How Phil Mickelson Can Fix His Look
November 14, 2010 by greenlakenick
The second-best player of his generation doesn't look as good as he should.
Depending on who you ask, Phil Mickelson is either among the best- or worst-dressed players on the PGA Tour. The Man in the Black Hat is in the former camp. (More.)
I am firmly in the latter.
On my 42-inch television, the world’s second-best player looks terrible. It’s not for lack of trying: according to Golf.com, the four-time major winner get his threads custom made by the folks at Q’aja Couture in London. They also do, inter alia, Darren Clarke, who may just be the best-dressed golfer alive. (Oh but what I wouldn’t give to get some duds custom made by that tailor.) My buddy Jeff Benezra and I have wondered aloud on more than one occasion: “what is Phil Mickelson thinking?“
All these conversations got me to thinking: If I were advising Phil Mickelson on his on-course fashion, what would I tell him?
For a guy who makes $70 million/year, this look just ain't gettin' it done.
And what I’d tell him is this:
Dress yourself like a new Ford Mustang. Classic muscle with a modern twist.
An empty statement in and of itself, I admit. But I’m not without particulars:
Wear better-fitting, and better-looking, shirts. If Phil’s custom-made shirts aren’t the worst on Tour, they’re close. (An example.) With his frame he’d be better off wearing shirts with pointier self collars and standard-length sleeves, a la Dunning Golf’s stretch solid polos. Standard-length sleeves would be a quantum leap forward from the ones he wears now, which belong only only guys named “Camilo,” and the pointed spread collars would give a crisp, sharp edge to a softish look. If he went with the longer sleeves he could get away with a tailored cut, which is what I’m sure he’d like to do, his considerble midsection notwithstanding. Of course, it would be easier altogether if he would wear looser-fitting shirts, as he does when he plays Ryder- and Presidents Cups. But this is Phil Mickelson we’re talking about: he’s not going to do anything conventional.
Stretch polos with pointed tab collars would look better on Phil than the button-tabbed, short-sleeved versions he currently favors.
(Speaking of Dunning, the Man in the Black Hat says that the Toronto-based company is looking to expand beyond golf and become more of a lifestyle brand. (More.) I could see a worse ad campaign than Philly Mick being a family man in Dunning’s threads. Then again, his endorsement deal would probably run them the lion’s share of their annual gross revenues.)
Cut out the dark top/light bottom combos. Phil frequently wears dark tops with light bottoms. And the colors are hard — browns, deep greens, etc. This draws attention to his waste — a bad idea — and makes him appear top heavy. Better to reverse it, or:
Go with less varied top/bottom combos altogether. I’m not saying Rickie Fowler/Sergio Garcia unicolors here, but Phil would look a lot better without so many high-contrast pants-shirt combos. That combination splits him at the waste, thereby drawing attention to it. Not good. Instead of white pants and a dark brown shirt, for example, how about light gray pants, white shirt, and a light blue vest? Anything with more tonal consistency from head to toe would work better than what he’s doing now. I’m thinking Justin Leonard in his Ben Hogan/Polo days, or Tiger Woods most of the time. While he’s at it, it wouldn’t hurt to:
Throw something on those shirts. Right now he’s got piping and that’s about it. How about some argyle? Maybe some stripes. No doubt conventional wisdom is that heavy guys should stay away from horizontal stripes. But Phil ain’t foolin’ anyone now, so a few stripes wouldn’t hurt. Phil wears horizontal stripes in the team events, and he looks just fine.
Cut down on the bold colors. Phil does too many hard colors. He should move to more muted tones — light brown instead of dark chocolate brown, light blue instead of sea blue, etc. I’d say light pink a la Robert Allenby instead of ketchup red here, but Phil thinks he looks so bad in pink that he wouldn’t wear it on Breast Cancer Awareness Day in May, so that’s a no go.
Save for a few too many elbees, Phil wasn't too far off circa 2005.
Lose the thick belts in favor of standard-width ones. The thick belts he’s favoring these day draw attention to his gut. Never a good idea unless your name is Charles Howell III or Camilo Villegas.
Switch back to a visor. The fitted hats he wears are fine, I suppose, but he looked better in a visor. It showed his longish hair more, which fits better with his swashbuckling style. Risk here is that his hair is so long now that he might end up looking like Michael Letzig in lid. Then again, he can always get a haircut.
Lengthen his sleeves and throw him in some muted tones as Corey Pavin did at the '10 Ryder Cup and Phil can look quite good.
In short, Phil should stop what he’s doing now in favor of a more trendy, big guy sartorial elegance — somewhere, say, between Darren Clarke
and Scott Piercy
with a lean toward Clarke if he wants to lean traditional, Piercy if he wants to go trendy.
It’s a safe bet that Philly Mick will never come knockin’ on this never-was’s door for fashion advice. And if he ever reads this blog entry, no doubt he won’t pay attention to any of it. Can’t say I blame him. Looking good or not, he’s no doubt laughing all the way to the bank.