Sochi Olympic Games outfits for Team Canada win points for taste and class
By Aidan Mouellic, Contributor
The Olympic Games are primarily a sports competition, but I find myself getting just as excited by what the athletes are wearing as by what they are actually doing. This is most evident during the Opening Ceremonies. In the Parade of Nations, athletes walk around the stadium waving hello and making silly faces to the cameras. To some, this is a great time to get off the couch and grab some nachos, but I always get excited to see what sort of extravagant and ghastly outfits get shown off to the world.
During the Vancouver Olympic Games, I was underwhelmed by Canada’s outfits, as I felt that they could have been a bit classier and less ski-chalet chic. Canada stepped it up for the Sochi games: the athletes wore new outfits designed by the Hudson’s Bay Company that are simply beautiful. The wool duffle coats and the down coats are classy and bold, yet understated at the same time—a feat that’s not always easy to pull off.
My favourite piece in the Canada collection is definitely the wool duffle coat. The classic red coat (retailing for $275 full-price, $199.99 on sale) is clean and simple with a dark red accenting band at the bottom—its understated class is a far cry from the 2008 Beijing outfits that team Canada wore, which were so awful that the Bay likely had to burn their whole inventory since no one bought any of it.
Canada wasn’t the only nation putting on a fine fashion show at the Sochi Olympics—France, Japan, and Germany made a very strong impression with their chosen attire. Team France is sponsored by Lacoste and wore the company’s gear from head to toe, looking fashionable in grey down-filled blazers and khaki pants. That may sound dull, but the details are key, and the team’s look was sharp with their French tricolour scarves and matching toques. The hem on their pants even featured French tricolour selvedge which I thought was genius. Often countries think that outfits need to be loud, bold, and flamboyant to really show their nation’s personality; the French have shown that it’s not necessary.
The German delegation wore extremely loud, bright, and extravagant outfits for the ceremonies, and despite my preference for simplicity, I loved it. The Sochi Olympics have been marred by controversy for a variety of reasons, one being Russia’s stance on gay rights. At first glance, the German outfits appeared to be made out of pride flags, a symbolic dig at Russia’s political viewpoints likely. The German team has denied that the uniforms are in support of LGBT rights—but I’m pretty sure they are, and I like that a lot.
The other nation that stood out for me was Japan. The Japanese Olympic team wore tame suit ensembles that almost made them look like flight attendants. Their coats were the stand-out piece of their uniform; grey and woollen, the coats were clean, simple, and adorned with a classy Team Japan Olympic patch and some gold buttons for a symbolic winning touch. Although I am not Japanese, I would definitely wear one of these coats out on the town.
The Olympics are a time for nations to show their goods on the world stage, whether it is through sports or fashion—it’s important to prepare in advance to deliver solid performances, and many nations did just that.