Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tourney inspires attention-getting fashion

By Kamille Bostick
Staff Writer, The Augusta Chronicle

AUGUSTA, Ga. - In the sea of khaki shorts and primary-colored polos, there is little doubt that fashion at the Masters Tournament comes second to comfort.

Yet among the casual cuts of cloth there are fits of flair to the out-on-the-greens look at the practice rounds.

"You see a lot of the same things, the same outfits," said Sharon Tam, 28, who traveled with her husband, Eric, from Charlotte, N.C., to get a look at the historic grounds and tournament.

Clad in a black sundress printed with white flowers and topped off with a large-brimmed, floppy hat, Mrs. Tam admitted she felt a little out of place among the thousands of spectators who took a more toned-down approach to their golf watching.

"I was feeling overdressed," she confessed. "But I'm very comfortable at least. I wanted something breezy and comfortable. I heard it was supposed to be sunny which is why I got this hat."

Mr. Tam, sported a different type of headwear. His, a cap bearing a Canada logo, was in support of his favorite golfer, Mike Weir.

Spartanburg, S.C., resident Lora Chambers took the classic approach to her headgear by adding a skirt-matching black ribbon to her straw hat.

ON THE OTHER END of the fashion spectrum - well, at least, the other end of the body - footwear was the big hit at the practice rounds.

In an environment where foot traffic is the mode of transportation, it was only fitting that people paid attention to their peds. Besides the ever-resourceful Keds, the venue-appropriate golf shoe, or the all-purpose sneaker with brightly-colored trim, Crocs were the foot covering of choice.

The colorful cushioned, futuristic (and waterproof) clogs made of a resin-based material were on the feet of young and old, male and female.

"These are the most comfortable shoes," said Shannon Morelock of Kingsport, Tenn., who had his pair in Tennessee-orange, much to the chagrin of his friends.

Lisa Holland, of Spartanburg, S.C., donned hers in light pink.

"They're comfortable but cute," she said. "I have them in hot pink, too."

Other patrons wore their Crocs in sages, grays, whites and, of course, khaki.

Color was the accessory of note for many patrons, who experimented with shades of peach and pink - guys included.

Amid the pinks, mint greens, powder blues and other pastels that tried in vain to compete with the azaleas and wisterias, Karen and Allison Gordon, of Jacksonville, Fla., preferred to represent their state in a bright shade of orange.

Although it wasn't intentional that they'd wear the same hue, the mother and daughter pair said the result was something that was perfectly fitting to the warm weather and natural beauty at the Augusta National Golf Club.

"It's just bright and cheerful and spring," she said.

Dot Cotman, of Wilmington, N.C., popped in head-to-toe turquoise.

"I knew I'd never get the Masters green down so I figured I'd go with something lighter, comfortable," the first-time attendee said. "And it's new. I bought it just for this."

Chris Graham, of Atlanta, had his girlfriend do the shopping for him.

Donning a pair of plaid bermuda shorts that followed the look other young men were sporting around the course, he explained why he chose his look, which might shed light on why so many others think twice about choosing theirs.

"I wanted to stand out, to make a statement," he said. "There's nothing wrong with looking good."


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