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Olympic Opening Ceremonies outfits, critiqued

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Olympic Opening Ceremonies outfits, critiqued

Athletes gathered Friday for the Opening Ceremonies of the Beijing Winter Games. (Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
Friday’s Opening Ceremonies were attended by athletes from Beijing. (Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)

On Friday, the Beijing Winter Olympics’ athletes took to the global stage in masse at the Opening Ceremonies. The Parade of Nations lap, which is an Olympic highlight, was a highlight of any Olympic lid lifter. It was cold — around 25 degrees — so everyone was fairly bundled up for the occasion. This meant many coats: Black, white, red, and light coats made it difficult for many athletes to be distinguished from those who followed them.

Nevertheless, there were a few countries that wore coats or winterwear with coat-adjacents that stood out from the REI Store fashion showcase that was the Opening Ceremonies.

First, the usual caveat: I am deeply unfashionable and thus wholly unsuited for this assignment, and two years of homebound pandemic-wear has only strengthened my viselike grip on the title of The Washington Post’s Least-Fashionable Employee. This is a breakdown of Olympic coats.

Ralph Lauren again outfitted the Americans, and just as four years ago in PyeongChang the designer has stuffed his coats with science.

As Vogue tells it: “To create the anoraks, for instance, Ralph Lauren used a high-tech, temperature-responsive fabric called Intelligent Insulation. It has the ability to adapt to cooler temperatures by creating an extra layer of insulation. The fabric itself is made of two separate materials, which expand or contract in response to temperature changes. Items made using the innovative fabric reportedly have the ability to transition through three seasons.”

I have a pair of pants, which I call “pants” “action pants”Hidden zippers in the legs transform them into shorts. They are never allowed on my wife.

The Italians are in a precarious position, straddling the nexus between “coat,” “poncho” “après-ski muumuu” here. These outfits may look very drafty, but they were likely used to sneak snacks and magnums into the Opening Ceremonies.

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Democratic Republic of Timor Leste

Here is Yohan Goncalves Goutt (Alpine skier), who represents the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. This tiny island nation north of Australia has never hosted an Olympian. “tropical and generally hot and humid”Climate, according to the Wikipedia entryI am consulting. Goutt doesn’t need a winter coat here, and the Timorese likely don’t have much need for them. We’ll allow it.

The Brits were the only ones to show their disapproval at Beijing’s cold night by leaving their jackets unbuttoned, so that everyone can see the vexy sweaters. (Vexillology, Philistines is the study flags). They get bonus points for that but get docked points for wearing coats that I’d actually consider wearing for a night out on the town (these days, a trip to the liquor store).

The Aussies want it both ways. They wear camo to protect peak forest invisibility, but also yellow caps that can be seen from orbit.

South Korea went ahead and slapped some snow-capped peaks — in this case, the Taebaek Mountains that form the spine of the Korean Peninsula — on its Winter Olympic coats, a whimsically literal touch of which I approve.

The host nation, dressed in their day jobs as concierges for the Beijing JW Marriott. They can even get you theater tickets!

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