Olympic Fashion Through The Ages
Mimi ON Jul 23, 2012 AT 3:59 pm
The 1900 Games in Paris was a momentous year for the Olympics, because for the very first time women were allowed to compete. Albeit only in events such as the tennis and golf and over the following 28 years there was a semblance of improvement with other events such as gymnastics being added to that list. But although they were allowed to compete in the games, the socially acceptable fashions of the time filtered through into the Olympics with women having to be suitably covered-up as much in the arena, as they were outside of it.
Charlotte Cooper, a British tennis player, was the first female medalist, and as you can see, she competed wearing a full-length skirt with long sleeved button-up top, a tie and heels, somewhat restrictive we would have thought.
We love this image of two, rather miserable looking, swimmers from 1912, when swimsuits – even these cycling short-esque styles – were considered to be scandalous.
It wasn’t just the tennis players who were expected to remain covered up, figure skaters were expected to wear floor length skirts, a hat and a collared blouse. And it wasn’t until the late 1960s when most figure skaters wore a cardigan with a scarf too.
We can’t get enough of these 1984 Australian Olympic Uniforms, complete with kangaroo, ostrich and koala animal prints and tight fitted pants for the men, if only Stella McCartney had gone down this route for Team GB 2012.
No we couldn’t believe it either but this really is the official 1972 Olympic swimwear for the Australian athletes, a cloud-motif tankini for the women and matching very brief briefs for the men.