Fashion Trends in Table Tennis

An interview with Jean Phillipe Boucle

Jon Today I’m honored to have as my special guest, Jean Phillipe Boucle. Jean Phillipe is well known in the fashion world for his sports fashion designs. He stunned the world with revealing tennis dresses, specifically made for men. His women’s high heeled volleyball shoes proved to be less than functional, but were still a hit with the Brazilian Olympic team. Bonjour Jean Phillipe.
JPB Good morning. It is marvelous to be here in Atlanta. 
Jon I understand that having conquered the worlds of tennis, basketball, and sepak takraw, you are now on to perhaps your greatest fashion challenge. 
JPB That is very true. I long for the day when table tennis clothing will grace the runways of Paris. Alas, we have a very long way to go. 
Jon What is it that makes table tennis clothing design so challenging?
JPB I think…..hmm….I think it is the fantastic array of body types. I thought that the Chinese did some wonderful designs. The dragon motif was dreadfully overdone, but still, I was not offended. The problem was that these clothes were really designed for people with small frames. Do you really believe a man weighing 120 kilograms should be prancing about with a pink dragon on his shorts? 
Jon I would prefer not to answer that.
JPB Yes…Well, but you see my point. Most Americans simply can not wear the best clothing from Shanghai and Tokyo. 
Jon I understand things are a little better in Europe.
JPB Hah! Not necessarily. British table tennis clothing is as boring as their food. 
Jon I can see that this is going to be a challenge. What is the answer?
JPB There is no easy answer. But, if there is to be any progress, we must attack this one clothing item at a time.
Jon I see. Where would you like to start?
JPB At the top, of course!
Jon At the top?
JPB Hats, bandannas, hair ribbons…..at the top.
Jon Please continue.
JPB I like the idea of a colorful bandanna, certainly not a sweatband. I think the Navajo people were far ahead of their time for fashionable headwear. I am conflicted on the feather question, but I look to the tribes of the Americas for my inspiration.
Jon Moving on….
JPB The key to the ensemble is de chemise….the shirt. I see so many table tennis players who have given up all together and only wear black. I can’t really blame them. But, the shirt should make a statement.
Jon So….it should say something on it?
JPB Ah non! Ah non! No! The chemise speaks with no words. How tragic to write on a work of art. I am seeing perhaps three colors, abstract designs, and sleeves that don’t match. It should fit loosely and never be tucked in. I think animal designs are a nice touch. I have seen lions and dragons done tastefully. I would go a different direction, perhaps gelatinous aquatic creatures.
Jon Jellyfish.
JPB The shirt should have the look of the jellyfish, the sting of the jellyfish, but not be seen as a jellyfish. I think it would be very powerful. Yes?
Jon I can hardly wait to hear your thoughts on pants.
JPB Ah yes, the pantalon. The problem with typical table tennis pants is that not everyone can pull them off.
Jon Excuse me? 
JPB They are not for everyone. Athletic pants are designed for athletic bodies. 
Jon I see. 
JPB I propose a completely new approach. I see no reason to demand that everyone wear short pants. I find the pants worn by cricket players to be far more flattering than black shorts. They would also be more versatile for creative designs. When a table tennis player walks down the street he should be instantly recognized, simply by his apparel. Unfortunately, there is no recognizable table tennis clothing in most of the world. I look to change all that.
Jon Well, we’re almost out of time. This concludes our interview with Jean Phillipe Boucle. Clearly, he brings a different perspective to sports fashion. While I have my doubts about some of his more eccentric ideas, he does make some valid points. Table tennis needs a fresh look.   

4 Replies to “Fashion Trends in Table Tennis”

  1. I like the interview platform you did in this blog. It would be an excellent service to the players and your students to interview the top recreational players in the Atlanta area. Players like John Mar, Petro Stiurbu, T.J. Beebe, and other players of that level, on what equipment they use and how they became top-level club players. I know I would like to read about their stories.

    1. You come up with a lot of good ideas for a pickleball player. I’ll try to make this a priority. It’s a lot easier to do if I just make up fictional people and have them say what I want.

      1. Haha, I had a feeling Jean Phillipe Boucle was made up! I think it’s easier to see what improvements table tennis needs when looking in from the outside. I remember always reading OOAK forum interviews about professional table tennis players on what equipment they use, how they got started in the sport, and how they improved as a player. It would be cool to read about some of the semi-professional players around the Atlanta area. They all know and respect you, so I’m sure they will give you 5-10 minutes of their time. Just because I dedicate my time to play only one sport, I still follow table tennis, tennis, pickleball, football, baseball, etc. I’m open-minded enough not to think other sports are “trash.”

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