Importance of figure skating costumes

A lot of people, maybe most, watch award shows to see what the stars are wearing on the red carpet. The Olympic equivalent? Figure skating. And when it comes to style, everyone’s a critic. In the Olympic Zone we look at some tricks of the trade.

In a sport where points can be won or lost at dizzying speed, something as small as a piece of the skaters outfit falling off can make a difference.

The costuming can be a secret weapon and it can really make or break a performance.

Jim Peterson coaches the American pairs team Felicia Zhang and Nate Bartholomay. He glued almost 1500 crystals on Zhang’s pink dress himself.

Skaters’ costumes take a beating. Jason Brown lost 12 pounds on his road to Sochi, throwing himself into his Riverdance free skate.

Trying to hit that sweet spot between functional and fabulous is a never-ending challenge.

Commentators Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski should know.

“Especially with the men, either you’re going to go Johnny crazy and make it interesting or you’re going to be simple,” Lipinski said.

“I looked ridiculous about 97 percent of the time but I own it and I loved it,” Weir said.

And each has had their share of mishaps.

“I may be the first man that this ever happened to, but I was wearing chignon, I was featuring a small bun, and I pulled my mullet very tight back to give me instant face lifts and I got my chignon stuck in my zipper while I was skating so it was kind of like this,” Weir said.

Other than the rule that 50 percent of your body must be covered, your only limit is your imagination and your confidence.