As many of you know, I'm a bigger guy. Even before that post-marriage-and-kids weight (which is slowly being burnt off), I was still a broad-shouldered dude.
It makes shopping for suits and golf shirts a pain. While having undesired extra weight makes it a little tougher to get that gut-fit just right on a modern golf shirt, that's not really the issue. The problem is trying to find a shirt which lays properly on the shoulders so that the sleeve ends just before the elbow and so that I'm not pulling up my sleeves before every shot.
I also want a shirt that doesn't feel too techy. I like classic materials, but I recognize that modern technology wicks away moisture and keeps me cooler. So, I want a shirt that performs well, fits right and has a classic-yet-modern look. That's not too much to ask.
And now I can add another brand to the short list that more than checks those boxes for me.
I came across Holderness & Bourne by way of introduction from a friend in the golf business. He told me about them, made the connection over email and then I got in touch with Alex & John to hear more about their story. They're a couple of guys who were working in the financial industry and love to play golf. They're not amazingly good, but they wanted clothes with an amazing fit that was made in America, had the right timeless look and didn't have gaudy branding all over it.
It was something they talked about for a while until, eventually, the talk compelled them to act and start their company. The guys now make three shirts that are largely sold online, though they're expanding into better green grass shops.
The MacDonald (they're big fans of architect C.B. MacDonald) is their original shirt, a solid pique that's available right now in colors inspired by the coastline of the southeastern U.S. The pique is made from an American-milled synthetic fabric that breathes very well, even in warm weather. The tailored fit isn't too tight on a bigger guy, while it gets more tailored as the sizing goes down toward a Small. The structured spread collar looks great, isn't distracting and doesn't slouch during a round, looking as good on the first tee as the last. The shell buttons are outstanding, forming a good fit with the sturdy placket that runs just the right depth -- not short, not long (though I do like a good RLX four-button placket).
The Maxwell is a classic bengal-stripe shirt that uses a similar, non-pique performance fabric as the MacDonald. The plastic used to stay the cutaway collar also won't come out easily, so they won't get lost in the washer. The placket isn't the same as the MacDonald, which feels little more formal (all the better to wear post-round), but you know the buttons won't come loose or look sloppy as the round unfolds.
The Chapman is a shirt we didn't try out, but it's the H&B upscale shirt that is a pique-style polo that uses a cotton-blended performance fabric and has a distinctive English cutaway collar.
The MacDonald and Maxwell shirts ($88 each) come in five different styles, while the Chapman ($110 each) is available in four. The sizing on the shirts range from Small to Double XL, and they're right about in between the fit of a RLX or Peter Millar.
You'll love that the shirts don't have a lot of branding to them, letting the style inspire a conversation you'll either start because you want to brag about your awesome new shirt or that your playing partners will initiate because they want to get themselves one or two.
I'm always drawn to entrepreneurs in our game who had a good idea and decided to act on it by bringing a great product to the marketplace. Alex and John have done that with Holderness & Bourne. If you want to add to your closet the kind of shirt that will stand the test of time in quality, aesthetic and fit, then this is a must-have for your wardrobe.