Here's What Team USA's Summer Olympics Uniforms Have Looked Like Over the Past 50 Years
Every four years, we get to see Team USA show off their incredible athleticism ... and more than a few questionable hat choices at the opening ceremony
If one thing is clear about the designers behind the Team USA Olympics opening ceremony uniforms, it's that they love a patriotic blazer. In 1972, female athletes got to pair their red blazers with a chic white tennis skirt, while male athletes wore white blazers with red pants.
In 1976, Halston — known for his disco-era looks — outfitted Team USA for the winter and summer Olympics. The sleek suits with wide-legged trousers made the Olympians look like they really meant business. And Halston also designed women's white zip-up jackets with an oh-so-'70s collar and red, white and blue neck scarf.
Los Angeles, 1984
Let's get physical! In 1984, Team USA suited up in patriotic sweatsuits with a matching red visor. The athletic uniforms were courtesy of Levi Strauss, who actually put several styles up for a vote. The people spoke (in true American fashion), asking for "active" uniforms (also in true American fashion).
In 1988, female members of Team USA looked like they were all headed to a sock hop after the games were through: They wore powder blue and white sweaters with white skirts and a tiny red ribbon around their collar. Men had the tried and true uniform of a navy blazer and white pants.
In 1992, Team USA looked dapper in royal blue double-breasted blazers and khakis, completing their opening ceremony outfits with red, white and blue wingtip shoes and a white hat.
In 1996, the Olympics were taking place in Atlanta, which meant that it was Team USA's time to shine. The men wore navy blazers and khaki pants with red neckties, while the women sported longline red blazers with floor-length navy skirts and navy neck scarves. No one was exempt from wearing the white cap with a red ribbon.
In 2000, the Olympians wore a mixture of red and navy blazers with white fedoras. (Why didn't anyone talk them out of the fedoras?!)
The men wore khaki slacks, while the women donned navy, mid-length skirts. Everyone wore a red, white and blue scarf around their neck, though some chose to tie theirs like a bowtie while others wore them open.
Canadian brand Roots designed uniforms that were particularly fitting for 2004. The basketball warm-up jackets emblazoned with USA on the back were worn by all, while women had navy skirts and men had navy athletic pants.
Just one more look at these uniforms (and those hats) from the front.
In 2008, Ralph Lauren began designing Team USA's uniforms, marking a changeover in designers, though somehow the team managed to keep their newsboy caps ... Were they going to the Olympics or auditioning for Newsies?
The look included the classic Americana charm of Ralph Lauren with cream trousers, single-breasted navy blazers with the Olympic logo and red, white and blue neckties or scarves.
In 2012, Team USA's uniforms were once again designed by Ralph Lauren, and once again included some interesting headgear: The team donned navy berets for the Opening Ceremony.
As for the rest of the uniform, the team stuck with their navy blazers (this time double-breasted) and patriotic neckties, but the men sported white pants white the female athletes wore knee-length white skirts. The uniforms were met with backlash because, though designed by an American designer, they were made in China.
In 2016, Ralph Lauren ditched the hats and added a red, white and blue striped T-shirt and matching boat shoes.
This year, Ralph Lauren designed Team USA's opening ceremony uniforms with innovation in mind, using RL COOLING technology in the clothes to combat Tokyo's summer heat. The ensembles feature fitted navy blazers over striped shirts, with a red, white and blue belt made from recycled plastic bottles.
For the closing ceremony, Team USA will wear traditional white Ralph Lauren polos (does anyone do a polo shirt better than Lauren?), white pants, a red, white and blue belt and a white hooded jacket with the American flag on the arm.