Hey, guys. Here is some breaking news. Apparently, we hate shopping.
A recent study showed that we get bored at the mall within 26 minutes of pulling into the parking lot and squeezing our SUVs into those compact spots. 26 minutes! This is approximately the amount of time it takes Kevin Na to play a long par 5 on Tour. Another study showed that 45% of us avoid shopping at all costs. Yes, “mall” and “shop” are definitely four letter words for guys.
Notice these studies didn’t say anything about not liking to dress well, though. I think the majority of men care about their appearance, and if you are reading this blog, you probably care more than the average Joe. Ben Lerer, founder of men’s lifestyle brand, Thrillist, agrees. In a recent Bloomberg article, Lerer said, “Men don’t hate fashion, they just hate shopping the way it’s designed for women. The young generation of guys love to shop, they love to talk about the brands they like and they really care about how they look.” (Amen, brother!)
Given this, it is not surprising that one of the hottest trends in menswear these days is curated subscription-based sartorial services. The popularity of companies like Trunk Club and Bombfell has skyrocketed by delivering fashionable threads directly to our doorsteps. No shopping. No mall. Just stylish clothes.
With the recent golf fashion boom, it was only a matter of time before the world of curated clothing services found a home on the fairways, and Short Par 4 (SP4) has answered the call. Short Par 4 launched earlier this year equipped with a team of Style Caddies schooled in the best looks in golf apparel, and with its eyes set on becoming the Trunk Club or Bombfell of the links.
I recently had the chance to sample Short Par 4, and here’s the scoop on how it works.
1. Head over to ShortPar4.com and click Join or Get Started.
2. The Short Par 4 website walks you through a 16-question survey to pinpoint your personal style. Do you prefer an athletic look like Jordan Spieth? Are you loud and wild a la Rickie Fowler? Or, are you on the traditional tip like Fred Couples? You’ll also select your preferred colors, styles and sizes of polos, pants, shirts, gloves, hats and shoes. Enter your address, credit card info and boom! You are done.
3. A box from Short Par 4 arrives at your door with some fresh threads that were hand-selected for you by SP4’s Style Caddies. (Notice you did absolutely nothing in this step except open your door and pick up a box.)
4. Open the box and try on the selections. Keep the pieces you like. Send back the pieces you don’t. No obligation.
5. Head to the course dressed to impress in an expertly curated outfit.
You know the old saying about first impressions. It is particularly important for startup brands, and in the digital age, first impressions start with the website. The Short Par 4 site is intuitive and easy to navigate.
Although a 16-question personal style survey sounds a bit overwhelming, it does not take very long to complete. Most 5 year olds know their sizes and favorite colors, so zipping through this will be the easiest thing you do all day. Seriously, you will spend more time waiting in line for an espresso at Nordstrom’s cafe than the time it takes to complete the questionnaire.
What Was Included
So, what was in my box? For purposes of trying Short Par 4, I asked for outfits built around an athletic vibe, while maintaining a traditional look (think solids, not plaids). Here is what I received. You’ll notice that all the pieces from Short Par 4 are discounted 20% versus retail, which is another benefit of the service.
- Travis Mathew Loaf Polo in White ($85 retail; $68 SP4)
- Johnnie-O Shorts in Khaki ($70 retail; $56 SP4)
- Puma Tech Polo in Blue ($60 retail; $48 SP4)
- Adidas Pants in Black ($79 retail; $56 SP4)
- Travis Mathew Bruno Belt in Black ($65 retail; $52 SP4)
- Puma Low Cut Socks in White ($10 retail; $8 SP4)
- Puma Formation Performance glove ($20 retail; $16 SP4)
SP4 totally delivered and met my expectations based on my style preferences and favorite colors. The Puma and Adidas pieces are certainly sporty, but not loud. I’ve been eyeing the Travis Mathew Bruno belt for a while, so I was psyched to see it in my box. SP4’s Style Caddies get extra points for hooking me up with something on my must-try list.
I also appreciate that the Style Caddies put some thought into the pieces. I just expected a box of random polos, pants and shorts, but there were two distinct outfits in my box. The black Adidas pants, black Travis Mathew belt, blue Puma polo, black Puma glove and Puma socks make for a great athletic look that rivals anything you will see on guys named Rickie or Sergio.
The Travis Mathew Loaf polo (shown above) was the standout piece of the delivery. Travis Mathew launched some new fabrics this year, and while I have a good number of the SoCal brand’s polos in my closet, I haven’t had the chance to try some of the new materials. The Loaf polo is fabricated from Travis Mathew’s new stretch denim lock material, which features a cotton/polyester/blend. This is one of the best feeling and best performing cotton blend shirts I’ve worn. It has a soft, luxurious hand. It is breathable, wicks moisture and has just the right amount of stretch. The real magic of this fabric, though, is that it gets softer with every wash. The Loaf has become one of my favorite polos of 2014.
SP4 is Good for Golfers…and Good for Brands
I’ve always looked at curated clothing services purely from a selfish consumer’s point of view — I GET SWEET NEW THREADS EVERY MONTH.
The flip side of this is that new brands and products make their way into golfers’ homes every month for a no-obligation audition. If they like what they receive, they are likely to seek out similar products from the brand. Case in point, after drooling over (but being careful not to drool on) the Loaf polo, I immediately hit Travis Mathew’s website to see what other polos I could scoop up with the denim stretch lock fabric. Bingo! How about the Kruger or the Ryder?
A Club Worth Joining?
After receiving a box from SP4, I can say it is definitely worth checking out. No matter your level of enthusiasm for golf fashion, SP4 provides a benefit for you. If you hate shopping, then you can avoid the big box stores. If you are sartorially challenged, then the Style Caddies will make sure you are looking your best. If you are a golf fashionisto, then you’ll love exploring the new brands and products.
Moving forward the key to SP4’s success will be whether it can provide the latest offerings from the most stylish brands at hard-to-refuse discounts. All indications are that SP4 will continue to build momentum as more brands, like Devereux and Linksoul (both are scheduled for upcoming deliveries), see the value of joining the world of curated clothing services.