Hilton Head Island’s largest social event is back for its 54th year, and everyone’s excited to wear new ensembles they’ve likely been collecting since the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown amplified our online shopping addictions and we’ve all been watching “ootd” or “outfit of the day” videos on TikTok.

Of course, we know golf is the most important part of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, but the fashion and socializing are high priorities, too. When folks aren’t watching the course, they’ll be checking out the outfits.

This quick guide has fashion advice and tips for when you’re planning your clothing. (This isn’t just about the ladies. … Be sure to put together your best looks, too, gentlemen. Anyone able to top this, uhm, Taco Bell belt from a few years back?)

1. Spring is (unofficially) here. Wear those bright or pastel colors and bold prints. One year, a few Hilton Head teens said “The crowd should look like a bag of Skittles.” They weren’t far off because vibrant prints (including some, of course, from Lilly Pulitzer) are always popular choices. In contrast to the bold patterns, some folks will break out their white pants cuing the timeless debate of “When is it OK to wear white?”

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When the conversation starts with: “It all started with a bet and they’ve been doing it ever since” you know it’s a good story. Dave, Rodney and Steve have been making colorfully-matching statements each year at Heritage since 2010. The first year, they wore golf-balls and hot dogs. This year, we see postcards, pineapples and paisley. Dave (left) and Rodney (m) are both from Savannah while Steve (right) visits from London. Every year, these three gentlemen make the effort to stand out and utilize the brightest colors they can find.

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From left, Luqman, Marcia, Aribeth and John coordinated their pastel colors perfectly as a group. For Luqman and Marcia, this year will be their first attending RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. The group said they are looking forward to seeing what Heritage celebrations look like as the day goes on. Hannah Cagas

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Mike Kilgore, 61, and Debbie Kilgore, 63, both of Hilton Head Island, pose for a photo at the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing on Sunday, April 18, 2021. Sam Ogozalek

2. Go for flowing, looser clothes rather than something form-fitting. While you’re partying in a subtropical climate, you’ll be happy you chose this style when a cool breeze offers relief every now and then. Dresses are a popular choice, but rompers and jumpsuits have also received some much-deserved love. Top it with a jacket if the weather is going to be a chillier earlier in the day.

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Andy Gibbons, 67, of Hilton Head Island, poses for a photo at the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing on Sunday, April 18, 2021. Sam Ogozalek

3. Comfy shoes are in so be sure to include them in your look. The Heritage course and surrounding shenanigans are pretty spread out, meaning you’ll be doing a lot of walking whether you’re there for the golf or for the socializing. When you’re not walking you’ll also likely be standing. We’ve always recommended flat shoes or cushioned ones instead of uncomfy heels. But there’s no time better than now to heed this advice since Nike Air Force 1 shoes and Adidas Stan Smiths are in style.

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William McNair shoes off his Adidas Stan Smiths at RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing 2021 on Hilton Head. Katherine Kokal The Island Packet

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Near the second hole tee box, Sea Pines residents Dennis and Sharon Ryan were watching players tee off wearing shoes that were almost matching at RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing 2021. Katherine Kokal The Island Packet

4. Bring a cute bag or clutch to carry all your things, but keep it small. PGA has its own tournament bag policy, and it’s pretty specific. You can bring any bag into the tournament as long as it’s smaller than 6-by-6-by-6 inches — or you can opt for a clear bag that’s no bigger than size of 12-by-6-by-12 inches, or a one-gallon plastic freezer bag. That’s just enough room for your phone, keys, and a wallet with maybe a little room to spare.

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Underneath the covered patio at Quarterdeck, Caitlin Mcamulty of Columbia, SC wore a stunning blue and pink maxi from Lulu’s. Carla’s dress proves that even though maxi’s are usually floor length, they can be just as fun as shorter dresses. Caitlin’s maxi featured a slit to give her the option of dressing the dress up or down, depending on the occasion. She’s attended Heritage for the last 6 or 7 years and has a wonderful time each year.

5. Top the outfit with a hat. Lightweight floppy hats have been a favorite in past years, but big-brimmed felt hats have also gained popularity. Gentlemen can sport their flat-brimmed hats and baseball caps, just like the pros, and even visors are making a comeback. Make sure whatever hat you pick is breathable, though, so you won’t get too hot. Hats are the perfect way to stay stylish while protecting yourself from the unforgiving South Carolina sun. While we’re on that topic, sunglasses and sunscreen are also necessities!

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Larry McNiesh of Hilton Head tied an old, plaid tournament lanyard around his straw hat, which he’s had for years. Rebecca Lurye [email protected]

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Staff photo

6. You’ve got to incorporate plaid into your outfit — especially for Saturday. Heritage has deemed Saturday “Plaid Nation Day” and wants spectators to “wear your plaid with pride.” These outfits usually feature the iconic red tartan jacket the tournament winner receive and some people really go “mad about plaid” wearing it from head to toe. Others may opt for a statement piece like a light jacket,, skirt, vest or ribbon around their floppy hat.

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Madie Sync and Carolina Bradford Daniels sporting their best plaid for RBC Heritage Mandy Matney [email protected]

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Don and Lisa Preston have been proudly sporting their plaid and attending the RBC Heritage for at least 10 years. By Mindy Lucas [email protected]

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Lana Ferguson typically covers stories in northern Beaufort County, Jasper County and Hampton County. She joined The Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette in 2018 as a crime/breaking news reporter. Before coming to the Lowcountry, she worked for publications in her home state of Virginia and graduated from the University of Mississippi, where she was editor-in-chief of the daily student newspaper. Lana was also a fellow at the University of South Carolina’s Media Law School in 2019.
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