18 unforgettable figure skating costumes from competitions past

Getty Images

Over the past 30 years, the sport of figure skating has progressed by leaps and bounds. Somehow, no matter how many mind-boggling revolutions athletes complete while flying through the air, they always manage to look flawless.

As we launch into the 2018 Winter Olympics, let’s take a moment to skate down memory lane and enjoy some beautiful costumes of competitions past.

1. Scott Hamilton

Hamilton’s aerodynamic red and blue suit was made for speed, spins and tight jumps during the 1984 games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

scott hamilton 1984 photo
Getty Images | Steve Powell

2. Brian Boitano

Boitano channels a stylish pirate and soars across the rink at the 1994 games in Lillehammer, Norway.

Brian Boitano photo
Getty Images | Shaun Botterill

3. Johnny Weir

Weir wowed crowds as soon as he stepped onto the ice thanks to theatrical, statement-making costumes like this winged black and white suit he wore during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

weir vancouver photo
Getty Images | Cameron Spencer

4. Evan Lysacek

In comparison, Lysacek went for the classic look in an all-black Vera Wang collaboration at the 2010 games in Vancouver. Classic until you notice the feathers flying from his wrists.

Evan Lysacek photo
Getty Images | Jamie Squire

5. Dorothy Hamill

Hamill’s red V-neck costume for the 1976 games in Innsbruck, Austria, was sweet and simple, just like her trademark bob and classy skating.

dorothy hamill photo
Getty Images | Tony Duffy

6. Tara Lipinski

Teen sensation Lipinski wholeheartedly embraced sparkle with illusion sleeves and a bedazzled bright blue costume on her way to Olympic gold at the 1998 games in Nagano, Japan.

lipinski nagano photo
Getty Images | Shaun Botterill

7. Meryl Davis

With an outfit reminiscent of a Disney princess, Davis looked stunning ice dancing for the gold at the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia, with partner Charlie White.

meryl davis photo
Getty Images | Clive Mason

8. Michelle Kwan

Kwan switched up her style with a Bollywood-inspired two-piece look for a free skate performance during the 1996 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

kwan 1996 photo
Getty Images | Otto Greule Jr

9. Michelle Kwan… Again!

Kwan’s more classic minimalist velvet costume at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano was no less memorable.

kwan nagano photo
Getty Images | Mike Powell

10. Surya Bonaly

French skater Bonaly made a splash in vivid orange, sparkles and ruffles designed by Christian Lacroix for the 1995 World Figure Skating Championships.

Surya Bonaly photo
Getty Images | Anton Want

11. Kristi Yamaguchi

Yamaguchi showed she was going for gold with plenty of gold accents on her black costume during the 1992 games in Albertville, France.

albertville yamaguchi photo
Getty Images | Bob Martin

12. Tonya Harding

Harding’s glitzy burgundy number matched her high-energy, high-flying performances at the 1994 Lillehammer games.

lillehammer tonya photo
Getty Images | Clive Brunskill

13. Nancy Kerrigan

Kerrigan’s graceful style choices and skating programs made her a fan favorite. Here she is at the 1992 games in Albertville.

albertville kerrigan photo
Getty Images | Pascal Rondeau

14. Nancy Kerrigan Part Deux

Kerrigan’s Vera Wang-designed costume decked out with more than 10,000 rhinestones made the skater look like a celebratory bottle of bubbly, in the best way at the 1994 Lillehammer games.

lillehammer skate photo
Getty Images | Chris Cole

15. Oksana Baiul

Bubble-gum pink never looked so right as it did on Baiul’s fluffy number from the 1994 Olympics.

Oksana Baiul 1994 photo
Getty Images | Mike Powell

16. Sarah Hughes

It’s a rare sight for a female figure skater to don pants, but Hughes’s black jumpsuit sparkled across the rink during a 2002 exhibition. In events sanctioned by the sport’s official body, women must wear skirts.

sarah hughes 2002 photo
Getty Images | Doug Pensinger

17. Sasha Cohen

Cohen’s sunshine yellow choice for the 2004 World Figure Skating Championships featured ruffles and lace. It was a bright departure from her usual elegant staples.

sasha cohen skate photo
Getty Images | Stuart Franklin

18. Sasha Cohen Stuns Us Again

When it comes to skating fashion, flexibility seemed to be the No. 1 priority for Cohen. This elegant choice at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, showcases her spectacular splits.

sasha cohen torino photo
Getty Images | Al Bello

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About the Author
Jennifer Nied
Jennifer Nied is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. She focuses on beauty, wellness, and travel stories with a background covering the spa industry.

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