Bolero Jackets for the Men
I've perused some of my old figure skating books and viewed some of my old vintage highlight films, and I again feel a sense of nostalgia at seeing all of the men - singles, pairs, and dance - wearing bolero jackets, white shirts, ties, and matching pants.
There was Dick Button, wearing a white bolero jacket and dark pants when he won his second Olympic gold medal in 1952. And there was Hayes Jenkins winning Olympic gold in 1956, his younger brother David Jenkins winning the gold in 1960, both attired in bolero jacket outfits. There's Bob Paul skating with Barbara Wagner, he wearing a nifty bolero pants outfit.
OK, perhaps on one level the men looked a little bit like waiters from a swank eating establishment, but I think they looked great.
One of the first men to break away from this tradition was American John Misha Petkevich, who shocked the establishment by wearing a frilly blouse and a sort of jumpsuit in the late 1960s. His maverick attire was not appreciated by the judges, and he paid for his individualistic style, at least as far as the marks were concerned.
I remember how skaters like Scott Hamilton wore jumpsuits, a style that became the rage in the 1970s and 1980s.
I thought it was so refreshing when Kurt Browning took to the ice in 1993/1994 to skate his "Casablanca" long program dressed in a waiter's outfit - white bolero jacket, dark pants. Way to go!
I think it makes them look like twerps. What they really need to bring back is slacks and sweaters. That's classic, plus it honors skating's origins as an outdoor sport.
Last edited by Mathman; 09-11-2005 at 11:29 PM.
~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
The bolero jackets were a cool look for their time, but it was Canadian Donald Jackson who introduced the first one piece outfit for men. Here is a picture of Don in his competitive years:
Originally Posted by SkateFan4Life
Men should wear mock turtle necks over dark trousers. A vest-like jacket over a flowing sleeved shirt would be ok too for matching the trousers.
No sequins, spangles and bugle beads, and definitely no matador like jackets.
Let's keep the sport in figure skating and the sequins in show skating.
Just my taste.
Last edited by Joesitz; 09-12-2005 at 06:02 AM.
I came across this 2004 article the other day by Patricia Nell Warren which discusses how homophobia has influenced skaters' attire over the years:
Excellent article. Thanks for the link.
Originally Posted by Silver Lining
Great article by Penn Warren. She wrote the "The Front Runner" which got tied up in Hollywood and never produced for the screen. Too gay, I guess.
Stereotyping runs amuck in figure skating and ballet. The funny thing is that the majority of both fs and ballet dancers are not gay.
But you can't blame people who don't want to see boys in sequins. Unfortunately, that's the superfiscial surface.
BTW, watch out for a new movie: Breakback Mountain, I think it is called. It won the Venice Film Festival. Clooney's movie on McCarthey lost.
Leave it to Don Jackson to be the first male champion skater to wear a jumpsuit.
Originally Posted by Ladskater
Well I adore the "twerp look".
Originally Posted by Mathman
Great photo of Dick Button skating outdoors.
I would like to see the sequins, spangles, and bugle beads reduced to the barest minimum. No muss and fuss, thank you! On the other hand, I like the matador jackets, if it suits the music (no pun intended).
Originally Posted by Joesitz
Last edited by SkateFan4Life; 09-12-2005 at 08:32 PM.
In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
I think the "bolero jacket" look on the men of the 50s is a very classy look, but no way would it ever come back. (I'm actually not even sure that technically it's a BOLERO jacket, I think it's too long to qualify but I'm not an expert on that kind of thing so I'm not going to quibble too much.)
However -- I hate the way the look is done now, when it is done (Petrenko from Calgary comes to mind). Sequinned and tacky and does strange things to the body line.
Yes, the bolero jacket look was a classy look for the men.
Originally Posted by JonnyCoop
Actually, I liked Viktor Petrenko's Calgary costume, as it suited his "Don Quiote" program, at least in my view. On the other hand, sometimes the costumes get way, way, overdone, and too much of a good thing isn't a good thing!