Rosie Jones shocked the golf world with her selection of long-hitting Ryann O’Toole as a captain’s pick, but her team’s uniforms, for good or bad, are just as you’d expect. The collection of clothing is traditional and stays true to the red, white and blue.
Antigua’s senior designer Danielle Dellios designed and developed the U.S. team uniforms, working closely with Jones and assistant captains Sherri Steinhauser and Juli Inkster. Their mission was to develop a collection of performance pieces that portrayed the tradition of the American color palette and incorporated tasteful embellishments of stars and stripes representative of an American team.
Jones and Dellios addressed each day of play as they would their own wardrobe, coordinating tops to bottoms in both style detail, silhouette and color selection, which even when working with the red, white and navy palette, they said offered its challenges.
“Taking on the challenge of creating team uniforms for 12 of the top U.S. women golfers, along with their caddies, additional Solheim staff, the captain and assistant captains was both an exhilarating and a humbling experience,” said Dellios. “To have been in the presence of these wonderfully talented women and to have them express positive feedback along with their genuine appreciation of our efforts was overwhelming.”
All pieces were custom created for the team uniforms with emphasis on keeping pieces current, but apart from the trousers, the apparel is very traditional and classic. The polos are all solid navy or solid red, with the exception of Round 1 on Friday, where the polos are white with thin stripes, and Sunday, which is the “flashiest” day of their uniform design, which features a polo of alternating thick, horizontal blue and white strips with a red stripe across the chest. Tops are all made with Antigua’s Desert Dry and Desert Dry Xtra-Lite (D2XL) performance fabric designed for performance enhancement in any climate.
Bottoms are standard throughout the week, but in differing colors from the American palette. They’re made in a light-weight poly/spandex stretch satin twill, designed for fluid movement. The waist and hip are cut for a feminine figure, with functional pockets and trim details. But the characteristic that stands out is the flared leg. The same fabric was also used for shorts and skorts that will only be seen if weather allows.
Unique outerwear pieces were also created for the team by both Antigua and Sunice. Depending on personal preference base layer options by Antigua include both a crew and mock neck in the D2XL and in extra soft, micro-fleeced back jersey. A traditional sweater vest made of supple viscose/nylon is also part of the line for an additional layering option.
My favorite pieces in the line are the pullovers and the jackets, which is key since they’ll probably be what’s seen the most on the course. The pullovers are made of soft, lightweight micro-fleeced back technical poly mid-weight jersey. The team jacket is made from a lightweight poly/spandex four-way stretch for comfort and protection in windy and wet conditions.
When it comes to the American uniforms, they’ve played it safe focusing on technical functionality in the classic red, white and blue.
Classic and color will be the two uniform characteristics that will stand out when the European team takes the course at Killeen Castle in Ireland. Abacus was selected for the third consecutive time to outfit the players as they put it, “From top to toe.”
While the players on Team Europe hail from all over, the clothing is a 100 percent Swedish line-up.
“The Solheim Cup Collection this year is based on five strong color palettes, one for each day,” explains Abacus’ head designer Chris Mattsson. “The first training days have their colors, as do the days of the competition.”
The European team debuts on Monday in a feminine pale pink hue Acton wind stop sweater pullover with a navy and purple design around the chest and neckline. It’s evocative of a winter sweater worn après ski. The trousers that coordinate with the Monday attire are termed “Cleek,” and the same tailored almost skinny leg look is repeated each practice day, Monday through Thursday.
Tuesday’s look is in the same color family as Monday, but with a royal purple “Pebble fleece jacket” and a “Traigh vest.”
Wednesday and Thursday are similar as well with the stand-out characteristic the wide horizontal stripe. On Wednesday it’s navy and white, with a yellow accent on the vest. On Thursday the color scheme is violet and green.
Horizontal stripes are also available as long sleeve polo options on competition days Friday and Saturday. Friday, the color palette is green and navy and Saturday it is yellow and grey. The trousers are different on these competition days as well. Instead of the basic pant of the first four days, they are wearing rain pants that are cut with a wider and more roomy leg.
Sunday’s uniform remains a secret that the Abacus folks have been very tight lipped about!
“We’ve followed our graphic and timeless signature and produced statement polos enriched with details and fashion forward design,” said Mattsson. “Wind vests and rain jackets show our commitment to producing outerwear that has both fashion and function.”
Their goal has been to design the uniforms for all weather conditions and environments, from the worst rain weather to the warmest temperatures.
“The quality, technical advancements and design give us the self-confidence we need to perform at the highest level in all weather conditions,” said Alison Nicholas, Europe’s team captain. “And we do that in Abacus clothing.”
Not only are the players wearing Abacus clothes this year, even the caddies, members of the board, players’ guests and the team’s functionaries will be sporting the brand…and supporting team Europe.