This is the moment the entire world was watching, the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics. A chance to have the honor of representing a nation-of course that can be a little nerve-racking when there are 200-plus countries trying to do exactly the same thing.
After live-tweeting for BSU at the Games, hours of rewatching the parade of nations, and researching the various stories behind the seams of these outfits, I put together my personal favorite of the top ten stylish uniforms of the 2016 Rio Opening Ceremony, sales tips, and attire for the upcoming Closing Ceremony.
Barbados. These OC uniforms were one of my personal favorites. The yellow jackets against the dark blue pants hinted at the country’s flag colors, yet they succeeded in not making the look appear messy. They displayed their gorgeous tailoring and accessorizing skills. All in all, this look was fun, colorful and cultural all in one.
Belarus. At first glance, the outfits seemed nothing special, until I replayed the video the following day of the ceremony. Belarus took the checkered pattern from their flag and applied it very nicely to the uniform shirts. This seems like a simple idea that anyone could do, but after looking at the brightness and flamboyant design of the Belarusian flag, the successful transfer made it subtle yet enticing. I can appreciate that they made representations of their flag wearable for the average individual.
Burundi. The outfits of team Burundi gave me the feeling that they were actually going to start competing right there at any minute. The athletes held wooden staffs, were covered in leopard print against the traditional native dress, yet there on their feet the wore neon green Nike sneakers. This brought the viewer’s eye around the entire outfit. At one point I got the impression that the athletes would fling their traditional outfits off and start running to victory.
Cameroon. Wearing black caps embellished with bright colors of red and orange accommodating gorgeous black dashikis of equal embellishment, this outfit was definitely eye-catching. Cameroon, like many other African countries, did a splendid job of introducing their native dress to the world, yet giving it a modern spin. (And I would definitely be first in line to purchase one of their caps.)
Cuba. Of all the nations represented at the ceremony, Cuba brought their fashion A-game. Wearing bright white and red tracksuits they ushered in a new sense of athletic leisure attire, yet still looked amazing with the casual look. Christian Louboutin and the professional handball athlete Henri Tai were the collaborative designers responsible for this outfit. They are making headlines in the high fashion world. To add icing to the cake, the team with finish strong with the new outfit attire again created by Louboutin and Tai at the closing ceremony.
Great Britain. With tennis star Andy Murray leading the way while bearing the team’s flag, I felt that this team was one of the most understated team outfits to say the least. This team as a whole was one of the more put together as both male and female athletes complemented each other very finely. The men suited in both white shirts and pants (which added a modern style to the classic look) rested under the finely-fitted double-breasted blazers. As for the ladies, they were the opposite, blue shirts rested beneath white jackets all tied together with the very epitome of the British fashion—the mini skirt. (By the way, I would love to have one of those blue mini skirts). Just like the British, this look was quaint, uniformed and modern all in one. For those readers wanting to purchase some apparel the official Team GB is offering delivery on orders over £50 ($55.92).
Indonesia. There is nothing that I can add, the outfits simply speak for themselves. Please stop what you are doing and Google the pictures of them.
Montenegro. To my surprise, the team uniform held a resemblance of costumes that were featured in the “Harry Potter film: The Goblet of Fire”. The light blue/grey outfits, complete with boater hats, were similar to the costume uniforms of the Beauxbatons magic school in the film. With that being said, this one’s for all my Harry Potter fans out there.
Refugee Olympic Team. I really admired this team not only for what they stood for, but also for the meaning behind their ties. Their ties are multicolored, meaning even nation the team is composed of is represented. It’s just wonderful.
United States. There was much speculation around the uniforms of Team USA, from the front appearing to be the Russian flag, to Michael Phelps light up jacket not being seen live. Regardless, Ralph Lauren still delivered on the classic, simplistic, all-American look that is the signature style behind his designs. For those interested in saving on Team USA apparel, the official shop for Team USA is giving 10% off to new customers on their first order. For the closing ceremony, the outfits are sporty and classic with blue/white striped t-shirts lining a button down shirt. Both male and female athletes have the choice from three colors-red, white, and blue.
South Africa. Unlike other African countries in the ceremony, South Africa introduced both streetwear funk and retro together in their bright yellow and green tracksuits. It gave the viewer the impression that some major break dancing was about to go down. As with Burundi, I find it fascinating when an outfit can give the impression that something definitely not scheduled is about to happen.
From classic miniskirts to retro tracksuits, every nation on this list had something to say through their attire, and they said it well. For the follow up of these looks, make sure to watch the newest looks for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games on Sunday, August 21st.
Gabriella Harbridge is a Ball State University student and writer for Ball State at the Games, a group of 50 journalism students traveling from Muncie, Ind., to Rio for the Olympic Games. Follow them at bsuatthegames.com, @bsuatthegames on Twitter and Instagram, and facebook.com/bsuatthegames on Facebook.