Olympic Fashion: Team USA's Most Memorable Uniforms

Olympic Fashion: Team USA's Most Memorable Uniforms

With just five days until the Olympic Games kick off in Rio, we take a look back at which Uniforms from years past took home the gold—and which ones missed the mark

With just five days until the Olympic Games kick off in Rio, we take a look back at which Uniforms from years past took home the gold—and which ones missed the mark

Text: Jillian Selzer

The summer games are just around the corner, and every two years competitors and the public alike wait in anticipation as designs are revealed for the teams' uniforms. From Ralph Lauren to Levi Strauss to Canadian clothing company Roots, designers step up to the plate in one of the most coveted gigs in fashion and patriotism. Dressing the Olympic competitors isn't just about making them look good, it's about setting a competitive and exemplary standard for the United States. While some looks falter and others shine, each ensemble is influential in its own right. In celebration of the opening ceremony this Friday, we've chosen the most iconic looks from competitions past.

1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany

Berets and patriotic patches set the stage for future uniforms way back in 1936. Even though this look was created 80 years ago, we can still see the influence in fashion today.

1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy

Toggle coats and trooper hats took center stage in Italy, making the U.S. Olympic team look more like Paddington Bear gone chic rather than bonafide athletes. At least they look cozy.

1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy

With the striped hats and coordinating ties, we can't help but think of glamorous socialites vacationing in the heart of Italy. Mix that with those killer vintage sunglasses, and Team USA was looking prime back in the day.

1976 Summer Olympics in Montréal, Canada

Wide-leg trousers and double-breasted jackets certainly had their influence in Olympic fashion, while the monochrome look of the suit boasted refined patriotism.

1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, Utah

The '80s were a fragile time for all, and that includes the fashion of the decade. The athletes seemed to be channeling Walker, Texas Ranger in Lake Placid.

1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France

The combination of longline coats, fedora hats, and graphic scarves is vaguely reminiscent of what we guess a true American gangster might wear to an Olympic event in the middle of winter.

2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah

Canadian fashion brand Roots took the lead on the design in 2002, and there's a clear contrast between the typical red, white, and blue the athletes showcase each year.

2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada

2010 marked Ralph Lauren's second year outfitting the Olympic team, and the button down sweaters adorned with the logo were a welcome, and appropriate detail for the Winter games.

2012 Summer Olympics in London, England

While clean cut and proper, this year's uniforms sparked some controversy when both the government and the public discovered the uniforms were actually made in China—an anomaly considering the construction of the uniforms is all about American aesthetic and production.

2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia

While the 2014 uniforms may have missed the mark in terms of aesthetic, they definitely left an impression. Luckily, the 2016 games gave Ralph Lauren the chance to redeem itself.

2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

...Unfortunately, they didn't quite take home the gold this year, either. For this summer's games, Ralph took it back to basics with the brand's classic logo and clean, crisp polo shirts that scream (upper) class and (white bread) sophistication. Not necessarily our cup of tea, but hey, neither are sports.


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