It’s spring, better known in these parts as the season of RBC Heritage presented by Boeing — where we may watch the pros in hushed silence, but our oufits are loud as can be.
The perfect Heritage wardrobe will be comfortable and cool enough for a long day of hiking the greens, and will strike the balance between clubhouse-sophisticated and yacht-party fun. Follow these tips and trends from the experts — fashion bloggers and local boutiques — to pick out your tournament look.
Easy, breezy fabrics
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For an effortless, elegant look, pair white jeans with a flowing white, linen or chambray top. Lots of these shirts are coming in off-the-shoulder, tiered or wide-sleeved varieties this year, all styles that transition well from day to night. They’re also the rare garment that’s oversized without being overly bulky, flattering any figure, suggests Katie McSavaney, assistant manager of Gigi’s Boutique in Old Town Bluffton.
The all-white and blue-and-white looks also pair well with nautical accessories like rope bracelets and chain necklaces.
“I think nauticals are never going to go out of style,” says The Classy South blogger Corbin Brutton, of Boone, N.C. “I think it’s always going to be something people gravitate towards in the summer, and especially in the South, it’s so easy to wear.”
Heritage-style usually veers toward preppy and lady-like, and women’s boutiques are happy to oblige this year. Romantic accents like big ruffles, scalloped edges, lace trims and tassels are everywhere, and make good options for tournament-wear, say fashion experts like Carly Heitlinger, of The College Prepster blog.
“Scallops were really big last year and they're back better than ever this year,” and give simple silhouettes “an unexpected feminine touch,” Hetlinger says.
Gingham is also gaining in popularity, she says. While Heritage is one of the few occasions where you can never pile on too much plaid — men, take note — there’s nothing wrong with donning a shirt-dress or romper in the blue-and-white check, instead.
Golfer tacky, golfer chic
For men who don’t own tartan plaid and are tired of the ever-appropriate combo of khaki shorts and polo shirts, take your cues from the golfers themselves.
Flashy pants, patterned socks, pastel shirts and straw hats are all fair game. Colors don’t clash at Heritage, and if imbibers at the Grey Goose tent mistake you for a VIP, all the better.
Those looking for a more subtle style can consider a bow tie, from traditional plaids to the feather varieties made by Charleston-based company Brackish, found in several local stores.
Shift (and short) dresses
Every girl on Hilton Head knows Lilly Pulitzer.
Her colorful resort-wear is a Heritage mainstay, and her classic shift dresses are the perfect shape to cover and cool — a tall order at an event that’s still plenty conservative for a party, and sometimes lacking in shade.
Even if her swirling pinks and greens are not your thing, a dress saves you the trouble of mixing and matching, and stores are full of other designers’ works in bold, bright stripes and florals.
“I love our bright colors,” says Charleston fashion blogger Kristie Landing, of Kristie’s Reverie. “I think the South really knows how to do bright colors well and spring is just a re-emergence of everything in our wardrobes that we love so much.”
For accessories, the experts suggest keeping it simple. Flat sandals, white Keds , comfortable varieties of wedges and chunky heels will keep you from sinking into the grass. And regulation-sized cross-body bags and wristlets can hold lipstick and other essentials.
Of course, there’s something timeless about “The Look” that appears year after year at Harbour Town. Any well-chosen outfit from tournaments past will probably serve you just fine, because after all, Heritage never really goes out of style.
And if anybody asks, that’s not last year’s Lilly you’re wearing. It’s “vintage.”
Your Guide to the RBC Heritage
RBC Heritage STYLE
Here’s what was worn and Instagrammed at last year’s Heritage by bloggers for the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and all of you: