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Olympic Mind Games
The colour you wear can change how you play

They say to dress for the job you want. Well, what about for how you want to play? Uniform colour’s effect on athletic performance is the latest hot topic in sports psychology, with everything from NHL jerseys to Olympic gear coming under scrutiny. Numerous athletes and coaches say that performance in sport is 90 per cent mental, so why not give yourself every edge possible? Here’s a shortlist of our favourite sportswear to help get your game on.

New Balance 890 Canada Shoe


A red shoe for the athlete who wants to win (is there really any other kind?). Stella McCartney’s designer uniforms for team GB have been publicly criticized for not inlcluding enough red– a big no-no when it comes to sports psychology. “Obviously she has designed these from a fashion point of view and was not taking into account the possible effects that might have on performance,” Professor Robert Barton told the Guardian. Back in 2005, Barton co-authoured a report that linked red to athletes’ chance of success and further studies have supported his findings. Red increases athletes’ sense of dominance, confidence, and positive agression– part of why Tiger Woods always wears red on the final day of a tournament. The 890 was inspired by Reid Coolsaet and Eric Gillis, Canada’s first Olympic marathoners in over a decade. The shoe hits stores on June 1 and 15 per cent of net sales will go to the New Balance/Speed River Spirit Fund in Guelph. $139.95, newbalance.ca.

The Bay Olympic Collection Knit Jacket

A black jacket for the badass competitior. In almost every nation, black is viewed as the colour of evildoers. Studies show professional football and hockey teams that don black uniforms are more agressive and incur more penalties. In both the NFL and NHL, black-uniformed teams lead the league in penalties and in cases where teams switch from non-black to black jerseys, the change is almost always accompanied by an increase in penalties. This warm-up jacket with embroidered patches and bold lettering on the back will make sure no one messes with you… or land you a red card. The risk is yours. $56.00, thebay.com.

Nike Maria Sharapova Statement Set


A pink tennis top for girls who just want to have fun (or chillll out at the country club, lucky bitches). Pink has a calming effect, hence why it’s often used for prison uniforms or drunk-tanks. Sports teams are also known to paint the opposing team’s locker room pink to lower their energy level and make them more passive. But with a sturdy built-in bra, racerback design for optimal mobility, and sweat-wicking fabric, I wouldn’t count anyone in this top out of the competition just yet. $64.00, nike.com.

Ralph Lauren Team USA London Legging

Blue leggings for the athlete with a goal.  Fine, it’s not our home team, but it’s Ralph Lauren and I lived in the States for a half-decade– so you’re just going to have to deal with it and not send me hate e-mails. Studies show people are more productive in blue rooms because they stay more calm and focused at the task at hand. Other studies show that weight lifters can lift more weight in a blue gym. Made of uber-comfy jersey knit, these leggings will feel like a second skin while you work it out. $125 USD, ralphlauren.com.


Sabrina Maddeaux is Toronto Standard’s style editor. Follow her on Twitter at @sabrinamaddeaux.

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