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Playing Dress-up at the Games

This Magazine Staff

I dragged myself away from reading Alias recaps on Television Without Pity to read a lively discussion on their discussion boards about Olympic team outfits. I admit I was tantalized by the teaser on the home page–“Speedos”–but was delighted not only to find tidbits about the British team’s white swimsuits, but an interesting discussion of the pervasiveness of trendy sport outfitters Mooks and Mambo, and of course the ubiquitous faux-Canadian company Roots, who are now outfitting three of the largest teams.
The post that gave me most pause was the first one:
IMO could not stand the hideous US team outfits worn during the opening ceremonies. Why does the US always have to go for the casual-sporty look? I think they could have been a bit more formal given the setting. The poorer countries looked way dappier in their coats and ties. There was a time when people used to dress up while traveling on airplanes, going to church (“Sunday Best”), etc. The worst part of the outfits was the militant berets. It’s bad enough the whole world thinks the US is a bunch of bullys, do we really need to remind them about our questionable military presence?
Now the comments about the berets bear thinking on for future team outfit designers, but this poster has hit something on the head for me. Is it any wonder our olympic athletes get ‘no respect’ when even though they are hailed as our ambassadors of goodwill and blah blah, they can’t even be bothered to get out of their sweatsuits?

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