Athletic wear isn’t just about comfort and practicality anymore — there’s room for fashion, too. After all, there’s plenty of workout gear on the market that’s perfect for snapping an Instagram selfie. Even some of the pros have been known to incorporate a bit of style into their uniforms, like golfer Michelle Wie.
However, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is reportedly tightening up its dress code for female golfers, limiting the athletes’ choices significantly. According to Golf Digest, players received an email on July 2 from LPGA player president Vicki Goetze-Ackerman that listed the new rules for what the women could and could not wear. Here’s a quick sample of the guidelines, directly from the email:
- Racerback with a mock or regular collar are allowed (no collar = no racerback)
- Plunging necklines are NOT allowed.
- Leggings, unless under a skort or shorts, are NOT allowed
- Length of skirt, skort, and shorts MUST be long enough to not see your bottom area (even if covered by under shorts) at any time, standing or bent over.
- Appropriate attire should be worn to pro-am parties. You should be dressing yourself to present a professional image. Unless otherwise told “no,” golf clothes are acceptable. Dressy jeans are allowed, but cut-offs or jeans with holes are NOT allowed.
- Workout gear and jeans (all colors) NOT allowed inside the ropes
- Joggers are NOT allowed
The new dress code quickly sparked commentary on social media, with people calling out the rules as unfair and sexist.
While all sports uniforms come with their own sets of guidelines, these rules definitely raise some eyebrows. Dress codes are often unnecessarily and unfairly sexualize women’s bodies, and these standards — which emphasize “plunging necklines” and short skirts — seem to be no exception. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the men’s dress code seems to be a lot more open-ended, with less specificity. The PGA Tour’s website states: “Players shall present a neat appearance in both clothing and personal grooming. Clothing worn by players shall be consistent with currently accepted golf fashion,” with the note that “golf attire and fashion is always changing and evolving.”
In a statement, Heather Daly-Donofrio, LPGA’s chief communications and tour operations officer, told Golf Digest: “The dress code requires players to present themselves in a professional manner to reflect a positive image for the game. While we typically evaluate our policies at the end of the year, based on input from our players, we recently made some minor adjustments to the policy to address some changing fashion trends. The specifics of the policy have been shared directly with the members.”
More on dress codes:
- Teen Perfectly Skewers Dress Code With Genius Yearbook Quote
- Dress Code Violation Gets Honors Student Banned From Graduation
- This Mom Fought Back Against Her Daughter’s School’s Sexist Dress Code in the BEST Way
Big Little Lies’ Kathryn Newton on Fashion, Golf, and How Not to Be a Sore Loser:
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