Rio 2016 Olympics: The best opening ceremony outfits from the sporting catwalk

From airline staff to 90s tracksuits, the Olympiads end up in some questionnable looks.

Rio 2016 Olympics: Everything you need to knowIBTimes UK

The Rio 2016 Olympics are practically upon us and whilst the Games themselves are the main event, there is nothing like the anticipation of seeing what the opening ceremony will be like. The ceremonial opening parties are key for the host nation to make the right first impression on the plethora of countries they are welcoming in for the duration of the games.

But even if the show is uneventful (which they rarely are) you can always count on the teams to jazz things up with their catwalk of official merchandise.

We're more than used to seeing the likes of Usain Bolt, Tom Daley and Jessica Ennis in their skimpy competing attire but get them in a custom jacket and or tracksuit and the whole team turns into a weird school trip or airline crew. This year is no disappointment but the labels behind the teams have upped their game to turn their athletes into fashion models.


Team GB have once again had the Stella McCartney treatment but the results are actually quite palatable. The traditional red, white and blue palette reigns supreme with a huge embroidered logo emblazoned on the back of the jackets, not too dissimilar to the likes sold by Gucci and Louis Vuitton, although at a much nicer price.

Stella McCartney for Team GBAdidas

The brand ambassadors for American style, Ralph Lauren, took the helm for the US team sticking with the same patriotic hues as good old GB. Although where Britain may have gone for athleisure, the Americans are the shining jocks of the competition with soft cotton Oxford shirts and neat cargo shorts decorated with the brand's signature polo playing emblem and a mighty great USA on the back. Nothing too crazy or unoffensive and immensely marketable.

Ralph Lauren have been kitting out the Olympiads since 2008, "It has always celebrated American iconography," says David Lauren, EVP of global advertising, marketing, and corporate communications for Ralph Lauren, and the son of Ralph Lauren, who founded the company in 1967. "It has always been about patriotism." Luckily that patriotism will be likely to increase their sales as well.

Ralph Lauren have opted for the traditional jock style in their US Olympic designsRalph Lauren

Another red, white, blue country that have stuck to their style is France with Lacoste creating a sleek set of designs finished neatly with a pair of bright white sneakers. The neat cropped jackets with racing stripes down the arm wouldn't look out of place in any polo shirt donning, slim jean wearing men's wardrobe as well as being a perfect cover up for women.

Then there is Cuba who have enlisted the luxury knowledge of shoe maven Christian Louboutin, the red-soled master. Why the French designer took it upon himself to redesign the Cuban Olympic wardrobe is unknown although he does have a big presence in Brazil so it may the host nation that led him to the team. Either way. his rather strange tailored safari suits in fawn and scarlet complete with striped bowling shoes and cropped trousers makes for a very odd airline crew style that make for a very uncomfortable look. The star detailed sandals and slip-ons though are fantastic proving that Louboutin should maybe stick to what he knows.

The winners for consecutively insane outfits have to be Australia who always manage to come dressed like a local cricket team or barber shop quartet every year in their seersucker suits and contrasting scarves and ties. This years green striped ensemble is just fantastic and even if the team take home nothing they can rejoice in the glory of their sunshine yellow striped ties.

Australia opted for the local cricket team's away day look with their pinstripe green designsGetty

Click through to see the best Olympic Opening Ceremony outfits in history:

Diver Tom Daley shows off Team GB's golden spacesuit during the opening ceremony of London 2012 Olympic GamesGetty
Stella McCartney opted for a space age white and gold theme for the 2012 Team GB designs that made the team look like a very large Eurovision entryGetty
Lesotho's delegates mixed modern and traditional for their entrance to the London 2012 GamesGetty
Dressing for the British weather, the Czech Republic sensibly dressed in wellies for the London 2012 Opening CeremonyGetty
The German team really wanted to break down gender defining barriers with their pleather jacket ensemble during London's 2012 Olympic Opening CeremonyGetty
Jamaica were a welcome surge of flouro hues in their signature tones during London's 2012 OlympicsGetty
Algeria flew their flag for retro baggy track pants in 2012Getty
Australia kept up their blazer policy in 2012Getty
The US team took style inspiration from the local barber shop quartet with their striped boaters and suits at the 1960 Rome OlympicsGetty
Germany taking time off as park rangers during the 2004 Athens OlympicsGetty
The Australia team got it spot on with fantastic star print jackets for the 2004 Athens OlympicsGetty
A member of the US team carrying his own sign for the team during the 1988 Seoul OlympicsGetty
Ankle length skirts and neat heels were the order of the day at the 1924 Paris OlympicsGetty
The Swedish team looking laid back and patriotic in yellow and blue detailed dresses for the Athens 2004 OlympicsGetty
A strong look from the Russian team as they enter the Canadian Winter Olympics in 1992Getty
The Japanese team transformed in neon butterflies for the 2000 Sydney OlympicsGetty

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