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London Olympics: What other teams are wearing

July 18, 2012

The Team Netherlands Olympic uniforms are by far our favourite: just look at those colours, modern cuts and snazzy styling complete with tulip corsages and horizontal-print tie. Nicely done, Suit Supply

After reporting on the ho-hum job Ralph Lauren did for Team USA’s Olympic uniforms, we thought it might be worthwhile and only fair to look at what everyone else will be sporting.

We’ve grouped the teams according to where (wear) they belong according to our sartorial take on what it means to dress up in your country’s colours.

*UPDATE*: And the latest news tells us that Egypt’s athletes will be wearing knock-off Nike gear. This is not a joke and The Cut reports:

General Mahmoud Ahmed Ali, [Egypt]’s committee chairman told the Associated Press on Wednesday, “we signed with a Chinese distributor in light of Egypt’s economic situation,” who sent him the counterfeit merchandise, including bags with “large Nike logos on the front, but the zippers have ‘Adidas’ written on them.”

Are you reading this?!? As The Cut’s Hilary Ross remarked, “That’s two brand for less than the price of one? Sure sounds like a real bargain!”

Gold medal-winning Olympic team uniforms

Team Jamaica uniforms designed by Cedella Marley for Puma: these looks are gold medal winners- excellent colour blocking, fit and detailing on those separates. Look what happens when someone with taste and wherewithal designs using dangerous colours like yellow and green- a work of art

The memorable (for better or worse): uniforms with personality

Team Russia uniforms designed by Keith Haring Bosco Sport. We share the sentiments of the gal Photoshopped in and stuck in the middle

Team Spain’s athletes look like they need a glass of water from standing out in the sun at a lame plaza all afternoon. As for those swirly patterns, wide-fit zip-up trousers, three-button jacket and cropped for her- it all feels so very dated. The leather belt and scarf on her feel – yikes. And the use of the nation’s colours is downright garish. Hey Bosco Sport- look how Jamaica handled green & yellow and try harder next time.

Team Belize uniforms designed by Jeff Banks look like they belong in a movie (is that Fred Astaire?)

We weren’t sure how to categorize these Team Ukraine uniform sketches because they look promising but it could all go awry since they depend heavily on fit

The Sporty: uniforms that look like what athletes wear

Team Canada Olympians Justin Warner (100m), Phylicia George (100m hurdles) and Sarah Wells (400m hurdles) model the Nike uniforms.

Team Canada uniforms are sporty and not particularly remarkable, lovable or worth much commentary because they are so insignificant to design or coolness. How boring

Team Great Britain’s uniforms designed by Stella McCartney (pictured centre): we see here the sporty collection but knowing McCartney’s style, we expect preppy for the parade looks. It’s not terribly original but at least it’s not displeasing. We give it a silver medal

Team Poland’s uniforms are decidedly sporty and have some nice features, like the collar and hood, elongated pocket zippers and colour fading. Nice

Team Finland’s uniforms are really nothing special, except for the unfortunate capri situation on him. We *strongly dislike* capris, especially on men, and so add to that a loose cut in the trouser leg and you’ve got one dumb looking pant that flatters no one

The Preppy: uniforms we don’t really care about because we won’t remember them

Team Denmark’s uniforms look like a Banana Republic ad, and from the looks on their faces it’s clear these peeps have never set foot on a track before in their lives

Team South Korea’s uniforms designed by Fila. Unsure as to whether these are athletes- what do we know? The look is sailing club and although it’s expected, we applaud the ankle-length slim fit trousers, bringing this team’s looks out of the Disappointing category and into the non-memorable, so it’s a gain, really

Team Hong Kong barely gets a pass with this (flight attendant) uniform but we let them squeeze into the non-memorable because they at least used the contrasting navy piping in horizontal lines across the pockets, which is a step up from all-around piping (interesting HBC colour stripes on the set, though)

The Disappointing: uniforms that should have been way better

Team Italy’s uniforms designed by Giorgio Armani (pictured centre) are not only boring but also look like sports wear from the mid-’90s. Just look at those awful baggy shorts, and turned-up collars and boxy jackets

Team Australia may be smiling in their Sport Craft-designed uniforms but we’re not amused: is there anything less exciting than a lousy dull green blazer with a shapeless white skirt or trousers? We can’t even imagine wearing that blazer again and neither can they. This is a nation of fair-skinned, sunny-complexioned folk and you made the blazers the lamest green of all time. Fail fail fail

We’re reluctant to throw Adidas’ uniforms for Team France in the Disappointing category but really- have we another choice after seeing these lousy over-sized white trousers? Even if they were meant to fit well, we can’t forgive this pic (at left) that brings to mind the transsexual debate with that crotch situation. On the flip side, the black car coats are chic but come on, folks, it’s a *summer* Olympics

Rodd and Gunn designed Team New Zealand’s uniforms and the more we look at it, the more confused we become. The 1950’s housewife print day dresses with side collarbone knot are unforgiveable, and the white piping on the jackets feels garish. Must we place the five rings on the breast pocket-? The only good thing is the men’s light grey trousers, but we could have picked those up at the Gap on the way home. Underwhelming and très embarrassing on the women’s side of the equation

These Team Switzerland sweaters could have gone much better, ditto for the cargo shorts. What’s the point of designing Olympic uniforms when they turn out like this? I feel like they’re dressed for loser summer camp – even the kids who shop at American Eagle have better style

Every time we look at Team Japan’s uniforms we think it’s Team Canada’s because it’s so very red and white, which is usually the Canuck colours. Either way, these flight attendant looks have zero design and clearly zero thought as to the fanfare and excitement of the Games. A major fail especially if those pants are polyester

The No Comment category: uniforms that we’re just not sure about

At this point, the Team Philippines uniform is a sketch, and although we like fashion sketches, we have no idea how this will translate on the athletes. Will they look lost in their grey tunics? Is grey such a great colour choice for your fiercest citizens? We’re not satisfied with this design effort – yet -and we have decidedly low hopes

The London Summer Olympic Games begin July 27 and close on August 12.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2012 12:09 pm

    TOTALLY disagree on New Zealand. Their uniforms are whimsical, retro and ironic as hell. Don’t dare take that print literally — we can see they’re not trying to.

    I love it. That is all.

  2. July 19, 2012 4:28 pm

    Thanks for your comment, I’m happy you disagree on NZ since I really dislike that one and it’s worth debating! I’m thinking I could add a poll to the post pic!? haha. (I just might for fun)

  3. Jordana permalink
    July 21, 2012 8:16 am

    Great recap Johanne. This is the first time I’ve had a chance to look at the Olympic fashion plans. Like you, I think The Netherlands did a great job. Accessories, styling and posing make a good addition to a pretty solid theme.

    I had a little giggle when I read your reviews of the Italian and Switzerland teams. As you know I’ve spent quite a bit of time in both places and I can see some commonalities between the Olympic styles and the citizens’ regular wear. Flipped up collars in Italy, for example, have been popular for so long. I’ve observed that men, women and children of all ages go for it and don’t think twice about it. The head-to-toe black outfits are sleek, no? And shorts – woah – Italians don’t really wear shorts as much as we do in North America so maybe they haven’t quite figured out a flattering style (but really, are shorts ever flattering?).

    Now on to Switzerland – omg – the cargo shorts are a staple in the Swiss wardrobe! Hiking in the mountains and doing other adventure sports (sky diving, paragliding, wind surfing, etc.) is such a part of the Swiss lifestyle. Cargo shorts (and pants, and zip off shorts/pants) are sold all over the place because they are so practical for Swiss needs. Seriously.

    Anyhoo – just thought I’d share my observations and opinions. I do think you’ve given us a lot to talk about – or debate!


    • July 24, 2012 10:54 am

      Thanks, Jordana! It is a very thorough feature but I couldn’t stop at featuring just a few countries- besides, it’s interesting to compare them all, isn’t it?

      I don’t mind Team Switzerland’s cargo shorts so much but combined with those wide-striped tops- yikes. It’s all very juvenile-looking to me. And I agree that the turned-up collars are an Italian thing, but the absence of fit in the rest of the outfits makes me wonder. I mean, we’re talking about lean, fit bodies, so Armani could have worked this to their advantage and the athletes really should look fantastic- no excuse.

      I’m so impressed with Team Jamaica – they really knocked it out of the park for me. And team Netherlands- so happy for their snazzy looks.

      I’m very much excited to see the Games! Hope you’ll have a fun Opening Ceremony and happy Summer Games to you!

  4. July 22, 2012 4:43 pm

    Thanks for the compliments. See,nl,pg.html
    and find out that it is Suit Supply and not Adidas!

    • July 24, 2012 10:47 am

      Thanks for this! I have changed it to Suit Supply on our feature- the uniforms are simply fantastic!
      Happy you found us.

      Wish you and your country a very happy Summer Games!

  5. Laird permalink
    July 31, 2012 8:22 am

    Hmm, not team England but team Great Britain. A little insulted!

    • July 31, 2012 1:20 pm

      Oopsies, sorry about that. Amended :)

      Or, we could do Team Queen Elizabeth and then we’d throw in us Canucks, the Aussies, etc. Surely would help us get more medals… although we’ll take our pairs diving bronze.

      Happy Games to you!

  6. August 16, 2012 7:07 pm

    The NZ uniform is indeed a bit hit & miss sadly but given our track record (‘scuse pun) on past uniforms I was actually pretty relieved. Our national carrier, Air New Zealand, has had a most chequered past in uniforms and I imagined our Olympic effort would continue in the same vein.
    I think your summaries are adroit & perceptive.

  7. Lucy permalink
    October 30, 2012 4:01 pm

    Which team had the most yellow uniforms?! I need to dress up yellow for an olympics themed party next week!!!

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