Fashion, Style

Yuck on Ice: The Jumps! The Magic! The Ugly Costumes!

1 Comment 11 February 2010


Franck Fife/Getty Images

By Laura Motta

I have a theory: Inside every girl lies a latent figure skating nerd. If you’re my age, it probably became a lot less latent around the 1992 or 1994 Olympics, when the saga of Nancy-and-Tonya reached a fever pitch. Figure skating was exciting. My 12-year-old self knew every skater, every routine, and of course, every outfit. The costumes are so much a part of the magic of the sport-something worth discussing all by themselves, apart from the incredible jumps and spins.

Sitting in front of the television with my younger sister, we decided if a skater was good or not based on the attractiveness of her costumes. Nancy Kerrigan was, of course, a Vera Wang-clad goddess who floated on the ice accordingly. Tony Harding’s
skating was as clunky and overcooked as the dresses she wore while she did it. For us, the skater and the costume were one and the same.

Looking back, I’m struck by one thing: Even the skaters we loved, in hindsight, wore some ugly costumes. Nancy Kerrigan sported a blinding chartreuse number in her 1992 Olympic short program. Even gold medalist Kristi Yammaguchi, who could do no wrong in our youthful eyes, fashionably or otherwise, today seems a little overdone in her gold-glittered costumes.

Maybe the problem is that figure skating costumes are just innately ugly things. (And boy, we’ve seen some bad ones.) Or maybe the fashion of my youth-side ponytail, how well I remember you-was the real problem. After all, Tonya Harding’s shoulder pads weren’t so different from the ones women were wearing to work every day. Maybe in 10 years, we’ll look back at the most elegant skaters of our times and cringe. And maybe we’ll just see them for what they are-a glittery spectacle, beamed right into your living room and into your imagination.

Take a look at these tacky Olympic ensembles from years past.

Source: Article and ImageĀ

Your Comments

1 comment

  1. Al Rudolph says:

    If you look at the older photos of the mens figure skaters like Dick Button you will see these very classy long black trousers with short Eisenhowser tuxedo jackets. I would have thought that Will Ferrel would have shamed a few of these fools. They just keep getting worse every year. It is kind of contrary to the theory that these guys are all gay, no gay man I know would be caught dead in those outfits.

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