Like most avid followers of gymnastics, I spend a fair amount of time being blinded the iridescence that are gymnastics leotards. I've already written a couple of times about the trashy-tastic fashions that dominate the sport. But as I was studying this year's offerings at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo I was struck by what I didn't see -- velour and crushed velvet leotards.
|Shannon Miller in velvet at the 1996 National Championships|
When I first started doing gymnastics, my mother took me to a dances store and bought one of those short sleeve black ballet leotards which I wore over my leggings. I didn't know much about fashion back in those days.
Anyway, after I started going to more practices and reading gymnastics magazines, I came to covet the crushed velvet and velour leotards and was so proud when my mom finally purchased a purple tank version for me to wear to gymnastics classes.
Thereafter I purchased several leotards made of that fabric and loved them all even if they weren't exactly breathable. But at some point over the last 6 or 7 years, gymnasts stopped wearing them. I can't point to the exact time this style fell out favor but I've been racking my brain, and it's been awhile since I've seen one in elite competition.
|Jordyn Wieber wearing the latest, non-velvet fashion|
Where have all the crushed velvet leotards gone?
Asking that question put me in mind of this song. Just replace "cowboys" with "crushed velvet."