Michelle Wie has described the new dress code implemented by the LPGA as ‘unfortunate’.
Earlier this month, all LPGA Tour members received an email informing them of alterations as to what they can and can’t wear on the course, with a ban on collarless racerback tank tops, short skirts, ‘plunging necklines’, leggings posing as trousers, and joggers.
Wie, the 2014 US Women’s Open champion, chose her words carefully when asked by bunkered.co.uk about what she felt about the changes, perfectly aware that she is one of the players affected.
“I totally respect the LPGA’s decision and their wishes – it’s something that I have been slightly fighting with them for the whole year,” admitted Wie after comfortably making it through to the weekend at the Ladies Scottish Open. “I plan on totally following them but I think it is a bit unfortunate.
“We’ve been having a lot of discussions because a couple of the outfits that I have worn this year have raised eyebrows a little bit. So I can see where they’re coming from but, like I say, I think it’s a little bit unfortunate.”
Nike prides itself on the athletic look of its sports gear and call Michelle Wie ‘The Trailblazer’ in her golf apparel range on their website.
Among the products available to buy include the collarless racerbacks and tights/leggings now outlawed by the LPGA Tour (see above), leaving Wie to add: “Companies like Nike are forward-thinking and believe that golfers are athletes and should dress like it – but I totally respect the decision.”
Opinion has been largely split so far as to whether the changes are a good thing or not. Sandra Gal told Golf.com: “The only point I agree with is that there should not be low-cut tops, but I've never really seen that be an issue. I think racerbacks look great on women and I think short skirts have been around forever, especially in tennis, and I don't think it's hurt that sport at all.”
Christina Kim disagreed. “I may sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but this is our place of business and I think players should look professional,” she said. “Do you really need ventilation for your side-boob? It's not going to make your score better.”
Wie, though, isn’t surprised that the new dress code has caused such a stir, adding that each player’s unique style is one of the great things about the LPGA Tour.
“Anytime there’s a rule change there are always going to be two sides and a difference of opinion and that’s what’s great about our tour,” added Wie. “There are different personalities out here and there are different ways that people dress. Fashion is all about how we express ourselves and everyone has a different sense of fashion.”