The Parade of Nations. Part-lap of glory, part-fashion show, this integral part of the Olympic opening ceremony – when competing countries battle it out to the most stylish – never fails to set the Twittersphere alight.

Here, we sort the wheat from the chaff. On your marks…

The Best


Indonesia’s pick ‘n’ mix of national costume screamed IDGAF in the best possible way. Made up of Balinese, Lampuan and Papuan traditional dress, the team had its pattern-clashing on point.


Despite its glittering trophy case, America’s track record for opening ceremony outfits is comparatively murky. This year was a pleasant surprise though, with Ralph Lauren providing rig-outs that nailed Ivy League preppy.


In an ocean of orange dashikis and fluoro sportswear, Pakistan shunned the peacockery for these minimal takes on their national garb. No fussiness, no fanciness, no flamboyant flagbearers – just straight-up understated excellence. And impeccable layering.


DSquared2’s Canuck ensembles were a rare example of outfits looking just as good in reality as they do on chiselled (and retouched) lookbook models.

Sure, we might not have the arms of an Olympic shot putter, but these maple leaf jackets have a kind of one-size-fits-all appeal.


Any team with the balls to parade around in a mash-up of the Liberian flag and a square robe poncho gets our vote. Impractical, yes, but proof that memorable style doesn’t always have to fit a Eurocentric mould.


Tonal dressing, geometric prints and an overall sleek sports luxe appeal – well colour us surprised, Israel.

The Worst


We’re not sure if Tonga’s Pita Taukatofua moonlights as an amateur porn star, but the greased up torso and primary school play costume are making us suspicious.

We get it, a nation’s traditional dress has a place at the Olympics, but there’s something about this combination of rippling six pack, Hollywood smile and Johnson’s baby oil that just doesn’t seem quite authentic.


You know that Scandi cool we’re forever banging on about? Yeah? Well, it’s dead – thanks to Sweden’s embarrassment of an outfit, a mess of lemon yellow charmeuse jackets and a flagbearer that looks like the Game of Thrones cast on sports day.


Cuba’s effort isn’t offensive, it’s just a bit of a letdown. And considering the fact that design demigod Christian Louboutin was at the helm, plain blue tracksuits worn by blokes your granddad’s age just aren’t that podium-worthy.


Vegas croupier or walking solar panels? We’re still not sure, but Thailand’s lamé/lame (delete as appropriate) effort is more Khao San Road than Bangkok boojie.


Straight from a fresher’s week ‘Skool Daze’ party to the Rio Olympics, Australia gets it wrong again. Come on Oz, get your shit together.