As we wrap-up 2018, I have been pondering my favorite golf fashion trend of the year. A burning question with wide-ranging consequences, which has at times kept me up at night. (I take this stuff seriously).
Anyhow, a couple of nights ago I took a break from my deliberation to watch a hockey game with my son. During the game, the announcer explained that there are FIVE different ways that a hockey player can score a goal (teams at even strength, the team on the power play, team playing shorthanded, penalty shot, and empty net). Right after he said that a fight broke out and both players were given a FIVE-minute major penalty for their fisticuffs. The game ended up going into a FIVE-minute overtime and the winning goal was scored through the FIVE-hole. I was so excited by the victory, I dropped my pretzel on the floor at which time my son reminded me to pick it up quickly (FIVE-second rule, duh….). “That’s it,” I thought, “this is a sign! Now I know exactly what my favorite golf fashion trend of 2018 is!”
I picked up the phone to call GolfThreads HQ (by the way did you know on almost all devices with a numeric keypad such as telephones, the 5 key has a raised dot or raised bar to make dialing easier?). I made my pitch to the GM, but he had already consumed FIVE mugs of eggnog and couldn’t be bothered to have this discussion (that always happens when he listens to the Jackson 5 Christmas Album). He gave me some nonsensical response about needing FIVE United States Supreme Court Justices to agree in order to render a majority decision……I don’t know what he was talking about, as far as I am aware it is only Greg, Janice, Ian, and me that write for GolfThreads (unless Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined the team without my knowledge). So as a result, I have gone rogue and am writing this manifesto on my own….
Without further adieu (and rambling), my favorite golf fashion trend of 2018 is…..you guessed it, 5-Pocket Pants! Golf trousers with a five-pocket silhouette have brought a casually stylish look to the course. By combining the timeless detailing of 5-pocket jeans with technical fabrics, they provide a youthful look that offers flexible comfort on and off the course. These slacks can easily be dressed up for a hip office-appropriate style that is also weekend-ready (not to mention, perfect for a round of golf–as we have seen on the PGA Tour much more frequently this season).
There are sixteen brands that make performance 5-pocket pants. I have highlighted half a dozen of my favorites (based on my ability to wear them around, and for a round). If you don’t have any of these in your closet yet, now is the time to expand your wardrobe.
TravisMathew The Trifecta
One last random fact, I promise. Towards the end of the film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), the character of King Arthur repeatedly confuses the number five with the number three. For some reason, I thought that this was funny given these 5-pocket pants are called the Trifecta. These TravisMathew trousers are somewhere between relaxed and tailored fit (with plenty of stretch) and are now available in multiple inseams and FIVE different colors (I recommend the Provincial Blue and Blue Nights). Lightweight slacks with a more casual appearance; these have become my go-to weekend pants. TM is introducing a new 5-Pocket Pant on January 1, 2019 that is said to be fantastic!
G/FORE Stretch 5-Pocket
If the Trifecta is my weekend pant, this one from G/FORE is my Friday night-out-on-the-town-looking-sexy-slacks! Damn, I look good in G/FORE! They are crazy soft and have a slightly polished finish. About the same amount of stretch as the TravisMathew and slightly less tailored (straight leg fit). FIVE colors are offered in multiple lengths. I typically would shy away from white bottoms, but the Snow color really caught my eye and I would recommend stepping into a pair.
Lululemon ABC Pant Slim Warpstreme
Lululemon ABC (Anti-Ball-Crushing) Slim Warpstreme is the most aggressively styled pant I reviewed. Lululemon is the only brand on this list that offers both regular and a slim fit. I opted for the Warpsteme (which is their slimmer, more tapered version). I love them. Probably the closest thing you can get to a “yoga” pant for men. I can see why women swear by Lululemon.
The Warpstreme is not for everyone (if you want something less slim fitting go for the ABC Classic where up to ten different colors are offered depending on the inseam), but I can guarantee you regardless of which fit you choose, these will be the most comfortable pants you ever wear. My 32″ inseam was a little long, and normally I would have them hemmed, but flipping the cuff reveals a reflective detailing that looks great rolled up. Another feature of note is the hidden zippered back pocket. Although Lululemon did not design these pants specifically for golf, the Warpstreme fabric is sweat-wicking and four-way stretch (in fact these pants had the most flex of any I wore) with deep front pockets that make them perfect for 18 (or 36) holes.
Vineyard Vines 5 Pocket Performance Pants
Outside of the Lululemon ABC Pant, these had the most flex of any pant I tested. They also received the most compliments from the ladies. Hmmm….if that isn’t reason enough to get a pair then I don’t know what is? Seriously. That really should be all you need to know (you can stop reading, now). If you want more specifics, I’d tell you that they are one of the heaviest weight and strongest fabrics which makes them perfect for golf in New England, but not so heavyweight that I would consider putting them away in summer. A more relaxed fit. Only the Puma Jackpot Pants were roomier. The Vineyard Vines 5 Pocket Performance Pant is offered in three colorways and three lengths. My favorite is the Anchor Gray. These dressed up very well and the classic fit would be perfect for work or a slightly more formal outing.
FootJoy Athletic Fit Pants
I say this with all due respect; these were the slacks that I was most pleasantly surprised with. Typically, FootJoy apparel does not fit me well. However, these were the best fitting pants on this list. Much like Vineyard Vines, they are a slightly heavier blend of polyester and spandex (not surprising given that both companies originated in Massachusetts).
The FootJoy Athletic Fit Pants were the most fitted through the thigh area, however, their four-way stretch performance fabric offers extreme comfort and allows complete range of motion during the golf swing and any other activity you might wear them for. (I wore them to work and kept them on all night because they are so freaking comfortable.) I love the white stitching on the pockets and rear belt loop. It gives them nice detailing that subtly stands out (especially on the khaki and navy colorways–my two favorites). These come in six different colors and multiple lengths.
Puma Jackpot-5 Pocket Golf Pants
My love of Puma has no limits and the Jackpot 5 Pocket Golf Pant is no exception. They took a traditional 100% polyester golf pant and jazzed them up with a classic 5-pocket construction. Puma knows what’s up and really there isn’t any need to mess with perfection. The Jackpot provides the most generous fit of all the pants on this list. Interestingly, the Jackpot is the only pant I reviewed that offered a silicone gripper tape on the waistband to help keep your shirt tucked in. These are the kind of details that make Puma one of the best and most reliable fashion-forward brands in golf.
The Jackpot is offered in nine colors (including some new eye-catching colors for SS’19), which includes Rickie Fowler’s classic, Vibrant Orange, and my new favorite, Surf the Web (a bright blue). These pants are designed for comfort and performance but also to fit and drape perfectly. Hands down, my favorite Puma pant yet.