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Gold, silver and denim: The best and worst Olympic uniforms

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Gold, silver and denim: The best and worst Olympic uniforms

Belgium
With male athletes stuck in black bouncer garb, Belgium’s female Olympians will bring glamour to the opening event in red and gold evening wear. Shiny blazer and trouser sets, jumpsuits and an evening gown with cut-outs from Caroline Biss, Belgium’s answer to Perri Cutten, could perform double duty for Bond girl auditions or school formals.

Olympic opening ceremony uniforms from the Czech Republic, Poland and Ireland offer a contemporry approach to athletic attire.

Olympic opening ceremony uniforms from the Czech Republic, Poland and Ireland offer a contemporry approach to athletic attire.Credit: Instagram

Silver

Czech Republic
The most improved uniform belongs to Czech Olympians, who travelled to Tokyo three years ago in folk art vests and blouses with paper fans, looking ready for a dance routine to the Disney anthem It’s a Small World. For Paris, the Czech’s tapped designer Jan Černý to create white trench coats with splashes of blue, and poppy orange polo shirts. The modern prints transform athletes into potential art students or Smurf surgeons.

Poland
Polish label Bizuu looked to their flag for a white and red collection of double-breasted blazers and summer frocks. The result is perfect for cocktails at a Saltburn-themed party (just don’t touch the bathwater). Celebrating the team’s 100th anniversary, athletes also receive a lucky charm from jewellery brand Lilou but could just as easily accessorise with an Aperol Spritz.

Ireland
With its blinding white finish and adjustable straps the Irish team uniform blends judo utility with straight-jacket starkness, but remove your Guinness goggles for a closer look.

New York-based Dubliner Laura Weber uses intricate details to layer the outfits with meaning. Eco-hybrid taffeta made from recycled T-shirts and bottles is embellished with a national badge, shamrock brooch and embroidered sleeve detail nodding to each athlete’s home county.

The uniform defies clichés and reinforces an Irish moment in fashion championed by designers Simone Rochas and Robyn Lynch.

Bronze or denim

United States
Get ready to join the frat pack with Ralph Lauren’s preppy navy blazer, tie and jeans combination for the US team. The striped shirts are perfect for athletes considering future careers in finance, while the eighties wash denim can be saved for line dancing at medal celebrations.

The dress code for this outfit is definitely “bro”.

Chinese Taipei
Check vests and zip turtlenecks add a ski silhouette and rockabilly edge to the boxy double-breasted business suits of Taiwan’s official uniform. Athletes should be prepared to sweat it out in summer temperatures on the Seine.

Triple denim. Olympic uniforms for: Team USA from Ralph Lauren; Justin Chao for Chinese Taipei; Reet Aus for Estonia.

Triple denim. Olympic uniforms for: Team USA from Ralph Lauren; Justin Chao for Chinese Taipei; Reet Aus for Estonia.

Carbon capture technology was utilised by designer Justin Chou for the denim blue fabric, with plum flower details on the lapel softening the mod Mao Suit vibe.

Estonia
Designer Reet Aus focused on sustainability with uniforms for Team Estonia, with the double denim ensemble exuding farmer’s market chic. There’s plenty of room for radishes and turnips in the matching denim tote, with the conservative skirt length perfect for the school run at conservative Christian colleges.

Ombre

Australia and Spain
The Australian Olympic uniforms by Sportscraft score serious points for blazers that lean towards teal and away from traffic light green. The Sunday barbecue energy of the relaxed chinos and shorts and white T-shirts balance the preppy tailoring on top, but it’s the pleated skirts that force the creation of an ombre medal category.

Team Australia in Sportscraft; The Spanish Olympic opening ceremony uniform; Lululemon’s designs for team Canada.

Team Australia in Sportscraft; The Spanish Olympic opening ceremony uniform; Lululemon’s designs for team Canada.Credit: Louise Kennerley, Supplied, Getty

The splash of yellow on the skirt suffers from unfortunate placement, made worse by attempts at disguise with a decorative scarf. Spain’s skirt style also suggests the need for toilet training in Olympic preparation.

A league of their own

Canada
While Estonia and Brazil embrace the Canadian Tuxedo, the homeland of double denim still thinks its lockdown and refuses to get off the sofa and out of its athleisure wear.

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Athletes won’t have to worry about finding a working iron in the Olympic village with red on red jackets and draw cord shorts made with sweat-wicking high-tech jacquard, developed by team outfitter Lululemon.

The pieces, including a bucket hat and crop top, are suited for a hike through the Canadian Rockies or at least around a stadium and will be wasted at the ceremony on the Seine, unless the team are floating on lilos while spitting Drake lyrics.

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