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From Poodle Skirts to Performance Fabrics: A Stylish Evolution of Women's Golf Fashion Throughout the Years

women on the golf course | Golf Carts
Photo from Kawê Rodrigues on Pexels

When you think of women’s golf fashion, there’s usually an image of polo shirts, khaki pants, and visors in mind.

But, there’s more to it, as women's golf fashion has undergone a stylish evolution throughout the years. From the roaring 1920s to the present day, women's golf fashion has rapidly changed with the times, embracing trends and technologies to enhance both style and performance on the golf course. 

Below is a written journey through the history of women's golf fashion that explores the iconic styles from the 20th century, as well as modern trends that have shaped the game.

Evolution of Women's Golf Fashion

No matter the place or stage of life, a woman imbues unique style into her fashion sense, one that she can confidently fall back into time and again. Women’s  fashion in sports tends to combine practicality, versatility, elegance, quirkiness, and cutesy in varying degrees - women’s golf fashion is no different.

Women's golf fashion has evolved to reflect shifting attitudes and societal changes while weaving in trends characteristic of the times. From stiff Victorian-era clothes, to the modest and conservative styles of the early 20th century, to the bold and vibrant looks of the 1960s, the fashion choices of women golfers have always made a statement both on and off the course. 

Today, women's golf fashion blends functionality, comfort, and style, with designers using innovative fabrics and technologies to elevate the game.

The 1920s and 1930s
Woman golfer | black and white image | golf swing
Photo from R&A World Golf Museum

The 1920s and 1930s was a transformative time in modern fashion history, and no less for women’s golf fashion, which called for less restrictive clothing.

In the 1920s, women's golf fashion was characterized by the distinctive one-piece golf dress, often made of lightweight fabrics such as linen or cotton. These dresses featured dropped waists, long hemlines, and high necklines.

Accessories such as adorned hats, gloves, and stockings were also essential parts of a woman golfer's ensemble, reflecting the modesty and elegance of the era. 

Throughout the early 1930s, women’s golf fashion included long straight-cut dresses and knitted cardigans - this changed drastically during the mid-1930s, when women began wearing pants and shorts to play golf.

The pioneer woman who wore pants to play at an official golfing event - the British Ladies Championship, 1933 - was named Gloria Minoprio. Her daring outfit is currently in the possession of the British Golf Museum.

The 1950s and 1960s

The 1950s and 1960s brought a new wave of style and liberation to women's golf fashion. Inspired by the iconic fashion icons of the time, such as Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy, female golfers dared to wear skirts above the ankle, and added more tailored and feminine looks to their wardrobe.

The 1950s saw the introduction of the poodle skirt, a full circle skirt with a poodle applique. The poodle skirt became a staple piece of golf attire for women as  it was less restrictive. 

Women also started to incorporate bold colors and patterns into their outfits, breaking away from the more conservative styles of the past.

The biggest golf fashion trend of the 1960s was the inclusion of the skort: the knee-length skorts allowed women golfers to play without being too risqué.

1950's - 1960's women golf | women golfers | 3 women on the golf course | poodie skirts
Image from Photo News NZ
The 1970s and 1980s

The 1970s and 1980s were decades of experimentation and self-expression in golf fashion, as women sought for gender equality in the sport. These eras saw the rise of athleisure and sportswear-inspired looks, with women opting for more comfortable and functional clothing on the golf course. 

Color-coordinated pant suits and high-waisted pants gained traction, as did belted waistlines and platform shoes, providing a sleek look for women players on the field. Fashion brands took this opportunity to leverage the appeal of the stylish golf players to market their products.

White female golfer in mid-swing | orange and white pantsuit | orange visor | golf event
Photo from Jan Stephenson via Golfpunk
The 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s

Women in golf played with colorful fabrics and classic khakis moving into the 1990s and 2000s. Several women golfers gained popularity at this time and fronted pop culture magazines, showcasing their signature ponytail and visor and comfortable slacks.

Designers of women’s golf apparel started to experiment with new silhouettes and non-traditional fabrics like polyester. This was the time when UV protection technologies made an appearance, allowing players to stay cool and protected under the scorching sun.

Most recently, women golfers of the 2010s could be seen wearing shorter golf skorts made of stretch fabric, ruffled golf skirts, and fitted tops. They still sported visors and ponytails, which proved to be a convenient and lasting fashion choice.

women golfer | gof course | swinging golf club
Image from StarsInsider
Current Women's Golf Fashion Trends

In the present day, women's golf fashion flaunts elements of both classic and contemporary styles. Golfers have a wide range of options of clothing to choose from, including stylish skirts, pants, dresses, and tops in various colors and patterns - with breathability and comfort as the foremost criteria.

To date, athleisure-inspired looks are popular among female golfers, while eco-friendly and ethically sourced fabrics grow as an important aspect of women's golf fashion.

Performance Fabrics and Technology in Women's Golf Fashion

One of the most significant advancements in women's golf fashion is the use of performance fabrics and technology. Gone are the days of heavy, restrictive clothing on the golf course, i.e., Victorian golf dresses with heavy skirts and horsehair crinolines.

Today, women can enjoy the benefits of lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics that help regulate body temperature and keep them dry throughout their game. UV protection technology has also become a standard feature in modern golf apparel, shielding players from harmful sun rays. 

These advancements ensure more room for a free swing and boosts performance on the course.

Asian female golfer crouching | black visor | green field | golf putt
Photo from kakarot via Pixabay
Style and Swing: The Perfect Women's Golf Apparel

Finding the perfect women's golf apparel is about striking a balance between style, comfort, and functionality; this is best achieved by considering your personal style preferences, the climate, and the dress code of the golf course you intend to play at.

When shopping for a golf attire, look for breathable fabrics that allow for ease of movement and moisture-wicking properties to keep you comfortable throughout your game. Don't be afraid to experiment with different styles and colors to express your personality on the course. 

The secret driver: confidence, a crucial aspect of looking and feeling your best in women's golf fashion.

Something you can try out during your search is Fairmonde Golf’s Recycled Embroidered Sweater from the MYFAIRLADY Collection - the unique sweater is made entirely from recycled materials and comes in chic colors.

Designers and Trends

Throughout the years, several designers have left their mark on women's golf fashion, pushing boundaries and redefining the game's style. The sporty and chic creations of Tory Burch, for instance, have inspired female golfers to embrace their individuality and express themselves through their clothing. 

The fashion trend continues - check out a few brand choices for women’s golf apparel and accessories that we’ve compiled below.


Multinational athletic retailer Lululemon lists a range of trendy golf apparel for both men and women. What’s noteworthy is that their clothing is made with specialized performance technology and features seamless design perfect for outdoor sports.

Peter Millar

Luxury golf apparel by Peter Millar may be expensive, but worth every penny, as they are oh-so stylish and versatile. Besides a variety of golf clothing, the brand additionally offers accessories like golf bags and performance rain gear.


Hand-crafted leather shoes and belts are Boxto’s forte, each product painstakingly made for comfort and to prevent foot fatigue. The classy shoes in a two-tone color scheme includes hydro-repellent full grain leather that is tough and durable. Boxto has created a special edition of women’s shoes meant to empower and encourage women in golf.

Mumford Golf

Founder Calla Mumford noticed the gap in golf apparel options for newcomers to the game, and so designed cool transitional clothing suited for golf and non-golf settings. Mumford Golf’s designs flatter all body types - unlike the stereotypical “golf clothes.”

Inside Story Golf

Isabelle Shee was known as the “sock girl” during her junior golfing days - the nickname later turned into an entrepreneurial venture, forming Inside Story Golf. The golf sock company offers 1980s-inspired socks sustainably made from recycled plastic and coffee grounds. 

Woman's leggings | white sport shoes | golf practice | golf balls | golf putt
Photo from Jopwell on Pexels

As we appreciate the stylish evolution of women's golf fashion, designers are hard at work behind the scenes, continuing to innovate and experiment with new styles, fabrics, and technologies - it seems that the future of women’s golf fashion is one to look forward to.

We can expect to see a greater emphasis on sustainability, with eco-friendly materials and ethical manufacturing practices taking center stage. Much to consumers’ relief, we can also anticipate a wider range of options in women’s golf fashion that caters to different body types and style preferences.

Clearly, the evolution of women's golf fashion is far from over, and we're excited to see what the future holds.


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