Can we talk? Can we talk about the dreadful Ralph Lauren-designed sweaters team USA is sporting at the Sochi winter games? Oh. Em. Gee. Really? That’s the best we can come up with – embarrassing “ugly Christmas sweater” sweaters?! At least this time they were made in the U.S.A.
If you must do sweaters, at least do them like Andorra’s traditionally-styled Nordic ones:
I’m fully aware it’s the winter games and not fashion week, but these are indelible outfits and at least some countries got it right. Germany looked fabulous and fun if not a bit flashy in their rainbow hued Bogner-designed jackets and pants. (And no, Willy Bogner says they are not in protest of Russia’s anti-gay laws so don’t even go there.)
Also classic yet stand-out statements are Canada’s vibrant red toggle coats and Sweden’s cobalt blue ones. I’m always a sucker for cobalt and I love the diagonal zippers and crazy pants.
On the other hand, what was France thinking? I’m all about khakis…on the golf course! Coco Chanel must be rolling in her grave knowing the fashion capital of the world presented something along the lines of Dockers. Blasphemy!
Two other countries have gotten mixed reviews. I personally think Russia’s “Santa coats” were perfect for the host team and Lithuania’s lime green get-ups have won me over. Just sayin…
Although a sporting event above all sporting events, Olympic “Opening Ceremonies” are also a fashion face off. Designers fight for the right to outfit a country’s team and pay big money to do so. Having their designs front and center on a global stage is a marketing dream…unless those designs flop. Calling Mr. Lauren. The 1980s are on line two and want their sweaters back.
Fashion designers aren’t the only ones outfitting the world’s top athletes this year. American speed skaters will be donning aerodynamic suits designed with the help of Lockheed Martin and the U.S. luge team’s clingy uniforms were created by comic book publisher Valient Entertainment. I also love the fact that the U.S. free skier team will be sporting North Face jackets that have a star shape sewn inside made with fabric that has been to Mount Everest.
All team designs (with the exception of those worn by American figure skaters, who are allowed to choose their own costumes) are approved by the United States Olympic Committee using requirements set by the International Olympic Committee. (The rules can be found in a 33-page book called “Guidelines Regarding Authorized Identification” if you’re desperate for reading material.) In most cases, only one manufacturer’s logo is allowed on any one piece of clothing or equipment and they are reserved for specific areas of each such as the chest or arm. In addition, size matters. Clothing logos must be no more than three square inches and those on equipment can be no larger than six square centimeters. Guidelines also say that one year’s outfits must be different from those of any previous games and the use of national colors is encouraged.
So what say you? Do you like the USA’s sweaters? What country sported your favorite?
Finally, if you’re really all about Olympic fashion this year, you might want to consider “sporting” the latest trend: dressed up track pants and jerseys as seen here:
Happy shopping and let’s go U.S.A.!!!!!