Friday Fashion Face-off: Worst-dressed at the 2022 Australian Open

Even though I don’t have a job, I still love Fridays. I’m like one of Pavlov’s dogs, salivating at the sound of “TGIF.” And now look at me. All covered with slimy drool. Gross.

Let’s do a face-off.

Nominee #1: Every Single Woman Forced to Wear That Friggin’ Nike Dress, with the Exception of Simona Halep Who Would Look Good in a Paper Bag (or ESWFWTFNDESHWWLGPB, for short)

Remember how Cinderella wanted to go to that ball? And her mean stepmother and stepsisters (“The Steps”) tell her she can go only if she finishes all her chores? Then they hand her the mother of all to-do lists so that even if she does get through all the housework, she won’t have time to make a suitable dress?

While Cinderella’s busy darning socks and descaling the Keurig, her mouse posse comes to the rescue, gathering up scraps of fabric, ribbon and beads to piece together a garment that looks as much like a tacky wedding cake as an evening gown with its tiers and rosettes and swirls of pink confection, but hey, at least it’s a dress and it’s certainly better than what her ungainly, buck-toothed stepsisters have on, with their vomit-colored fabrics and outsized bustles, which makes me want to stop right here and ask why anyone ever thought adding extra bulk to the butt region was a good idea. But I digress.

When she’s finished swiffering, Cinderella climbs the preposterously long, rickety stairs to her garret-bedroom, sighing ever-so-becomingly about missing the dance, when–Ta da!–the mice unveil the cake-dress. She’s so beside herself with joy that she somehow forgets the Steps don’t actually want her to go, or maybe she’s not all that bright and hasn’t figured it out, but anyhoo, she goes traipsing back down the stairs in her cake-dress, all, “Hey, check it out, bitches! I’m a smoke show! Everybody on the party bus!” I don’t know what she was expecting to happen at this point—like, “Yo, look at you, Cinnamon-Stix! You’re so hot—you can totally come with us to this misogynistic gala where the prince picks his bride based solely on appearance!”? It’s like this orphan girl has no understanding of women AT ALL, despite living exclusively with them for years. I mean, hello? Girls are not nice. In fact, girls kind of suck. Even Cinderella has a mean streak, sniggering with her mouse posse at the Steps’ pained and painful musical endeavors, although I guess we’re not supposed to notice that or mind because she’s just so lovely and graceful and talented without even trying, and when you think about it, maybe that’s why the Steps don’t like her. Maybe they can see that she’s actually pretty stuck-up about her looks and maybe she even posts about it on social media in nauseatingly transparent humble brags about how she’s going “make-up free” today in solidarity with plain Janes everywhere.

Where was I?

So instead of doing what you or I or any normal human being would do, which is hide out until the coast is clear and then call an Uber to get to the ball, our Cindy barges into the foyer where the Steps are making their departure and is shocked—SHOCKED!— to discover that she’s less than welcome. Then the Steps recognize their old cast-offs and snatch back their ribbons and beads until Cindy is left like

And THIS–a disbelieving girl in rags–is the image that kept coming to my mind every time a Nike-sponsored woman took the court at the Australian Open.

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Good lord, we saw a lot of this number over the tournament’s two weeks. Sometimes it was a dress. Other times, a two piece. Some players tied a knot in the shirt at the waist. None of the stylings made any difference. It’s still the same collection of crap salvaged from a recycling bin, assembled by rodents, and ultimately left in tatters.

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Is there any overarching vision for this getup? I don’t think so. The dress version features an asymmetrical neckline, with something weird going on on one side, an extra red flap that I guess the head mouse forgot to sew, or perhaps it’s the ragged remains after the Steps finished with it.

In search of pleats, the mice unearthed a grungy air filter and stapled it along the bottom, although they appear to have run out of material three-quarters of the way around. Then the Nike posse accented the dress with white strips of label maker, but only short fragments of this trim remain.

And what’s with that bizarre slit alongside the pleats of the skirt—is that deliberate or did the Steps tear off something there too?

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Embed from Getty Images

What our girl Cindy had, which Nike evidently does not, was a fairy godmother who could fly in and bibbity-bobbety that shitshow into a shimmering dress glorious enough to knock a prince’s royal socks off.

In lieu of magical intervention, Nike had to resort to duct tape. At least I think that’s what those silver-gray patches are:

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Somewhere at the bottom of a Nike dumpster lie the sketches for Australian Open outfits that didn’t make the cut. Designs that are even worse conceived than this. Just think about that for a moment.

Nominee #2: Nikoloz Basilashvili

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We’ve covered my feelings about brown tennis clothes before. To recap: Not a fan.

I know the Georgian’s outfit isn’t brown—at least, not in a strict Merriam-Webster kind of way. But it’s brown in spirit. The whole thing just exudes brown vibes. Is it because the shirt accents are black while the shorts and accessories are navy? Do black and navy make brown?

Whatever the reason, this Emporio Armani combo depresses the hell out of me.

Nominee #3: ?????

Who am I overlooking? Medvedev? Sakkari? Osaka? Someone else? This time, I’ll let you guys decide who’s worthy of a worst-dressed nod.


Let me know what you think!

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