We’ve been told that we need to look our best on job interviews, on first dates, and of course for those crucial, “casual” post break-up Instagrams, but no occasion calls for classy clothes more than the Olympic Games’ opening ceremony. All we know is that if we were called up to represent our country, we’d tear our closets apart in search of the perfect look (and never, ever find it... it’s not like we’re Carrie Bradshaw, or anything). Needless to say, the pressure is on when it comes time to design the looks for the Olympic teams. The world is watching! Still, even after 26 Summer Olympic Games (27 if you count 1906’s unofficial Olympics in Athens), some countries just can’t seem to nail it. We’ve weighed in on this year’s Olympic fashion favorites and faux pas:
The Victory Ceremony Presenter Outfits: NAY
Yes, purple is the color of royalty, and the Brits might have wanted to honor their royal traditions... but these outfits for the Victory Ceremony presenters are a far cry from Kate Middleton’s wardrobe (or even that of the Queen Mum herself). We can’t decide if they’d be more fitting on the deck of Star Trek’s U.S.S. Enterprise or in the closet of The Hungers Games’ Effie Trinket, but we do know that they don’t belong anywhere near an international stage. The outfits were designed by Thomas Crisp and Trine Hav Christensen, students at the Royal College of Art, who created the looks with Greek mythology and London architecture in mind. Apparently we need to brush up on our mythology knowledge, because something about these outfits just doesn’t say ‘Mt. Olympus’ to us (unless those flaps of fabric over the shoulders are supposed to be Heracles’s cape?).
U.S.A.’s Opening Ceremony Outfits: YEA
In typical Ralph Lauren fashion, these opening ceremony outfits feature the good ol’ red-white-and-blue without looking like they belong in a country music video (more likely on the field in a polo match... hence the name ‘Polo’). The gold button/navy suit combo gives the looks a hint of nautical freshness that’s perfect for summertime in Londontown. Unfortunately, Ralph Lauren managed to tick off most of America when he made the decision to have the uniforms manufactured in China... so much, in fact, that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested they be burned. Regardless of the controversy, these stylish outfits still make us proud to be (fashionable) Americans.
U.S.A.’s Team Uniforms: NAY
Oops! It looks like Nike forgot to give Disney/Pixar credit when it revealed these Incredibles-inspired uniforms. The almost entirely red outfits aren’t exactly forgiving (talk about showing every bump and bulge) and look more like gym uniforms we’d expect to see at Glee’s McKinley High than Olympic uniforms we’d expect to see in London. We have to admit that the shoes are just neon enough to avoid the Minnie Mouse look, so props for boldness, but really, couldn’t they have put that pop of color somewhere – anywhere – else on that leotard? Really.
Great Britain’s Opening Ceremony Outfits: YEA
At this year’s Summer Olympics, black is the new black. Great Britain kept it svelte and sophisticated with these monochromatic ensembles designed by Next, and we’re thankful they did; the black-on-black cowl-neck and blazer ensemble might not be the most fashion-forward, but it prevents the ladies from looking like flight attendants, and those tuxes... well, they look like they’d fit right in on the red carpet. (And in truth, we’d like to see that happen. Preferably on Bradley Cooper and David Beckham. And Michael Fassbender.)
Great Britain’s Team Uniform: NAY
Normally, we love us some Stella McCartney, but something about these Union Jack-inspired ensembles rubs us the wrong way. It’s probably the red shoes, which remind us just a little too much of Dorothy... though the weird midriff colorblocking on the tennis uniform doesn’t help much, either. Are we trying to create a crop top optical illusion here?
France’s Opening Ceremony Outfits: YEA
Effortless. That’s really the only way to describe these outfits, which look like they jumped right off the backs of some Parisian passerbys and onto the toned bodies of the nation’s top athletes. The biggest surprise? While many countries hired their top dog designers for the job (Ralph Lauren for U.S.A., Georgio Armani for Italy, etc.), France, long known for its domination of the fashion world, instead opted for Adidas. Who would have guessed that the same company that designed all of our running shoes knew how to make a decent pea coat?
Spain’s Opening Ceremony Outfits: NAY
Not just ‘nay’ – ‘hell nay.’ These train wrecks that Bosco Sport calls outfits have actually been modified since this photo was released; the public outcry was so great that Spain has endeavored to appease the masses by making a few fashion-forward changes (pretty much any change will be a positive one, anyway). Our suggestion? Ditch the scarf, the sash, the bowling bag, and the filigree-patterned track suit, because the last time a filigree looked good on a guy was... never.
Serbia’s Opening Ceremony Outfits: YEA
Serbia might not be one of the heavy hitters at this summer’s Olympic Games, but after our own eyes nearly burned from the sight of the last photo, we felt we owed it to you collegiettes to follow with some of the most street-chic style of the opening ceremony. These outfits (designed by Zekstra) look like something you and your man candy could wear on a romantic gondola ride (or to a model call, if you’re feeling pretty). Plus we want that top!
Russia’s Opening Ceremony Outfits: NAY
Last we checked, there were no jungles in Moscow (or in London, for that matter), so we can’t figure out why Russia opted for the safari look this year. What doesn’t surprise us, however, is the fact that these outfits were designed by Bosco Sport – yep, the same company that designed Spain’s pitiable ketchup-and-mustard ensembles. (We’re sensing a pattern here.) Leave the canteen and sunhats at home, please; the walk around Olympic Stadium isn’t really that long.
What do you think, collegiettes: yea or nay? Do you agree with our style verdicts, or are we harsher than gymnastics judges? Tell us in the comments!