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Fitted for the Fairway

August 15, 1996|BETTY GOODWIN

The Movie: "Tin Cup"

The Setup: Roy "Tin Cup" McAvoy (Kevin Costner), a driving range operator and born loser, makes a play for Molly Griswold (Rene Russo), whose interest in golf was ignited when she got involved with a slick pro, David Simms (Don Johnson).

The Costume Designer: Carol Oditz, whose movie credits include "Higher Learning," "Last Exit to Brooklyn" and "Georgia."

The Look: Here, familiar notions about golf clothes--men and women dressed in similar candy-colored cotton Bermuda shorts, argyle socks or, heaven help us, knickers--are history. As Oditz puts it, "I discarded everything." Here, golf wear comes of age with a fresh new body-consciousness and, just as important, neutrals.

The Men: While Johnson's Simms is the quintessential rich golfer in satin-finish cotton golf shirts in metallic tones (by Bobby Jones) and pleated cotton trousers (Reebok), McAvoy plays the cute slob. His golf attire consists of unbuttoned, '40s-style sport shirts in wild prints, telltale gray undershirts and loose, wrinkled, butterscotch linen trousers. (Because of the trousers' suggestive drape, some viewers swear the actor isn't wearing underwear in some scenes.) His feet are clad in leather thongs. As the story progresses, McAvoy's look evolves nicely with a striking pairing of black polo shirt and the buttery-tan trousers.

Trivia: Finding the perfect, "nonchalantly sexy" trousers for Costner was a major undertaking. "I tried lots of stuff on him," Oditz says. "Some cut with one more pleat, others with one less pleat. They'd fall this way or that way. The fabric would be a little thicker or a little thinner." Finally, the double-pleated linen style won out ("for some undefinable reason, it was more sensational than the others") and duplicates were custom-made by Ricki Wolman of Citron in Santa Monica.

Her Look: Although she suits up only twice for golf, Russo's Griswold manages to redefine the look of the sport. Outfit No. 1, in black and white, combines a zippered leotard and a tight houndstooth skirt, a '40s style mesh cap by DKNY and pearls on twisted silk from Los Angeles designer Wendy Brigode (about $475 at Saks Fifth Avenue). Why pearls? "I could get her clothes tighter if I had the pearls," reasons Oditz, meaning pearls lend a ladylike quality. The concept works equally well with Outfit No. 2, white stretch linen capris with an off-white floral shirt, both by Janet Howard.

You Should Know: Off the driving range, Griswold dresses pretty much the same as she does on, favoring hats, short skirts and knits. When she's not wearing her black-and-white golf shoes (Reebok), she favors black Supergas sneakers, which she wears even with a yellow linen sheath. "I'm very big on things that seem to clash," Oditz says. "Arthur Penn once told me, 'Poison it a little bit. Nothing in nature is perfect.' I never forget that."

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