This week, Ralph Lauren made the U.S. Winter Olympic Team uniforms available for purchase, and boy they sure are American.
A couple of years ago, you may remember unless you were in a coma, the designer caught Holy Hell from the country at large for having the nerve to manufacture the Summer Olympic overseas just like almost everything else he makes. This time around, he took no chances, so every stitch of the official outfits are made in the U.S.A. As a result, they are also incredibly expensive. The collection tops off with a navy and red Team USA Ceremony Pea Coat ringing up at $795 with the least expensive item being a Team USA Sports Cap for $49.50. Some of the items are already sold out on the designer's website, so act fast if you want some pricey, stars & stripes festooned winter wear.
We are not being cynical about the styling. We wouldn't expect or want them to look any other way, generally speaking, but it's a lot to take fashionwise if you aren't going to part of a team marching in an Opening or Closing Ceremony extravaganza. The centerpiece of all this is The Sweater, modeled above by a crew of current, aspiring and former Olympians. This bulky shawl collar cardigan is designed as a bright patchwork of patriotic and Olympic motifs, which in an odd numbered year might be suitable for wearing only on a particularly chilly 4th of July. It's yours for $595. Another notable item is the Team USA Ceremony Sweater, a red, white and blue Fair Isle turtleneck for $395 which is kind of like a Christmas Sweater without the Christmas. The rest of the collection is more conventional performance wear and polo shirts with a few knitted flap caps thrown in for good measure. With the Sochi Winter Olympics proceeding under a few clouds of terrorist threats and new, homophobic Russian laws that smack of Fascism, the peppy uniforms might turn out to be the happiest part of the Olympics this Winter, so lets enjoy them for what they are. Have look at a few of the styles in the gallery below.
Team USA|Ralph Lauren (Official Site)