Justin Rose on his latest collaboration with Bonobos and how his own style has evolved

This morning, Bonobos unveiled their newest collection — a co-designed capsule with their long-time partner, Justin Rose. The Justin Rose Golf Collection consists of spring-forward polos, pants and shorts that are meant to be worn on and off the course.

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GOLF’s Emily Haas sat down with Justin to chat about his experience designing the collection, his personal style, favorite items and more. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Is this the first time you’ve been involved in the design process start to finish with Bonobos?

Yes, very much so. I mean, obviously I’m a couple years into my relationship with them, and I guess everyone’s getting more and more comfortable with it — me with the brand, the clothing, the style and the vibe, then obviously them with me, just listening to some of my feedback over the years. It’s a really fun project that we’re dipping our toe into the water with, and I feel very honored and flattered they’re willing to do it with me — you know, putting that great brand alongside of mine, so it’s very nice. 

Thats awesome! Aside from the golf course, where did you pull inspiration for this line?

I’ve leaned heavily on the design team at Bonobos, though I’ve evolved over the last coupled of years in terms of pushing the boundaries of what I feel comfortable wearing. Bonobos has a really wide spectrum of clothes and styles and prints and fabrics that kind of cater to everybody, but because there’s the more “out there” side than I’ve ever experienced before — some of the bold prints — I’ve really challenged myself to adopt (those styles into my wardrobe). Now I feel very, very comfortable in them as well, which is the important thing. But it’s still my style — a fairly modern, classic vibe. I still love my navy blues. I still like being conservative on certain occasions. I have the opportunity within the framework of the capsule to have some fun with it, but also be able to take my golf very seriously and obviously be there to perform and do a job on the golf course.

I totally hear what you’re saying about the printed shirts, and I know Bonobos has become very well known and loved for their prints. Do you have a favorite?

To be honest, this one I’m wearing now is very very cool. It might be tulips? I’m not sure you can take full value for the rose on this one, but there is a (rose-print) shirt I’m going to wear on Sunday at Augusta, which is my favorite shirt. It’s a white shirt — so you know very classic — but it has a very bold print. And you know, it’s Sunday at Augusta — I can’t be too cliche in terms of wearing green, but obviously there’s a little bit of a green stem in the rose logo, and it would tie in rather well with the green jacket. I think really good style is all about accessorizing and layering. For me, I feel like you can always dress much better in cold weather than you can in warm weather. So yeah, I need to layer it with a nice green jacket…that’s the plan.

Good luck! I’ll be rooting for you so we can see that outfit come together! So, my understanding is that this line is meant to be worn on and off the course. How does your off-duty look differ from your on course style?

I’ve always had this measure — if I’m going to wear it on the golf course, I also need to be comfortable wearing it at Starbucks on the way home while I’m grabbing a coffee. There’s definitely been some looks throughout history on the golf course that would make people say, “woah, what’s this guy wearing?!” if they were to walk into a restaurant. For me, that crossover is really, really important. Bonobos has so many styles — for example, the Riviera Shirts are an off-course, short sleeve cotton button down. There’s such a cross over for a style like that. It’s appropriate on or off the course. Fabric is a big differentiator between what I’m wearing to dinner and what I’m wearing on the course. But the look and the feel of the product can crossover. My off course style is still somewhat conservative, somewhat classic. Particularly when I’m here in the Bahamas, I like wearing a white short with a navy or chambray-style linen shirt with white buttons. It’s classic, but it has a modern twist. My little girl is quite funny, actually. Whenever I wear white shorts with a black shirt — something very monochrome  — she says, “oh Daddy, looking very modern today.” It’s quite funny.

That’s very cute. Bonobos has a good variety of golf-specific wear and more lifestyle wear, so I guess you’re able to mix and match those categories nicely. 

And that’s what I love about it. Obviously living in England and experiencing some cooler weather, some of their layering pieces — outerwear, jackets, cable knit sweaters — are great statement pieces. There’s this Italian five-pocket wool trench coat that I have in England that’s almost making me miss the cold. It’s nice to have the opportunity to be with a brand that can outfit me head to toe on course and off course.

That’s great! Are there any specific features like sun protection or breathablity or stretch that you value most in your golf apparel?

Stretch is critical. Bonobos’ pants are incredibly comfortable. Their cut is probably the most important thing. When you crouch down to read putts, you want that movement in the fabric, without looking like you’re swimming in your pants. If pants are too baggy, that’s not a cool look. You want them to be fitted and athletic, and Bonobos perfectly strikes that balance. They’re known for their cut and make pants for everyone no matter their shape or comfort level to ultimately make them feel their best. 

Shop Justin’s favorite printed polos below and visit Bonobos.com/Justin-Rose-Pro-Shop to see the full capsule.

Justin Rose Performance Polo

Navy blue tulip printed polo with JR logo embroidered on the back neck.

Justin Rose Performance Polo

White polo that features an all over rose print and JR logo embroidery on the back neck. Rose plans to wear this shirt on Sunday at The Masters.
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Emily Haas

Golf.com Contributor