashion-focused brands, G-Mac by Kartel may be the most wearable. Here in the U.S., my playing partners typically cringe at the mere mention of a European brand. “European” has become synonymous with “slim-fit” on this side of the pond, but shirts from the G-Mac by Kartel collection have a generous cut through the body and arms. Being a gym rat isn’t a prerequisite to wearing the brand and having a few pints won’t have you bursting at the seams. I’ve found that the shirts run true to size or maybe even a half-size large. If you do prefer a slim-fit, consider sizing down.
The wearability isn’t limited to just the fit, though. The high-level craftsmanship and attention to detail will give you confidence striding to the first tee. The fabrics are responsive, lightweight and move with you, and the natural color palette provides a robust range of vibrant and muted colors. Plus, from a price standpoint, the Portrush shirts check in at a similar price point as shirts from those sneaker brands and provide a nice entry into the product line.
All images courtesy of G-Mac by Kartel.