True Story…some time ago…maybe a year…maybe more…the team at Sub70 reached out to us and asked if we’d be interested in taking a look at their product, maybe do a review…that sort of thing.
At the time MyGolfSpy really wasn’t doing much with apparel…actually we weren’t doing ANYTHING with apparel. We are, after all, an equipment site, and we were perhaps a bit slow to realize that as much as anything else we take with us to the golf course, what we wear is all part of our gear…and our gear (almost as much as our ability) defines us as who we are on the golf course.
Fast forward a year…maybe two, and regular forum contributor John Barry is uploading pics of himself in his various golf outfits. More often than not I find myself a little uncomfortable because the guy is wearing a skirt. Every so often, however; he’s wearing something really cool from England-based Sub70, and he’s telling us repetitiously, and without hesitation that we (MyGolfSpy) really needs to get some of it for review, because it’s pretty awesome stuff.
Sub70 – Is Doing Some Pretty Interesting Things
Now I’ll admit to having some personal debate about whether or not it’s wise to take fashion advice from a dude in skirt, but since he was kind enough to provide us with contact info for the team at Sub70 I figured what the hell…and besides, the 2012 Spring/Summer Collection actually looked pretty good (I’m a sucker for plaid).
So I contacted Sub70, and after some initial grumblings that amounted to an infinitely more polite version of “it’s about f*^%ing time”, Tim and I picked out a few outfits from Sub70’s Spring/Summer 2012 Lineup.
One of the little known facts is that when I (and the other guys) pick out apparel to test each season we look for a few things.
- We prefer that we receive clothing that we’re actually going to wear once the review process is over.
- We try and find something in each collection that shows off a given brands distinctive style. In this case we looked for something that illustrates exactly what it is that makes Sub70, well…Sub70.
- Nearly every season…or at least every year, the apparel industry as a whole embraces some hot new trend. When we’re savvy enough to figure out what the trend is (we’re not always that bright), we try and get samples that show each company’s take on that trend.
So…having a keen eye for golf fashion as I do (go ahead…read that previous line with mild sarcasm…that’s fair), It was clear to me that I must not only find something I personally like, I needed to check out some of Sub70s plaids, and I most certainly had to look at their take on the latest trend in golf fashion apparel; the 5 pocket pant.
Across the board Sub70 is doing some pretty interesting things. Their polos feature breathable, moisture-wicking PoloarDry ™ fabric. They have some knits (outwear) that are quite a bit different than what you’ll find in most apparel lineups, a juniors collection, and a decent sized assortment of accessories (hats and belts).
Mad For Plaid
That’s all well and good, but I wanted to limit the Press Release copy and paste to the two aspects of the Sub70 Spring/Summer Collection that I find most noteworthy.
First, let’s talk about that plaid, because if you’ve checked out the Sub70 Website this season, you’ve no doubt seen lots of it. That’s because, for 2012, Sub70 has gone absolutely Mad for Plaid:
5-Pocket Golf Pant
Beyond the plaids, the designers at Sub70 have embraced that hot trend I was talking about, so let’s hear what the company has to say about their take on the Five Pocket Golf Pant:
Incidentally…I didn’t need to read that paragraph to know 5 Pocket Pants are the hottest trend. Keen fashion eye right here, remember. Besides, just about every apparel company we work with has a 5 pocket pant this season, which basically validates that whole hottest trend in golf apparel thing. But again…who has a keen eye for golf fashion? Marty Hackel…and this guy right here.
Ultimately I chose to take a closer look at the Issac Golf Short (Mauve Plaid) paired with the Konrad Polo (Purple/Mauve), and the Henrik Five Pocket Pants (Grey), paired with the Axel Polo (white/red). Tim chose the Issac Golf Pant (Blue Plaid) paired with the Roffe Polo (Blue/Turquoise).
Fit and Fabric
As I mentioned already, Sub70 is a UK-based company. Generally speaking guys over there tend to be a bit more wiry (like Ian Poulter), and if my Irish friend Peter is any indication, they like their clothes to hug the body a bit more than most American do.
Truth be told, I was afraid that everything in the Sub70 lineup was going to be too slim fitting for my…eh hem..”Classic American Frame”. If that phrasing is a bit too subtle for you, let me lay out my concerns a bit more bluntly: How is my fat ass going to fit in these skinny euro-pants?
John Barry recommended I order everything up a size, but the latest info from Sub70 was that they had adjusted the cut of their lineup to better fit the American frame (my fat ass). So who do you believe, the manufacturer, or a dude in skirt? Turns out I should have listened to the guy in the skirt.
Interestingly enough, the Issac shorts fit true to size (basically perfect); however, the Henrik pants would seem to run about one size smaller. I got the first pair buttoned, but in doing so I think I may have inadvertently invented the long-legged Speedo. For everybody’s sake, up a size it is.
With the sizing squared away, I can tell you that compared with the average pair of golf pants in my closet, the Henrik pant runs slightly slimmer in the hips and butt. The Issac shorts…well, they’re basically perfect. They’re true to size in the waist. They’re relaxed a bit in the hips and thighs without being dumpy, and the length, for me anyway, is spot on. Awesome…simply awesome shorts. Did I mention they’re perfect?
Despite being of different styles, the two shirts I received have the same basic cut. For every other polo review I’ve ever done, a size large has been perfect. In a Sub70, however; I needed to step up, and up again to a 2XL. I suspect you’ll need to do the same.
Even in a 2XL the shirt is slimmer fitting than most large shirts I wear. For those who prefer a shorter sleeve, Sub70’s are probably the shortest (and tightest) of any golf shirt I’ve worn (a list that includes PUMA, Nike, Travis Matthew, Hollas, and adidas). It’s quite European in that regard.
The Miracle Fabric?
In all cases the fabric is downright deceptive. Tech fabrics tend to have a tech fabric feel. We’ve become accustomed to polyester blends looking and feeling a certain way. It’s like they have a high gloss finish. They’re almost slippery. Sub70’s fabric is the exception.
When I pulled the shorts out of the bag for the first time, I genuinely thought they were 100% cotton. They have a natural fiber texture to them, but the truly amazing thing is they offer more stretch than just about anything I’ve ever worn. They’re basically awesome.
Here’s what our own GolfSpy Tim has to say about the Issac Pant (and the Roffe Polo too):
I think I finally found a pair of pants worth of being paired with my favorite underwear – they’re like the men’s version of women’s exercise pants! I just want to lounge around in them and let girls check out my butt – and with the color in that pattern, they sure do scream, LOOK AT ME!!!
While I like and appreciate the shirt paired with the pants, the shirt almost tames things down a bit much for me, if I’m going to wear pants like this, I want the whole outfit to just SCREAM – so I added a hot pink polo and accomplished this rather quickly.
Walking up to the starter at my home course definitely caused the most reactions I’ve ever received, all from people giving me smiles because NO ONE at our course dresses that loud or has the balls to try – I just informed everyone staring me at the practice tee that I was dressed like this because of a lack of skill, not because I could back it – and for that, I think I pulled it off.
These pants are the bomb – I want a couple of more pairs.
The shirt is great, maybe a little bit tight in the arms, but it makes me feel super ripped! The shirt is comfy, but I’d almost say the sleeves could fit a bit more loosely because any guy with bigger arms than me (yeah, I’m not really ripped) would have problems wearing this shirt. And, as you can see from the photo, the sleeves like to roll over on themselves.
So about those shirts…The shirts caught me by surprise as well. Slipping them on for the first time I thought, “this is never going to work for me”. The fabric doesn’t look, nor does it feel like it would have any stretch to it. The shorter sleeves, the slimmer fit through the chest, back, and shoulders, none of it was going to fly. And then it did. The shirts stretch as well as anything, and better than many. I was in total and complete comfort for the duration of an 18-hole hike, and the shirt never once felt too tight, or the sleeves too short.
I like the Henrik pants (and love that that they’re refined enough to wear for any occasion) and both the Konrad and Axel polos, but I love the Isaac shorts. I’m seriously considering a pair in black and/or white. I always go for designs with a bit more flair, so as it turns out, I have purple plaid pants, and now pink plaid pants, but I don’t have a single pair of solid shorts. Weird, right?
Look, style is a personal thing, so I won’t say much about Sub70 stylistically; accept to say that the look appeals to me just fine. Your actual mileage….well, I can’t say. I do think it’s important to point out a few of the finer details of the Sub70 collection.
The Axel is a pretty straightforward variegated polo. It’s trendy, but somewhat understated, I suppose. The Konrad features a mini pocket on the left sleeve. It’s only about 3 fingers wide, and 3 inches deep, and quite frankly, I don’t know if it has any actual purpose (other than enticing you’re playing partners to ask about the tiny pocket on your sleeve), but it’s a clever little detail that adds just a hint of pizazz to a solid polo.
The Issac pants feature what Sub70 calls “double front slash pockets. I suppose they could be functional for things like change, or divot tools, but mostly they’re a cool little aesthetic feature (although I keep putting my hands in the wrong pocket).
The Issac pants also have double flap pockets in the back. Truthfully the flaps can be annoying when it comes to things like stuffing my glove in my rear pockets. I suppose the same would be true for a scorecard. I’m sure they’ll flip up out of your way if you work at it, but I like the way they look, so I’m happy to put my glove somewhere else.
One quick side note, the pockets (especially the front pockets) on both the Isaac and the Henrik are noticeably more shallow than on any of my other pants (golf or otherwise). It must be a euro-thing. Maybe they have stubbier fingers on the other side of the Atlantic.
As far as the whole 5 pocket, denim/jean-like thing goes…I don’t see it with the Henrik. Sure, the 5th pocket absolutely appears jean-inspired, but if we’re talking about the overall appearance and cut of the pants, I’m feeling more of a hip dress pants thing than I am the jean reinvented. Others have probably done a better job capturing the spirit of the blue jean in a modern golf pant, but that shouldn’t detract from the total class of the Henrik.
Finally, both pants feature an extra-wide center belt loop in the middle rear of the pants. Once again, this isn’t some sort of magic performance booster; it’s just a subtle detail that helps distinguish Sub70 from the rest.
The Henrik/Axel Combo is relatively muted by my tastes, and I don’t expect you’ll draw much in the way of commentary by wearing it, but that’s what’s great about Sub70’s Spring/Summer Collection. You can go bold (see below), or you can keep it relatively simply, and still look great.
Sufficed to say the Pink Issac/Konrad combo is a quite a bit less traditional, and quite a bit bolder. I wore the combo out for my regular Saturday round, and was absolutely abused both on the course and in the clubhouse afterwards.
Guys made fun of the pink, guys made fun of the plaid, and more than one friend suggested that if I wasn’t being paid to wear the clothes, I was getting a raw deal. One of the older golfers at the club told my playing partner he needed to help me get dressed next time.
What can I say? Sometimes it takes courage to look good, but I’m brave, and I think the Pink Issac/Konrad combo looks damn good. Besides, like any criticism, one must consider the source, and we’re talking about a group of guys whose golf wardrobes were picked off the clearance rack at TJ Maxx. As a group they wear more cargo pants than a battalion of British Soldiers. Screw ‘em. I may pick up a pair of the matching Issac pants, and the Tristan Pullover and make a real night of it.
I’m going to go out on the proverbial limb here and assume that bold plaids (be they blue or pink) probably aren’t for everyone (like, for example, the soulless, fashion-stunted buffoons I play golf with on a weekly basis), but they’ve certainly provided us with an outstanding introduction to the Sub70 apparel company.
Finding the proper size may take a little trial and error the first time around, but once you get it sorted out, your reward will be some of the best looking, most comfortable, and I suppose super-stretchiest golf pants I’ve come across to date…and the polos are outstanding as well.
We’re still a solid two months away from launch, but this initial intro has me really looking forward to Sub70’s fall collection.
If you’re thinking of getting your feet wet with Sub70, I’d recommend starting with either the Issac pant or Issac short. They’re absolute can’t miss, awesome pants. Sub70 runs sales fairly regularly, so you might be able to score either at a great price.
For those just looking to tip their toes in the drink, check Sub70s sale page for last year’s styles at disturbingly low prices.
It really doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it. Whether you go bold with plaids, or keep is stylishly simply with solids, Sub70 apparel will keep you looking great, feeling great, and hopefully playing great for seasons to come.