Oh to Be a Muse | Bay Area Fashion Blogger Inspiring Style: 2012 Olympics: Fashion Through the Years

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2012 Olympics: Fashion Through the Years


With the 2012 Summer Olympics starting today, I'm sure you all have heard about the flak that American designer Ralph Lauren has gotten over the past few weeks for his ill-designed U.S. team opening ceremony uniforms. I must admit, when I first saw the clothes on TMZ (yes, TMZ), I didn't think they looked horrible...but then I started to analyze.

Why is it so stiff? Why the lack of red? Berets aren't American, are they? Is the polo logo necessary?

I think the U.S. uniforms could have been done much better if a few things were changed. Ralph Lauren makes polo-style clothes, but I don't know if that's an advantage or disadvantage. And they don't look any different from the 2008 style, which is probably my biggest peeve. Furthermore, we recently found out that the clothes weren't even made in America. Not saying I wish Ralph were more like Dov Charney, but maybe the American Apparel designer might have been a better fit. Ralph has stated that he plans to have all uniforms made in America for the 2014 Olympics.

Anyhoo, with all my ranting aside, let's check out U.S. Olympic fashion through the years courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

~ 1920 ~
I know these are U.S. uniforms, but for some reason they just make me want to say fraulein. The hats are appropriate for the time and very cute, but you wouldn't even know these ladies were athletes.
~ 1936 ~
You can tell that these ladies were a bit spunkier. Afterall, prohibition had ended. I spy cinched waists and cute Mary Janes that make this fashion pop.
~ 1968 ~
For some reason, I think this look is uber stylish. I know it's a bit Star Trek, but I am diggin' the leggings and the side buttons on the jackets. 1968 Olympics fashion: I want to go to there.
 ~ 1984 ~
I don't know if you can tell but everyone is wearing cowboy hats, cowboy boots, cowboy everything. I must say, the theme is very American, but stylish...not so much. Everyone reminds me of John Travolta in Urban Cowboy (although I do love that movie).
 ~ 1992 ~
I have no words. OK, I have words, but not many. Don't add a hat to an ensemble just to add a hat. Know how to accessorize. Go Blue!
 ~ 2012 ~
Now this I like a little better. My only wish is that the polo logo wasn't so "in your face" on the shirts. It's about the team and the country, not the brand. Gymnast McKayla Maroney is so cute and tiny though!
Which year is your favorite? For me, it's a toss up between '36 and '68.
Any thoughts on the Ralph Lauren controversy?
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Just had to add this Olympic look by The Netherlands this year that my friend showed me because it is haute!

More Musings

41 musings

  1. I agree with you, I like '36 and '68 too, they look super sweet!! '92 is quite hysterical, that made me laugh. Karl Malone looks like his jacket is a size too big or something. The new team outfits are nice and I like them, but I don't like the big logo on the front either, it should be about them, not Ralph Lauren. Have a great weekend xx

  2. For sure, the style has changed by the years, but Ralph Lauren has always been talented, I love their creations!! It's so smart and elegant :)

  3. I sort of hated the new Ralph Lauren uniforms. And I love this look back at fashion history (is it weird that I'm sort of into the Star Trek looking ones?).

    Courtney ~ http://sartorialsidelines.com

  4. I'm a plain Jane sometimes, I'm digging the 1936 look ad 2012 is fine for me :)


  5. I like the "Star Trek" ones, as you put it! The new ones are cool, sometimes simple is best :)

  6. Nice post - I am working on a similar post for my freelance assignment! Honestly, I didn't like RL outfits- they look so European, not American..I mean I have never seen American males wear a beret for crying out loud..LOL!! And what about the flight attendant-esque scarves for women??
    Hope you are having a wonderful day!
    Style-Delights Blog
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  7. Cheryl, this was an excellent post. I enjoyed looking at the olympic uniforms of the past. I LOVE Ralph Lauren's olympic uniforms. They're stylish, they have class, and feel they will look good on everyone. RL can do no wrong in my book. As regards to made in China, hell if everyone would take a look in their house over half of it already is (unless you make it a point to watch EVERYthing you buy). Personally, if you look at some of the outfits that designers from other countries put together for their country I think everyone would back off. I love Stella McCartney, but the English nearly had a heart attack when they saw her designs. I as well.

  8. it's great to see how the olypmic fashion has been evolving. RL is the epitome of american fashion. :)

    hope you have a nice wknd!

  9. Amazing post, darling!
    Love the blue blazers!


  10. Oh my! You're right... those first ones are rather stiff... eww..

    All in all, I rather prefer the modern ones! ;)

    Interesting post! Enjoyed the variety!

  11. Love your picks, the 30s one really has style and personality. Not lovin the Star Trek one as much. And you are totally right about the hats and berets. What is up?! I'd hate to wear that on the BIGGEST STAGE! I like 2012 because much simpler. I don't like jackets and stuff for the Olympics. Poor RP for getting slack!

  12. I'm not digging this year's attire, but can't wait for the opening ceremony. Hopefully it's not delayed here in Cali.

  13. I am not that negative on the ralph lauren uniforms...but I am italian so maybe I am not capturing all the controversy reasons :-)) Gee the star treck ones are so cool!
    Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger

  14. Honestly, I get a lot of my news from TMZ as well:)

    I love the 1936 outfits. When I look at 1968, all I can thinkg is "Beam me up Scotty"


  15. i like 1968! lol what were they thinking?


  16. Cool pics & Blog!!! xoxo from Rome


    Ps. Follow each other on GFC and Bloglovin???

  17. Really enjoyed this post! Love the vintage fashion xxx

  18. it is interesting to see all the fashion through the years! This year's costumes are so so.

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  19. Hey dear, what a great post! Its so interesting to see the uniform evolve over the years. I had no idea there were issues with the new uniform, I also thought it looked rather chic. 1936 was so pretty, can't believe those were actual sports wear! The Dutch uniform looks like part of a fashion collection!

  20. oh this is such a neat idea, supposedly history always repeats itself right? :D


  21. I completely agree with the RL thing. I don't know why his logo is soooo big:0 Anyhoo, I actually really like the 1984 one with the cowboy style, just coz it looks like the most fun:)
    Thanks for sharing these pics, Cheryl. It's great to see how the uniforms evolved.

  22. The Olympic look by The Netherlands is fantastic - I love the colors! And I'm kind of digging the 1968 Olympics style! :)

  23. Ah the Dream Team from 92, although the suits and hats are a bit questionable, just look at John Stockton ha ha. I actually quite like the US teams wears for the Olympics, it is a bit preppy but still looks polished.

    I guess in 20 years time though we may look back and think they looked, again... questionable.

  24. Cheryl,

    I am loving this post!! This was very informative because I had no clue about the controversy ooopppps!!

    I am loving all the classic looks and I think the huge Polo was a bit tacky but it's all about branding so I could see where he was going with this.

    I was disappointed that the uniforms were not made here in America. Bummer!!

    Great post Cheryl!!

  25. There were some great uniforms yesterday but I didn't like Team US wearing a beret... What was the reason for it??? Haha!

  26. Nice look i like so much the combinations and style.

  27. I agree - the berets were definitely different, but overall the look looked very throwback from another era! I am loving those Polo shirts, though.

    How did I not see that Netherlands' look before?! Amazing!

    Hope you're having a great weekend! :)

    sorelle in style

  28. Interesting ... I had no idea about the few of these looks! I guess in this case, I would say the older the better, eh? :)

    ∞ © tanvii.com ∞

  29. I love the new ones!!!^^


  30. Extremely interesting. I've never thought of this. Wow. I definitely must say it was a great read! :D Brilliant Cheryl!


    New post is up!

  31. Things sure have changed, mostly for the better, and I don't see a problem with China making our clothes if it's cheaper.



  32. just found your blog and love your aesthetic! and hey i actually just started a new blog. i'd love if you could come check it out and follow, if you like!!


    ps: if you do follow, let me know by commenting and leaving your url on my most recent post. then i'll skip right over to follow you back :]

  33. Great articLe! I've always found the Olympic uniforms to be a let down, so I'm not surprised the newest ones weren't great. Oh well. Maybe next time they'll give the project to someone more interesting.

  34. So interesting to see the fashion in the Olympics over the years!

  35. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I didn't realize the Olympics have been going for this long. Wow!

  36. Wow, that was such an interesting post! Love seeing all the fashion statements (some good, some bad...) over the years!

  37. It's interesting to see how things have changed over the years..Thanks for sharing!

  38. Awww...i love seeing how people's style evolved. I think you look adorable in all of them! Cute style Cheryl!


  39. My favorite has to be 1936! I do love that Netherlands look though! Thanks for sharing that!

  40. Cool post :) I love the 1938 ones :)
    Have you seen italian ones? From Emporio Armani Sport...damn, so sad!! ALL BLACKS!!! So strange see italy not in blue but in black!!


  41. Great post hun, I love the 68's one!


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