Gold-Medal Getups: The best and worst of Olympic uniforms in Sochi

Athletic competition turns into a sportswear runway at the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics — and Sochi showcased clear winners and losers in the fashion department.

When the Olympics come around every two years, there’s always buzz: buzz about the athletes, the location and the events. But now, there’s almost just as much buzz about who makes the biggest fashion statement in the Opening Ceremonies. The stadium has become as much a runway as a parade of nations. Take a look at which countries were a hit and which ones missed the mark in Sochi.

The Best:


The look: On top, blue, green and yellow horizontal striped jackets. On bottom, red and pink floral pants.

The verdict: Making a political statement in an opening ceremony outfit is always a plus, and this rainbow ensemble definitely does that. After the controversy over Russia’s anti-gay laws, these uniforms were a breath of fresh air. Pattern-mixing is usually a faux-pas in my book not this time. The bold impression that’s going on here is really working.


The look: On top, a coat with a beach scene and red cross representing the nation's flag. On bottom, white snow pants.

The verdict: I’m going to be honest: I had to Google where Tonga is. Know what I know now, these outfits make a lot more sense. These Polynesian island athletes killed it with their winter coats. This sounds like an oxymoron, but any coat that can make me want to ski and sit in the sun at the same time is a winner.


The look: On top, red, white and blue fur-trimmed, knee-length coats. On bottom, red pants.

The verdict: Yes, they are slightly Santa-esque, but that’s the whole point. It’s Russia. The detailing makes these coats, from the top-to-bottom fur to the patterned border around the edges. As the host country for these games, Russia's outfits boast just the right amount of boldness.

The Worst:


The look: On top, navy cardigans with stars, stripes and Olympic rings. On bottom, white pants.

The verdict: As much as I hate to criticize my own country — and one of my favorite designers, Ralph Lauren — these sweaters are a huge flop. I know the ugly Christmas sweater thing has gotten big, but bringing it to the Olympics is a little much. They’re trying to do so many different things that it ends up being like America threw up onto a cardigan. Rough.


The look: On top, gray coats. On bottom, khaki pants.

The verdict: If you have the fashion capital of the world in your country, I expect some pretty amazing outfits when stepping onto the world stage. These are anything but. The gray peacoats and khakis are just plain boring. Step your game up, France.

Great Britain

The look: On top, blue puffer jackets. On bottom, navy pants.

The verdict: Here’s the problem: when you try and do a down jacket that is this puffy, you end up looking more like the Michelin Man than sporty. The pairing of blue coats with blue pants really did them in. It would maybe have worked if the two blues didn’t clash, but head-to-toe navy is only good in theory. I do enjoy their hats, though.

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