We admit this isn’t life-changing, but we do believe the evolution of women’s golf fashion to be game-changing. Hear us out.
In the late 1800s, there was a commonplace recommendation urging women to limit their drives to 60 or 70 yards. Knowing there are women playing the game today who drive the ball two, three, and – as we shared in last week’s blog – four times as far, we are choosing to believe a primary culprit behind this ruling was fashion. Yes, fashion.
Think about it. How could a female golfer in the mid to late 1800s possibly get the ball any further than 70 yards while swathed in crinoline, bustles, petticoats (that’s plural), and the posture expected with such apparel? Thank goodness for Burberry!
Thomas Burberry introduced a “free-stroke” coat in the early 1900s that gave a woman the gift of greater range of motion in her swing. Then, Coco Chanel made jersey knit “fashionable” (and welcomed by perspiring golfers everywhere) in a time when donning such fabric should have been scandalous, according to biographer Justine Picardie, since jersey had previously only been used in undergarments. #gasp
Pleats and shirt-dresses soon came to the aid of women playing the game – and then it happened.
Golf hems went after the short lengths its lifestyle peer, tennis, had earned. It has taken awhile, but golf might have finally caught up! (Now if it could only catch up with tennis on women’s earnings in the game, but that’s an entire other blog.)
Since golf’s inception, the courses women play today are much longer, but our skirts no longer have to be. And while dress codes still vary from course to course, a woman is free to drive the ball. Figuratively and literally.
We are not naïve to the true social realities that motivated women’s fashion within and outside of golf in centuries past. After all, fast forward to 2016 and the “grass ceiling” still exists in aspects of golf. We appreciate how far women’s golf has come and what is out there still to overcome – and we’re here to help you do just that. #setyourgamefree