One of the biggest trends we are seeing in golf fashion this fall is the quilted or “puffy” jacket and vest. Brands like RLX, Polo, Under Armour, Alial Fital, Tom Morris, Abacus, Hugo Boss and Golfino all have quilted, golf-specific outerwear pieces in their fall collections.
Just a few years ago, these jackets and vests had little chance of making an appearance on a golf course. They were too bulky and restricting. Remember that famous scene in The Christmas Story where Randy, Ralphie’s younger brother, is so bundled up in a snowsuit that he can’t put his arms down? It’s hard to imagine swinging a golf club while looking like a “tick about to pop” (Ralphie’s words, not mine.). Advances in textile technology over the last few years, though, have led to thinner, warmer and more flexible fabrics.
This is the time of year when we all think about how we can squeeze a few more rounds out of the golf season and this new trend of quilted apparel offers a functional option to keep us on the fairways. Here are a few of our favorite puffed-up pieces for fall. If only Randy was born a few decades later, he would have been able to not only put his arms down, but also boom some drives.
RLX Cool Wool Hybrid Jacket ($225)
This jacket is flat-out our favorite outerwear piece of the season. Much like the 42nd President of the United States, this stretchy merino wool jacket is coated with Teflon — allowing rain (and scandals) to slide off. The sleek fit and classic French Navy color make this a winner on and off the course this fall.
RLX Channel Quilted Vest ($185)
Golf is all about the core. The Channel Quilted Vest features a lightweight layer of down to keep your core warm and your swing fluid. The bright preppy green color adds a pop to those dreary autumn days.
Abacus Windsor Jacket & Vest ($130 and $110)
While it may be difficult to get past the appropriately named Shocking Orange and Gecko Green colors, these pieces from Swedish brand, Abacus, are highly functional. The Windsor jackets and vests are water-repellent, windproof and feature quilting on the body and sleeves for maximum warmth. If you don’t want to look like a human highlighter, check out the basic black colorways.
Alial Fital Gilets ($135)
First off, let’s get something straight. These are not razors. They are “gilets”. (pronunciation and definition) Lightly quilted and constructed of a nylon/spandex blend, these “vests” feature shawl collars that are as functional as they are stylish. Encounter cool fall breeze? Simply “pop” the collar to keep your neck warm and show off that grey and white gingham pattern under the collar. Pure class and top-shelf elegance here from Alial Fital. Available in black and white.
Now that you’ve been properly introduced to gilets, here’s another one to ponder. This ‘go-anywhere’ gilet from Scottish brand, Tom Morris, has a rugged look, but it is fully lined with a soft tartan material. On the course, the Kinghorn Padded Gilet is the perfect complement to a wool sweater — providing an additional layer of warmth and style. Off the course, pair it with dress shirts, scarves, corduroy trousers or really anything else.
The folks at Under Armour know a thing or two about keeping athletes warm and mobile and the brand’s new Infrared line of outerwear continues this tradition. Jordan Spieth donned the vest on a cool blustery day at the BMW Championships. I had a chance to take a few swings while wearing the jacket a couple of weeks ago and I can tell you that it brings some serious heat, while maintaining great flexibility.
Hugo Boss Varus ($345)
For a touch of high-fashion on and off the course, check out the Varus duck down gilet from Hugo Boss. The arm holes are surrounded by stretchable fabric for comfort and unrestricted movement, while the zipper guard protects your chin from rubbing against the zipper on every swing. The bright blue brings a bit of life to dark, dank winter rounds.