Puck Daddy - NHL

Oh, Shop NHL. Such a tease.

It appeared as though the league's swag store was inching closer to answering that ages-old conundrum: What do women want?

After the ill-fated and much-maligned $325 bedazzled purse, and those Alyssa Milano-designed sexy team shirts were mocked for their impracticality, the NHL's line of official team bikinis actually impressed many female puckheads. (Especially since the league never went ahead with a line of officially licensed Speedos-for-fat-guys. Even if the Vancouver Canucks logo would have been sublime on them.)

Alas, the good vibes between Shop NHL and its female clientele have been shattered by the monstrosities above: The Reebok Women's Champagne Jersey, which is slightly more ostentatious than it sounds. From Shop NHL, here's the description of the $69.99 (cheap!) jersey:

Glamorize your NHL wardrobe with some subtle sparkles! Tiny metal studs line the collar of the Reebok women's champagne jersey, making it a wardrobe essential in your closet. It displays your team's graphics in distressed champagne foil over team-colored ink on the chest and back. Show off your feminine figure with a flirty side drawstring cinch.

First off: Kudos to the copywriter on this one. As one whose fashion aspirations end at the discount rack at Old Navy, "distressed champagne foil" sounds like that square of breath-mint that dissolves on your tongue, only it tastes like a Korbel 2007. And if a drawstring cinch can be "flirty," then I'm going to start referring to my zipper as coquettish.

But more to the point: Who the [expletive] is wearing these metal-studded nightmares? Not the female hockey fans in our Puck Daddy focus group, who are baffled about a great many things regarding the Reebok Women's Champagne Jersey.

From Erin Nicks of The Universal Cynic:

I would never wear this. You know why? Because I have dignity.

That said, I think the Ottawa version would be a great fit for Jason Spezza(notes). Come on now -- can't you see Giggles all shimmery and sparkly in warmups ... his carefully styled locks, laden with hair product, staunchly refusing to be blown in the breeze? I bet the drawstring feature alone would make him coo with glee. 

Then again, the sweater does make reference to "champagne." I doubt Jason's familiar with the color, and I'm damn sure he's had no significant experience with the product.

From Loser Domi, who blogs at The Wonderful World of Loser Domi and Pension Plan Puppets, and who focused on the Toronto Maple Leafs jersey:

To be honest, I'm no longer surprised when the NHL fails at addressing the female fans. the sparkles, the odd color combinations, the uses of rhinestones on everything -- it's no shocker to me anymore. I've seen much worse from the NHL than the champagne jersey, but that's not really much of a compliment. 

I'm just massively confused as to what that Leaf is made out of on the Leafs one. Is it just shiny material, or is it supposed to be that mottled grey in it? And why would they do black sticking on the logo, when it's already a dark background?

However, if this were just a shirt and not a jersey, the cut would work to be flattering on some women. I'm not sure of the sizing chart they use for this, so I don't know how it would work for most women.

To be honest, I was thinking of doing a post ridiculing this myself, but mocking the NHL for attempting and failing to attract female fans is like beating a dead horse at this point. Luckily for me, if I wanted a jersey that wasn't a tent, I'm small enough to just get a youth's large or something like that.  

I did really like the NHL bikinis, though.

From Jenn Hammer at I Mean, We Got Guys...:

Ick. So many things wrong.

First, if any woman is really a hockey fan and she wants to wear a jersey she is going to wear a regular team jersey, not this crap that will "show off your feminine figure". Wysh, you've seen me, I've got a feminine figure, but not one that needs cinching at the waist, thank you very much.

I don't even know where to start with the studs around the neckline. Is the idea to imitate champagne bubbles or some [expletive]? I don't understand the need for the champagne coloring on the thing. In a weird way, I get the NHL's use of pink (as misguided as it is) but this is just bizarre.

Like I told Loser Domi, I believe the "distressed champagne foil" is made from the tears of female fans who are subjected to this crap. May or may not actually be foil fabric paint, hard to say.

And as long as I'm nit-picking, the font on the back is random, doesn't match teams' fonts. And they're black -- what if black isn't one of your teams' colors?  Also, it doesn't appear to be available for all teams (a blessing in disguise?).

From 'walkinvisible' at Hit The Post:

There are only two words to describe the NHL's latest attempt at jersey marketing to their lady fans:  um... WOW (I was gonna go for "epic fail" but it didn't really capture the shock and surprise of laying eyes on this monstrosity).

Truly and unquestionably, this is a hideous item: from the vajazzling at the top, to the shimmery made-for-a-pageant-outfit material dancing down the sleeves.  Ugh... This offering had better not be the reason that the Calgary Flames opt not to produce the Heritage Classic sweater in a ladies' cut (even though, realistically, that jersey is only slightly less ugly).

Finally, from Wrap Around Curl, who blogs at Wrap Around Curl and Pension Plan Puppets:

Why do they keep doing this? I really truly thought this bejeweled/studded accented stuff was over once I was out of middle school, but the NHL and the Jersey Shore has shown otherwise.

Team colors, that's all I want. I don't want fashion interpretations by the obviously clueless. These are all unholy Pittsburgh Penguins jerseys. The Pittsburgh one wouldn't look bad, with some editing. I want to take a seam ripper to that collar situation and it'd be better if that back could have an actual player name. The cut appears flattering since in the back the curves give the illusion of a smaller and defined waist. The arms have a slim cut which means you aren't wearing layers underneath to combat a chilly arena.

But most of all I'm distracted by how cheap these look. They look like same low quality (and breezy) material used to produce $5 basketball shorts.

As for the foil, it doesn't last in the wash long and usually it reacts with detergent, mutating into a pond scum color. I'll never understand having to pay a premium for a "distressed" item. I take pride in the wear and tear I inflict on a sweater. I don't want some cheap, nylon club top masquerading in the tradition of a sport I love.

[By the way, it's called champagne because of the coloring; plus I think they believe it seems higher end than Jack or Jager. Plus, that is the color of the material on the sleeves. Distressed foil is just some design jargon.]

I'd really love for the design staff to explain their decisions and directions. On top of that, I'd like to know how many of these are being purchased that keep evolving into an even worse garment.

In the meanwhile, I suggest voting with your dollars. Hopefully that will make a difference. Don't buy these abominations of a jersey and don't see "Eat Pray Love" when you can see "The Expendables."

Werd. Again, our litmus test for anything Shop NHL creates for female fans: Would the money be better spent on something that makes New York Islanders toast?

In this case, yes. 

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