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Stella McCartney vs. Polo Ralph Lauren: Who Won the Olympic Apparel Games?

Stella McCartney releases her designs for Rio 2106.

Image: Stella McCartney for Adidas

Three months out, there’s much about the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics that remains up in the air. Will athletes contract the Zika virus and be unable to perform? (Approximately 1.5 million Brazilians were infected last year.) Will the pollution-ravaged Guanabara Bay be clean before the sailing competition? (Ricardo Leyser, Brazil’s new sports minister, says not entirely.) Will the nation’s political unrest have subsided? (President Dilma Rousseff is on the brink of being ousted for corruption.) Will the stadium even be ready? (A recently constructed elevated bike path collapsed last week, killing two, but Leyser holds that the facilities are safe, sound and well on the road to complete, barring any major delays.)

…But thanks to Stella McCartney for Adidas and Polo Ralph Lauren, we know what the (repellant-anointed) British and American athletes will be wearing, respectively.

Ralph Lauren releases his designs for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Image: Ralph Lauren

Both brands have already given us a taste of their commissioned national kits. For the Closing Ceremony parade uniforms, Polo has U.S. competitors in striped cotton tees, tricolor boat shoes, ribbon belts and snappy chino shorts, the finishing touch being a button-down shirt (in athletes’ national color of choice) boldly embroidered with the brand’s Pony insignia. If Bradley Cooper’s Sack Lodge from Wedding Crashers saw these getups, he’d be dying to procure a set for his next Montauk getaway. That said, the outfits are classic, sporty, U.S.-made and definitely get their point across — “America, F-Yeah!”

While Team GB’s off-field attire remains to be seen, McCartney’s patriotic activewear line is just as sharp as her usual Adidas releases. The silhouettes are flattering and performance enhancing, the prints — variants on Great Britain’s Stella-redesigned coat of arms — modern and cleverly contrasted (McCartney’s florid national emblem is offset by blocky, basic lettering). We’d say, when it comes to coolest Olympic apparel, the motherland’s currently holding the gold.

With all that in mind, we’re still waiting to see H&M’s Swedish uniforms, Giorgio Armani’s designs for the Italian team, oh, and the state of Brazil come August.

[ via Fashionista and Vogue ]