February 07, 2018
By Greg Monteforte, Style Insider, PGATOUR.COM
- Bill Murray, who is known for his unconventional on-course fashion choices, is reintroducing bell-bottoms to the fairways during the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week. (Ryan Young/PGA TOUR)
'Bell-bottoms' and 'golf.' The two words likely conjure visions of a young Johnny Miller stalking the fairways in a pair of flared plaid trousers in the late 70s. After disappearing from the game for over 20 years, the bell-shaped silhouette made a brief return to the course in the early 2000s under the more palatable moniker of 'boot-cut fit.' In reality, this second generation possessed more of a straight-leg cut with a slight flare compared to the exaggerated cuffs of Miller’s era, but it was quickly adopted by fashion-forward players like Jesper Parnevik, Charles Howell III, and Brian Gay.
With the current trend of slimmer, more tapered fits, bell-bottoms have become a forgotten piece of golf fashion history. That is until Bill Murray brings them back at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week. Murray, who is known for unconventional on-course fashion choices such as overalls, button-downs, and cow-print trousers, is expected to debut his ‘Bill-Bottoms’ on the shores of Monterey Bay for the tournament’s opening round. The actor’s golf apparel label William Murray Golf has been working with San Francisco-based clothing company Betabrand on the retro-inspired trousers.
In Betabrand, Murray has found the perfect partner for his quirky sartorial choices. Since, 2009, the brand has been responsible for Dress Pant Sweatpants, an astronaut-inspired puffer jacket, a business suit onesie, shimmering disco ball jackets and pants, and other outside-the-box items. Betabrand also serves as a crowdfunding platform for internal and external fashion designers to test different ideas. If a design from an outside designer receives enough votes, Betabrand puts it into production. The designer gets a cut of the sales and the voters receive a deep discount.
“Betabrand is an R&D lab for testing new design ideas online,” says company founder Chris Lindland, “so we’re thrilled to host a forum for this important national style discussion. Can Bill bring bell-bottoms back? We certainly hope so.”
Feeding into this crowdsourcing philosophy, Betabrand and William Murray Golf have been asking fans to ‘ring the bell’ by voting on five potential patterns for the Bill-Bottoms. My vote is in for the Lucy The Caboosie, a bold floral print over a blueprint of a caboose. The creative pattern was inspired by Murray’s mother Lucille Murray and her love of lush peonies. Murray affectionately nicknamed her “Loose the Caboose.”
The Wavy Gravy offers a 60s hippie vibe as a rainbow tie-dye is set to a modern golf course camo print. The Topo Chico option is a tip-of-the-cap to Pebble Beach Golf Links. The intricate pattern is actually a topographical map of the holes on the course. Murray’s fictional character Ernie McCracken from the movie ‘Kingpin’ served as the inspiration behind the Big Ern, a pattern of tonal navy bowling balls and random red roses. McCracken would definitely say this pattern is “sweeter than Yoo-Hoo.” For a more understated approach, a solid navy option is also available as part of the voting.
To date, nearly 1,200 votes have been submitted. Murray will wear the winning design along with tops from William Murray Golf at Pebble Beach. Betabrand will also offer the winning design through its crowdfunding system.
Which design will win? Is this the first step to bringing bell-bottoms back to the fairways? Submit your vote here.