For decades, Masters patrons have made fashion statements

 

The Masters Tournament and fashion go together like Augusta and azaleas.

From the beginning of the grand golf event, women and men have walked the grounds at Augusta National Golf Club in fashionable attire.

Through the 1950s, “Sunday best” attire was expected. Men wore suits and women dresses and skirts that were deemed appropriate. Early photographs showed men with knickers and newsboy caps.

An Augusta Chronicle report in 1956 said full-skirted silhouettes, two-piece suits and a dress with jacket were popular looks for women.

“The well-dressed woman will attend in her most fetching spring costumes,” the story said.

In the 1960s, sundresses designed by Lilly Pulitzer exploded onto the fashion scene. Novelty prints were also popular.

Gradually, fashion at the Masters evolved into more relaxed and comfortable attire. Downtown department stores such as Cullum’s and J.B. White advertised sportswear outfits that were appropriate for course wear.

The 1970s ushered in women’s pantsuits, largely replacing dresses and skirts. Daring wardrobe choices reflecting the era, such as vinyl and leather boots and mini skirts, were also spotted at the course.

Augusta resident Val Hastings noted the transition to more practical clothing in an April 6, 1975, Chronicle report.

“Time was when a lady went to the Masters, she wore her Sunday best,” Hastings said. “Her wardrobe was planned for weeks in advance for the many festivities surrounding the big event.”

Sundresses and shorts were welcomed to the fashion scene in the 1980s. Patrons also wore culottes, billowing blouses and skorts.

Some things, however, never changed, said Gail Mercer, former co-owner of Alltogether, an Augusta clothing boutique.

Comfortable shoes, a sweater or jacket for the sudden changes in weather and hats were always fashion necessities, she said. Clothing was always brightly colored and often sported fun patterns or stripes.

“Being in the sun and at a special place, it’s spring and the flowers are blooming, you want to have something new to wear,” Mercer said.

In 1950s and '60s, Augusta loved a Masters Parade
Augustans once congregated on 16th green during the Masters Tournament
Town Tavern was place to eat for Masters Tournament guests, golfers
Old South Barbecue was culinary highlight of Masters Week
Augustans share fond memories of Masters' early days
Bon Air, other hotels were hotspots of nightlife
Miss Golf pageant showcased beauty
THE EIGHT-PART SERIES

APRIL 7: The Masters Week parade was a short-lived tradition to welcome visitors to Augusta.

MONDAY: A giant hill near Augusta National’s 16th hole was the meeting place for young people from the late 1960s to 1980s.

TUESDAY: The Town Tavern, Augusta’s premier fine-dining restaurant for several decades, was flooded with guests.

TODAY: Masters fashion has evolved through the years from “Sunday best”
to more casual styles.

THURSDAY: Augusta’s winter resorts were the place for drinking, dancing, gambling and celebrities.

FRIDAY: The Old South Barbecue at Julian Smith Casino served supper to Augusta families and visitors.

SATURDAY: Chronicle readers share memories of the early days.

SUNDAY: Young women from Georgia and South Carolina competed in the Miss Golf beauty pageant.

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