If you’ve read my posts over the years, you know I am a sucker for a good logo. And johnnie-O has one of the best! I live in New England and have never surfed, yet I am drawn to their branding and style.
Growing up in Massachusetts during the 1980s, Ocean Pacific t-shirts and JAMS shorts were the fashion trend du jour. Wearing surf-style clothing allowed us a temporary escape from the parkas, mittens, and hats our parents forced on us, as well as giving us an opportunity to align ourselves with a lifestyle that was significantly cooler than we were.
As I aged, I continued to gravitate toward surf brands like Hurley and Quiksilver. Then about ten years ago (on the cusp of forty), I realized the need to gentrify my “surf-wear”. Enter johnnie-O.
New England Thriftiness Meets West Coast Prep
Thriftiness runs deep in the blood of New Englanders and is extolled by Yankees such as Henry David Thoreau. In Walden, he exhorted readers to exist simply and economically. As a lifelong New Englander, I embody this spirit. That doesn’t mean I want something inexpensive or cheap. (I expect to pay for quality). It means my golf apparel should have versatility and a classic style that can be worn for years. I want to spend money on polos, pants, and pullovers that can easily transition from the office to the course and everywhere in between. And unlike my JAMS from middle school, I need them to be more than a fad.
Their tagline, West Coast Prep, speaks for itself. Johnnie-O has a laid-back preppy feel but is not over the top. Definitely more of a laid-back preppy style compared to their competitors. I’d describe their style as conservatively cool and easy-going.
Sam Bennett was one of the biggest stars from the 2023 Masters Tournament. His story, talent, and composure grabbed our attention. For me, I kept going back to the surfer logo that appeared on his shirt. I decided that it was time to add some new johnnie-O pieces to my wardrobe. The brand’s chill vibe coupled with the quality, versatility, and functionality of their apparel is a perfect fit for this thrifty-golfing-New England-guidance counselor who cares how he looks.
By the time Sam Bennett was wrapping up his final round, I found myself motivated to put together a curated collection of my favorites from johnnie-O. “Sam Bennett-inspired”, if you will.
Cross Country PREP-FORMANCE 5 Pocket Pant
The Cross Country Pant are your go-anywhere, do-anything trousers. They have a classic chino styling that is perfect for casual Fridays, an evening out, and of course, on the course as we saw Sam Bennett wear these each day of the tournament. I have been traveling quite a bit the past year and I can easily see these being my go-to pant given their lightweight comfort and stretch. Added points for the hidden zippered back pocket. I am usually either a 34 – 35-inch waist so I took the advice of the website and ordered the 35. They fit my waist perfectly. I find the inseam a bit long (but I tailor most pants anyhow, so this was less of an issue). Interestingly, I found out afterward that johnnie-O offers free tailoring on their pants! Next time, I will try it out.
Hugo 5-Pocket Pant
First off, I hate dungarees (but I love to use the word whenever I can). I find them stiff and uncomfortable, for the most part. The Hugo 5-Pocket Pant appears from afar to be jeans, chinos, or even canvas pants depending on what you pair them with. BUT (notice the big but–and for the record they fit my big butt like a dream) they are soft, smooth, and stretchy to the point that these are my new favorite slacks. Where the Cross Country will be my primary golfing and travel trousers, the Hugo 5-Pocket Pant might cover everything else (including cool weather golf). I found the fit of these to be the same as the Cross Country.
Lyndon Striped Polo
Let’s face it, a striped polo is a classic look that will never go out of style. The stripes on this jersey polo are subtle enough that it almost wears like a solid but in reality, it gives a pop of color that is unassumingly cool. Part of the PREP-FORMANCE collection, the Lyndon provides all the performance you expect from a golf polo without looking like an old-school polyester golf polo. I had not worn johnnie-O for a few years, and I noticed that their fit has evolved. It is still “classic” but more tailored than I recall. I used to size down to a Medium but now I found that the Large fits me best. Not too loose, not too slim.
Huron Heathered Polo
Also, part of the PREP-FORMANCE fam, the Huron might be the polo that I am most excited about. This is the lightest and softest shirt I have worn. I can easily imagine this becoming my go-to golfing top on those hot and humid days. Its “featherweight” material is 60GSM lighter than their standard jersey performance polo. The heathered design gives this a muted look that will transition to all casual activities.
Sam’s Printed Polos
Johnnie-O offers a wide range of printed polos; from fun and whimsical to subtle and sophisticated. Sam chose his prints wisely. The Aiden Printed Polo popped against the sea of green jackets as he accepted his Low Amateur Silver Cup, while the dotted print on the Ken Printed Polo exponentially elevates a classic white polo.
Vaughn Striped 1/4 Zip Pullover & Dante Hangin’ Out Polo
Last but not least, anytime I put together a gift guide a johnnie-O 1/4 zip is sure to make the list. I love them! They are the best in the biz. In fact, my favorite is the one pictured above; it’s the Meteor colorway of the Vaughn Striped 1/4 Zip Pullover. In this case, I layered it over the original 4-button Dante Striped “Hangin’ Out” Polo in Heather Grey for a great combination!
Spell check probably corrected you, but it’s Quiksilver. Not Quicksilver. They had a gold brand at one time, Fidra, and it was helmed by John Ashworth.
That is an interesting little nugget. Thanks for sharing, David. And thanks for reading!!
Golf brand, not gold brand. SMH
Mike, the review was awesome but the last pic made it incredible. Great looking couple you two. I love Johhny O, such a cool brand.