It’s almost time for the Rio Opening Ceremonies, and you know what that means – costumes.
Okay, more specifically the Parade of Nations, where the athletes from the participating countries process into the arena wearing some kind of weird modern take on their national dress, like muscly Madame Alexander dolls or a sexy It’s A Small World ride.
I love it.
While a number of countries have released photos of their team uniforms – especially when there’s a high profile sponsor involved – it’s too soon to tell which looks will make the Parade of Nations. Still,here are a few to keep your eye out for:
Great Britain in Stella McCartney/ Adidas
Who’s making redcoats redder? Stella McCartney, I guess. I’m just so thrilled we can finally bring back Britain’s colonial-era nickname. The Adidas uniforms forego the typical Union Jack in favor of a coat of arms combining the thistle, rose, leek and flax, as well as a lion, the national animal of England even though England doesn’t have lions. The fabric is lightweight and there are fun leggings. The female athlete third from the right is not impressed.
I still can’t believe they make Wales be a leek. Pee-ew.
Canada in Hudson’s Bay and D-Squared
There are a lot of stereotypes about Canada and one of them is that Canada doesn’t really have cities. That’s why it’s so fun to see Canada go a little urban with their outfits. It’s a real mix-and-match collection combining smart jackets, jaunty track suits and even graphic tees. If I have one complaint it’s that the pants look weirdly saggy at the knee – but just look at what they’re wearing for the Opening Ceremonies:
If I were an Olympic athlete, I would proudly compete in a prison jumpsuit or footie pajamas if it was Zika proof. Lucky for South Korea, their uniforms are fairly cute AND Zika-repellant. I like the uniforms to the right, like they’re activity leaders at a nice country club. The slim fit cropped pants are cute.
Here’s where I was going to complain about socks with boat shoes, but ZIKA. Gotta cover those ankles. Good job.
Sweden in H&M
There’s so much to love. First of all, that Sweden is wearing H&M. Second, that a relatively small(-ish) Scandinavian country can be one of the world’s biggest exporters of cool fashion and musicians. Third, these fabrics are sustainably produced and recycled. I love that there’s a fun athletic dress and the leggings and socks are just too good.
They look great – almost like street clothes but a bit more polished, with sassy scarves and tie clips. The woven belts are excellent too, and the contrasting accents on the blazers and the buttons.
I do wonder why, in a world where red and blue seem to be the most popular national colors, a country that actually has a different color scheme going for it opts for red and blue.
Italy in EA7 by Emporio Armani
Unlike Spain, I can’t even quibble that these aren’t the national colors (except for the bits of red and green on the collar) because the black and white just feels so Italian. The giant 7s are the most conspicuous branding I’ve seen so far on the team uniforms, but it also can kind of just read as some stripes maybe?
Say what you will about Brazil’s preparedness or suitability to host the 2016 games: there is a special place in my heart for a country that will deck men out in florals. Granted, I was even more excited when I thought that the ascot was the lining of his blazer instead.
France in Lacoste
Remember when you wouldn’t see a fashionable, city-dwelling European caught dead in athletic wear in public? The recent trend for sleek, well-designed athleisure clothing has turned that around a bit, and France’s simple and tidy look shows how well it can be done.
USA in Ralph Lauren
Not my favorites, but not horrible; these get points for the sheer American-ness of red-white-and-blue stripes and pushed up sleeves on Oxford shirts.
The word Slytherin has been thrown around a few times for these uniforms, as has “ice cream lady.” But me? I just hope they make it back to Malibu Sands in time to help Stacey Carosi’s dad out at the big volleyball tournament.
Most teams haven’t released photos of their uniforms yet, so tune into the Opening Ceremonies tonight to find out who the REAL best-dressed are.
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