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Nobody does ugly sports uniforms like Australia

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Avert your eyes!

Australia is a relatively small country with an astoundingly impressive sporting history. They’ve won the Rugby World Cup twice, the Cricket World Cup five times, and are eighth in the all-time Olympic medal tally — just three medals behind China, which has a population 60 times the size.

But perhaps Australia’s greatest contribution to world sports is that of ugly attire, especially in the early 1990s. There was this carefree attitude towards dressing the nation’s athletes that led to a wonderful duality where these objectively beautiful athletic humans were wearing the most disgusting clothing imaginable.

The 1992 Barcelona Olympics

I don’t know what was happening during the 1992 Olympics, but Australia was lost. Look at what swimmers had to wear in the pool.

Hayley Lewis

This is a kid’s first attempt to make something in Microsoft Paint. They can’t decide on one design, so they just go with five, mash them together, and create something horrific. Still, it’s not nearly as bad as ...

The 1993 Cricket Uniforms

PA Images via Getty Images

Is that a side shin pocket? What’s with the color blocking? I get this was early-’90s Adidas so they had to keep the pinstripes to be on brand, but this showed an absolutely lack of awareness on how this would look on a cricketer.

Still, this isn’t nearly as bad as ...

The 1995 Cricket uniforms.

Getty Images

Hooo boy. Stars, stripes, width variation. I think the thing about the Australian color palette of green and gold is that it’s already so jarring that less is more. The best Australian uniforms have known this, but for some reason in the ‘90s, companies kept thinking they could just cram all sorts of stuff on Aussie jerseys and they’d look fine. They were wrong.

As ugly as these are, they’re not as bad as ...

The 2000 Olympic uniforms

Sygma via Getty Images

I’d forgotten these existed. So I’m looking through photos of Australia at the Olympics opening ceremony and then spy this. Someone, somewhere thought to themselves “this whole green and gold thing is fine, but you know what it’s missing? RED!”

Not to mention the fact they wound the world’s least-flattering clothes to put on athletes. These are donation pile clothes in every episode of Queer Eye. They’re horrific, and somehow still not as bad as ...

2004 Olympic uniforms

Fairfax Media via Getty Images

OK, now you’ve just decided to get rid of the entire nation’s color scheme for some generic green with a big star motif. The designer had to know how bad this was because after the jacket they were like “f*** this, I’m just putting them in a white T-shirt and pants and calling this done.”

This is so, so, horrifically bad — yet somehow it’s not as bad as ...


Getty Images

I just bamboozled you. I bet you thought this was all going to be past looks that seem dated. Australia wore THIS in the year TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHTEEN against Korea in an exhibition soccer match.

And I know you think I’m lying, but I promise you there’s something worse. A uniform so hideous you are absolutely not ready for it ...

1994 World Cup qualifier uniform

Getty Images

Oh, God, no. The pattern extends down the sides of the shorts, because YEAH THAT’S ABSOLUTELY SOMETHING WE NEEDED. Imagine if an alien, who couldn’t see color had digested about 1/8th of Jackson Pollock’s portfolio and then designed these.

I’m convinced, even in these very specific circumstances, that it still wouldn’t be as bad as the 1994 World Cup qualifier uniforms.