Team Canada Olympic uniforms are the wrong type of Canadian tuxedo

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The far north’s most famous fashion export is arguably the denim-on-denim look – otherwise known as the Canadian tuxedo. You know that. Jay Leno knows it. Everyone who works at GQ knows this. So when Team Canada revealed their uniform outfit for the upcoming Summer Olympics, it wasn’t a huge surprise that there was some denim. It was surprising, however, that the denim jacket was adorned with faux spray paint, Sharpie scribbles, an assortment of patches, and all kinds of Office space-flair of style. Unfortunately for Canada, the garment looks like something you might spot on the display of a fast-fashion retailer rather than something worthy of the Olympic scene.

Courtesy of Finn O’Hara for Team Canada

The garment in question comes from Hudson’s Bay, a long-standing Canadian department store and the official outfitter for Team Canada. The other pieces in the uniform assortment play it safer and with much better effect: a pair of striped sweatpants, a red and white warm-up jacket, and a simple graphic tee all seem to be looks. perfectly solid Olympics. But it’s the denim trucker jacket that seems to have caught the internet’s attention and bounced back on Twitter. (Oddly enough, the company teamed up with Levi’s – a label that’s about as American as it gets – for the jacket itself.) It’s pretty easy to guess what Hudson’s Bay was looking for: bringing a youthful, quirky edge. to an event that tends to skew more traditional. The critical flaws here are that they were about a half a decade too late… and wearing a “battle jacket” inspired piece of clothing doesn’t exactly match the clean-lined Olympics.

Kylie Masse (Swimming) – Closing Ceremony (Photo: Finn O’Hara / Team Canada) // Kylie Masse (Swimming) – Closing Ceremony (Photo: Finn O’Hara / Team Canada)Courtesy of Finn O’Hara for Team Canada
Courtesy of Finn O’Hara for Team Canada

It’s not too difficult to trace the source material here. The punk-ish denim jacket had its mainstream fashion moment a while back: Kanye West and his The Life of Pablo merch, which included a chaotic-looking denim jacket, took the look to Instagram and celebrity gossip sites. Other stylish dudes like A $ AP Rocky and Justin Bieber have followed suit. Soon it was on the shelves of every fast fashion retailer in the sun. Fast forward to 2021, and the mass-produced version of this look looks more than a little dated.

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Making big changes with Olympic fashion is always risky. Ralph Lauren has a solid background in the Americas inspired kits for the USA team, from preppy navy blazers to modern looking puffers. (We don’t have to talk about the star-covered cardigans from 2014.) Unfortunately for Canada and Hudson Bay, these denim jackets will be on the wrong side of Olympic style. Let’s be clear here: Denim jackets are cool and will always be cool. Denim jackets with faux graffiti are not.

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