Fashion 102: Pink Arrows on Parade

I’m sure many people look back on older writing and cringe a bit. As exciting as it is to think I was writing about the 2012 Summer Olympics for Revels, I still cringe a bit when I read this. Instead of being embarassed by the past, I will instead offer this older, more mature take on 2016 as I take us through the Parade of Nations.

Leann should get us through the speedo, leotard and sneaker review after the games.

Full disclosure; karaoke and the Parade of Nations were happening at the same time. Luckily, Daniel Street Tavern had me covered, and I was passing tall boys to my friends as the parade started, and I saw the most fun and bright outfits I’d seen at any Olympics to date.


Hands down my favorite outfit of the night, I’m giving the points to the Gamemakers.

Desperately trying to see what country had mixed fluorescents, arrows and chevron, I realized it was the people pointing the way for the athletes. Better luck next time.

I was vocal-cords deep in George Michael’s Faith when I glanced at the scene and saw the most fun and bright outfits I’d seen yet that night. Desperate trying to see what country had given their athlete two different fluorescent colored hats to layer, I realized it was the people pointing the way for the athletes.

I wasn’t the only one to notice, and judging by the tone of this article, the Brits are totally jealous.

Then it’s blazer after blazer. And, another blazer. Generally, they were dull. I’d like to briefly chide the designers who I thought were bringing the style to the game, but I did find two blazers that caught my eye.

If you’re going to go conventional classic prep, go all the way. If there’s anything that could counter my apathy for a single-breast and a standard notch, it’s the Australian’s seersucker. Not only that, it’s the exact shade of sea-foamy teal I was looking to paint my stepstool a couple years ago, which ended up looking like I rubbed toothpaste all over it.


I’m a sucker not only for seersucker, but also for vaguely gimmicky detail work, and the Australians have the name of every Aussie to get a gold medal, ever. If I had to choose a blazer it would be…

Actually, this one. Apparently the real hip Indonesians were grouchy that out of a pool of famous fashion designers, a relative no-name was chosen to design the uniforms, and that they looked a bit kitchy or costume-y. Since I’m neither Indonesian or overly hip, here’s my take:

It’s the Olympics.

Is the longevity and dignity of your uniform style really that significant, or is a giant party with all the countries of the world and you might as well have some funky, standout blazer if you’re going to insist on the “pretty boring” option to begin with.

Vehement editorializing notwithstanding, let’s get on to our representatives from the not-blazer.

Croatia wins the “jacket Nora would actually wear, probably every day, and cry bitterly for days after losing” award. Red and white, racing check, tiny flags; anyone have any advice for how to wrestle clothing off olympic athletes?

Now, to the good stuff. I found two countries that got my “show off our style” memo.

Burundi rocked the “neon sneakers under animal print” and, obviously, killed it. It’s the Olympics; I declare all rules null and void. That guy on the right could be wearing socks under those sandals and still look awesome.


Then, how about Benin? Solids, subtle prints, accent scarves and awesome headwear? Simple, classy, unique, no blazer involved.


But did anyone really look better than the arrow people?


I’d be sad if I didn’t just throw in Cameroon (R), for another more traditional-dress strategy, and Sierra Leone (L), for another non-blazer I would probably wear over and over again until the coffee stains became too aggressive.


May the XXXI games begin!


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