Well, everyone and their grandma is calling the 2008 Beijing Olympics China’s coming out party, and they’ve just been given the biggest reason yet, as it doesn’t get any gayer than this.

Sorry, I don’t mean to offend or misrepresent the gay community, <em>Queer Eye</em> teaches us you all have far more fashion sense than this.

This fashion faux pas of the century (and we’re still early into it) is China’s official Olympic opening ceremony uniform.

The white, red, and yellow uniforms, created by designers from the Hengyuanxiang (Group) Company Ltd, were selected from thousands of entries in a year-long design competition.

Seriously, a year-long design competition? Who the hell was the judge? Abing?

My favourite part of the above linked article is this bit (emphasis added):

China today introduced a team of 1,099 athletes and officials for the Beijing Olympic Games. All members of the delegation will be present in their uniforms on August 8.

Sounds more like a warning to the officials and athletes, than a report. Kind of like the notice you get in boarding school when a special visitor is coming and you’re told you MUST wear your uniform, or else.

ChinaSMACK‘s grabbed some commentary from the Chinese BBSes and their comparison of the uniforms to one of China’s more famous dishes (西红柿炒蛋) is bang on.

To drive home the point, ChinaSMACK threw together this little collage (right).

According to the China Daily article on the outfits, Liu Ruiqi, outfit designer said “The effect under strong lights is the most important. That’s why we finally decided the color for these outfits are red and yellow. Yellow can reflect light. It’s very bright. We also used light-reflecting materials in the red. When the Chinese delegation comes out, they will certainly catch the eyes of the audience.”

Ruiqi, dude, that may be the understatement of the year.


Just found this post on ChineseTools.eu which shows the Nike designed clothes that the company will be supplying to the Chinese athletes. Should have had Nike do the blazers.

Chinese Nike Olympic Wear Chinese Nike Olympic Wear Chinese Nike Olympic Wear


  1. Right, quite obviously. But it doesn’t make it any better a fashion decision. I mean, there are ways of working your country’s colours into an outfit that doesn’t make you look like you’ve just joined the Ronald McDonald Safari.

  2. hey guys, you know what……
    those who in charge of decision-making are just so full of shit……
    this one is just an example how bad it can get
    but you know, although i am supposed to get used to being shocked already after so many years since i had my own judgment, i am still amazed by how lousy their tastes are……there are also other things, tv programs, movies, songs……

    at least, they won’t wear those costumes during the games, but who knows what their sport suit will look like……

  3. As ugly as I think those uniforms are, I have to say that it’s not just China’s fault. quite a few countries have some fugly uniforms for the opening ceremony. Hell, why does the American team insist on wearing those stupid cowboy hats every time?

  4. @Jakob, wish I could take credit – that was complete Chinese BBS ingenuity, made visual by ChinaSMACK.

    @China-Matt: Because America’s a bunch of cowboys – didn’t you know? That’s why you all ride into towns, shoot up the place and “save the day” 😛

  5. Pingback: If it ain’t loud and ugly, it ain’t Chinese

  6. @Wally: Way WAY better than the Chinese outfits. It’s always better to look like you’re ready to serve drinks at 10,000 ft. over looking like you’re ready to serve a happy meal.

  7. Pingback: China Journal : Best of the China Blogs: July 28

  8. That is hilarious! I’ll have to remember to order some xihongshi chaojidan to munch on during the opening ceremony when the Chinese delegation marches out in its delicious-looking uniforms.

  9. could be worse . . . the team from New Zealand are wearing Crocs on their feet, so they look like peasants from Yunnan, not sheep farmers from the Waikato dairy country.

  10. Pingback: The Wall Street Journal Linked to chinaSMACK…Wow. | chinaSMACK

  11. Pingback: Orange Orange » The 2008 Beijing Summer Collection: Stir-fried Eggs and Tomatoes

  12. I think the white signifies the rice that is often served with the egg and tomato dish! I’ll never look at 西红柿炒蛋飯 the same way again xD

  13. ugh, ugh, ugh! The dayglo red and yellow hurts and assaults my eyes, unlike the deeper red/yellow of the flag. The ‘designers’ should be forced out of the profession.

  14. In the starting effort to learn and use Chinese Simplified and CIL (Chinese Internet Language) it becomes curious if the following would be blocked in China.

    WalMart = 是妓院精神病患者 公司


    WalMart is the whorehouse psychopath company.

    Perhaps this is already a cliche over there and the software word censor will just blink. The WalMart team no doubt will be in either blood red or the traditional blue and yellow slave gear.

  15. Hey World, show some class, some graciousness to the Olympic host country and its team.— Talk of ‘Scramled egg throwing’, merely betrays your own lack of culture and manners, and shows you up as envious distractors of the miraculous games China will put forth for us all.
    Im NOT Chinese, but Bravo China!

  16. “If it ain’t loud and ugly, it ain’t Chinese.”

    Since the nomadic Manchus conquered and overthrew the Ming Dynasty in 1644 , the clothing of Han Chinese was forcibly changed and traditional aesthetics gradually evolved to gaudy and baroque. The official costumes today are mostly a continuation of Manchu influences and styles, while the beautiful aesthetics of 300 years ago and beyond are no longer part of the mainstream. Only through
    historical TV/movie epics (Han Wudi, Red Cliff, etc.)can one get a taste of lost traditional culture and beauty, or in Nara or Kyoto Japan where ancient Chinese aesthetics is preserved.

  17. “Official costumes”? I think the loud and ugly statement generally extends far past anything that could remotely be considered Qing-influenced.

    A few things that I doubt have much to do with past Manchu dynasties and their fashion subjugation:

    • Fireworks at 6am, 8am and 10am – with repeat performances all afternoon and evening.
    • Massive banners, large bright red inflatable archways, inflatable characters
    • Rows of shops with speakers blaring a cacophony of the latest Canto-pop
    • Beautiful natural settings littered with cartoon animal-like sculptures (to add to the happiness).
    • Ankle-hose and running shoes
    • Massive golden eagles in foyers

    I could go on, but I think you get the point. Don’t blame the barbarians.

  18. Spain poached the egg/tomato look too!
    There were actually worse looking uniforms and color schemes than those of the Chinese. Canadians looked like a measle outbreak with red-splotched uniforms.

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