Sunday, January 24, 2016

Ian Poulter's Fashion Sense... Quite the Winner

When a little bit of Ian Poulter’s passion arrives on your doorstep, you’re going to sit up and take notice. Granted, it wasn’t the man himself, looking for a quick 18 holes, but he sent some clothing in his place. If I couldn’t play with Mr Poulter, at least I could dress like him.

I will add an important note here and say that this clothing was sent to me to be reviewed. I didn’t pay for it. Companies that send me products typically expect glowing recommendations but, as anyone who has read my book Hooked knows, I don’t gloss over the cracks and if
something is rubbish I tend to say so. When it comes to product reviews I have a slightly different approach – if I think the item is poor or cheap or useless I contact the company, tell them what my review will be and then ask them if they still want me to review the item/s. Call it an opt-out clause, if you like. To date these companies have all said no.

I hasten to add that this IJP Design clothing does NOT fall into that bracket, so please find my review below.

Poulter’s clothing company, IJP Design, started in 2007, appealing to the fashion conscious golfer. Please do not think that the collection is only the colourful attire that Ian wears on the course... the strength of the brand goes far beyond this. These are smart and often simple designs, oozing class, while the materials are of impressive quality. All in all, this is high performance clothing, which will appeal to a wide audience of golfers – both male and female.

I rarely concern myself with clothing that includes the words ‘fashion’ and/or ‘high performance’. My relationship with fashion is fraught with disasters - yellow silk shirt, anyone – and since so much of the golf clothing produced these days claims to be ‘high performance’ that most of us give it barely a second thought.

When you take a tour through the IJP Design website you’ll discover that there are plenty of strong colours, but the key ingredient here is smart styling. The word ‘flair’ springs to mind. The biggest seller is the tartan trousers and, for someone who tends to favour dark blues and browns, I had no hesitation picking the green and grey pair… with white and yellow. The tartan pattern is registered with the Scottish Tartan Authority. I found that added a real splash of authenticity… as if the company cared enough to get that stamp of approval.

IJP Design Quality:

Of the three products I chose – all pictured on this blog – I knew they were quality the second they came out of the packaging. The feel and the finish are excellent.

The trousers are a combination of 44% Wool, 54% Polyester and 2% Lycra. The wool blend provides warmth, but is also light and breathable. It’s a good material for trousers, allowing a certain amount of stretch, while enhancing the fit and the comfort. In other words – you have plenty of movement. This is the company’s signature clothing and overall the trousers don’t disappoint. I will, however, say that the sizing chart favours the slimmer build. I am the proud owner of a ‘big-boned’ figure (that’s what my mother always called me growing up – at least, when I was tucking in to my third pizza) so if you have a little extra around the waist and you’re normally a 34 inch… consider stepping up a size (or omitting that third pizza from the menu).

Two important notes: the price is Stg £96  (currently on sale at Stg £76); the trousers can be washed at 40 degrees… but don't tumble dry.

In an age when polyester is king (for its ‘quickdry’ properties) I still prefer the feel and fit of cotton fabrics. Most of ILP Designs' shirts favour a polyester mix, but this one is 100% cotton… and it comes in blue. I like it, but if I had one issue it would be that the sleeves feel a touch on the short side.

The price is Stg £40  (currently on sale at Stg £24)

This is an interesting and very useful garment – it combines a snug fitting sweater with a windproof membrane lining. I wore it all day on a recent visit to St. Anne’s Golf Club and, with the zip up, the tubular collar keeps the neck well covered. It was 2 degrees centigrade and the sweater more than proved its worth.  The fabric is 60% cotton, 20% extra fine merino wool, 20% nylon.

I have the blue and black version… thinking back, I should have got the green and black as it would have complemented the trousers, but it matters little – this is a sweater which will be well used.

The price is Stg £95  (currently on sale at Stg £76)

IJP Design Conclusion:

I was impressed (and obviously delighted to be asked to review such a quality product) by the three items I received and would readily recommend them to those of you looking to update your golfing wardrobe, so, in brief, here is a quickfire conclusion which focuses on the four key elements:
  1. Style: there are some strong styles on the website, but plenty of subtle and classy ones, too. I won’t tell you I like all of them because I don’t, but you should have no trouble finding something that appeals to you.
  2. Quality: absolutely.
  3. Fit: I repeat my earlier statement that the optimum fit is for the slimmer build: Mr Poulter, after all, is not ‘big-boned’
  4. Functionality: this is the hardest to answer as items really need to be worn/washed a few times to assess longer term performance. That said, no issues with swinging a club for all three items.

And then of course there’s price. I’ve included the prices above, with each item, so you can decide for yourself if these suit your budget. What I will say is this – you pay for quality: £100 for trousers may sound expensive, but if a good pair last several years then there’s value in that.

IJP Design sells online only… and if you visit the site you’ll find The Bunker which offers special discounts.  

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