Yesterday American fashion icon Ralph Lauren went on the Today show and unveiled the uniforms Team USA athletes would be wearing at the opening ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in two weeks. The verdict? Not so great. The unis are highlighted by a patchwork cardigan that looks like a Christmas sweater your aunt bought on clearance at Khol’s. And this, combined with the fact that it retails for a whopping $598, means Americans are not going to be caught dead wearing these things.
But hey, cheer up, America. Team USA’s new Olympic sweaters may be wacky, but they’re hardly the first ridiculous, over-the-top outfits to grace the Olympic red carpet. In fact, they wouldn’t even crack the top ten when it comes to insane Olympic clothing.
Don’t believe it? Just take a look at this list of crazy Olympic uniforms and see for yourself that it couldhave been so much worse.
This is actually a tame look for the Czech Republic. Check out what they wore four years ago...
27. Czech Republic – Sochi 2014
Holy crap, Czech Republic, take it easy on the Jackson Pollack camo.
26. Czech Republic – Vancouver 2010
Well done, Ukraine. The men wore leisure suits and the women wore some kind of shirt-dress things.
25. Ukraine – London 2012
Russian paisley is weird.
24. Russia – London 2012
Team Spain had the ketchup & mustard look going in 2008.
23. Spain – Beijing 2008
Yep, bowling shirts. And they wore them again (though with a slightly different design) in 2012. Because apparently the people of New Zealand are crazy for bowling.
22. New Zealand – London 2008
The men look great. The women, on the other hand, are wearing berets (cool) and light gray kimono blazers with giant red kimono belts (not cool).
21. France – Beijing 2008
Honestly, I don't even know what to say about this one.
20. Japan – Athens 2004
And let's not forget that Team GB welcomed the world to London in 2012 wearing Elton John track suits...which was weird.
19. United Kingdom – London 2012
These jackets were cool in 1988, but now they look like something your hipster friend would wear.
18. USA – Calgary 1988
Nice dress. And hey, my grandma has some shoes like that, so...cool.
17. Poland – Beijing 2008
All the other teams wore nice outfits to the opening ceremonies in 1984, but the host country was like, "meh, whatever," and just threw on a Levi Strauss track suit.
16. USA – Los Angeles 1984
This looks like some sort of outfit from an alternate history in which the Soviet Union won the cold war and annexed the People's Republic of Canada.
15. Canada – Lillehammer 1994
It's like the head of the Moroccan Olympic committee went to the designer and said, "Look, I want every single one of our athletes to look like Lando Calrissian, okay?"
14. Morocco – Albertville 1992
Putin wanted everyone to look like Santa Clause, and since you don't [email protected]#& with Putin, everyone is going to look like Santa Clause.
13. Russia – Sochi 2014
The Tommy Bahama safari shirts are nice, but what really makes these outfits are the shoes and socks. So classy.
12. Australia – Barcelona 1992
Get it? Galoshes and umbrellas—'cause it rains all the time in London.
11. Czech Republic – London 2012
Is it just me, or is Germany trying a little too hard to prove they are totally fun and easy-going?
10. Germany – Sochi 2014
The most insane thing about these goofy yeehaw cowboy getups? They're recycled! Team USA wore almost the exact same thing four years earlier in Lake Placid.
9. USA – Sarajevo 1984
This is pretty much the Mexican equivalent of American's wearing cowboy outfits—an exaggeration of a Mexican stereotype, like the decor you'd find in some restaurant called "El Taquito Loco" in Davenport, Iowa. But hey, at least it's colorful.
8. Mexico – London 2012
"Hey, let's have the men where sharp creamy white blazers and the women wear white suits that look like they've all been shot hundreds of times!"
7. Hungary – Beijing 2008
God the 90s were AMAZING.
6. Canada – Barcelona 1992
The Canucks continued their proud tradition of wearing garish patterns at the Olympics when they wore these bad-ass pajamas to the closing ceremonies in Beijing.
5. Canada – Beijing 2008
Hey, remember when the Japanese wore those crazy rainbow capes? That was awesome.
4. Japan – Sydney 2000
Here's what the Norwegian curling team—the fashion icons of Vancouver 2010—will be wearing this year in Sochi. They're kind of amazing, but after looking at them for 15 seconds I think I'm having a seizure.
3. Norway – Sochi 2014
"Wouldn't it be amazing if we all wore tiger-print pope hats?"
2. Malaysia – London 2012
For the last couple of Olympics Team Canada has been one of the best-dressed contingents. However, we all need to remember that this wasn't always the case.