About Those Spandex Suits

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Tony Benshoof (USA), Luge/ nbcolympics.com

Sure, the figure skating costumes get a lot of attention from the sartorially inclined, but what about everyone else gallivanting about in spandex?  Let’s talk about them.

Of course plenty are just basic, country colors, maybe a flag emblem or perhaps the ever popular visual trope for speed: flames. OK, boring. Soooo passé.

Let’s not give in to the expected, unless the expected is a crazy intense shade of orange that only the Dutch can pull off, in which case go ahead and call it ‘Svencouver’ if you mus t, in honor of Sven Kramer who arrived in Vancouver on a mission to sweep his long track events, beginning with gold in the 5000m.


Naturally the Dutch speed skaters are encased in typical Dutch style as seen below. Style points for having just enough orange in those uniforms. It would be a little ridiculous to have it any other way.

Forging forward we enter into realm of the unexpectedly absurd. I bring you the American Apparel-esque stylings of Team Japan! Yes in fact they are the ones sporting gold lamé unitards and I love them for it. So sassy. Especially when sometimes it appears that the gold fabric might just be a little sheer for comfort. Keep an eye out.

Eri Natori/ nbcolympics.com

Let’s close with a couple of Alpine skiing suits, shall we? The Swiss and American teams feature spandex suits referencing their respective flags. Of course the old stars and stripes end up looking a bit gaudy, but what can you do. It has a certain jazziness– playful, if you will. Julia Mancuso certainly makes it work with her teal accessories.


The ultimate sartorial gold however goes to the Team Switzerland who sport red and white swizzled candy cane-like suits. Ribbons twisting around the elite athletes, the Swiss flag abstracted and re-imagined. Swiss elves speeding down the slopes from their workshops… or Olympic athletes who probably hate being likened to candy canes, but I love it!

Didier Defago/ nbcolympics.com

Fabienne Suter/ nbcolympics.com

To sum it up, the Swiss have by far the best spandex on the slopes.



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4 responses to “About Those Spandex Suits

  1. Pingback: Flag Stompin’ Drama: Women’s Short Track 3000m Relay & Co. « Words to Bumble

  2. Pingback: One Last Sartorial Glance: Spandex, Spandex & Vera Wang Too « Words to Bumble

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