The focus of the Olympics is, obviously, the incredible physical feats going down in Rio right now, on land, on horse, in water, and mid air. We're not looking that closely at the outfits. (Still, this year's U.S. women's gymnastics team's leotards, with 5,000 Swarovski crystals apiece, are a sight to behold.) But the sports these superhuman athletes play haven't changed much over the years — it's their competition clothing that really evolves with the times.
Now that the 2016 games are in full swing, we're taking a look back at some amazing fashion moments from past Olympics. "Logically, fashion and sport should have very little to do with each other," Matthew Butson, vice president of the Getty Images Archive, told Refinery29, as we scrolled the vast collection for standout shots. "If fashion is often about adornment, decoration, or even standing out and being individual, sport surely demands the opposite, especially at the absolute highest Olympic level." Butson points out that that the point of performance garb is to "help, not hinder, the athlete going faster, further or as high as possible," in addition to flaunting team spirit and national pride, of course.
Ahead, check out 12 Olympic looks from the past century that highlight the supporting, but often still quite important, role that fashion has played in the Games.