Appreciating The Country Club Aesthetic
My grandma and grandpa belonged to a country club for thirty-ish years, and in that time I was lucky enough to play golf, swim in the pool, and take tennis lessons there for a few years during my youth before rising membership dues and retirement no longer allowed them to stay there.
I looked at that country club compared to the municipal golf course where I usually had to play and scoffed at the differences. I loved that club with my whole heart.
The haughtiness of the members, the pristine conditions of the golf course, the ability to order chicken fingers, fries, and a coke from the cafe and then have it brought out to you poolside was truly magical. You could walk into the clubhouse and get a sick Ashworth polo with the club insignia on it and all you had to do was mutter your club number - basically free money.
I admired a lot of things about that club, and other than the golf lessons I got the fashion sense of the members might be the number one thing I loved about that place. Dudes in khakis, old school footjoys, and baggy collared polo shirts (as was the style back in the late 90s/early aughts) and women in shit like this -
And this -
Lacey Underall - I’m sweating.
Everytime I got access to that club it was like walking around on the set of The Royal Tenenbaums, complete with dudes who had just finished up a 2 or 3 set thriller on the tennis court in full Adidas or Fila tracksuits. I even saw people fresh off of a shower and steam inside the locker room with the sweater around the neck inside the dining room.
In the 80s and 90s the crewneck sweater was not worn as intended. No one actually put their head and arms through the respective holes in the sweater and wore it, you know?
Tied around the waist or draped over the shoulders was where the sweater lived, and it thrived there for a long while. Think Carlton Banks or Judd Nelson.
Nowadays it’s a rare sight to see someone using the sweatshirt as an accessory, and while many fashion themes from the past have come back in a big way, I haven’t seen the sweatshirt around the shoulders look all that much. We’ve brought back country club style with tracksuits and tennis themed apparal, and I don’t think it’s far fetched to think that “sweater over neck” is far fetched.
And I know what you’re thinking - a sweater over the shoulders? Not everyone aspires to look like they just walked out of a scotch ad, John. I understand that. And I understand the inherent douchiness of the look - but I truly think there’s a place for the sweatshirt or golf sweater over the shoulders outside of a yacht club or a country club mixer.
We now have people wearing bellbottoms and paying 60 or 70 dollars for a Gildan t-shirt that you could make yourself for fifteen or twenty dollars. It’s not ridiculous to think that the look I’m speaking of could make a comeback.
It’s sort of incredible really, to think about how a sweater draped over your shoulders can immediately trigger negative connotations, but I suppose when the only people who do this are wealthy country club visiting, yacht-owning dickheads there is going to be a little bit of an aversion to the look.
I have always maintained that if you like what you’re wearing then wear it, and while I’m not positive that I won’t get my ass beat for doing this, I’m also not afraid to take chances when getting dressed. Allow me to do some mental gymnastics with anyone reading this - we dress for the jobs we want, not the ones we have, correct? Correct. So why not dress for the lifestyle we want and not the one we have?