GolfThreads’ Fall Favorites series looks at my go-to pieces this fall in the hopes of giving you a glimpse at what I’m wearing on the course this season. I would love to hear what you think about my picks in this series. Drop a note in the comments area below. Also, let me know some of your favorites that I should check out.
After a week of watching the Ryder Cup followed by the Dunhill Cup, it is no surprise that layering is on my mind.
One of my favorite layering pieces this year has been Dunning’s 1/4 Zip Stripe Stretch Thermal Pullover. I received a black one in early spring and just received another one in navy blue (or halo as Dunning calls it) for fall.
Prior to trying the Dunning pullover, sweaters were my go-to layering pieces on the course for the past few years. I’ve always found sweaters to offer a better fit through the body and arms compared to jackets and pullovers. Plus, I liked that sweaters were quieter and they provided a very classic look for the game of golf.
SEE ALSO: Dunning Golf: Stylish Players Wanted
With the 1/4 Zip, Dunning has managed to capture all the features I love about sweaters in the athletic and casual look of a pullover. It has led me to change my mind about pullovers and relegated sweaters to second-class citizen status in my closet.
As with all Dunning garments, the 1/4 Zip is built for comfort and performance, and this starts with the fabric. It is made from a 94% polyester, 6% spandex blend that provides the warmth you need on a cool day without the bulk of a heavy jacket. The inside of the 1/4 Zip is lined with a brushed material that not only provides a soft, sweater-like feel, but it also offers a thin layer of insulation to lock in the warmth. The outer layer has a silky smooth hand and just the right amount of stretch without having that elastic-y feeling that a lot of technical fabrics have these days.
The warmth that the 1/4 Zip provides in such a thin profile makes it a highly versatile layering piece. On cold mornings, I’ve layered a sweater or sweater vest under it. The flexibility of the fabric allows an additional layer like this to comfortably fit underneath. On those wintery days when it has been raining sideways, I’ve worn it under a light waterproof jacket and achieved the warmth and playability that the conditions demanded.
The drawstring around the waist serves two purposes. First, it forms a seal with your body to keep the cold and wind from hitting your core. Second, the drawstring keeps any excess material from interfering with your golf swing and putting stroke. I have to say, I’ve never really used the drawstring. With the stretchiness of the fabric, I’ve been able to size down and get a trim fit, while still maintaining comfort and performance. That snug fit through the arms and body that I got from sweaters over the years, has been replicated by Dunning in the 1/4 Zip.
One feature of the 1/4 Zip that is unique, but often overlooked in reviews and descriptions, is the cavity at the front of the neck that allows the throat to sit unfettered. This keeps the cold and wind off the neck without having that tight, zipped up feeling you get with other pullovers and jackets.
You will also notice from the pictures that the zipper does not go all the way to the top of the neck. This may seem like a small detail, but it is significant in the comfort of the piece. I can’t tell you how many jackets and pullovers I’ve sent to the bench because the zipper ripped up my chin during the swing or grabbed the hair on my chinny-chin-chin after a few days of skipping the razor.
From a style standpoint, the 1/4 Zip offers the same clean, understated and athletic look that perfectly fits with Dunning’s ‘Engineered for Athletes, Designed for Players’ motto. The contrast piping around the placket adds an air of sophistication, while the single racing stripe down the spine gives the 1/4 Zip an aggressive and sporty aesthetic. This is the outerwear piece for the player that appreciates a refined style and prefers to make noise with his game, rather than his apparel. For the true minimalists, an even more basic version of the 1/4 Zip is available minus the contrast piping and racing stripe.
In addition to the 1/4 Zip, Dunning also offers a complete layering system with base layers, vests and sweaters in natural and technical fabrics that allow you to mix and match pieces based on the weather. Check out the video below. Founder, Ralph Dunning, will tell you everything you need to know about the philosophy behind Dunning’s layering system. Keep in mind that Dunning was the pioneer in layering for the modern game. Think back to the 2007 Masters when Zach Johnson slipped on the green jacket after strolling the fairways in a unique cold weather look that consisted of a form-fitting base layer underneath a polo and topped off with a color coordinating technical vest — all from Dunning. How many times has this look been copied by pros and amateurs alike since the 2007 Masters?