Original Penguin is arguably one of the most unique brands in not just golf, but apparel as a whole. Which is rather unsurprising given the brands foundation centering around its founder getting lost, buying a taxidermized penguin he named Pete, and then having a stewardess put a necktie on it while remarking it should be on a shirt or something. If that isn’t the wildest founding story of any apparel company out there, then I don’t know what is.
But, present day, Original Penguin has become recognized worldwide, and there has been a heavy focus on golf by the brand. For 2023, we see the company finding its footing and working toward a blend of classic Penguin and modern appeal. We were sent several pieces from the new Spring 2023 lineup and wanted to give you all a closer look.
2023 Original Penguin Golf Apparel
Four different polo’s were sent into THP and they definitely checked the “unique” box for me. However, I was very surprised by the overall fit of the shirts as I honestly expected a very Euro type cut, and while they are on the tailored side, they are not at all slim.
Perhaps the most visually traditional (and for me expected) article was the Oversized Pete Tipped Golf Polo, which is priced at $70.00 and is a rather simple 3-button placket design at first glance. The shirt is made up of an 88/12 Polyester to Elastane content with the poly coming from recycled materials. Visually, it looks much more like an old school traditional cotton polo until you get it in hand. The simple white tipping on the sleeves and collar keep it clean, while the oversized Pete logo takes care of the bold.
If you want a bold Pete logo, however, look no further than the Retro Arcade Print golf polo which has a massive Pete the Penguin logo on it. Fortunately, the pattern is so fun that it subdues the logo a bit, but it will definitely still stand out. The shirt is quite good, the 3-button placket keeps it clean and the 86/14 Polyester (30% recycled) to Elastane material feels just like the best tech material shirts on the market. It is a premium shirt, and at $90.00 it should be.
Keeping on the pattern trend, the Beach Club Print polo is one of the more fun and well done graphic polo’s I have seen. The beach motif in the illustrations on the shirt is fun as a pattern, but it is the contrasting navy collar and 3-button placket that absolutely took it up several notches. Not to mention, the Pete logo is much more subdued here and lets the design shine. This one has the same material makeup as the Retro Arcade and they fit identically as well, which is a great thing to see that consistency. The Beach Club also comes in at $90.00.
My personal favorite shirt of the bunch however is the Retro Wave Pattern polo that is a geometric wave design using an excellent blend of blues. Again, the makeup is identical to the previous two shirts, but this one wears with a lot more versatility on and off the course, which in today’s golf apparel game I always enjoy seeing. Like the other shirts, the fit was true to size for me (I wear a large) and the length on them all is a good balance as well for tucked on the course and untucked off. The Retro Wave is available for $90.00.
It was exciting to see Original Penguin also sent a pair of their Pete Performance Golf Shorts which are a 9” inseam design that has kind of become the expected median length of most brands. Interestingly, the shorts are 70% Polyester (30% recycled), 22% Cotton, and 8% Elastane but they walk a unique line of tech feeling versus classic. The cotton is definitely noticeable, but the 4-way stretch keeps things comfortable while on the course. One thing that was worth noting for me is that though the fit in the waist was what I expected (true to size for me at 36) they are a bit slimmer in the thighs giving them a more euro feel. I personally like the look, but it might be something to keep in mind. The Pete Performance shorts are priced $80.00 and have 6 color options.
Finally, I am a sucker for outerwear, especially when it comes to golf hoodies. So, when I opened up the Original Penguin Textured Golf Hoodie, I was eager to see how it worked out. You see, the knit design means it is 60% Cotton and 40% Polyester which did mean some size change after washing. However, this is one cool hoodie, literally, the design means it is super breathable and the two tone knit look made it wearable on and off the course for me. I will say it is a bit more tailored than I found the polo’s, but it isn’t overdone. The Hoodie is available for $93.00.
All in all, I came away quite impressed with the 2023 Spring Original Penguin apparel pieces, while there are some little things here like the extreme size variance of the Pete Penguin logo from article to article, the quality stands out. The new Spring 2023 line is available now through Original Penguin as well as various golf retailers worldwide.