Top Five Uniforms at Sochi

Ian Payette

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Athletic competition, or fashion show? How about both? The Olympics have long been a platform for designers to capture what a country is all about, in cloth. Sochi 2014 was no exception. Many nations revealed their uniforms prior to the games, but you can only truly judge them by watching the Parade of Nations with the athletes wearing them with pride. Many designers have chosen to push the boundaries this year at Sochi, and some have asked if it was a response to all the controversy surrounding Putin and his “gay propaganda “laws? Below is listed the worst to best picks I found from the Olympics, starting with number 5.

Number 5: USA

American uniform

The United Sates uniform encompasses everything they are about in one outfit; themselves. Well, by themselves I mean the USA, and its splendor, and stars..and stripes. Though not the complete worst of all the Olympic uniforms, it left me asking why? What was the designer thinking? The wool cardigan/sweater looked like something my grandma would have sewn up. It could have been nice if it was not paired with those odd fitting pants, with long socks and big old boots at the bottom. Nevertheless, you definitely knew what nation this was. Whether following a big old flag in the Parade of Nations, or simply walking around Sochi, this outfit screams America.

Number 4: Russia.

Russian Uniform

Though a good attempt, the Russian uniforms were not anything special compared to those of other nations. The uniforms made the men look like they were ready to go down a ski hill. The female athletes do not look comfortable in the attempt at a traditional robe that they were asked to wear, coupled with what looked like red flannel pants. Overall, I give it a “meh”. Considering that Russia was the host nation, I was expecting something more, such as the traditional robe but in white, giving the outfit a sleeker look. The same goes for the men; something much more suave would have suited those proud faces, rather than something that looks like it came straight from the “on sale” pile in an Adidas store.

Number 3: Italy.

Italy 2014

There is something about Italy’s uniform that I love; it is simple and suave. When you have Giorgio Armani designing your uniform, you know it is going to be nothing less than great. The deep blue really compliments the white stripes and patches, the unity and the design is really fantastic. Everyone basically has the same thing (although  the women’s outfit is a little more form fitting, of course) and they truly look like a team ready to bring the gold back home to Italy, in style.

Number 2: Canada.

Canada 2014

Canada rolled up in a sleek uniform this year designed by The Hudson’s Bay Company; it includes the traditional deep red that we have all come to recognize as “Canada”. Along with the jacket we have the simple black pants and iconic gloves first designed for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and a nice red toque with “Canada” written across it. It is safe to say the Canadians were one of the best looking nations at Sochi; minimalism seems to be what the best at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games looks like. The look and the way it was sported at the Parade of Nations seem to reflect the immense national pride Canada had for its athletes in 2010.

Finally, number 1.

France 2014

Does France even have to try to look good at the Olympic Games anymore? I think not. Being the fashion capital of the world, they seem to have it in their pockets. Literally, look at those pockets! The Olympic uniform for France plays on the modern, relatively “formal” idea of clothing, with the top being a layered down blazer, sported with a casually tied in scarf. The women have a belt attached to this blazer, making it appear a little more feminine and complimentary to a woman’s figure. But what I love the most are those beige khaki pants; sleek, modern, formal but also casual at the same time. Whoever selected those pants is a very smart human being, as they go perfectly with the grey blazer top, and the white “Vans” type shoes. It is simply perfect.

The uniform style at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics varied drastically by culture, and it is easy to tell. The Russian’s stuck to a mediocre uniform, not usually known for being all bling and colorful. The Americans represented America and you could tell a mile away, and France came out on top rocking the sleek blazer and beige pants combo that captured a lot of people’s attention. The Parade of Nations has been an integral part of showing a nations culture off to the world through fashion and style, and the Sochi Winter Olympics proved to be no different.


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Top Five Uniforms at Sochi