Let's make one thing clear: We think every woman who competes in an athletic event rocks. That said, we're a little perplexed by the interesting choice of uniform spotted on the six-person Bogota Humana women’s cycling team this weekend.
The commotion began when pictures of the Colombian team's apparel started to appear on Twitter (one Tweet now even comes with a “sensitive material” warning). The women's skintight, neck-to-thigh uniform is commonly referred to as a "cycling kit," and its shape is nothing new. But, this iteration comes with a (strategic?) midriff/pelvis placement of beige-colored fabric. This, combined with an unfortunate shadow effect, makes it look from a distance like the teammates are exposing their crotches.
So, are they making a statement about media coverage of women’s sporting events? Is this a publicity stunt? Or, is it just an unknowing, cringe-worthy design choice? This isn't the first time the team has worn these kits — and, as other outlets have pointed out, the fabric may actually be a shimmery gold that just translates terribly on camera.
The photos were taken at the Giro Della Toscana, an elite women’s road-bicycling race that takes place in Italy. Unfortunately, though, hardly anyone is talking about these women's athletic performance. Even the President of the Union Cycliste Internationale has chimed in via Twitter, stating that the organization is “on the case. It [the uniform] is unacceptable by any standard of decency." Really? The kit may be puzzling, but we're not sure it classifies as vulgar — the beige material is opaque, after all.
This isn’t the only eye-catching uniform or workout-apparel design of late: Black Milk Clothing is known for its inside-out muscle leggings (which we spotted in-person for the first time at a yoga festival this weekend). And, the site Road.CC notes that the male ProTour team Footon-Servetto-Fuji also caused a brouhaha with their flesh-and-footprint kits.
And, there's always this bikini-inspired option.