Course of Style: Masters Fashion Notes

Friday April 17th, 2009
Wearing a shirt and pants that are similar in color helped Cabrera look thinner at Augusta.
Fred Vuich/SI

The Masters tournament was a paunchy guy's dream: a tense duel between a group of elite professional athletes who all tended toward the well-padded (Perry, Cabrera, and Campbell). It was enough to make the over-50 guy, patting his middle in front of the widescreen, feel good about himself.

Angel Cabrera, the eventual winner, handled his stout physique well. The key was wearing like-colored clothes top and bottom — on Sunday a yellow golf shirt and golden khaki pleated trousers. When top and bottom are closely related like that, your midsection (which was ample in Cabrera's case) is de-emphasized. It simply blends into the whole.

Kenny Perry, on the other hand, who played beautifully and accepted his loss with grace, wore a horizontal striped white golf shirt over dark trousers, precisely the outfit that will call attention to one's girth. Horizontal stripes delineate and emphasize width (in contrast to vertical stripes, which lengthen by drawing the eye downward). Wearing high-contrast clothes top and bottom also tends to draw the eye to the middle, focusing attention on the 48-year-old avoirdupois.

Which is why at an Easter Sunday dinner, with a mix of golf and non-golf fans clustered around a high-definition television, the immediate reaction among the non-golfers watching Perry par his way around the course was, "How can that guy be winning?"

BROWN SHIRTS
Tiger Woods looked the way he always looks, sleek, powerful, and unremarkable, but there was some negative feedback for Phil Mickelson's look during the Masters. Writing after Saturday's round, the Los Angeles Times referred to Mickelson's "ugly brown shirt," a notion that we think was off point.

There was nothing wrong with the shirt color per se, which was a nice medium brown, worn with white trousers and white golf shoes. The color combination itself was kind of refreshing actually, in a field dominated by the usual blues, blacks, reds, and multistripes. What was off about Mickelson's look (as we've noted in the past) was the fit — too tight for his physique, especially at the waist, where the shirt gripped his love handles like a glove. Also those fussy little button-down collars emphasize the jowliness of Phil's face. Medium spread collars would offset his long, full face.

Mickleson, at 39, is a fairly well-upholstered guy who probably enjoys the sensation of making those huge golf swings in fitted clothing. However, dark colors and a more relaxed fit would suit him better.

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