Ordinarily, debate over outfits only happens in this community during Mardi Gras. Or before a nightclub expedition, with probing questions like does it make me look fat? at the heart of the argument.

This week, the phrase clothing crisis took on a much more serious meaning when promotion of the Gay Games uniform began in earnest. And so did the bitching. The supporters call the ensembles accessible, the critics have labelled them dull and one athlete said the uniforms look like the Girl Guides.

Uniform Task Force co-president Dave Randall said the submissions were not evaluated on a ultra high fashion item basis. Instead, fit and price were the major considerations and the contract was awarded to Pro Mark, a mainstream uniform company.

Not all the athletes have good bodies, Randall said.

We’ve been taking the uniforms around to different teams and the reaction has been mixed but most people are supportive. The tenpin bowlers really liked them.

Ken Holmes from Aussie Boys also submitted a tender for the contract, after winning an award for his Team Sydney designs at the New York Games. Despite adhering to all the elements of the design brief -“ including fit and price -“ Holmes was not even notified of his unsuccessful tender until last Friday.

Holmes said that Dave Randall hand-delivered the samples and rejection letter, dated 22 January, to the Aussie Boys store on Oxford Street after the designer called Team Sydney to find out why the press knew before he did.

Randall wouldn’t say why Aussie Boys wasn’t notified or how many Pro Mark uniforms had been sold so far, but he did insist that the pieces would prove to be popular, especially when the athletes swap pieces at the closing ceremony.

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