Course of Style: Oakley's Growth and Lyle & Scott's Return

Course of Style: Oakley’s Growth and Lyle & Scott’s Return

The folks at eyewear, footwear and apparel maker Oakley
have to be thrilled with their foray into the golf business. Not only
do many top professionals wear their sunglasses—including Ian Poulter,
Rory McIlroy and 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen—but lately
their clothing has been all over the television. McIlroy wore Oakley
clothing during his near-win at the Masters, and Keegan Bradley, last
week’s winner at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, also carried the
Oakley “O” on his sunglasses, shirts and belt.

Next year Oakley, which already has a high profile in Major League
Baseball (tons of outfielders swear by Oakley shades), will expand its
golf lines to include a women’s collection.

Storied
Scottish brand returns

The Lyle & Scott sportswear brand made the beautiful cashmeres
worn by Ryder Cup teams in the 1980s, as well as top players like Tony
Jacklin, Sandy Lyle, Gary Player, and Greg Norman, Lyle & Scott
outfitted celebrities like Bing Crosby and Bill Clinton as well.

The clothes, noteworthy for their fine fabrics and green- or
golden-eagle logo, essentially vanished from the American market 25
years ago after the company changed hands and began to focus on the
European market.

Now it is back.

Lyle & Scott re-launched this spring in the U.S., beginning
with limited distribution at the Riviera and Bel-Air country clubs in
Los Angeles, as well as Desert Mountain and Grayhawk Golf Club in
Scottsdale, Ariz. The company has been signing Tour players (including
Jesper Parnevik and Chris Wood) to clothing sponsorships and is
planning to step up their U.S. distribution beginning in July.

The Brits really know how to do that slightly retro, vintage sportswear
look that is popular today, and Lyle & Scott mines this
heritage. The collection features full-buttoning (from neck to belt
line) golf shirts in cotton pique ($75-$80) and sharp checked trousers,
flat front, with nifty little golf-specific features, like tee holders
in the pockets ($110-$125). The clothing is also available at trendygolf.com
and lyleandscott.com.