In his current run to the brink of number one, Phil Mickelson has been sporting a new streamlined look. The big lefty has been wearing more fitted shirts, with raised contour stitching, button-down collars, and darted fronts. Darting, a traditional tailoring detail, is a v-shaped tuck that makes a garment conform better to the body. In Mickelson’s case, the darts are typically placed in the side seams. He has also sported golf shoes with striking alligator-style leathers. Several readers have inquired about the origins of his apparel.
The shirts are custom-made for Mickelson, according to an insider on his team, at Q’aja Couture, a London-based clothier that specializes in apparel for sportsmen, including players on continental soccer clubs (which they call, oddly enough, “professional football”). The founders of the company are Tony Q’aja, also known as “Tony the Tailor,” and Jamie Henfrey. They also dress pro golfers Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, Thomas Bjorn, and Graeme McDowell, among others, according to their website.
There are clear advantages to bespoke (custom) or made-to-measure clothing, especially when it comes to fit and masking one’s figure flaws. Mickelson is a large man with a huge swing, so his clothes have to move well along with him. If they are too loose, the guy will look as big as a barn. Too tight and he looks like a sausage. For his shoes, which are a bit flashy, Mickelson picks out the leathers himself, then has Callaway Golf, his equipment sponsor, make them up in a Callaway model made especially for him.
Whether he wins or misses the cut, Mickelson has been doing it in style.