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Tony the Tailor's golf fashion blog

  • Story Highlights
  • Tony visits Golfitalia, a creative golf store in Milan, Italy
  • Golf is still a young sport in Italy and fashions are more reserved
  • He went to the Dunhill Links where the stars brought their own fashions to the course
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By Tony Q'aja for CNN
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(CNN) -- Last month I made an international fashion scene request, as a result I was invited to Golfitalia, a very creative golf store just outside of Milan, Italy.


Samuel L. Jackson sporting one of Tony's stylish golf jumpers, while looking at fabric samples.

It's a modern store with a mass of glass for display to allow natural light -- just what's required to see clothing at its full potential. A ground floor showroom is followed by a floor full of clothing combined with a hip drinks bar to relax in. With a basement floor dedicated to hardware, complete with practice green and coaching area, it is a true golf concept store.

As much as I would have liked to see how relaxed I could have become in the bar area, I knew it was a great opportunity to check out the Italian golf fashion scene.

Autumn/Winter collections were, as expected, much muted and knitwear based. Colors comprised brown, green, black, navy -- all very conservative.

Italians love their knitwear, wearing a quilted sleeveless jumper on top of a zip-up turtle neck is not unusual. Team that up with a pair of heavy duty cords, and it results in a very traditional English high society look.

Italian golf is still in its early years. It is still a sport for the wealthy and upper class, as it once was in England and America.

However, change is coming, evidenced in my friends from Bunker Mentality, with their infamous slogan emblazoned polos, having their collection in-store. The manager told me some of the younger generation were showing an interest in the different, and less conservative.

I am happy to report on this basis they were delighted to stock the Q'aja collection and particularly appreciated the stylish cuts and Italian fabrics. There were however some very trendy golf shoes made very much in the Q'aja mould with contrast piping.

There were some unusual things, like the quilted waterproofs which I felt must have been very difficult to play in.

What did surprise me was the fact that Ladies wear took up a much higher percentage of the retail space than typical in English stores, and, regardless of the winter season, the clothes were still very glamorous. Italian women must love their bling. (Check out those Swaroski caps with the must-have matching toiletry bags shaped like golf bags. See pics).

The star studded Dunhill Links was on show again earlier this autumn. The format of having celebrities alongside golf pros who are trying to gain European points and serious prize money is unique and compelling.

This is also the one time the Europeans have a serious competition in the sartorial stakes.

Whereas the American pros dress very conservatively their celeb counterparts are very much the opposite. Rock star Tico Torres wore some great jumpers with subtle designs in strong colors on a classic background. Bill Murray was in fancy plaid pants, but Bill, next time please no plaid shirts to conflict with the plaid pants. My friend Ian Poulter even managed to get Dennis Hopper into some of Poults' purple jumpers and mock turtles.

However the prize for Mr Cool at the Dunhill has to go to Mr Cool himself Samuel L. Jackson. Black with bright yellow; very powerful combo -- brown and cream diamond jumper with brown polo with a red long sleeve mock turtle and finished with a red hat. That is coordination in the Q'aja bible.

I met up with Mr Cool early in the week, to my astonishment he knew who I was -- how cool is that? We ended up going out for a delicious curry in St Andrews with his make-up man. What a great evening.

Conversation naturally covered films, music and fashion. His attitude towards golf fashion is almost word-for-word my philosophy. If you dress well, you feel good and give yourself a chance mentally of playing well. If you dress expressively you have to play well to carry what you wear. He found that it works for him and who is going to argue with that.

Sam also stated how much he admired what I had done for Darren Clarke's creation as a fashion icon and wanted to see some of the Q'aja collection. Naturally he ordered a few combinations which I am sure will be seen in some golf tournaments in the US. Mr Cool is now Mr Q'ool. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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