Women who golf know fashion and function go together like ice cream and a waffle cone. One is good, both are better. Karen Weisz and Rachel Kent know it, too. In 2017 they joined dynamic forces to create Open Court, a boutique in Port Carling specializing in golf, tennis, and activewear. Zoom forward three years and Open Court is still holding court among women keen to look good and play better. Golf can be intimidating, especially for beginners, and fashion helps bridge the gap,” says Kent. “It forms a connection between wanting to get involved, overcoming awkwardness, and actually going out and doing it.” Add fabric and fits that help women stay cool, remain dry, and move freely… and, well, you’ve got the waffle cone plus the ice cream. We contacted the women at Open Court in 2020 to ask about golf’s latest fashion trends — florals, fluorescents, polka dots! — and to learn how to get comfortable on the course. Afterall, fashion + function = MuskokaStyle.
MuskokaStyle: Hello women of Open Court. How did you get started?
Open Court: The boutique is the result of two determined women coming together who have a passion for active lifestyle, a love of fashion, and a strong desire to empower women to express their individuality. Karen Weisz, a former lawyer, had a vision of creating a unique place where women could come together to learn, explore, and feel free to be themselves and express their creativity, as well as step outside their comfort zone and try something new with a full support of other women. When Karen was introduced to Rachel Kent, a retail operations guru with an impressively extensive experience with large retail chains, the vision became a reality.
MuskokaStyle: Why golf and tennis?
Open Court: Both Karen and Rachel lead active lifestyles. They’d experienced difficulty finding apparel that was stylish and unique as well as functional and comfortable. There wasn’t just one place to go to where they could find everything they were looking for. The idea of bringing several designers under one roof began to take shape. Open Court houses more than 30 different designers in apparel, shoes, gloves and accessories.
MuskokaStyle: Name three trends taking shape in 2020.
Floral Prints: One of the hottest trends for Summer 2020 has taken inspiration from the 1960s/70s wallpaper and sofas. This is not your grandmother’s wallpaper! Think: vibrant colours and large prints as seen in lines by Foray and Tzu Tzu.
Highlighter-inspired Neon Colours: Fluorescent yellow, pink, blue and orange. Mixing pink and orange is very popular this summer.
Polka Dots: This classic is making a comeback this summer in all different colours and fabrics – sheer or performance fabric.
MuskokaStyle: Which golf brands are doing this best?
Open Court: We love this question! As much as we love certain brands, it’s more about the right fit all around, whether it’s body type, colour, personality or lifestyle. We’re able to mix-and-match and find the most suitable outfit for clients.
Swing Control is a Canadian brand based in Montreal. They’re known for their Tummy Control feature in pants and shorts, which is both slimming and comfortable. They come in fun prints that are easy to match with a variety of tops. When our clients put these pants on, their faces light up and you can see the confidence shine through immediately.
Foray Golf is run by two women designers, former executives at Victoria Secret. Their specialty is edgy feminine styles such as perforated dresses that are best suited for the slimmer body types.
Tee2Sea’s fabric is 84% made out of recycled bottles. Known for their flattering golf dresses, this year they’ve added removable sleeves that can be worn on a cold day. They’re easy to put on but also easy to remove.
Chervo is all about Italian chic, luxurious fabrics and detail, plus ultra-light breathable fabrics that feel like a second skin.
And finally, Tzu Tzu, with its bright and vibrant colours. Prints and solids are easy to mix and match. Great for those who love colour.
MuskokaStyle: What colours are popular now?
Open Court: Neon! Yellow, green, pink, yellow, orange. Orange and pink combos – these were featured on the runways leading into the season.
MuskokaStyle: How has women’s golfwear changed in the past 20 years?
Open Court: Tremendously! We went from boxy and loose-fitting polos and shorts that were a female version of the male styles, to fashion-forward dresses, skorts, Bermuda shorts, pants and tops. The colours changed from mainly solids to trendy prints and colours. Fabric itself evolved from cotton to a performance, dri fit type that is more comfortable, softer, thinner that provides SPF protection.
MuskokaStyle: And golf shoes? What’s hot this season?
Open Court: Street fashion trends: graffiti and skateboard style shoes by brands like Pakira. Golf shoes that look like sneakers or running shoes, like the ones by Gfore. And there’s the classic shoe with a twist: traditional style with an array of current trend colours, also by Gfore.
MuskokaStyle: Tell us how you support women entrepreneurs.
Open Court: We like to do our part in empowering and inspiring other women to dream, learn and succeed. To that end, Open Court has established and donates 5% of all profits to the DLS Fund (DreamLearnSucceed), which provides financial support for girls’ education in developing countries. We hope our story inspires you, just as you, our customers, inspire us every day.
MuskokaStyle: It’s been fun chatting golf trends. Where can we find you?
Open Court: We have two locations:
- 99 Maple St, Port Carling – Hours: Mon-Sat 10-5, Sunday 10-3
- 1198 Yonge St, Toronto – Hours: Tue – Sat 10-5
Online Shopping is available 24/7 at www.shopopencourt.com
Personal shopping by appointment is available as well. Instagram: @open.court
Images & illustrations courtesy of Open Court.