i do a full contact tournament style.
the olympic style is very different.
we can wear whatever we want to in regards to body armour.
what we MUST have to compete:
gloves (closed fingers}
optional that i have are shin and wrist protection, but to be honest the more you wear the slower you'll be so only wear what you feel you need to and listen to your instructors advice
top tip for buy is the material
the shinyier and fancier the item the more likely it is that it will move or slip once you get a bit sweaty. so go for something that will let your hands breath and make sure evverything straps down well
i was virtually allowed to choose what i wanted as long as it met basic criteria set by my instructor
being in the UK products are few and far between in their variations so i shopped over in the states (where i'm guessing you are)
the site i used was www.karatedepot.com
hope thats of help to you, i wish someone had told me about the shiny equipment...i have really cool gloves...but as soon as i get hot the slip round when i backfist [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/frown.gif[/IMG]
looks.....try to ignore them and get what you require...then worry what it looks like