Until recently I had never even heard of Carnoustie, and I'm quite sure I'm not alone. As you might imagine from its name, Carnoustie is not a value brand, but a company dedicated to provide high quality apparel that not only looks good but performs just as well.
Over the past few weeks, I've had the chance to check out a couple of articles from the Carnoustie Sportswear 2015-16 collection, including their Palmer trousers and Diamond performance polo shirt.
The Palmer trousers/pants ($325 each) are made with 100 percent Comero wool woven in Italy, while the lining is cotton. The pants come in two colors, grey and heather grey. The heather grey is a light grey while the grey is much darker, almost black. The main material for the pants . The outside pattern could best be described as a faded plaid and really pops to life in direct sunlight. The dark grey color goes with a variety of shirt and belt combinations, which makes it quite versatile. Interestingly enough there is not one, not two but three waist buttons. I would normally call this excessive as most trousers I wear have only one waist button, but somehow all three work. I'm not exactly sure the reason behind this concept, but if your belt ever fails, it might be reassuring knowing you have back up.
The pants are offered in waist sizes varying from 32-42 inches and have 1.5 inches or so of material left for someone wanting to let them out. The pants come unhemmed and are about 40 inches in length, which should fit most golfers. It should be noted that when buying these pants, expect to be making a trip to the tailor shop. While this extra cost for hemming isn't that much (it cost me $20 for the waist to be let out slightly and for the legs to be hemmed), the fact that afterwards the pants will fit near perfect shouldn't be overlooked.
I wore the trousers in a variety of situations and conditions and they performed extremely well. I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable and cool these were in 85-degree heat and in direct sunlight. Not once did I feel uncomfortable, nor did the pants feel "scratchy." They protected me nicely from the sun.
While attempting a "hero" shot, I managed to get some mud on the side of the pants and was initially pretty bummed about it. The mud however was the wet, sticky, gooey type that can typically cause some pretty bad stains. I just let the mud dry thinking it was a probably a better idea to pull it off dry and not smear it. Well, once dry, the mud came off easily and there was barely a trace hinting that it even was there in the first place. I'm sure the color of the pants helped to hide the stain, but the fact that it was very difficult to tell it was even originally there is saying something.
Two things you should know before purchasing these pants:
- They're dry clean only. For some, that may be a big turn off.
- The pants do not stretch like modern performance golf pants, so there will be a little bit of an adjustment.
The verdict? Overall I was very impressed with the fit, finish and wear ability of the trousers. Not only did they look good, they felt the part as well.
The Diamond performance polo ($66 each) is a three-button, regular collared golf polo that receives its name from the diamond like pattern used to weave the fabric. The shirt is 100 percent polyester and comes in 4 colors -- grape (purple and green), capri (light and dark blue), black (light grey and black) and magenta (pink and orange). I would classify the sizing as being “standard” dimensions. I've found that a few of the higher end clothing companies tend to wear a bit small, but with Carnoustie it wasn't the case.
The comfort and feel of the shirt was on par with most other similarly priced polo shirts. The shirt has a very good stretch to it and isn't “sticky” to the skin with perspiration. In fact, I was impressed how well the polo ventilated the moisture off of the skin. The weave is of the material is such that it allows the moisture to pass through while still protecting against the sun's UV rays. The collar is a tight-knit style not uncommon on most polo shirts.
My first encounter with some of Carnoustie's products were very good. The trousers rival the best on the market and shirts are very well made and extremely comfortable to wear.
Carnoustie is only available online through their website.