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Sailor-inspired Korean uniforms take center stage at London Olympics

The Korean uniform was selected as one of the best-looking uniforms Photo courtesy of Korean Olympic Committee
The Korean uniform was selected as one of the best-looking uniforms for the London Olympics in Time Magazine.

The July 20 edition of the weekly magazine classified South Korea’s Olympic uniforms as one of the best outfits, stating that ”The sailor-inspired suits are some of the most sophisticated uniforms we have seen. The blazer has a nice cut, giving athletes some actual shape, and the red scarves are a nice accent.” Along with the Korean uniform, the uniforms from the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Jamaica, New Zealand, and Germany also rank as best-looking uniforms.

The Korean uniform, sponsored by the Korean Olympic Committee, was designed to recall the 1948 London Olympic, the first official sporting event South Korea participated in. The uniform designer was reported to say that this year’s design has been largely motivated by the double-breasted jackets the first Olympic athletes had worn back in 1948.

The 1948 mix of navy and grey colors were replaced to reflect summer-appropriate styles by adding white pants and white buttons. The basic colors for the complete outfit are red, blue, and white, symbolizing the taegeukgi, Korea’s national flag. The taegeuk pattern was also emblazoned in ties and scarves, designed in a way to stimulate the athletes’ passion and enthusiasm, giving a chance to review the progress the older athletes made during an unstable period.

The Korean uniform was selected as one of the best-looking uniformsTransformation of Korean uniforms: (from the left) 1964 Tokyo Olympics; 1976 Montreal Olympics; 1988 Seoul Olympics; 1996 Atlanta Olympics (photos courtesy of Korean Olympic Committee)

While male athletes dress in formal attire wearing white shirts with taegeuk-patterned ties, female athletes dress in more casual striped T-shirts. The uniforms are decked out with accessories including taegeuk-patterned ties and scarves accessorized by white fedoras and clutch bags. The most meaningful part is the supportive messages Koreans send to athletes scattered around the lining of the jackets.

The Korean uniform was selected as one of the best-looking uniforms The Korean uniform for the 2012 London Olympics received the spotlight at a uniform showcase event in the host city (photo courtesy of Korean Olympic Committee).

The Jamaican uniforms, the other best-looking, were praised for their vivid and geometric colors that associate with the Olympics, and also New Zealand’s white trim on black blazers received favorable responses.


By Lee Seung-ah
Korea.net Staff Writer

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