Over the past several years, Ashworth apparel had become stale and predictable. There was little newness in their product lines and it appeared they were simply following the leads of other apparel companies. Back in 1988 , Ashworth become the top apparel company in the industry and made wearing golf apparel “cool”. Now twenty years later, not only are they back but stronger than ever with multiple offerings in both mens and womens apparel.
The Fall â€™08 menâ€™s season represents a feeling of dÃ©jÃ vu for the Ashworth brand, which was founded in January 1988 on the premise of replacing the 100 percent polyester golf shirts that then dominated the industry. The first thing Ashworth did for Fall 2008 was to research and test the newest and most innovative blended fabrics, 100 percent natural fabrics and organic fabrics to determine which ones could work into the companyâ€™s design philosophy, which is to design more to a mindset than to an age demographic.
â€œTo me, the fabric is 90 percent of the design effort,â€ says John Ashworth, the company founder who returned to Ashworth last year as a design consultant. â€œWe take great pride in the craftsmanship of garment making and apply that to the usage of a golfer for on or off the course.â€
Men’s Fall 2008 Collection
Ashworthâ€™s new menâ€™s Fall 2008 categories include Third Groove Performance fabrics, EZ Tech Hi-Def 100% Luxury Cotton, environmentally friendly Ashworth Organics and young-minded ASHW33.
Ashworth is replacing 100% polyester with its Third Groove Performance category of golf shirts, which are made of innovative blends of pima cotton and polyester that are the ultimate in performance, comfort and style. The performance attributes include moisture wicking, breathability, lightweight, no snagging and no odor issues.
Ashworth is continuing, yet improving upon, its state-of-the-art EZ Tech Hi-Def Luxury 100% Cotton fabric shirt category, which is geared for a more classic, refined look. The company has added a specialized â€œinnosoftâ€ finish that gives the fabric a lustrous feel of luxury, but is easy care and wonâ€™t wrinkle or shrink. This very soft, comfortable, lightweight cotton also has a special no-curl collar.
Ashworth Organics is a brand-new, great-looking line made of sustainable, recyclable or 100 percent organic cottons. Ashworth Organicsâ€™ colors can cross merchandise with the other pieces in the line. Ashworth Organics incorporates very comfortable fabrics and classic styles that take a step for environmentally friendly products. In fact, this part of the collection is tagged with a new â€œAshworth Organicsâ€ label and a hangtag that exclaims â€œFor the Game, For the Planet.â€
Another new line called ASHW33 is designed for a slightly younger, hipper mindset. This avante garde look is designed with performance fabrics and unique graphic elements, stitching details and subtle treatments. This shirt group boasts a â€œmod fit,â€ which is a slimmer fit by one size from Ashworthâ€™s classic fit. The company has a deep respect for the gameâ€™s history and virtues, and attempts to incorporate that vibe into its clothing. The â€œ33â€ logo is open to interpretation. Itâ€™s basically a magical universal number. In life itâ€™s where youth intersects experience. Itâ€™s a reminder to â€œmellow out.â€ Another new logo is a crest that reads â€œKings and Commoners,â€ which is a reminder that golf is an inclusive, not exclusive, game.
Womenâ€™s Fall 2008 Collection
Ashworth Womenâ€™s collections are more focused than ever before. We looked into the future instead of looking into the past. We focused on â€œwhere do we want to goâ€ instead of â€œwhere have we beenâ€. We did not look to our competitors to compare ourselves but rather looked at womenâ€™s apparel in general to find the best fabrics, flattering silhouettes and a great fit. Much of our time was spent researching silhouettes that are not only flattering to a womanâ€™s body, but would also be comfortable to play golf in. So much of our time was also spent on attention to the smallest details: satin ribbon set into inner waistband, delicate zipper pulls, buttons, printed linings, logo tabs. These details are not something that can be seen at first glance, but it is the hidden or even subtle details that will surprise you when you look closer at the garment.
Some of the trends for Fall 08 fashion that Ashworth incorporated into their lines were: monochromatic prints, oversized buttons, lightweight sweaters and outerwear. Golf is truly a lifestyle. Ashworth designed some items that can be worn from the golf course straight into your daily activitiesâ€¦such as shopping, lunch…etc.
Not only do we feel it is important to look and feel good in golf apparel, we take pride in the function of each item. Front and back pockets on all of our bottoms can be used for the storage of ball markers, tees, ballsâ€¦etc. We offer the latest in â€œperformanceâ€ cotton. This is a hybrid Cotton/Polyester high twist yarn that had both a soft hand but wicks moisture away from the body but also dries quickly. All of our knit range is cotton rich. Cotton rich fabrications allow for a soft hand with lots of comfort.
Each of the 3 collections for fall has its very own identity. This was achieved through color scheme, styling, fabrics and trims.
The first collection, California, has specifically a very Southern California feel. It is made up of warm tones of yellow and crisp white with some accents of a soft khaki. Knit fabrications include cotton/modal/spandex blends offering beautiful drape and stretch. A variety of monochromatic prints offer a 3rd dimension to this collection. A hooded tunic terry pullover and cotton/rayon/spandex dress add to the â€œlifestyleâ€ of this collection.
The second collection, New York, has a very preppy, East coast feel. Silhouettes are very traditional, yet sophisticated. It is made up of very classic colors: Black, White, Khaki and a very rich Red tone. This collection offers a lot of variety in layering pieces, as that is key for this delivery. Sweaters are rich in both hand and color. Fabrications for sweaters include, 100% wool, cotton/woo and cotton/cashmere blends. Geomentic and argyle patterns represent the preppy feel for this group.
The third collection, Hawaii, has a water theme. It is made up on deep blues and vibrant crisp aqua greens. This collection offers a performance edge with a selection of knits that are moisture wicking, quick drying and breathable. These are made of a blend of two high twisted yarns that provide fantastic hand, comfort and durability.
From the new look and refinement of the shirts to the hang tags to the wearability of the entire line, Ashworth is back 100%.
The four lineÂ offerings for fall 2008 is something we’ve never seen in this industry.Â Â Â Typically with most apparel companies, you have the same shirt offered in a variety of colors throughout the seasons. Â With Ashworth, you now have different styles, feels, colors and fits among the brand that are very attractive across the board to all golfers, regardless of age.
We found an immediate difference in feel when putting one of the EZ Tech shirts. We found them to be soft and ideal for playing golf.Â There shirts are tagless inside (why doesn’t everyone do this?) and the sleeves are a little shorter than past Ashworth shirts which gives them more of a modern fit and look. The quality is superb as each wash did not affect the way the shirt looks or feels. This is an area of tremendous improvement with the new Ashworth. The Third Groove performance shirts have a nice weight to them as well and offer a wonderful look and fit. The collars on the Third Groove line are a little stiffer but still wash and wear great. The ASHW 33 line may be our favorite in that it is going back to the Ashworth of old with attention grabbing graphics, details, and overall style.Â Our 40+ year old staff members noted that this line took us back to our youth as the label itself says. Once you step on the tee in these shirts, you forget your age rather quickly. The Ashworth Organic line might actually be softer than the EZ Tech line and feels just as good. You have to appreciate the strides here in recyclable cotton you can wear on the course that looks great.
All in all, Ashworth gets high marks for looks, fit, and performance.Â We can safely say to any golfers that have wandered away from Ashworth in the past several years, well, now is the time to return.Â The style and look is among the best in the industry.
Additional information on our review methods can be found here.