Fashion Statement: Poise in the Hood
Justin Thomas becomes the first golfer to win a PGA Tour event while wearing a hoodie
Justin Thomas won the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in South Korea on Sunday, claiming his second title at that event in the last three years and his 11th PGA Tour victory overall. That tally matches Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth for the most wins—11—before the age of 27 (Thomas turns 27 next April); only Tiger Woods (34) and Jack Nicklaus (20) had more.
Just as Thomas has been making a name for himself inside the ropes, he’s also been front and center in the fashion conversation. Instantly recognizable as one of Polo Ralph Lauren and RLX’s leading men, Thomas has curated a style that is classic and well tailored with splashes of high-volume fashion. He understands that you can build an entire outfit around a pair of shoes, and he’s not afraid to wear outfits that scream, “Look at me!”
While it’s usually his trousers that create a buzz—“Everyone’s always tweeting or putting on my Instagram, ‘I want those pants, where do I get them?’” Thomas has said—it was his choice of a layering piece that caught our attention this past week.
If you missed it, Thomas wore a hoodie—yes, a hoodie—on Saturday en route to the eventual winner’s circle, making him the first man in history to wear that article of clothing while winning a PGA Tour event. Fellow Polo wearer Billy Horschel (below, right) has also sported the hoodie in competition; so, too, has Greyson-wearing Morgan Hoffmann (below, left), but Thomas is the first one to do so in victory.
If that doesn’t signal that the face of the game is changing, you clearly haven't been paying attention.
Hoodies as part of the athleisure and lifestyle trend in golf apparel is nothing new, and neither is Thomas’ ability to take fashion risks. But for kids watching at home (well past their bedtime, I might add), this was a triumph for trendsetters, boundary-pushers, and, quite simply, the everyman. This was a green light for golfers everywhere to wear their everyday clothes on the links. We look to the professionals to tell us what equipment to wear and how to hit a flop shot... why should their choice of more casual clothing on the course be any different?
Thomas is only 26, already a major champion, and doing things in the game on par with the greatest to have ever played. On top of all that, he displays an interest in fashion. That’s the perfect equation for Thomas to be a fashion influencer for the next generation of golfers. If you haven’t already, take note of Thomas—he’s a force to be reckoned with on both the fairways and the runways.
Photo credit: Getty Images