Has there ever been a better time to shop for golf apparel? The sheer volume of options, from classic to contemporary, sporty to sophisticated, leaves little doubt that golf attire is all grown up. How we got here after three decades defined by khaki and baggy is largely the effort made by independent brands who have helped move the whole industry forward.
One of those brands making big waves is Devereux. In the two years since it’s debut, Devereux has achieved something of a cult status among style-savvy golfers who have embraced the company’s progressive, yet unpretentious designs.
The brand’s latest Spring collection, the Christina O, is a bold, but welcome move for Devereux. Like all good sophomore releases, the new collection stretches design boundaries while adhering to the basic formula that received critical acclaim in the first place.
Good taste and great tailoring are the hallmark of all apparel products made by Devereux. When it comes to golf shirts, the company has a sharp eye for combining a classic color palette with conservative patterns. The shirts are cut and sown for a modern fit and use a high quality Pima cotton yarn with a hint of stretch that wicks sweat while maintaining the soft-hand feel customers expect from a luxury garment, even one that’s meant for the golf course.
What Devereux does best of all is avoid the same old tired tropes that hound most golf apparel brands. I doubt you’ll ever see a pattern like argyle or tattersall appear in a Devereux collection; it doesn’t seem to suit the company’s modern sensibilities. Look no further than the inspiration for the current collection: the ambiance of the Grecian countryside, along with the tranquil waves of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. As for the collection’s title, it’s a nod to Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, who in addition to marrying Jacqueline Kennedy, purchased and restored one of the world’s largest yachts, the Christina O, which spent the better part of twenty years circumnavigating the world’s most exotic locales.
There’s something about wearing Devereux that conjures up a fashion homage to the West Coast lifestyle of the 1960s
The backstory behind the Spring collection can seem like a bit of stretch for some, but the idea of working with concepts that exist outside the traditional golf fashion playbook is a major part of who Devereux is. The company was founded by brothers and avid golfers Will and Robert Brunner, who launched the brand out of a frustration from wearing golf clothes that either fit poorly or looked a little too outrageous to be worn away from the course. Will and Robert maintain an active lifestyle, and set out to design a golf shirt that could take on the Blue Monster by day and the Fontainebleau by night.
“Golf is a game of etiquette and class that determines the way we act. But we don’t dress the way we act around golf,” says Robert Brunner. “People dress in these obnoxiously loud neon outfits that don’t really hold true to what we preach in the world of golf. So that was the void as far as me not having anything to wear after my round of golf.”
The color story for the Christina O collection draws deeply from a nautical heritage as you would expect. Devereux mixes sage, pebble blue, navy, sand-colored apricot and white into their apparel line, applying a significant measure of restraint to avoid looking outlandish. My favorite piece from the new collection is the Aristotle. It features a wavy cut-and-sew piece across the chest that plays up the collection’s oceanic motif. It’s a simple and elegant shirt that I’ve enjoyed wearing to work, out to dinner and to the golf course.
“It really brought out the mood of the whole collection and it’s unlike anything else you’re going to see in the marketplace,” says Robert. “I built the entire collection around that piece and around Aristotle Onassis himself.”
I can’t say I know very much about Will and Robert; what little I have gleamed about them has come primarily from their blog in which these brothers who live in the Los Angeles area offer their collective opinion on a wide-range of topics. If you need help purchasing a stylish blazer or choosing a fine bourbon, these guys can help. They also offer their insight on the people (including golfers) and places that have inspired them, hoping to pass along their joie de vivre to customers, existing and potential.
“I find it fun to take a place and build a collection around it whether it’s Paris, Los Angeles or Miami,” says Robert. “Whether my customers have been there or dream to go there, I try to incorporate iconic features that help people visualize and relate to it.”
For me personally, the shirts from the Christina O collection make me think of a fictional Don Draper seeking solace in Los Angeles in season two of Mad Men. Or of a Steve McQueen holing up in his vacation compound in Palm Springs. Either way, there’s something about wearing Devereux that conjures up a fashion homage to the West Coast lifestyle of the 1960s. A timeless epoch that introduced America to surf culture, the mini-skirt and the understated elegance of Jackie Kennedy.
Of course the value of golf apparel isn’t solely measured by it’s contribution to high fashion, although I’m personally glad companies like Devereux raise the stakes. What golfers really care about when it’s all said and done is how a shirt fits and performs. Having worn Devereux’s golf shirts almost habitually the past couple of months, I can assure you that the company’s apparel can handle the athletic demands of the game as well, if not better, than anything you’d buy off the rack at a big-box golf store.
So whether you’re a golfer who doesn’t know the difference between a point and spread collar, or a discerning shopper who bargain-hunts on upscale sites like Rue La La, Devereux has made it exceptionally easy for everyone to add a little more sophistication to their on-course (and off-course) wardrobe. Très chic indeed.
Originally published on AmateurGolf.com.