Fug and Fab the Opening Ceremony: The Outfits


fug-or-fab

Same caveat as with the flag-bearers post: If I tried to cover every country being represented, the slideshow would be 205 pages, and you would all want to throttle me. Plus, there were a lot of very plain pants. And y’all know I love pants, and value their contributions to society, but there are only so many pairs of them I can talk about in a day. You understand.

[Photos: Getty]

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Comments (109):

  1. ljm
    0

    Unfortunately Roots hasn’t done the uniforms for the Canadian Olympic Team for the last few Olympics, you can blame The Bay (HBC) for the mom khakis.

    • Steph
      0

      Came in to say the same thing- it’s HBC. I think the government is considering deportation if you don’t own a piece of Olympic HBC clothing.

      • Nicola
        0

        While the jackets may not be overly original (and the slouchy khakis are obviously terrible), I do love that the Canadian uniforms are always so very wearable. I will almost certainly own one of the jackets to wear while yelling at the Men’s 8s!

        • Kris M
          0

          I’m a little torn. I do like that I can buy the stuff from the Bay, and I really like the tracksuits the athletes are wearing at competitions, but seeing the other countries’ outfits makes me wish our outfits were a little classier or edgier for the ceremonies. It makes us kind of look… plain.

        • The Ghost of Versace
          0

          I miss the days of Roots! I do agree that our winter gear by HBC generally looks better. And I kinda like these, it could be because the 2008 opening ceremonies stuff was so horrible that I’ll take anything.

  2. Sonya
    0

    Being a University of Florida alumni, I sincerely loved the outfits of The Netherlands. I also need that orange trenchcoat!

    • Heather
      0

      I had that SAME thought. They’re like global Gator fans.

    • Sonya
      0

      Ack! I meant to say “alumnus”!

      • Julie
        0

        You probably meant ‘alumna’ anyway, if you’re a girl (sorry to be that person).

        • Anna
          0

          I *love* that person.

        • Sonya
          0

          While I don’t mind being corrected at all, I don’t think it was necessary to add that last bit.Yes, I am a girl. Next time I will just use “alum.”

    • Erin
      0

      That was my first comment watching Friday night — Must have that trench!! I also dig Guam’s maxi dresses.

  3. ak
    0

    I should be working, but instead I’ve dropped in twice today to read your Olympics coverage, and boy, did it not disappoint. Gilded pits? Menstrual accidents? Horizontal stripes? All hilarious. And HONESTLY, Ralph Lauren: who wear socks with Keds?? That’s, like, fourth grade 101.

    • Francesca
      0

      Au contraire on the Keds and socks (well, for the most part) – aside from the 4th grade style, it’s also a very American sporting look circa 1930′s. I thought that’s what Ralph Lauren was going for with the berets, jackets and skirt length. Now, if the team starts name-calling and getting into spitball fights, then I’ll concede and grant you the 4th grade look.

      • Peg of Tilling
        0

        Yes, a 1930s sporting look, with “we will golf in buttoned wool jackets because it was good enough for my sainted ancestors and it’s good enough for me!” Stadler & Waldorf patented cement shoes. There were just so many *things* in that uniform, especially in the women’s uniform–beret *and* scarf *and* blazer *and* bobby socks–they looked a bit stuffed.

  4. Orange Clouds
    0

    Sweden looks like the Scandinavian version of “Where is Wally?” Just saying.

  5. thereset
    0

    Not sure how to make Fug Madness an Olympic sport, but Fug Nation 2016 should really try and make it happen. Snarkiness is more popular in high school than handball, so if handball can be in the Olympics, I really don’t see why fugging can’t.

    • Karen G
      0

      I’d love to represent Fug Nation in fencing. I’ve never fenced before, but it looks fun!

  6. Steph
    0

    I thought Team USA did a lovely homage to Air France flight attendents.

  7. Kit
    0

    BUT WHO WILL FUG NATION SEND ON OUR BEHALF???!!! *frets*

    (Also, to compete in what sport?)

  8. Amber
    0

    I hate the American outfits. Just hate. From the berets to the white socks and white keds, just ugh.
    Love the orange pants on the Dutch men, but ONLY on the Dutch men.
    I like the lady Germans’ jackets (I like pink, what can I say?), but holy not Olympic opening cermonies appropriate. To totally abandon your country’s colors AND dress your athletes in baby colors? Fail.
    I think overall, a lot of the outfits were boring (USA included). It’s the OLYMPICS. Go big. Mexico did a great job of that.

    • Megan
      0

      Agreed. I thought the military look was too aggressive, especially for an international competition.

      I was thinking about how difficult it would be to dress any nation’s team. I think the problem is that you’re not just dressing one or two people; you might be dressing several hundreds in the same outfit style and color scheme. It looks fine for someone to wear a suit, but if you have 500 people from the same country wearing the same style and color scheme, it just looks like a bunch of stockbrokers marching out to lunch. KWIM?

  9. Eliza Bennett
    0

    If Fug Nation gets recognized for the Olympics, can the flag be Bai Ling’s face? I recommend Kourtney Kardashian for flagbearer in Robyn’s wedge/platform sneakers.

  10. Michelle
    0

    There must be a Finland/tin-land joke in there somewhere . . .

  11. Jean
    0

    God, on behalf of Germany, I apologize to the world. These outfits really are horrible.

    • luxsword
      0

      They were. ;-)
      Also, I thought Germany was sorta feminist, using blue and pink was so… uhm… well, I’ll shut up.

      • Jean
        0

        Ugh, I know. I swear to God, we do not sort females and males by colour normally :D

        • Julie
          0

          You know, I really thought Team GB had it in the bag for worst dressed until Germany stepped out. That was just weird.

    • Bubba
      0

      THANK YOU for pointing out the lack of progressiveness in Germany’s baby blue and pink outfits. I watched approximately 10 minutes of the Opening Ceremony and it was when the German athleties came in to the stadium and I gasped.

  12. Maria
    0

    Yes, the flag must be Bai Ling’s face. Can someone please get started designing that right away?!

  13. Michael Jacobs
    0

    Apparently Germans now have a thing against showing national pride, so while they have their very small flags they won’t wear Germany’s flag color. Hence the baby blue and pink Old Navy jackets.

  14. em
    0

    No Israel? Yea, they were boring, but the Olympics bring out my national pride and I know some people on the team!

  15. luxsword
    0

    Mexico were fun and Djibouti really nice. I wish you’d shown many african countries, some had marvelous clothes. All the other you showed are at best boring as hell.

  16. Kris
    0

    I can’t believe you left out Trinidad? Those ladies had on really nice dresses that were true to the flag but it worked!

    • Heather
      0

      I just couldn’t — there were 4,000 photos. People were going to get left out. I didn’t MEAN to leave out everyone, but I did want to focus a bit more on the crazy than the fab in this post since I fabbed most of the torch-bearers.

  17. Katie Lynn
    0

    I thought that there were some AMAZING accessories at the parade of nations. There were some really cool scarves tied around men’s wrists of one nation (I can’t remember because SO MANY COUNTRIES!) and there were these really cool yellow and pink scarves the women of one country were wearing. AND THOSE BOOTS! I want a pair!

  18. Lesley
    0

    My vote goes to The Netherlands! That orange is to die for. They look uber-classy

  19. Geography_4ever!
    0

    Geography pedant says, “ColOmbia. Sheesh.”

    • Angie
      0

      I was about to post the same. Since it is my husband’s country and all I respectfully demand it be spelled correctly (pretty please?)

      • Julie
        0

        Me too, since I am in pedantic mood.

        • Heather
          0

          I fixed it — sorry, I do actually know that, but I was on auto-pilot cutting and pasting from Getty and they actually did have it wrong.

        • Maria
          0

          I thought it was the contingent from Columbia sportswear..isn’t it? I totally saw those skirts in a hiking catalog…..

  20. Nanea
    0

    Another German apologizing.

    Seriously, I have no idea why the picked Willy Bogner to design something for the summer Olympics. He was a successful skier in the last millennium, and is renowned for ski wear that was used e.g. in Bond movies.

    But at a time when Jil Sander is back, when we have Kaiser Karl and so many young, promising designers, this is what they came up with?

  21. Ashley
    0

    I am so glad you loved Mexico’s outfits. When I saw them, I literally
    squealed with delight. They capture the country’s personality PERFECTLY (speaking as a proud Mexican, here)

  22. mue
    0

    The Mexicans have the best uniform, and the best in parade performance. Norway comes close.

  23. Kate
    0

    For a moment I thought Ukraine had dressed its athletes as firemen. Now I just don’t know what they’re supposed to be.

    I wish the Russians HAD broken out in some harmonies. That would have been epic.

    • Molly
      0

      How long has Russia been a federation? I kept looking for Klingons and Borg.

  24. Jacquilynne
    0

    I think the Czech boots are the Norwegian curling pants of this year’s Olympics. As in: they are awesome, and I want them.

    Also, I think it was very, very polite of the Brits to wear such hideous clothes, so as not to outshine any of their guests. That kind of class can not be overvalued. It’s as good as gold arm pits.

  25. ceecee
    0

    Who were all the girls in floaty dresses, white gloves and flowered headdresses? They look like they are all auditioning for the part of Tatiana in A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. Pretty but not really athletic.

    • Julie
      0

      They’re carrying the ‘petals’, which at the end all joined together to make the amazing cauldron. It was lovely to watch.

  26. Lauren Dolezal
    0

    I don’t think I am the only Australian that thought they saw their grandmother’s lawn bowls uniform when the Aussie team came into the stadium. Green blazers are pretty standard (tons of rep teams wear them) but the combo with white skirt-suits was snoozeville

    • Verity
      0

      Yes! Me too re bowls club – also that they just took the cricket team uniform and made the coat a little darker..
      & Heather; Green and Gold are our national colours – based on a plant, of course.

      • Heather
        0

        Yay, I had no idea — what an interesting factoid, since the flag is red white and blue.

        • Nicole
          0

          The Golden Wattle.
          Kind of shocked you’ve never noticed they were green and gold to compete in the Olympics. You never see Australian athletes in anything else, especially red/white/blue

        • Heather
          0

          Nicole: yeah, I never did — I mean, if I think about it, yeah, yellow swim caps, but frankly, and I don’t mean this as an insult at all, I never really did notice.

  27. Cortney
    0

    Was it just me or did the Canadian group look like they’d just gotten off shift at Target?

    • Billie
      0

      HA! I said they looked like they just came from Sport Chalet, which I believe has the same uniform.

  28. Barbara
    0

    How could you leave out Tonga? Business on the top, luau on the bottom.

    http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/UxUsxd_wkbO/2012+Olympic+Games+Opening+Ceremony/RBZqbWErGez/Amini+Fonua

  29. vandalfan
    0

    Lauer (or Costas?) said that the Czechs were paying homage to their favorite Monty Python characters, The Gumbys. They should have added knotted handkerchiefs on their heads.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gumbys

  30. Cat
    0

    Don’t mind the US berets, but I HATE the skirt length and the bobby socks! Ewww.

    Loved: Norway, Sweden (don’t hate, rugby shirts are cool!), the Netherlands (I need the orange trenchcoat!) and Mexico. Additionally, the independent athletes were hysterical.
    Freaking loved the Czech rain boots. Where can I get a pair?

    WTF to Germany and their boy/girl outfits. I understand that national pride can still kind of be a sore spot, but seriously, they could wear something else (anything else) and looked better. Another WTF goes to the gilded pits of Team GB. For one, it’s awful and two, it seems a little on the nose, doesn’t it? And the Spanish ladies looked like flight attendants.

    Honestly, I found the outfits to be a bit disappointing this go-around. Lots of blazers and slacks, yawn. You would have thought France and/or Italy would have pulled out something awesome and chic.

    • Maggie
      0

      “it seems a little on the nose, doesn’t it? ”

      I think it went all the way past ‘on the nose’ and solidly into the realm of ‘incredibly tacky’. Walking INTO the Olympics wearing gold (lamé) around your neck and head? Am I the only one who finds that kind of appalling, and from the host nation of all people?

      I mean, I might have been willing to overlook it (or more likely, wouldn’t have noticed) had the design itself been good enough, but clearly that wasn’t going to happen with those outfits.

  31. Libby
    0

    As swell as that 30′s look is close to being (the socks are a bridge too far), as a Colorado gal, I miss the ten gallon hats. It’s like Boston Brahmin resort wear vs. rugged Western outdoors wear. I prefer the latter.

  32. Aria
    0

    I liked USA’s look, I agree with whoever said it was supposed to American sporting look circa 1930′s. Also liked Mexico, S. Africa, Netherland (I do love that orange trench!), and I liked the Belgian ladies, but I didn’t see what the Belgian men wore and was curious how the ladies’ looks translated. Have to say, was diappointed in the British and German outfits.

  33. Liz
    0

    I have seriously never laughed so hard at one of your comments as I did for Poland’s outfit comment. Dying!

  34. Amelie
    0

    Yet another German feeling the dire need to apologise.
    And to think I was hopeful after having heard that the outfits would not be grey again…

  35. Janie
    0

    Hey, picture 25 shows that awesome blue lady from Oman! I was wondering if I had hallucinated her …

  36. Sandra
    0

    The Independent Olympics Athletes are from places that don’t have an official Olympic committee to attend meetings and line up sponsors. Their countries have not been dissolved.

    Which means:
    FugNation just needs a committee, not an actual country. Who wants to be Chairperson of the FNOC?

  37. Alice
    0

    I am a little confused on why Caster is wearing the boy-version jacket, with the blue panel?

  38. Ann
    0

    Love love love Belgium and the Netherlands’. However, my vote must objectively go to Fiji. Eh hem.

    http://sg.news.yahoo.com/photos/fijis-flag-bearer-josateki-naulu-holds-national-flag-photo-223718815.html

  39. Ann
    0

    No mention of San Marino? Yes, boring in color, but talk about dapper and ridiculously well fitted (with handbags!) http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/UxUsxd_wkbO/2012+Olympic+Games+Opening+Ceremony/Onku5FqL2br

  40. Newb
    0

    As a Canadian, I thought our uniforms really caught the essence of what it means to be Canadian. Casual, comfortable, warm, unassuming, slightly boring, with a side of “We don’t get dressed up for anyone.” But the gold lame British uniforms? HORRIBLE!

  41. Elizabeth E.
    0

    The hundred-meter pants-a-thon. The hot pants hurdles. The fromage dressage. We’ve got this, Fug Nation. We’ve got this.

  42. Edith
    0

    Netherlands wins this running away. Not just the awesome trenchcoats, but the fabulous bright blue dresses the women sported under them. Fabulous use of national colors without literally wearing the flag, and it’s a pretty universally flattering silhouette. As a first-generation-American child of two German parents, I feel qualified to posit: just imagine, Germany, how awesome that would’ve looked with your really-quite-fabulous schwartz/rot/gold colors? Little black dress, red trench. Black pants, red vests, gold ties for the men. There’s a world of difference between pride and nationalism. You’re there representing your country; it’s okay to be proud of it. It’s not okay to make adults color code by gender.

    Wish you’d featured more of the African nations. I suggested to my husband that all nations should have to wear robes – to which he replied, “Like delegations on Star Trek!” Yes, honey. Like that….

  43. asb
    0

    You missed the SHORTS. The SHORTS. They look like they turned up in just their boxers… Just LOOK!

  44. marcia
    0

    Ok, so I’d calmed down from my earlier Bob Costas diatribe and then you went and mentioned the Djibouti snark and I am incensed again. I am done with him. And maybe it was Lauer. Done with both of them. Because after somebody makes an ill-advised joke about Kim Jong-il, (“har dee har, he claimed to get 11 holes in one in his first ever round of golf,”) the human response to that from the other guy in the broadcast booth is, “well, these athletes have worked hard to be here and aren’t responsible for having a crazy tyrant leading their county, asshat,” not “chuckle chuckle chuckle.” BECAUSE IT’S NOT FUNNY.

    • TC
      0

      THANK YOU. Ever sine Costas raked 20 year old Jacobellis across the coals in such a smug yet aggressive manner, he annoys my SOUL (a difficult task, indeed). I need to find your diatribe so I can bitch further. Also, his styling hasn’t changed In years.

  45. Tia Chocolate
    0

    WHERE IS BELIZE??
    I have been trolling ALL day hoping you’d have an image up of our 3 lovely athletes in their gorgeous outfits (okay…I was hoping you’d give your honest opinion…)
    come ONNNNNNNNNNN! :D please and thank you!!!

  46. Ann
    0

    I liked the Aussie’s outfits. They weren’t costumes and they looked appropriate for the occasion. And everything here is green and gold! I’m just glad they avoided the temptation of going with yellow/gold trousers and went with the white. While they do look like bowls uniforms, I still think they looked great :)

  47. Heather
    0

    Again, very sorry if I left people out! I just couldn’t — there were too many, and I was mostly going for the ones that didn’t inspire me. I don’t know. It was just a lot, and I’ll be honest, I was also mildly terrified of not liking some of the fancier native-inspired silhouettes, attempting to express some kind of lighthearted criticism of it, and then accidentally infuriating people with my ignorance. Although in the end I already did that today, so maybe I should have just relaxed.

    • Tia Chocolate
      0

      she is human after all…teehee…I’m teasing…no worries…turns out some other blog put Belize on it’s best dressed list…yay us… :) (we’re already out of Judo – I didn’t even KNOW that was part of our athletics…and Friday shall remain glued to the screen to see if our girl does miracles in track…hopefully, she’ll erase the Marion Jones scandale with a decent showing… :) xx)

  48. Mahastee
    0

    Hm, sometimes my posts disappear.

    What I said was that your posts are fabulous, you’ve put in a marathon effort with the Olympics coverage so far, and I totally get that you can’t give attention to every. single. team.

    Time to retire to the fictional 1930′s garden by the pool with a gin & tonic.

  49. Laura E.
    0

    Whichever company made Netherland’s outfits needs to mass produce those orange trenchcoats.

  50. Hat88
    0

    Heather, Aussies have been doing green and gold for a while. This link is a fine example

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/london-games/gallery-e6frgdg6-1226312228247?page=8

  51. Miss Tee
    0

    Am I the only one whose eyes zoomed immediately onto the crotch of the male Czech Olympian in the background? Yes? Ok. I’m the resident perv.

  52. Kiti
    0

    Slide #21 – I’m pretty sure that Colombia went for boring city-safari outfits to distract viewers from the fact that the only things most people know about Colombia are the drug wars and the Secret Service hooker-gate.

  53. Lindsey
    0

    This is fabulous! I squealed and clapped with glee when I saw the Independent Athletes. The Olympics need more interpretive dance – including the sprinkler and running man, which I swear I saw.

  54. Sajorina
    0

    I agree, Mexico did it best! And, no, I am not Mexican! Btw, “The Gilded Pits” and
    “Armpits Surprise” are great band’s names!

  55. Rebekah
    0

    Haha. When I saw Sweden I told my husband “Even their outfits look like they came from IKEA!”

    Nigeria was my favorite hands-down, at least for the women. Those dresses were gorgeous, and I loved how they were dancing down the track!

  56. Maria T.
    0

    Heather, stop apologizing, you did a great job, as always!! I loved, loved, loved the Czechs and the Netherlanders (Netherlandians?)… So much fun to see the cramazing outfits they put on, because in every single case, they are all so damn proud and excited to be there it makes it just a fun party!

    • Beth M.
      0

      People of the Netherlands are called Dutch (or “Nederlanders,” IN Dutch).

  57. Molly
    0

    My husband and I are old enough to remember when the nations paraded into the stadium – in formation with lines and in step. I guess that’s too martial nowadays? anyway, it also makes it difficult to see the WOW of some of the outfits.

  58. mva
    0

    Have to agree that the Canadian uniforms are dowdy and unoriginal. HBC is well described in general as dowdy and unoriginal. Roots did a much better job of it in the past and made a fortune selling the merchandise as well at very inflated prices. The khakis are particularly horrible and the hoodies lack imagination and style. Disappointing. This is why HBC will not survive the invasion of the US retailers. People here in Canada cannot wait for stores like Target to open their CDN locations (btw, Target is taking over many Zellers locations – Zellers is a sub-brand of HBC). Also, some other big name brands like J Crew and Ann Taylor are heading North or are already here. All they have to do now is charge CDN customers the same prices as they do in the US and we’ll flock to them like crazy. HBC don’t even have a good website and online ordering system. Their lack of initiative is really apparent on that front. They really have no competition for the Olympic uniform contract and so can do as little as possible to put out a good collection.
    Hope the CDN Olympic team does really, really well and show themselves to be the topnotch athletes we know they are, both on the field and off. Go Canada Go!

  59. Lily1214
    0

    Love it, love it, love it.

  60. Nora
    0

    This was probably explained at the beginning of the ceremony, but what were the dresses on the British women carrying the signs bearing each country’s name? This pressing concern is proving totally ungoogleable.

    • Neil
      0

      The dresses were showing the faces of people who auditioned to be dancers in the Opening Ceremony but didn’t make the cut – Danny Boyle did it so that they’d also get to be part of the ceremony in some way.

  61. Neil
    0

    I wish you’d shown the male Belgian athletes in the Belgium photo – they were some of the hottest in the whole ceremony! I liked their outfits and the Netherlands’ the best I think, along with Mexico’s fun outfits. The Czechs wearing the Wellies was fun too, although ironically there was no rain here that day.

    Worst hands down for me were Germany’s gender-coded outfits. I didn’t like USA’s much either – considering Ralph Lauren was doing them, I expected better. I get that he was going for a 1930s sporting look, but they looked more like overgrown Boy Scouts and Girl Guides to me.

  62. Alexandra Nilsson
    0

    Belgium’s red jacket looks a lot like a jacket I bought at H&M about a year ago. Complete with the buttons on the sleeves. :P

  63. hippetyhop
    0

    I’m amazed to see the Russians looking so smart on the parade, because HAVE YOU SEEN THEIR TRACKSUITS?! I saw a pic of one at the airport before the Games started and it looked like a migraine. Some poor old coach in violently patterned red and white shorts and jacket, argh. Heinous.

  64. NiJiaDe
    0