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What goes into designing the U.S. Ryder Cup uniforms? David Lauren explains

David Lauren is executive V.P. for global advertising, marketing and corporate communications at Ralph Lauren, which has outfitted Team USA at this year's Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. We spoke with him last week for Golf Digest Stix about the process of creating the U.S. apparel, outerfear and accessories. Here is an extended version of that Q&A.

Golf Digest Stix: What's the main challenge in designing a lineup for an entire team?

Lauren: The team aspect is what differentiates the Ryder Cup from other premier golf events. Our focus is on meeting the needs of the players and delivering products that are not only functional but something that unites them and gives them a sense of pride.

Golf Digest Stix: When did you and your team start working up options?

Lauren: Over a year ago. After completing sketches, we spent months perfecting the technical elements. We continuously met with Tom Watson and the PGA of America, and once we all felt confident, we went into production. Then it was time to start fitting the players. We identified the top 25 U.S. players and had personalized fittings with each so everything would fit flawlessly when it came time for the Ryder Cup.

Golf Digest Stix: How many items did the PGA ask you to provide?

Lauren: We wanted to provide the players with more than enough options to perform their best while on the course. The full collection includes shirts, pants and sweaters, as well as a variety of outerwear. And this year marks the first time in Ryder Cup history the entire collection is available for purchase, which is great.

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Golf Digest Stix: With the outfits you choose for Friday, Saturday and Sunday (see above), how many alternative ideas were drawn up but ultimately rejected?

Lauren: We created three options for each day, and though we liked them all, we had our favorites. The Watson team pick-ed the top suggestion on every account.

Golf Digest Stix: How much does the event itself and the gravitas that the Ryder Cup holds impact the look you were trying for?

Lauren: The rich heritage and tradition [of the Ryder Cup] have been embraced by some of the greatest players golf has ever seen. We wanted the U.S. team uniforms to reflect that vision by creating something that embodies the spirit of America and pays homage to the host country. We created the Black Watch plaid in green and navy as a nod Scotland. We used patriotic red, white and blue color blocking into each look and incorporated a band of 12 stars into the shoulder to signify the importance of each player. As a final touch, we embroidered the words "United We Stand" into the shirts as a nod to Captain Tom Watson's strong leadership.

Golf Digest Stix: Captains have famously, and sometimes infamously, played a role in the design process. How did Tom contribute?

Lauren: Anytime Tom Watson is on your team, you've won. His passion, professionalism, attention to detail and leadership are unparalleled. He took product testing to a new level and even wore each of the jackets in the shower to see how they would hold up in bad weather.

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Style

Hits and misses from the last decade of Ryder Cup style

It's a tall task to outfit your nation's Ryder Cup squad. Captains and players come in all shapes and sizes and bring their own stance on style to the table. We take a look back at U.S. Ryder Cup clothing over the last 10 years and review some of the links looks they'll rock this year as they try to turn the tide against the Euros at Gleneagles.

2004 -- Oakland Hills

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Oh my how fit has come so far. If you told me that the Ryder Cup clothing strategy in 2004 was "one size fits all" I'd believe you. For those of you who still think baggier clothes make you look smaller, I'm not sure what else I can say.

2006 -- The K Club

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Sweater vests were trending in 2006 and seem to be a staple in U.S. Ryder Cup wear as far back as we can tell. Why, I'm not really sure.

2008 -- Valhalla

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Sleepy styles were infused with tons of U.S. energy from a team that overpowered the Euros in 2008 at Valhalla. Justin Leonard's black-and-white argyle polo and AK's khakis are pretty pedestrian but hey, we haven't seen a W for the US since so I'm letting this all slide.

2010 -- Celtic Manor

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Fashionable, maybe? Functional, certainly not. The baseball jacket struck out in foul weather in 2010 and half the team went so far as to cut the sleeves off of their slickers because they were so uncomfortable. We're all for breaking away from the standard red, white and blues but the purple cardigan and pinstripe trousers had Rickie Fowler looking as confused as we were.

2012 -- Medinah

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Ralph Lauren modernizes classic golf gear in 2012. Striped polos and sweater vests manage to make an appearance on both squads throughout the last decade, and RLX executes a modern twist on some of the game's standard styles.

2014 -- Gleneagles

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Ralph Lauren continues to pay homage to classic links looks while still modernizing some of the game's standard styles. Black-watch tech tartan trousers and engineered, color-blocked striped polos will make a strong statement for the U.S. team in 2014. This Sunday, we'll see if the men in the red trousers will be the ones hoisting this year's trophy. ... Read
Style

How you can be a Mr. Fancy Pants like Billy Horschel

The $13 million man, Billy Horschel, has certainly made a name for himself over the last few weeks, but the kid's been picking up serious style points ever since he came out on tour.

In 2014, Horschel turned the volume up to 11 when he started serving up all sorts of bold bottoms over the weekends. Through the course of the year we've seen the FedEx Cup Champ look like a stud in everything from octopuses to electric plaids, and if you're trying to pick up on some of his sartorial swag, here's how to start:

1. Nail the Fit.
Whether you're wearing corduroys or camouflage, fit is the most important metric of style. Take your trousers to a tailor if they don't fit you comfortably in the waist, seat and thighs. Make sure they break just on top of your shoes; if you can't see your socks when you crouch to read a putt your pants are too long.

2. Party on the Bottom, Business on Top.
Nothing in your look should fight for attention. If you're wearing a louder look on the bottom, make sure your shirt, shoes and hat all stay on the simple, solid side.

3. Why So Serious?
It's sad enough watching grown men have mental breakdowns mid-round but, there's nothing funnier than seeing a dude in purple pants smash a 7-iron into the turf in frustration. If you decide to work some lighter brighter bottoms into your game, try to reflect that sentiment around your track, too. Who knows, a little levity may just do more for your move than you think.

Check out 5 of our favorite below the belt style statements here:

Nike Navy Muted Camo
$99
nike.com

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RLX Green Frog Floral Print
$125
ralphlauren.com

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Puma Orange Sport Lux 5 Pocket
$85
cobragolf.com/pumagolf

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J. Lindeberg White Geo Camo Print
$135
fairwaystyles.com

loop-J-Lindeberg-LightGray-Digi-Camo-350.jpgMaide Golf Navy Tech Plaid
$118
bonobos.com

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Style

Lifestyle Looper: 3 simple ways to look thinner without losing weight

In a perfect world we would all eat healthier and exercise more. But the world isn't exactly perfect, and the stresses of daily life mixed with the ebb and flow of your social schedule can make getting down to your fighting physique challenging to say the least. (Plus, how many of us are actually built like Adam Scott anyway?) Whether you're trying to drop a few LBs or just look your best with what you've got, how you dress can have a major impact on the guy you see in the mirror no matter what the scale says.

Angel Cabrera looks a lot more like most of the guys I see on the weekend-warrior tours than Adam Scott. During the 2014 season, Cabrera's weight fluctuated five to 10 pounds, but he looked better than in years past thanks to some simple style choices.


Angel Cabrera Summer 2013

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Throughout his summer swing in 2013, Cabrera rocked some typical tour pro looks: a solid polo, white belt and a pleated trouser.


Angel Cabrera Summer 2014

By 2014 a few minor fit and fabric adjustments made for quite the dapper Duck …

1. Shorten The Sleeves -- A slightly slimmer and shorter sleeve on even the most classic cuts makes for a more modern look and adds shape to the torso.

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2. Ditch The White Belt -- A white belt with a dark shirt and trouser bisects your body and attracts attention to your midsection. No matter what color your strap is, make sure to match it to your shirt and/or your trousers to smooth out a longer, leaner look.

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3. Pass on the Pleats -- Here's an area where Cabrera can still improve. Those pleats just add fabric around his waist and legs that make him look bigger than he is. 

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Style

Ode to Arnie: Five cardigans The King would love

After celebrating Arnold Palmer's 85th birthday we thought it'd be appropriate to commemorate the King's classic style with a salute to his most iconic sweater -- the cardigan.

The Cardigan sweater was originally conceived as a naval knitwear piece and was first popularized in the mid-1850s when tales of Major General James Bundell and his fleet's defeat of the Russians at the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War spread across the British Empire. Major General Bundell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, is the namesake for the 160-year-old soldier style.

The cardigan sweater remains a menswear mainstay and has a place in every man's closet. Dig back in to the Arnie achieve and you'll find tons of shots of the stud on and off the course in cardigan sweaters. Throw yours over a T-shirt and some jeans or layer it under a suit. Either way, check out five of our favorite sweaters and try adding a cardigan into your rotation for fall.


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J. Crew Merino Wool Navy Cardigan
$90
jcrew.com
A basic that will never go out of style, layer this in everywhere from the office to the course to the bar.

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Uniqlo Merino Wool Gray Sailor Stripe
$50
uniqlo.com
Naval stripes are still on trend for fall and this banded cardigan fits right in. 


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J. Lindeberg Wool/Silk Solid
$225
trendygolf.com
The king of sharp style brings it again with this wool and silk stone-colored blend. 


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Puma Teal Full Zip
$175
trendygolf.com
Puma executes the modern take on the classic cardigan in a pop color and a zip front.


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Joe Fresh Cashmere Retro Button Front
$129
joefresh.com
If you're trying to channel the vintage vibe and go old school Arnold, rock this mustard sweater with some navy chinos and you're all set.

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Style

Game improvement: A lightweight, stylish alternative to your leather overnight luggage

No matter who you are, chances are you've got some gear in your game that could use an update. While we don't advise retooling everything at once, trading up a few staples at a time is the ticket to solid style. Each week we'll pull a dud from the dark depths of every man's collection and suggest a simple substitute. Check your nostalgia at the door -- it's time for your tune up.

A full-grain leather overnight bag still feels like one of those manly must-haves every guy should own and be able to hand down to his kid one day. My dad moved to New York in 1973 with a Filson leather duffle, which he gave to me when I went to college, and I still use it for weekend trips. That said, leather bags can be expensive and very heavy to tote around. If you've got a weekend buddies trip on the books this fall or you're just trying to pick up a bag that's a bit bigger than your standard brief case, we'd suggest checking out some sharp alternatives to the standard leather carry-on.

While there used to be a big gap in the market between refined travel bags made by luxury brands and technical totes from camping and climbing companies, the void has been filled by strong offerings from both sides. More and more designers are using technical materials, such as rubber, nylon, cotton and canvas, in classic silhouettes to develop bags that are built to take a beating but won't look out of place at baggage claim on a business trip.

If you're in the market for a new weekend bag, check out five fresh, lightweight leather alternatives that'll take you everywhere you need to go this fall.


APC Navy Nylon Holdall
$265
apc.com

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DSPTCH Light Gray Technical Weekender
$200
DSPTCH.com

loop-DSPTCH-v3-518.jpgFilson Black Waxed Canvas Duffle
$325
filson.com

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Herschel Supply Co. Camo Duffle
$100
herschelsupply.com

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H&M Black Rubberized Sport Bag
$50
hm.com

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Style

Shirts that will keep you looking sharp this fall

We've seen a ton of retro looks this summer, and the throwback styles will continue to be a focus for fall. Whether you're feeling classic preppy plackets or 1980s Air Jordan color pallets, the key is to make the move your own and not look like you've time-traveled from another generation.

Here are five of our favorite period polos along with a few tips on how pull off the look.




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RLX Orange Fine Stripe with Contrast Extended Placket
$89
ralphlauren.com

The classic preppy polo with an extended contrast placket is already redefined in RLX's slim fit and performance fabrics. Balance the color pop with some slim gray trousers and this rig works from Labor Day through Thanksgiving.



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Nike Dry Fit Green Micro Print Color Block
$65
nike.com

Keep the acid wash jeans in the closet when you're wearing this 1980s-inspired color-blocked retro print. On or off the course, black pants and white sneaks are all you need to modernize this move.


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Fred Perry Gray Tipped Polo

$85
fredperry.com

Embrace the mod move, button the top button and tuck this classic polo into a dark trouser. Throw on some spikeless sneaks and you're set for the season.


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Adidas Burgundy Shoulder Block Polo
$80
adidasgolf.com

Balance the 1970s vintage colors by wearing bright white bottoms. The white trousers will also pick up the contrast stitch around the sleeves and waist making the retro rig look young and athletic. 


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J. Lindeberg Navy Banded Stripe Polo
$85
trendygolf.com

Channel some vintage Seve and pair this polo with navy trousers in the same shade. The look may be retro, but the fit and function of J. Lindeberg's performance gear is enough to take this look way past 2014.

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Style

A slip-on golf shoe that, well, actually looks like a golf shoe

Derived from the Greek word bios, for "life," Biion seeks to bring new life to the golf-shoe industry. The brainchild of Toronto fashion entrepreneur Rick Buchanan, the slip-on shoes are made of a lightweight yet sturdy EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) material that is anti-microbial, odor-resistant and washable.

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The company offers shoes in five styles—classic, patterns, saddles, brights and wingtips—and 36 colors. Each features a dual-density midsole and honeycomb-pattern spikeless tread to provide stability and comfort.

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Unique to Biion's design is my favorite feature: aeration holes. Not only do they help keep your feet cool and dry, but they allow you to wear the shoes with or without socks. Retailing for $100, these shoes provide a definite style statement whether worn on or off the course.

Interested in more stories on apparel? Signup to receive Golf Digestix, a weekly digital magazine that offers the latest news, new product introductions and behind-the-scenes looks at all things fashion.

 

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Style

Game improvement: Deodorant that won't turn your whites yellow

No matter who you are, chances are you've got some gear in your game that could use an update. While we don't advise retooling everything at once, trading up a few staples at a time is the ticket to solid style. Each week we'll pull a dud from the dark depths of every man's collection and suggest a simple substitute. Check your nostalgia at the door -- it's time for your tune up.

If you're tired of tossing out perfectly good white shirts at the end of every summer due to some unsightly yellowing of the underarm it may be time to upgrade your deodorant. Most big-brand drugstore offerings like Speedstick, Old Spice, Gillette, etc. use aluminum to keep you dry by blocking the pores in your pits, and it's your sweat's chemical reaction with the aluminum that leaves that yellowish residue on your shirts.

loop-Malin-and-Goetz-Deodorant-310.jpgDespite their witty ads and macho scents such as "Arctic Avalanche" or "Glacial Gush" (I made those names up but, you get the point . . .) the big brands are all pretty much made up of the same thing. If you're fed up with replacing the most basic elements of your wardrobe each season I suggest checking out some natural, aluminum-free roll-ons.

My favorite is Malin+Goetz's eucalyptus deodorant. It's made from natural, odor-neutralizing, plant extracts and is aluminum and alcohol free. I've been using it for a year or so and haven't lost a shirt yet. If you feel like making the switch, give your body a few weeks to adjust to the new product. After all, the poor pores have probably been caked in aluminum since puberty! Trust me, the extra expense up front is well worth the money you'll save in shirts.

Malin+Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant, $18
malinandgoetz.com


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Style

Make the switch to spikeless golf shoes and you might not go back

I live in Manhattan, and toting my sticks on and off subway cars and in and out of cabs has turned into a real pain in the butt. In an effort to lighten my load I bought a small Sunday carry bag and tried my best to get rid of all the excess crap I'd accumulated over the last few months in my old bag. The change helped, and after discarding a banana peel, some scuffed golf balls, five of my six divot tools and a pair of boxers (don't ask) I was on the right track.

That said, the biggest loser ended up being my shoes. Whether I knotted the laces and slung them over my 3-wood, or stuffed my two FJ classics in the side pouch, my kicks were by far the heaviest piece of equipment I was hauling.

My options:
A. Carry a separate shoe bag. That didn't seem to make any sense as I maintained the weight and lost a free hand by carrying another bag.

B. Shelf the trusty classics and add a set of spikeless shoes I could wear to, from and, of course, at the golf course.

So, I picked up a pair of FJ Contour Casuals, and I've been wearing them all over all summer! They look and feel awesome. The full-grain leather and simple suede detailing mirror the minimalist designs coming out of some big-name sneaker companies. Meanwhile, they feel just as stable as my wood-soled classics on the course. I'll even wear 'em to the office if I'm gonna try and duck out early to play nine, and no one seems to be the wiser.

These types of soft, spikeless shoes are all over the tours and have started taking over a sizeable section of the classic golf-shoe market for good reason.

Here are six sweet hybrid hook-ups to check out.


FJ Contour Casual, $115
Golfsmith.com

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True Linkswear True Oxford, $100
truelinkswear.com

loop-True-Linkswear-True-Oxford-518.jpg Ecco Street Retro, $140
ecco.com

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G Fore Patent Leather, $265
gfore.com

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Kikkor Micro Print, $120
kikkor.com

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Nike Lunarlon, $100
nike.com


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