Looking Back at 60 Years of U.S. Olympic Uniforms

Source: AP
Source: AP

The upcoming winter Olympics in Sochi have already stirred up a media frenzy with threats of boycotts and bombings. But if we take a break to look at a lighter side of the games, what's truly going for the gold this year are the über-patriotic, patchwork-designed uniforms by Ralph Lauren.

Scene-stealing U.S. Olympic uniforms have been the tradition for decades, as we've sent our athletes off in style. Below is a list of the top 10 torch-worthy U.S. Olympic looks throughout the years.

1. 1952 Winter Olympics: Oslo

Our Olympic team had major style even back in the 1950s. The uniforms sported an emblem of the New Oslo City Hall with the iconic Olympic rings and the text, "The 6th Winter Olympic Games Oslo 1952."

2. 1968 Winter Olympics: Grenoble

We taught the French a thing or two about style during the 1968 Winter Olympics. Reigning ice queen Peggy Fleming took home the gold for figure skating, and looked super chic while doing it in a uniform with large side buttons and an over-sized emblem.

3. 1976 Winter Olympics: Innsbruck

This was the year of the deep red monochrome look for the U.S. Olympic uniforms. Bell-bottoms were also included, naturally.

4. 1980 Winter Olympics: Lake Placid

Designed by Levi Strauss, the 1980 U.S. Olympic uniforms (in the middle) stood out from the crowd with their bold, all-over red. Did we mention that our underdog men's ice hockey team upset the favorite Soviet team favorite and took home the gold this year, too?

5. 1984 Winter Olympics: Sarajevo

Debbie Armstrong, the first female U.S. gold medalist in alpine skiing, celebrated her win in a Levi Strauss-designed Olympic jacket. Strauss also created matching cowboy hats for the uniforms, which Debbie luckily forgot to wear during the parade thrown in her honor.

6. 1994 Winter Olympics: Lillehammer

This is one Olympic uniform that we want to forget: cowboy hats, denim jeans and puffy track jackets weren't our proudest style moment. Even for the '90s, this look was barely bronze-worthy.

7. 1998 Winter Olympics: Nagano

Christine Witty almost got lost in the too-high and wide collar of her 1998 U.S. Olympic uniform. Of course, she was celebrating her silver medal win for the women's 1000-meter speed skating event, so she probably didn't care.

8. 2002 Winter Olympics: Salt Lake City

Oh Canada! Canadian fashion company Roots was the creative driving force behind the 2002 Olympic uniforms. Is it just us or does the design on the jackets suspiciously resemble a maple leaf?

9. 2010 Winter Olympics: Vancouver

The late Jeret Peterson looked stylish and sleek in the Ralph Lauren-designed jacket, ski pants and boots during the 2010 Winter Olympics. The repetitive monograms on the ski pants were just preppy enough to cross the finish line in style.

10. 2014 Winter Olympics: Sochi

Ralph Lauren out-Ralph Laurened himself with this year's Winter Olympics uniform, featuring a patchwork of a deconstructed American flag and a ton of over-sized stars. America the beautiful indeed.

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Candy Washington

Actor, host, entertainment and fashion writer, and 'Pop culture with style' founder, Candy Washington is a highly sought-after resource for her witty, trendy, and always entertaining style and pop culture expertise. Candy has interviewed top industry influencers including NBC’s Today Show’s style and beauty expert Bobbie Thomas, NBC’s Fashion Star winner Kara Laricks, Teen Vogue’s Eva Chen and Elaine Welteroth, NBC's Dancing with the Star’s Dean Banowetz, ABC’s fashion and style expert Lilliana Vazquez, and Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York’s Jill Zarin, and has appeared on ABC 7 as a film and entertainment expert. She is also the founder of a popular fashion, style, and entertainment website that was profiled Cision, the industry’s go-to standard for media professionals. Candy is also a brand ambassador for Style in View, has a bi-weekly column in Ms. In the Biz, and contributes to FashionEdits. She has also contributed to popular publications such as Fashionista, The Fashion Spot, MarketingDaily’s MediaPost, RunwaytoRetail, and PROJECT NY. Candy has also held fashion public relations positions at Louis Vuitton and buying and merchandising positions at Urban Outfitters, Inc. Additionally, she has acted in numerous short films, television shows, and videos, such as Ice Cube produced, Are We There Yet? and Eggs Over Easy that premiered at The New Orleans Films Festival. Candy is a graduate of Georgetown University.

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