I hope you enjoyed the 2018 winter Olympics! I, of course, was watching with an eye to sports fashion. The opening ceremony was a delight, and not just because Tongan skier Pita Taufatofua went shirtless, yet again.
Photo: Petr David Josek/AP
Nor because it was possibly the most searingly fluorescent parade of winter fashion ever
No, the highlight for me was the over-the-top gloves worn by team USA
Both awesome AND insane. (And only $995 from Ralph Lauren.)
As fencers, we know from gloves, right? And as it happens, we have our own equivalent of these embroidered, suede, fringe extravaganzas.
I took these pictures at Summer Nationals in 2016, at a beautifully staged booth occupied by Zzuma & Company, which bills itself as "finest performance apparel & lifestyle brand for the world's elite fencers."
They even create gloves designed to reflect individual team USA fencers!
Here's a black coaching glove for Greg Massialas. Boss.
And not just for the US team, either:
At only a $128 a pair, they are a steal compared to Ralph Lauren's offering.
Still, as I contemplate actually buying a beautiful product like this, I remember that this is what one of my gloves typically looks like after 6 months of practice:
Even a "good" glove I save for competitions gets stamped all over now that the armorers are checking gloves. I can just see that conversation: "could you stamp it really carefully way over on this corner and DON'T SMUDGE!!!!"
Of course, for $256 I could buy a left and a right hand glove, and wear them as fashion accessories, in the style our winter Olympians. It would still cost less than a pair of the bespoke Ralph Lauren Olympic limited editions.
Or I could settle for some of the less expensive, and more practical, Zzuma swag. Yeah, maybe that.